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Ladies In Red: Learning From America's First Female Bankrupts, Marie Stefanini Newman Jan 1996

Ladies In Red: Learning From America's First Female Bankrupts, Marie Stefanini Newman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Several years ago, the Honorable Joyce Bihary, a bankruptcy judge in Atlanta, Georgia, asked me3 why our country's first bankruptcy law specifically referred to debtors using “he” or “she” rather than a gender-neutral noun (such as “bankrupts”) or the male possessive pronoun “he.” Implicitly, she was also asking whether there were any women debtors under our early bankruptcy laws. Although I had read the Bankruptcy Act of 1800 more than once, I did not recollect its use of these gender-inclusive pronouns. Nor did I know why the Act employed them. Despite having given considerable thought to contemporary women in ...