Blog 57–Feminist Ethics. What are your impressions of the arguments of Jaggar? Make specific connections to the readings.
It is clear that Jaggar believed women had a far more difficult time than men incorporating their ideas into the world of philosophy. In her “Feminism in Ethics: Moral Justification” she outlines how the basis of philosophy was based off of a “western male head of household, upper or middle class, [who was] therefore probably white.” This argument brings up the idea that there was a uniform perspective that famous philosophers like Hume, Berkley, ect. held. Because those philosophers and their ideas are the basis for philosophy (even still today), ideas from women and from the female perspective are often deemed outrageous and ill-thought-out. Jaggar makes a great point. People from different backgrounds have different ideas. Men have different perspectives than women on a lot of things. Since philosophy was, and really still is, such a male-dominated field, feminist ideas can sometimes be difficult to articulate. However, in the past it was a lot more challenging for female philsophers than today. The feminist vocabulary had not yet been established, especially not in the world of philosophy. A lot of moral ethics involved male dominated societies in which women were of less importance. Therefore, when a woman expressed her ideas, particularly philosophical ones, she was often ignored.
–RE–Read pages 181 to 186 in Wolff’s About Philosophy, and the Catherine MacKinnon article link from the NYT. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/books/review/metoo-workplace-sexual-harassment-catharine-mackinnon.html
What are your impressions of Mackinnon’s arguments?
Mackinnon makes great arguments that actually mirror a lot of Jaggars’s points about the struggles women face trying to articulate feminist philosophy. Mackinnon discusses the importance of a unified front with a name. For example, she thought that the #Metoo movement allowed for sexual assault, especially in the workplace, to be taken more seriously. Before all of the large scale movements, women often did not have the means to express that they felt uncomfortable with the assault they faced. It was morally acceptable at the time for women to be mistreated and sexually abused, especially at work. Some victims were taken seriously, unfortunately though, most were not. It was not until well-known feminist movements, that the vocabulary and credibility of women were established. The widely accepted ideas and arguments that came along with these movements allowed people to better understand female ethics and rights. Now when people hear about sexual assault and rape it is taken seriously (at least in most cases). The MeToo movement has shed a light on the problems with male-dominated societies and forcefully putting women down. Due to the MeToo movement, there is now a wider variety of feminist language and rhetoric available. There are more tools available that people can use to describe feminism and explain female ethics. Although there is still a great deal of work to be done in furthering the feminist agenda, society has come a long way, especially in the United States. I, however, understand that I am privileged to live in a place where women are given the rights that they are. Many communities are still oppressive patriarchal societies where women possess no worth as human beings. It is very important to take into account culture when discussing these kinds of issues. For the purpose of this blog post I related feminist ethics and the points Jaggar and Mackinnon make to where I live.