Edited by Robin West and Cynthia G. Bowman
Chapter 21: Feminism and contract law
What have feminists contributed to our understanding of the law of contracts? Which issues still warrant feminist attention? Describing conventional contract law as having a multilayered masculine orientation, this chapter envisions a feminist stone thrown into a fairly peaceful contractual pond. The first circular wave that follows is what feminists have argued in the context of contracts relating to the intimate sphere, where more women than men are heavily invested. This wave is followed by a broader but slower one, created by feminist works discussing seemingly neutral contractual doctrines that both reflect and perpetuate gender bias, often combined with other prejudices. Next in order is an even broader wave generated by feminist insights regarding the deeper ideas that animate contract theory. Last, the chapter evaluates the cumulative impact of those circular waves and suggests paths to a much-needed continuation of this feminist project that influences the life of all.
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