logo Crosstalks


Texts on Privacy, Gender and Race


You have open access to two texts, selected by Anita Allen as preparation for her lecture on Privacy through the Lenses of Race and Gender. You can find the texts under downloads-->

How Privacy Got Its Gender

Allen, Anita L. and Mack, Erin, "How Privacy Got Its Gender" (1991). Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law.

This article suggests that the right to privacy, as it was originally described by Warren and Brandeis, reflects their era's gender bias. The authors describe the social, economic and legal background for the original, gender-biased pronouncement of the right, as well as its subsequent development, and how this bias affects legal scholarship in the area today. The authors suggest that legal scholars need to be more sensitive to the gender bias that exists in privacy law, and that alternative analyses which recognize this bias already exist. (source)

The Whiteness of Privacy: Race, Media, Law

Osuca, Eden, "The Whiteness of Privacy: Race, Media, Law" (2009), Camera Obscura Feminism Culture and Media Studies.

This essay explores how the early history of the American right to privacy, first expressed in the law as a right to media privacy, reflects the racialization of concepts of privacy and publicity in nineteenth-century visual culture. Drawing on histories of photography and consumerism, legal history, and cultural theory, as well as on the visual archive of the original Aunt Jemima trademark, the essay argues that anxieties about the media exposure and commodification of white women that saturated the legal texts of media privacy were correlative to the spectacular forms of exposure and commodification of black subjects routine in the era's commercial print culture. This conjunction of legal and media discourse calls for a rehistoricization of the function of media publicity as a technology of racialization. (source)


Photo overview: © Marta Bogdańska/APP; licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

Don't miss any updates!

Subscribe to the newsletter