Thursday, September 24, 2020

Feminism Political Theory


Feminism Political Theory, Throughout most of Western history, women were confined to the domestic sphere, while public life was reserved for men. In medieval Europe, women were denied the proper to have property, to study, or to participate publicly life. At the top of the 19th century in France, they were still compelled to hide their heads publicly , and, in parts of Germany, a husband still had the proper to sell his wife.

whilst late because the early 20th century, women could neither vote nor hold elective office in Europe and in most of the us (where several territories and states granted women’s suffrage long before the federal did so). Feminism Political Theory, Women were prevented from conducting business without a male representative, be it father, brother, husband, legal agent, or maybe son. Married women couldn't exercise control over their own children without the permission of their husbands. Moreover, women had little or no access to education and were barred from most professions. In some parts of the planet , such restrictions on women continue today.

History Of Feminism

The ancient world

There is scant evidence of early organized protest against such circumscribed status. within the 3rd century BCE, Roman women filled the Capitoline Hill and blocked every entrance to the Forum when consul Marcus Porcius Cato resisted attempts to repeal laws limiting women’s use of pricy goods. Feminism Political Theory, “If they're victorious now, what is going to they not attempt?” Cato cried. “As soon as they start to be your equals, they're going to became your superiors.”

That rebellion proved exceptional, however. for many of recorded history, only isolated voices spoke out against the inferior status of girls , presaging the arguments to return . In late 14th- and early 15th-century France, the primary feminist philosopher, Feminism Political Theory, Christine de Pisan, challenged prevailing attitudes toward women with a bold involve female education. Her mantle was haunted later within the century by Laura Cereta, a 15th-century Venetian woman who published Epistolae familiares (1488; “Personal Letters”; Eng. trans. Collected Letters of a Renaissance Feminist), a volume of letters handling a panoply of women’s complaints, from denial of education and marital oppression to the frivolity of women’s attire.

Feminism Political Theory, The defense of girls had become a literary subgenre by the top of the 16th century, when Il merito delle donne (1600; the price of Women), a feminist broadside by another Venetian author, Moderata Fonte, was published posthumously. Defenders of the established order painted women as superficial and inherently immoral, while the emerging feminists produced long lists of girls of courage and accomplishment and proclaimed that ladies would be the intellectual equals of men if they got equal access to education.

The so-called “debate about women” didn't reach England until the late 16th century, when pamphleteers and polemicists joined battle over truth nature of womanhood. After a series of satiric pieces mocking women was published, the primary feminist pamphleteer in England, writing as Jane Anger, responded with Jane Anger, Her Protection for ladies (1589). Feminism Political Theory, This volley of opinion continued for quite a century, until another English author, Mary Astell, issued a more reasoned rejoinder during a Serious Proposal to the women (1694, 1697). The two-volume work suggested that ladies inclined neither toward marriage nor a spiritual vocation should found out secular convents where they could live, study, and teach.

Influence of the Enlightenment

The feminist voices of the Renaissance never coalesced into a coherent philosophy or movement. Feminism Political Theory, This happened only with the Enlightenment, when women began to demand that the new reformist rhetoric about liberty, equality, and natural rights be applied to both sexes.

Initially, Enlightenment philosophers focused on the inequities of class and caste to the exclusion of gender. Swiss-born French philosopher Rousseau , for instance , portrayed women as silly and frivolous creatures, born to be subordinate to men. additionally , the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which defined French citizenship after the revolution of 1789, pointedly did not address the status of girls .

Female intellectuals of the Enlightenment were quick to means this lack of inclusivity and therefore the limited scope of reformist rhetoric. Feminism Political Theory, Olympe de Gouges, a noted playwright, published DĂ©claration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne (1791; “Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the [Female] Citizen”), declaring women to be not only man’s equal but his partner. the subsequent year Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), the seminal English-language feminist work, was published in England. Challenging the notion that ladies exist only to please men, she proposed that ladies and men tend equal opportunities in education, work, and politics. Women, she wrote, are as naturally rational as men. If they're silly, it's only because society trains them to be irrelevant.

