Children then they have little incentive for caring

This preview shows page 17 - 19 out of 21 pages.

children, then they have little incentive for caring very much about an education that prepares them for endeavors outside of the home. Similarly, women will not be able to develop all of their skills and talents if they do not work outside of the home. - Mill should be open to experimenting in this area as he is in other areas of women’s freedom and equality. We can only know what men and women are naturally fitted for, and whether they are in general naturally fitted for any role unless we have a society in which men and women are allowed to choose their own roles. If society encourages, education and equips men to take care of children, then raising children can be shared more equally by men and women, and both men and women can raise children successfully and pursue successful careers outside of the home. The government could accomplish this, for instance, by requiring businesses to provide liberal parental leave policies for fathers and mothers. Should the Government Take Affirmative Action to Remedy Women’s Inequality? - The last point about governmental policy suggests a more general approach to Mill’s approach concerning HOW TO/THE MEANS of achieving women’s rights. Mill focuses solely upon the problem of LEGAL inequality between men and women. He ignores the equally serious problem of ECONOMIC inequality between men and women. If women do not work outside of the home and earn an independent income, it is likely that they will be highly dependent upon their husbands even when they have equal legal rights to their husbands. This will perpetuate the problem of a domination-subjection relation between husbands and wives that Mill is so concerned to eliminate. The relationship between men and women can only be made truly equal if women earn an income independent of their husbands, and society devises some scheme whereby women can either be paid for their labor, or have their work at home recognized appropriately by society. Mill’s wife Harriet Taylor realized the importance of economic equality for women, and was far more progressive than Mill on this point. She stressed that women would only be equal when they had an income independent of their husband’s.
- Put differently, the fundamental problem with Mill’s exclusive focus on LEGAL inequality (as opposed to ECONOMIC and SOCIAL inequality) is that it leads him to propose means for achieving equality that are insufficient to the end of equality he proposes. Mill generally believes that simply providing legal equality/equal rights such as the right to property and the right to vote will be sufficient to enable women to realize all of their skills and talents. BUT in addition to legal inequality, women in Mill’s society and our own face the problem of economic inequality which equal legal rights does not address. Similarly, women in Mill’s time and our own face the problem of SOCIAL inequality. Even if the government provides women with equal rights to

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture