Paper Title

When the Wife Doesn't Feel Like Cooking: The Second Wives Movement in the U.S.

Location

Room 212, West Center

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

wife, divorce, alimony, patriarchy, reproduction, Foucault

Abstract

The paper will examine the shifting historical meaning of the term “wife,” including the role reproduction plays in the value of a wife. In South Carolina, family law proceedings and divorce law in particular can only be understood if the assumptions underpinning the proper role of the first wife of a man are examined. A logic and an economy of patriarchal reproduction even demands in South Carolina that under certain circumstances the second wife financially support her husband’s first wife.

A Second Wives Movement in several states has challenged this bizarre and archaic divorce law across the country with varied success. In South Carolina, the Second Wives Club is actively seeking reform of divorce law, in particular alimony law. The paper includes statistics from the Second Wives Club of South Carolina, which highlight the egregious nature of the distinction drawn by the law between the first and second wife. A Foucauldian feminist analysis of South Carolina divorce law argues that family law is an iteration of a bio-politics which regulates female bodies in order to control reproduction.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 2nd, 2:00 PM Apr 2nd, 3:15 PM

When the Wife Doesn't Feel Like Cooking: The Second Wives Movement in the U.S.

Room 212, West Center

The paper will examine the shifting historical meaning of the term “wife,” including the role reproduction plays in the value of a wife. In South Carolina, family law proceedings and divorce law in particular can only be understood if the assumptions underpinning the proper role of the first wife of a man are examined. A logic and an economy of patriarchal reproduction even demands in South Carolina that under certain circumstances the second wife financially support her husband’s first wife.

A Second Wives Movement in several states has challenged this bizarre and archaic divorce law across the country with varied success. In South Carolina, the Second Wives Club is actively seeking reform of divorce law, in particular alimony law. The paper includes statistics from the Second Wives Club of South Carolina, which highlight the egregious nature of the distinction drawn by the law between the first and second wife. A Foucauldian feminist analysis of South Carolina divorce law argues that family law is an iteration of a bio-politics which regulates female bodies in order to control reproduction.