The development of feminist jurisprudence in recent years has made a rich and fruitful contribution to legal theory. Few areas of domestic law have avoided the scrutiny of feminist writers, who have exposed the gender bias of apparently neutral systems of rules. A central feature of many western theories about law is that the law is an autonomous entity, distinct from the society it regulates. A legal system is regarded as different from a political or economic system, for example, because it operates on the basis of abstract rationality, and is thus universally applicable and capable of achieving neutrality and objectivity. These attributes are held to give the law its special authority. More radical theories have challenged this abstract rationalism, arguing that legal analysis cannot be separated from the political, economic, historical and cultural context in which people live. Some theorists argue that the law functions as a system of beliefs that make social, political and economic inequalities appear natural. Feminist jurisprudence builds on certain aspects of this critical strain in legal thought. It is much more focused and concrete, however, and derives its theoretical force from immediate experience of the role of the legal system in creating and perpetuating the unequal position of women.