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Minimizing MarriageMarriage, Morality, and the Law$
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Elizabeth Brake

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199774142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199774142.001.0001

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Challenges for Minimal Marriage

Challenges for Minimal Marriage

Poverty, Property, Polygyny

(p.189) 8 Challenges for Minimal Marriage
Minimizing Marriage

Elizabeth Brake

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 takes up the problem of implementing the marriage law of ideal theory in a non-ideal world. It addresses concerns that minimal marriage would worsen the lot of the vulnerable, especially women, by eliminating anti-poverty marriage promotion, mandatory alimony and property division protecting the economically dependent, and permitting gender-structured polygyny. Liberals could consistently support transitional provisions for benefits and property division, but liberalism can, and should, also address such problems through legal vehicles other than marriage, especially through education and default rules of financial fairness. Political liberalism holds a number of insufficiently recognized tools for feminists, including rectification, neutrality, and the status it assigns to goods of care and self-respect.

Keywords:   poverty, marriage, marriage promotion, feminism, polygamy, alimony, divorce, property division, ideal theory, liberal feminism

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