As defined, ideologies come from society’s expectations, uniform behavior and practices observed for a considerable period of time. They are generated from the evolution of society and the practices of the people and have become absolute rule of law. Particularly, ideologies are based on the actuations and behavior of the people who have strong influence and involvement in the government such as politicians, businessmen, government officers and such other influential people.
Considering that they are looked up to by many, their acts are even adhered to and eventually becoming a common practice among the constituents. It in this respect that ideologies have become the foundation and basis of some laws. Moreover, it should be understood that the term laws does not only refer to written civil or criminal laws but also refers to moral and natural laws, the latter two being unwritten laws. Both the moral and natural laws form ideologies and are eventually transformed to civil laws or criminal laws as the case may be.
At this point, law as an ideology shall be seen in the light of the two cases involving Jane Doe on rape cases and the case of Leilani Muri. In the past, rape cases are seen in the light of women being the cause of their being raped. Laws or shall we say, law enforcers have discriminating attitude upon women who are the supposed victims of rape cases. Sexual advances made by men upon women were considered as the effect of women’s lewd acts when it should have been otherwise. In short, women are seen not as victims but as the reason for their plight.
However, recent cases reflect the protection accorded to women and strengthen by state laws protecting the interests of women in rape cases. The law and jurisprudence now recognizes the right of rape victims to protect their honor against male offenders or abusers. Rape victims are accorded respect as society should do so because their plight has been characterized by the result of barbaric acts of men. In this regard, there have been enacted laws that are intended to protect women’s rights such as their exclusive right to prosecute their cases. Women victims may opt to file rape charges against their violators.
While it is a public crime, in the absence of the woman victim’s participation by being a witness to the case, the case could not prosper. The law now recognizes the need of some women victims for privacy and confidentiality. In this respect also, states have formulated the Rape Shield Law in order to keep records of rape cases as absolutely confidential. Prior the enactment of the Rape Shield Law, there was no law protecting sexual history of ‘victims’ and in this regard, offenders may prove such sexual history derogatory to the credibility of the woman victim/witness.
With the advent of the present law however, shaped by society’s ideology of protecting women’s rights to privacy, the Rape Shield is included into the written law and has now been observed not only by law enforcers but also by the judiciary in the adjudication of rape cases.
Another important case in relation to the enactment of laws on the basis of social ideologies is the case of Leilani Muri. The law involved in the instant case is the Sexual Sterelization Act of 1928. prior the enactment of the law, it has been observed that IQ tests are used as a tool for proving that different individuals learn and take in information differently. Initially however, these tests such as IQ testing and other eugenics are applied on animals. It was later however discovered their appropriate applications on human and so the introduction of the law. Major advocates of the law were women of higher positions in society. In the course of time however, moral issues vis a vis application of scientific means and methods applied to both animals and humans arise.
Thus, the law now establishes some guidelines to protect the present subjects of the foregoing tests such as the need to obtain prior consent of patients before they engaged into certain body operations. In the light of moral issues in its application, considering that sterilization has been a sensitive issue, its adverse effects of future generation children, the law-making body decided to repeal the same. This is a reverse application of the first case on rape. In the previous case, ideologies protecting women victim from further sexual and physical abuses of male offenders, there has been enacted the Rape Shield Law for instance.
In the instant case however, an enacted law has been repealed and therefore can no longer be a source of any right nor did obligation, considering the moral issues involve particularly the future generation. It is important to note at this instance, that societal ideologies not only encourage the enactment of laws, but are likewise tools to stop unwarranted practices previously allowed. Our ideologies therefore serve dual purpose – enactment of written and formal law and their repeal in order to protect the interests of the people and the government and regulating the conduct of humans in the course of human relations.