Feminist legal theory has both embraced and rejected contract. While contract-based conceptual and doctrinal tools have improved women’s economic and social status, feminists also critique contract-based reforms for colluding with hierarchies of gender, race and class. This chapter charts influential work on both sides of the contract debate and identifies a third approach that sees contract as a mechanism for law to move away from a hierarchal regime by stopping at a contractual way station en route to a more equal system of public ordering. It concludes by identifying ways that feminist legal theorists have injected feminist insights into traditional contract law via doctrines such as good faith in employment contracts, debtor rights in lending relationships, and defenses including unconscionability and duress.
The Oxford Handbook of Feminism and Law in the United States (Debora Brake, Martha Chamallas, and Verna Williams eds., 2022).
Contracts | Law | Law and Gender | Law and Society | Sexuality and the Law
Digital Commons Citation
Ertman, Martha M., "Contract's Influence on Feminism and Vice Versa" (2021). Faculty Scholarship. 1653.