The Age of Enlightenment became an era of political ferment marked by revolutions in France, Germany, and Italy and therefore the rise of abolitionism. Feminism Political Theory, within the us , feminist activism took root when female abolitionists sought to use the concepts of freedom and equality to their own social and political situations. Their work brought them in touch with female abolitionists in England who were reaching an equivalent conclusions. By the mid-19th century, issues surrounding feminism had added to the tumult of social change, with ideas being exchanged across Europe and North America.

Feminism Political Theory, In the first feminist article she dared sign together with her own name, Louise Otto, a German, built on the work of Fourier , a French social theorist, quoting his dictum that “by the position which women hold during a land, you'll see whether the air of a state is thick with dirty fog or free and clear.” And after Parisian feminists began publishing a daily newspaper entitled La Voix des femmes (“The Voice of Women”) in 1848, Luise Dittmar, a German writer, followed suit one year later together with her journal, Soziale Reform.

The suffrage movement

These debates and discussions culminated within the first women’s rights convention, held in July 1848 within the village of Seneca Falls, New York. Feminism Political Theory, it had been a spur-of-the-moment concept sprang up during a social affair of Lucretia Mott, a Quaker preacher and veteran social activist, Martha Wright (Mott’s sister), Mary Ann McClintock, Jane Hunt, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the wife of an abolitionist and therefore the only non-Quaker within the group. The convention was planned with five days’ notice, publicized only by alittle unsigned advertisement during a local newspaper.

Stanton drew up the “Declaration of Sentiments” that guided the Seneca Falls Convention. Using the Declaration of Independence as her guide to proclaim that “all men and ladies [had been] created equal,” she drafted 11 resolutions, including the foremost radical demand—the right to the vote. Feminism Political Theory,  With Douglass , a former slave, arguing eloquently on their behalf, all 11 resolutions passed, and Mott even won approval of a final declaration “for the overthrowing of the monopoly of the pulpit, and for the securing to woman equal participation with men within the various trades, professions and commerce.”

Yet by emphasizing education and political rights that were the privileges of the upper classes, the embryonic feminism had little reference to ordinary women cleaning houses in Liverpool or picking cotton in Georgia. the only nonwhite woman’s voice heard at this time—that of Truth , a former slave—symbolized the space between the standard and therefore the elite. Feminism Political Theory, Her famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech was delivered in 1851 before the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, but Truth didn't dedicate her life to women’s rights. Instead, she promoted abolitionism and a land-distribution program for other former slaves. within the speech, Truth remarked, “That man over there says that ladies got to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to possess the simplest place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman?”

Although Seneca Falls was followed by women’s rights conventions in other states, the interest spurred by those first moments of organizing quickly faded. Concern within the us turned to the pending war , while in Europe the reformism of the 1840s gave thanks to the repression of the late 1850s. Feminism Political Theory, When the feminism rebounded, it became focused on one issue, women’s suffrage, a goal that might dominate international feminism for nearly 70 years.

Feminist Philosophy

This entry provides an summary of all the entries within the feminist philosophy section of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP). Feminism Political Theory, After a quick account of the history of feminist philosophy and various issues regarding defining feminism, the entry discusses the three main sections on (1) approaches to feminist philosophy, (2) feminist interventions in philosophy, and (3) feminist philosophical topics.

Feminists working altogether the most Western traditions of up to date philosophy are using their respective traditions to approach their work, including the traditions of analytic, Continental, and pragmatist philosophy, along side other various orientations and intersections. As they are doing so, they're also intervening in how longstanding basic philosophical problems are understood. As feminist philosophers perform add traditional philosophical fields, from ethics to epistemology, they need introduced new concepts and perspectives that have transformed philosophy itself. Feminism Political Theory, they're also rendering philosophical previously un-problematized topics, like the body, class and work, disability, the family, reproduction, the self, sex work, human trafficking, and sexuality. and that they are bringing a very feminist lens to problems with science, globalization, human rights, popular culture, and race and racism.

Contemporary feminist philosophical scholarship emerged within the 1970s as more women began careers in education , including philosophy. As they did so, they also began taking over matters from their own experience for philosophical scrutiny. These scholars were influenced both by feminist movements in their midst also as by their philosophical training, which was anything but feminist. Feminism Political Theory, Until recently one couldn't attend grad school to review “feminist philosophy”. While students and students could address the writings of Simone de Beauvoir or reminisce historically to the writings of “first wave” feminists like Wollstonecraft , most of the philosophers writing within the first decades of the emergence of feminist philosophy brought their particular training and expertise in touch on analyzing issues raised by the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, like abortion, social action , civil right , the institutions of marriage, sexuality, and love. Additionally, feminist philosophical scholarship increasingly focused on the exact same sorts of issues philosophers had been and were handling .

