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Feminist Ethics. By:Scott Kocos Shannon Biesenthal. What is it?. The goal of gender-equal, not gender-neutral ethics An ethical theory which promotes non-sexist principles, policies, and practices . What Is It? (Continued). Feminist ethics is an attempt to:

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feminist ethics

Feminist Ethics


Shannon Biesenthal

what is it
What is it?
  • The goal of gender-equal, not gender-neutral ethics
  • An ethical theory which promotes non-sexist principles, policies, and practices
what is it continued
What Is It? (Continued)

Feminist ethics is an attempt to:

  • Highlight differences between how males and females interpret situations
  • Help humans deal with rising dilemmas in private and public
  • Deconstruct any ethic that systematically subordinates women
differences in men s moral voices and women s moral voices
Differences in Men’s Moral Voices and Women’s Moral Voices


  • Justice
  • Rights
  • Treating everyone fairly and the same
  • Apply rules impartially to everyone
  • Responsibility toward abstract codes of conduct
differences in moral voices continued
Differences in Moral Voices (Continued)


  • Care
  • Responsibility
  • Caring about other’s suffering
  • Preserve emotional connectedness
  • Responsibility toward real individuals
why must we do this
Why Must We Do This?

Western ethics failed women in five inter related ways:

  • It showed less concern for women’s rights than men’s
  • It dismissed ethically uninteresting problems arising in the “private world,”
  • It implies women are not as ethically developed as men
why must we do this continued
Why Must We Do This? (Continued)
  • It prizes masculine traits and exhibits little regard for feminine traits
  • It favors culturally masculine approaches to ethical reasoning
when did this start
When Did This Start??
  • The first push for Feminism was in the late 1700’s
  • The late 1800’s saw the start of women voting
who contributed
Who Contributed??
  • Mary Wollstonecraft (April 27, 1759 – September 10, 1797)
  • concluded that moral virtue is unitary
  • denied women are doomed to be less virtuous
  • Women having strong sexual desires was degrading and immoral
wollstonecraft continued
Wollstonecraft (Continued)
  • Called the mother of feminism
  • Honored women’s natural talents
  • Insisted that women not be measured by men’s standards
  • Helped achieve a better life for everyone
john stuart mill
John Stuart Mill
  • Believed in equal education for women
  • Women are educated to serve the interests of men
  • First considered radical, now seen as classic statement of liberal feminism
criticisms of feminism
Criticisms of Feminism
  • Care is a less important moral virtue than justice

When care and justice conflict:

  • Impartiality has to trump partiality
  • No person is more or less important than any other
criticisms continued
Criticisms (Continued)
  • If women care better than men, it’s wrong to relate women with value of care
  • It makes care more important than anything else
current ethical dilemma
Current Ethical Dilemma
  • Stay-at-home moms vs. stay-at-home dads
  • Stay-at-home dads are seen as working from the home
  • Stay-at-home moms are seen as caregivers for the kids
some questions
Some Questions
  • What other current day situations have to do with Feminism?
  • Why do some individuals recognize a higher moral law, while others simply are content to obey the rules without question?
  • Do teachers, judges, elected officials, doctors, and others make decisions based off of care vs. justice?