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Unformatted text preview: re largely satisfied within the private sphere, where they have little direct concern with politics and where their husbands anyway take the important decisions, thereby mediating women's relationship with the state. If men's consent is shown to be voluntary because they can withdraw it by emigrating, women simply retreat into the private realm where the only consent they need give is to marriage. CONTRACTUALISM IS BASED ON SEXUAL SUBORDINATION David Boucher and Paul Kelly, Professors of Politics, University of Wales, THE SOCIAL CONTRACT FROM HOBBES TO RAWLS, 1994, p.27. For feminist critics of the contract tradition such as Carole Pateman, the whole conception of society as a contractual association between free and equal subjects is part of the problem that has to be addressed if women are to emancipate themselves from the male dominance of modern societies. The classic contractarians such as Locke, Kant and Rousseau are criticized not merely because they explicitly excluded women from the category of rational subjects who could consent to political rule. The idea of the individual as a free and equal subject is a peculiarly male category because it is conceptualized around a pre-existing sexual division of labour in which women are consigned to the tasks and responsibilities of the domestic sphere, thus freeing men to exercise their free wills in the public or political realm. It is only because of this pre-existing domestic subordination of women that male subjects could be free and equal subjects. FEM I N I S T S REJECT CONTRACTUALISM Diana Coole, Lecturer in politics, University of London, THE SOCIAL CONTRACT FROM HOBBES TO RAWLS, David Boucher and Paul Kelly, eds., 1994, p.206. The responses of feminism to social contract theory have been, as this chapter shows, primarily critical. The theory has been condemned for its exclusions of women and deconstructed to reveal multiple levels of gendered thinking . Both its individualism and its theory of justice have been identified with specifically masculin...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13