What is Feminism?

Feminist Beliefs and Feminist Movements

The term “feminism” has many various uses and its meanings are often contested. for instance , some writers use the term “feminism” to ask a historically specific movement within the us and Europe; other writers use it to ask the assumption that there are injustices against women, though there's no consensus on the precise list of those injustices. Although the term “feminism” features a history in English linked with women’s activism from the late nineteenth century to this , Feminism Political Theory,  it's useful to differentiate feminist ideas or beliefs from feminist political movements, for even in periods where there has been no significant political activism around women’s subordination, individuals are concerned with and theorized about justice for ladies . So, for instance , it is sensible to ask whether Plato was a feminist, given his view that some women should be trained to rule (Republic, Book V), albeit he was an exception in his historical context (see, e.g., Tuana 1994).

Our goal here isn't to survey the history of feminism—as a group of ideas or as a series of political movements—but rather to sketch a number of the central uses of the term that are most relevant to those curious about contemporary feminist philosophy. Feminism Political Theory, The references we offer below are only alittle sample of the work available on the topics in question; more complete bibliographies are available at the precise topical entries and also at the top of this entry.

In the mid-1800s the term “feminism” was wont to ask “the qualities of females”, and it had been not until after the primary International Women’s Conference in Paris in 1892 that the term, following the French term fĂ©ministe, was used regularly in English for a belief in and advocacy of equal rights for ladies supported the thought of the equality of the sexes. Although the term “feminism” in English is rooted within the mobilization for woman suffrage in Europe and therefore the us during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, in fact efforts to get justice for ladies didn't begin or end with this era of activism. So some have found it useful, Feminism Political Theory, if controversial, to consider the women’s movement within the us as occurring in “waves”. On the wave model, the struggle to realize basic political rights during the amount from the mid-nineteenth century until the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 counts as “First Wave” feminism. Feminism waned between the 2 world wars, to be “revived” within the late 1960s and early 1970s as “Second Wave” feminism. during this second wave, feminists pushed beyond the first go after political rights to fight for greater equality across the board, e.g., in education, the workplace, and reception . Feminism Political Theory, newer transformations of feminism have resulted during a “Third Wave”. Third Wave feminists often critique Second Wave feminism for its lack of attention to the differences among women thanks to race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion (see Section 2.3 below; also Breines 2002; Spring 2002), and emphasize “identity” as a site of gender struggle. (For more information on the “wave” model and every of the “waves”, see Other Internet Resources.)

However, some feminist scholars object to identifying feminism with these particular moments of political activism, on the grounds that doing so eclipses the very fact that there has been resistance to male domination that ought to be considered “feminist” throughout history and across cultures: i.e., feminism isn't confined to a couple of (White) women within the West over the past century approximately . Feminism Political Theory, Moreover, even considering only relatively recent efforts to resist male domination in Europe and therefore the us , the stress on “First” and “Second” Wave feminism ignores the continued resistance to male domination between the 1920s and 1960s and therefore the resistance outside mainstream politics, particularly by women of color and dealing class women (Cott 1987).

One strategy for solving these problems would be to spot feminism in terms of a group of ideas or beliefs instead of participation in any particular movement . As we saw above, this also has the advantage of allowing us to locate isolated feminists whose work wasn't understood or appreciated during their time. But how should we set about identifying a core set of feminist beliefs?

Some would suggest that we should always specialise in the political ideas that the term was apparently coined to capture, viz., the commitment to women’s equal rights. Feminism Political Theory, This acknowledges that commitment to and advocacy for women’s rights has not been confined to the Women’s Liberation Movement within the West. But this too raises controversy, for it frames feminism within a broadly liberal approach to political and economic life. Although most feminists would probably agree that there's some sense of rights on which achieving equal rights for ladies may be a necessary condition for feminism to succeed, most would also argue that this is able to not be sufficient. Feminism Political Theory, this is often because women’s oppression under male domination rarely if ever consists solely in depriving women of political and legal rights, but also extends into the structure of our society and therefore the content of our culture, the workings of languages and the way they shape perceptions and permeate our consciousness (e.g., Bartky 1988, Postl 2017).

