A Fresh Start for a Women's Economy: Beyond Punitive Consumer Bankruptcy
42 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2019
Date Written: September 28, 2018
This article explores the gendering of modern consumerism through the lens of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The changes made by the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) expose that the punitive nature of bankruptcy falls disproportionately on the same women who keep capitalism in motion with their purchases – the danger of this contradiction could cause a downturn for the entire economy.
Despite Elizabeth Warren breaking the glass ceiling of analyzing economic law through the lens of gender, economic legal theory remains dominated by those who neglect or even disdain feminist critical theory being applied to subjects like bankruptcy. By combining cultural analysis, legal theory, and macroeconomics, this article maintains the rigor of empiricism while centering the law in the consequences it has on marginalized communities. Now that it has been more than a decade since the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) and will soon be a decade since the start of the Great Recession, there is enough data to begin to empirically parse out the effects of BAPCPA. This article is a humble beginning to this endeavor, tracing where BAPCPA has taken the country and what changes need to be made to redirect the country onto a path towards an economy by and for women.
Keywords: bankruptcy, women, gender, BAPCPA, consumer, debt
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