This book contains an article from [b:Contemporary Political Philosophy An Anthology|31905|Contemporary Political Philosophy An Anthology|Robert E. Goodin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386745646s/31905.jpg|32121] and a chapter of [b:Contemporary Political Philosophy An Introduction|31911|Contemporary Political Philosophy An Introduction|Will Kymlicka|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386923743s/31911.jpg|32127] by Will Kymlicka.
In the first section which is an article by Susan Moller Okin and Jane j. Mansbridge, feminism is introduced as a political stance more than just a systematic theory; a pluralist movement which is based on the experiences of all the women who resist against male domination. Feminism with all its plurality and therefore differences has one clear, simple and extensive goal and that is to end men’s systematic domination of women. Feminist theory also has one overarching goal – to understand, explain and challenge that domination, in order to help end it.
In the next part three central questions of feminist social science and political philosophy are raised: 'How did male domination arise?', 'Why was it so widely accepted?' and 'What are its consequences?'
In order to find answers for these questions comparison is made between feminist theory and the philosophy of some of the greatest philosophers like Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant, Mill,...
Among all these philosophers, Mill seems to be more aware of women's liberty and rights in his time. He advocated women's voting rights, but when it comes to democracy and participation in public affairs for women, he assumed in one of his books that most women would choose freely a domestic life in which such participation was sharply curtailed.
The next part is "The Personal is Political" which insists on the fact that domestic concerns are not trivial and what goes on between a man and a woman in their home, even in their bedroom, is created by and in turn creates what goes on in legislatures and on battlefields.
In order to discuss about differences between women and men, feminists have taken three approaches: Sameness, Difference and Dominance.
The first approach insists more on the common aspects between men and women and challenges the assumption that natural differences would generate different situation in life or work. In contrast, in the second approach differences are the reason for considering different situation (or privileges) for women.
The third approach reveals the roots of political and economic domination of men on women. As Simone de Beauvoir pointed out in The Second Sex how women became the Other by the dominant class, the most pervasive struggling must be against this issue. MacKinnon explains how male domination covered all aspects of life: Men’s physiology defines most sports, their needs define auto and health insurance coverage, their socially designed biographies define workplace expectations and successful career patterns, their perspectives and concerns define quality in scholarship, their experiences and obsessions define merit, their objectification of life defines art, their military service defines citizenship, their presence defines family, their inability to get along with each another – their wars and rulerships – defines history, their image defines god, and their genitals define sex.
In the second section sexual equality and sexual discrimination, the public and the private, state and civil society and ethic of care are discussed.
While until the 20th century many of male theorists believed that women are naturally tended to belong to family, husband and children and not to the political and economical activities outside home, liberals accepted this fact that women are like men "free and equal beings" and adopted anti-discrimination statutes. However these statutes have not brought about sexual equality: In the United States and Canada, the extent of job segregation in the lowest-paying occupations is increasing, and there are concerns about the 'feminization' of poverty
In fact, if sexual equality wants to be effective it must take into account gender issues earlier. As Janet Radcliffe- Richards says, if a group is kept out of something for long enough, it is overwhelmingly likely that activities of that sort will develop in a way unsuited to the excluded group. We know for certain that women have been kept out of many kinds of work, and this means that the work is quite likely to be unsuited to them. The most obvious example of this is the incompatibility of most work with the bearing and raising of children; I am firmly convinced that if women had been fully involved in the running of society from the start they would have found a way of arranging work and children to fit each other. Men have had no such motivations, and we can see the results.
At the end a big part of this section devoted to explaining the difference between ethic of care (the way women think) and ethic of justice (the way men think) and different opinions of feminists on them: One consequence of the traditional patriarchal public-domestic distinction, and of the relegation of women to the domestic sphere, is that men and women have become associated with different modes of thought and feeling. Throughout the history of Western philosophy, we find political theorists distinguishing the intuitive, emotional, particularistic dispositions said to be required for women's domestic life from the rational, impartial, and dispassionate thought said to be required for men's public life.