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Law and Gender$
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Joanne Conaghan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199592920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592920.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 September 2021

Transmissions Through Time: Gender, Law, and History

Transmissions Through Time: Gender, Law, and History

(p.109) 4 Transmissions Through Time: Gender, Law, and History
Law and Gender

Joanne Conaghan

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between law and gender by probing the role and significance of history, temporality, and the past. It argues that time contributes to the erasure of gender from legal exposition and analysis in two related ways. First, temporal narration situates the deeply patriarchal legal past as the ‘before’ of law; as no more than a tatty historical legal remnant which occasionally needs tidying up. Second, time works to present the law-gender relation teleologically, as a progressive process in which law ‘works itself pure’ of error and misjudgement. History yields a narrative of gradual erosion in which gender is steadily expunged from the forms and categories of law, and by the same sleight of historical hand, attention is diverted away from the operation of gender in law other than in formal, categorical terms.

Keywords:   law, gender, history, temporality, past, time

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