Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2006

Center/Program

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

Abstract

What is the legal significance of the social significance of things? How does the law comprehend, affect, reinforce, transform, and undermine the relations between persons and things? In this Essay I examine these questions by looking at connections between one particular thing - the automobile - and one particular group of persons - women. How is it that the automobile has come to serve women - as drivers, passengers, as purchasers - less well than men? After all, in some sense a car is a gender neutral machine seemingly capable of taking drivers of either sex equal distances. But how long after the first one was welded together did it shed any pretense of such neutrality? How did that transformation come about and what has law made of the results?

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