Amatory Jurisprudence and the Querelle Des Lois
22 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2000
Date Written: March 2000
It is my view, and here, no doubt, I am pre-empting my conclusion, that what literary and feminist historicism recognizes as the querelle des femmes, the debate as to the status and political role of women, is in fact underpinned and motivated by a much less explicit, yet nonetheless portentous, querelle des lois. The querelle des femmes, in other words, was always a polemic as to the legal status of women, as to their definition and role in theology and jurisprudence, canon and civil law. More than that, however, what the recovery of amatory jurisprudence can help to show is that the querelle des femmes was predicated upon a conflict of jurisdictions and at base addressed the primary political question of which law, masculine or feminine, that of amity or fraternity, of Venus or polity, of love or regality, was to govern.
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