chapter  3
Please divorce me!
Subversive agency, resistance and gendered religious scripts*
ByPascale Fournier
Pages 23

This chapter focuses on the socio-legal fieldwork in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, and then argues that the religious and secular spheres are not experienced by Jewish/Muslim women as mutually exclusive domains but rather as one highly complex battlefield that distributes differentiated costs and benefits. It presents the methodology and theoretical framework. It then describes the concepts of marriage and divorce within the Jewish and Islamic traditions, portraying husbands and wives as agents whose relationship is shaped by contractual rights and duties. The chapter presents the institutions of Jewish/Muslim marriage and divorce as articulated in contractual terms, emphasizing the elements of agency, bindingness and legitimacy of the adjudicator. It articulates divorce claims in terms of agency, bindingness and legitimacy of the adjudicator, so as to later conceive the interaction between religious and secular law in an overlapping and intersectional space. It then presents the economic language of cost/benefits to argue that religious parties bargain strategically upon divorce.