CHALLENGING GENDER INEQUALITY IN TAX POLICY MAKING: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES, Kim Brooks, Åsa Gunnarsson, Lisa Philipps and Maria Wersigeds, Hart Publishing, 2011
16 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2009 Last revised: 18 Jun 2011
Date Written: April 7, 2009
In this paper, I explore how the deduction for extraordinary medical expenses, codified in I.R.C. section 213, furthers domination in American society. On its face, section 213 probably does not seem a likely candidate for being tagged as furthering domination. After all, this provision aims to alleviate extraordinary financial burdens on taxpayers who already suffer from significant medical problems -- and who, by definition, lack the help of insurance to relieve those burdens. But, as laudable as this goal might be, careful attention to the text and context of section 213 reveals that it does not apply to all taxpayers equally. In fact, section 213 draws sharp distinctions between different types of families. Looking at this provision from the perspective of those who require the help of assisted reproductive technology to form a family, I explain how section 213 furthers the hegemony of the so-called traditional family and concomitantly contributes to the subordination of lesbian and gay families as well as many other nontraditional American families.
Keywords: lesbian, gay, sexual orientation, family, medical expense, assisted reproductive technology, domination, subordination
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