The Subjection of Women study guide.docx - The Subjection...

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The Subjection of Women study guide 1) How can Mill’s arguments for women’s equality be viewed as an instance of the principle of liberty advocated in On Liberty ? 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. Not treating women as equals can be seen as harming others and preventing human improvement. 2) If you can’t reason someone out of a position they were never reasoned into, what can you do? 3) How does Mill make the case for regarding women’s state of subjection as a case of slavery? The adoption of the system of inequality was not the result of deliberation or forethought but it simply arose from the fact that from the earliest twilight of human society, every woman was found in some state of bondage to some man. It was converted from what was a mere physical fact into a legal right, given the sanction of society. Those who has already been compelled to obedience became in this manner legally bound to it. Slavery of the female sex has been gradually changed into a milder form of dependence but this dependence is not an original institution it is the primitive state of slavery lasting on.

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