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In what ways might the state be considered to be 'gendered' - Essay Example

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Women oppression is often blamed on the capitalist and patriarchal system based on male dominance and power. However, various feminist political theorists attribute women…
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In what ways might the state be considered to be gendered
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"In what ways might the state be considered to be 'gendered'"

Download file to see previous pages m, the state is forced to make changes in its social policies to accommodate women demands such as equal education, employment, equal liberty, voting rights, equal pay among others. However, inequalities still exists and modern feminists try to raise their issues within state system through various networks and coalitions as opposed to identity politics. The state is therefore definitely a gendered state. The aim of this essay is to discuss ways in which the state might be considered to be ‘gendered’. This will involve looking at the history of feminism and feminist thought and political action.
The feminist thought can be traced to seventeenth century Europe. According to Bryson (2003:1) the western political theory often ignored women and defended their exclusion from public affairs and confinement the private sphere. This meant exclusion of half of world population from participating in political or public affairs especially in making decisions that affect their lives. The early feminist thought was rooted in customary and legal constraints that held the false belief that women are by nature less intellectually and physically capable than men (Tong 2009: 1-10). This group of theorists were referred as liberal theorists and believed that gender justice could only be achieved by making the rules of the game fair. Philosophers of this time like Descartes, Rousseau and Montesquieu stressed that the only thing distinguishing men and animals was the power to reason. As such, human beings are rational individuals capable of determining what is best for them. However, this did not apply to women who were considered as incapable of reasoning. This led to discrimination of women especially in education.
The eighteenth century liberalists focussed their attention on equality in education. Liberal feminists like Mary Wollstonecraft were very critical of Rousseau and others who discriminated women on basis of reason and intellect. Wollstonecraft argued that if reason ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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