A Legal (and Otherwise) Realist Response to 'Sex as Contract'
Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1994
15 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2012
Date Written: 1994
The suggestion in "Sex as Contract: Abortion and Expanded Choice" that society use the legal coercion of “contract” to give definition to the social and emotional experience of “sex” provides evidence for the feminist assertion that there are often explicit but unconsidered gendered consequences attached to the implementation of so-called “neutral” legal concepts and doctrine.
This article is a response to “Sex as a Contract”, in which the social consequences of reproduction are examined in order to show that while “contract” may be a neutral term, given the different social and cultural realities women and men experience in our society, sex and reproduction are very gendered acts. Thus, applying “neutral” doctrines can still create inequality by serving to reinforce the status quo.
Keywords: Contrat, coercion, reproduction, feminist legal theory, gendered experience, marriage, law and economics, inequality
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