[Excerpt] “My overarching reaction to Janet Halley's recent book, Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism, can be summarized with a one sentence cliché: The perfect is the enemy of the good.' She holds feminism to a standard of perfection no human endeavor could possibly meet, and then heartily criticizes it for falling short. Though Halley's myriad observations about feminism occasionally resonated with my own views and experiences, ultimately I remain unconvinced that taking a break from feminism would, for me, be either justified or productive. But I did (mostly) enjoy reading it. Halley is well read, cleverly provocative, and a gifted writer. Below I give a somewhat glib and superficial overview of the book, and my reactions to it. I explain why I think Halley is too hard on feminists generally, and on Catharine MacKinnon specifically. And I take her to task for being harshly critical of feminism without offering realistic, pragmatic, or lawyerly alternatives. You can't theorize your way into an abortion, or out of a rape. You can have to rely on a legal system that may fail you, in which case you can work to improve it so that others don't suffer as you did. This is part of the very essence of feminism, which Halley gives short shrift.”
Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice
Ann Bartow, "Review Essay: Janet Halley, Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism," Vol. XXVI/2 THE WINDSOR Y.B. ACCESS JUST. 391 (2008).