Yes and no. We are, of course, interested in promoting the full equality of women. We are a proud member of the Minnesota Women’s Consortium, and we are housed in the Minnesota Women’s Building.
However, we see our mission as broader than “women’s rights,” standing alone. Our “gender justice” work combats discrimination based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation because we think these types of discrimination can harm everyone, no matter how they are perceived or self-identify. It might be more accurate to call us a “human rights group” than a “women’s rights group.”
It is important to acknowledge, however, that gender essentialism (the notion that men and women are naturally quite different from one another, à la “men-are-from- Mars, women-are-from-Venus”) is usually linked with gender hierarchy (being male/ masculine is the norm; being female/ feminine is “other” and lesser). In a culture based on gender hierarchy, women have less access to power, authority, and capital. They are, in a word, more oppressed, and arguably face greater gender injustice, particularly when it comes to economic issues. Because Gender Justice focuses on the economic consequences of gender injustice, we currently have and will likely to continue to have a predominance of women clients.