What's Love Got to Do with it?

10 Pages Posted: 15 May 2002 Last revised: 19 Mar 2017

See all articles by Susan A. Bandes

Susan A. Bandes

DePaul University - College of Law


The language of legal theory tends not to welcome or even acknowledge the influence of emotional variables. There exists an established discourse about values, which discusses, for example, the value of autonomy to the way we live our lives. But discussion of love, fear, dependency, intimacy and other emotions which bear on the way we live our lives is not an acceptable part of this discourse. Feminist jurisprudence offers a rich literature on these emotions, their relevance to notions of autonomy, and their impact on the sorts of autonomy women value. However, the insights of this literature are generally cordoned off from mainstream legal thought. The article considers why concepts like autonomy are considered an appropriate subject for mainstream legal discourse, while concepts like love and dependency remain marginalized, and raises questions about the costs of this marginalization.

Suggested Citation

Bandes, Susan A., What's Love Got to Do with it?. William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 8, No. 97, 2001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=309587 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.309587

Susan A. Bandes (Contact Author)

DePaul University - College of Law ( email )

25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL Cook County 60604-2287
United States
(312) 362-8701 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.susanbandes.com/

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