Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Charles Batson




oppression, feminism, identity, protector, jurisprudence


The disenfranchised experiences of women are central to feminist understandings of identity. Crucial to this understanding is the question of what is the cause of female oppression and how to remedy the situation. This introduces the concept of state power and its relationship to women. The state, as the seat of legal and political power, has the ability to serve as both protector and oppressor. The thesis is devoted to exploring feminist perspectives and critiques on state power such as arguments for state intervention in the protection of women through concrete action such as gender-specific laws. Opposing this view is the perspective that political solutions can both overthrow AND codify existing social conditions. Ultimately, the state represents a problem of power because it has the capacity to act as both the protector and oppressor of women. These perspectives frame the thesis, which addresses a wide range of topics.