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Lecture

Lecture 23 - Gender Politics

8 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1000
Professor
Martin Breaugh

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Anthropological underpinnings of human rights
Who is the bearer of human rights?
Immanuel Kant, the anthropological basis is the free and autonomous individual
It is when humanity has encouraged to use it own understanding that can give itself rights
Formula: saper aude, courage to use your own understanding
How these rights were proclaimed?
French parliament and reps proclaimed these rights, proclaimed by the people, for the people
The proclamation was proof or evidence that we were free and we were autonomous
No longer must we seek the approval of God, we can directly proclaim things ourselves
Legitimacy
For centuries, it was approval of Gods
Now we no longer need God, legitimacy can now be conferred through human action
Both an break for what came before modernity and came a crucial aspect of modern times
Political critique: of legitimacy from human action is absurd and dangerous because with this
proclamation, you put into question, you threaten the institutions that of which withstood the
test of time
This institution was indeed attacked and put into question by proclamation of human rights
The conservative critique was no only a dogmatic critique of human rights in favour of monarchy,
Burke reminds us that rights are worthless if they are abstract
How can you have enforceable rights if they are not inscribed in a particular community?
Rights of men and rights of an Englishmen
Social critique: Karl Marx’s angle of attack comes from the anthropological critique of human
rights, it is the autonomous and free individual
This individual is almost always a bourgeois (self centered, egotistical property owner)
Proclamation of French favours property owners
Marx doesn’t understand the expansive logic of rights (you want more and more)
Marx: human rights are not enough, we understand his critique as not necessarily reject human
rights. He will distinguish between acquisition of rights, political emancipation; and creation of a
truly free human being, the total emancipation (we need revolution)
Women in Contemporary Society Gender Politics
One of the majority characteristics of modernity is that movement of equality is irresistible
This movement refers to the development of the ever growing sentiment of human likeness
Symbolic relationships we have in society are more equal today than it ever been, men and
women, those with social prestige and those who don’t
It’s possible to argue that these symbolic relationships has never been as egalitarian as today
We can say that the sentiment of human likeness has indeed bridge the gap between the sexes
To understand this long journey of women’s liberation
We have to first look at what Manent calls the traditional sexual order the dominant
understanding of the role of women before the development of modernity
To understand, the idea is governed by a political logic of command and obedience
Pre-democratic societies were hierarchical and were ordered following the natural differences
between people
Equality cannot exist under these conditions
What can exist is the respect of rank and duty
In a context of hierarchical society, people are extricable bond by the relations of command and
obedience
The serf must obey the lord, the lord must obey the king, and the king must follow the will of
God
What counts for our understanding of things is that there is a natural order of things that must
be respected
If this order is not respected, society can’t function
The French revolution will be a period where you can see society not functioning anymore
because of the destruction of the natural order of things
In the traditional sexual order, the father has always been the head of the household
Comparing politics to a family is using analogy that harkens back to despotism
Oikos con. Nomos, the father rule despotically in the oikos
The father in the traditional household order as such that he governs the family and is
responsible for all the major decisions taken within the family. Major decisions refer to the
marriage of children.
It’s more than just a union of two people, it’s an association of two families. Manent pointed out
that the basic social unit of pre-democratic societies is not the individual but family
The individual who did not count, but the group who counted
This is also why phenomenon of people marrying for the reasons of love is very recent one
It is only recently that we decide to found an institution on the most precarious basis love and
emotion
The traditional organization of family and marriage was particularly difficult for women
Women has no say over or under the rule of the father or the rule of the husband
Pierre Manent has put it on 132, “girl has passed from the tyranny of father to the tyranny of
husband”
Men are still the big winner in the lottery of marriage
Women on the hand, don’t live as long, more depressed
For the rule of the father to be called into the question, it will take the emergence of the
question of consent
Consent as the foundation of legitimacy will do much to undermine the order of the father
As you know consent entails the people directly involved explicitly expressed their desire to
engage in an institution
Women must now consent to marriage, rather than simply acquiesce to the desires of their
father

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Description
Anthropological underpinnings of human rights Who is the bearer of human rights Immanuel Kant the anthropological basis is the free and autonomous individual It is when humanity has encouraged to use it own understanding that can give itself rights Formula saper aude courage to use your own understandingHow these rights were proclaimed French parliament and reps proclaimed these rights proclaimed by the people for the peopleThe proclamation was proof or evidence that we were free and we were autonomousNo longer must we seek the approval of God we can directly proclaim things ourselvesLegitimacy For centuries it was approval of Gods Now we no longer need God legitimacy can now be conferred through human action Both an break for what came before modernity and came a crucial aspect of modern timesPolitical critique of legitimacy from human action is absurd and dangerous because with this proclamation you put into question you threaten the institutions that of which withstood the test of time This institution was indeed attacked and put into question by proclamation of human rights The conservative critique was no only a dogmatic critique of human rights in favour of monarchy Burke reminds us that rights are worthless if they are abstract How can you have enforceable rights if they are not inscribed in a particular community Rights of men and rights of an Englishmen Social critique Karl Marxs angle of attack comes from the anthropological critique of human rights it is the autonomous and free individual This individual is almost always a bourgeois self centered egotistical property owner
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