Is there any point, then, to asking what feminism is? Given the controversies over the term and therefore the politics of circumscribing the boundaries of a movement , it's sometimes tempting to think that the simplest we will do is to articulate a group of disjuncts that capture a variety of feminist beliefs. Feminism Political Theory, However, at an equivalent time it are often both intellectually and politically valuable to possess a schematic framework that permits us to map a minimum of a number of our points of agreement and disagreement. We’ll begin here by considering a number of the essential elements of feminism as a political position or set of beliefs.

Normative and Descriptive Components

In many of its forms, feminism seems to involve a minimum of two groups of claims, one normative and therefore the other descriptive. Feminism Political Theory, The normative claims concern how women ought (or ought not) to be viewed and treated and draw on a background conception of justice or broad moral position; the descriptive claims concern how women are, as a matter of fact, viewed and treated, alleging that they're not being treated in accordance with the standards of justice or morality invoked within the normative claims. Together the normative and descriptive claims provide reasons for working to vary the way things are; hence, feminism isn't just an intellectual but also a movement .

On this account, that ladies and men need to have equal rights and respect is that the normative claim; which women are denied equal rights and respect functions here because the descriptive claim. Admittedly, the claim that ladies are disadvantaged with reference to rights and respect isn't a “purely descriptive” claim since it plausibly involves an evaluative component. However, our point here is just that claims of this type concern what's the case not what need to be the case. Feminism Political Theory, Moreover, as indicated by the ellipsis above, the descriptive component of a substantive feminist view won't be articulable during a single claim, but will involve an account of the precise social mechanisms that deprive women of, e.g., rights and respect. for instance , is that the primary source of women’s subordination her role within the family? (Engels 1845; Okin 1989). Or is it her role within the labor market? (Bergmann 2002). is that the problem males’ tendencies to sexual violence (and what's the source of those tendencies?)? (Brownmiller 1975; MacKinnon 1987). Or is it simply women’s biological role in reproduction? (Firestone 1970).

Disagreements within feminism can occur with reference to either the descriptive or normative claims, e.g., feminists differ on what would count as justice or injustice for ladies (what counts as “equality”, “oppression”, “disadvantage”, what rights should everyone be accorded?) , and what kinds of injustice women actually suffer (what aspects of women’s current situation are harmful or unjust?). Feminism Political Theory, Disagreements can also dwell the reasons of the injustice: two feminists may agree that ladies are unjustly being denied proper rights and respect and yet substantively differ in their accounts of how or why the injustice occurs and what's required to finish it (Jaggar 1994).

Feminism Political Theory, Disagreements between feminists and non-feminists can occur with reference to both the normative and descriptive claims also , e.g., some non-feminists accept as true with feminists on the ways women need to be viewed and treated, but don’t see any problem with the way things currently are. Others disagree about the background moral or politics .

Feminism is grounded on the assumption that ladies are oppressed or disadvantaged by comparison with men, which their oppression is in how illegitimate or unjustified. Under the umbrella of this general characterization there are, however, many interpretations of girls and their oppression, in order that it's an error to consider feminism as one philosophical theory , or as implying an agreed platform . (James 1998: 576)

Feminism Political Theory, James seems here to be using the notions of “oppression” and “disadvantage” as placeholders for more substantive accounts of injustice (both normative and descriptive) over which feminists disagree.

Some might like better to define feminism in terms of a normative claim alone: feminists are those that believe that ladies are entitled to equal rights, or equal respect, or…(fill within the blank with one’s preferred account of injustice), and one isn't required to believe that ladies are currently being treated unjustly. However, if we were to adopt this terminological convention, it might be harder to spot a number of the interesting sources of disagreement both with and within feminism, Feminism Political Theory, and therefore the term “feminism” would lose much of its potential to unite those whose concerns and commitments extend beyond their moral beliefs to their social interpretations and political affiliations. Feminists aren't simply those that are committed in theory to justice for women; feminists take themselves to possess reasons to cause social change on women’s behalf.

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