Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2340787
 


 



Work Wives


Laura Rosenbury


Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law

September 15, 2013

Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol. 36, p. 345, 2013
Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-09-01

Abstract:     
Traditional notions of male and female roles remain tenacious at home and work even in the face of gender-neutral family laws and robust employment discrimination laws. This Article analyzes the challenge of gender tenacity through the lens of the “work wife.” The continued use of the marriage metaphor at work reveals that the dynamics of marriage flow between home and work, creating a feedback loop that inserts gender into both domains in multiple ways. This phenomenon may reinforce gender stereotypes, hindering the potential of law to achieve gender equality. But such gender tenacity need not always lead to subordination. The concept of marriage at work may in fact permit different performances of gender than those found within traditional marriage, providing both women and men with forms of support, connection, and intimacy that escape gender hierarchy without eschewing gender altogether. This Article’s analysis of work wives thus provides a vehicle for envisioning more nuanced legal strategies for gender equality, strategies that do not aspire to gender neutrality or gender blindness but rather focus on the ways gender is constructed in and out of law at home, work, and beyond.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 61

Keywords: gender, work, marriage, employment discrimination, feminist legal theory, law and popular culture

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Date posted: October 17, 2013 ; Last revised: October 21, 2013

Suggested Citation

Rosenbury, Laura, Work Wives (September 15, 2013). Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol. 36, p. 345, 2013; Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-09-01. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2340787

Contact Information

Laura Rosenbury (Contact Author)
Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law ( email )
Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
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