60 Alb. L. Rev. 607 (1996-1997)
Sex, Culture, and Rights: A Re/Conceptualization of Violence for the Twenty-First Century

handle is hein.journals/albany60 and id is 623 raw text is: SEX, CULTURE, AND RIGHTS:
A RE/CONCEPTUALIZATION OF VIOLENCE FOR THE
TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Berta Esperanza Herndndez-Truyol*
I. INTRODUCTION
The central theme of this Article, Sex, Culture, and Rights: A
Re/conceptualization of Violence,1 is that a re/vision of acts that
constitute violence against women is necessary for gender
equality-both domestically and internationally-to become a reality.
This reconceptualization must address not only the normative
concept of violence, i.e., the use of physical force, but it must also
transform and reposition the idea of violence within a broader
framework that includes, considers and aims to eradicate (1)
psychological, social and political subordination of women; (2) male
dominant (and female subservient) cultural and traditional practices;
as well as (3) economic marginalization and subjugation of women.
First, in looking at sex (meaning both sex and gender)2 and
Copyright 1997 by Albany Law Review and Berta Esperanza Herndndez-Truyol, Professor
of Law, St. John's University School of Law. A.B., Cornell University, 1974; J.D., Albany Law
School, 1978; L.L.M., New York University, 1982. Many thanks to Kimberly Johns for her
research assistance.
Many thanks to Albany Law School Dean Tom Sponsler for hosting this great symposium
and to Beth Ann Isenberg and Peter Halewood (to whom I could not just say no) for
organizing the event and to the Albany Law students who worked indefatigably to see that this
magnificent program became a reality. Special thanks to Beth for her work and assistance
throughout the live symposium to publication process.
It is indeed a special pleasure and honor, as an Albany Law alumna, to have been invited
to participate in this groundbreaking Symposium on Conceptualizing Violence: Present and
Future Developments in International Law (hereinafter Symposium). It is a unique and
gratifying experience to return to my alma mater, a place where I obtained a magnificent
education, confronted so many intellectual challenges, and received tremendous support, to
share with the Albany Law community thinking that was initially inspired by the knowledge
imparted within these walls by terrific and caring faculty. Therefore, I dedicate this Article
to the Albany Law community, with a special note of thanks to my former professors who were
so kind as to attend my presentation: Professors Katherine Katz and Frank Anderson.
' This Article is adapted from the talk, of the same title, delivered at the Albany Law
Review Symposium.
2 See CATHARINE A. MACKJNNON, FEMINISM UNMODIFIED: DISCOURSES ON LIFE AND LAw 263
n.5 (1987). MacKinnon explains that sex is viewed as the biological aspect of being female,

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