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Unformatted text preview: ercise the possessive individualism which is the criterion of citizenship. Although women will gain access to the latter, Pateman argues that modern positions of subordination, such as that of the wife, are created through contract. Nor do women enter such contracts as abstractly equal individuals, but as embodied women whose bodies cannot be contracted out for use (such as sexual services or surrogate motherhood) while leaving the individual free, as contract theories and possessive individualism assume, both because their bodies are intrinsic to women's identity as women, and because they carry within them the subordination established by the sexual contract. 'In the victory of contract, the patriarchal construction of sexual difference as mastery and subjection remains intact and repressed'. Pateman's conclusion is therefore both that modern patriarchy takes contractual (fraternal) form, and that contractual relations are inherently patriarchal (masculine), so that it would be disingenuous for feminists to adopt them as a model of free and equal gender relations. THE PROPERTY PROTECTINGSTATE SUBORDINATES WOMEN Diana Coole, Lecturer in politics, University of London, THE SOCIAL CONTRACT FROM HOBBES TO RAWLS, David Boucher and Paul Kelly, eds., 1994, p.194. Second, the primary function of the state is to preserve property, but the majority of women have handed over that responsibility to husbands. It will therefore be men who make the relevant decisions here, most notably those instituting a commonwealth to guarantee natural property rights. Even if we interpret property in its broader sense as encompassing natural rights to life and liberty as well as possessions, women do not seem to have much direct interest in the state's services. Much of their liberty, as well as their estate, has been transferred to the husband; they will benefit from the state's protection of their lives, but in practical terms their strong and able spouses would be of more immediate value. It would seem then to follow that women's interests a...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13