On the Subjection of Women.doc

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Political Science
POL 1201
Elizabeth Beaumont

On The Subjection of Women Principle of Perfect Equality • "The principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes -- the legal subordination of one sex to the other -- is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hinderances to human improvement; and . . . it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other." Critiques of the status quo of gender inequality • Mill has to acknowledge that women's subjection has been the norm throughout western civilization • But he insists that we can't infer from this that we wouldn't all be better off adopting his principle of equality ◦ We can't know which approach is better until we experiment and try equality Types of Equality 1. Personal equality and Equality of Individual Liberties ◦ Equal rights over one's person and equal rights to individual liberty -- one's ideas and decisions or "autonomy" 2. Family or Domestic Equality ◦ Equal rights to control domestic decision-making ◦ Equal rights over children and child custody ◦ Equal rights to divorce/separation 3. Social and Political Equality ◦ Equal rights to own property ◦ Equal rights to education ◦ Equal rights of professional opportunity ◦ Equal right to vote ◦ Equal right to hold political office • Extending Equality in these areas would
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