Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues

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"When will women be human? When?" (p. 43). This is the main question that Catharine MacKinnon asks in her book “Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues.” A common theme throughout the book is the mistreatment of women and inequality that they face in national, and international settings, and laws. The book is broken into three sections which cover equality, human rights issues for women, rape. When you put all of these common aspects together, she spends a great deal of time focusing on the human rights issues that women face nationally and internationally.
Two critical concepts are broken down in this book; multiculturalism and universalism. MacKinnon explains how multiculturalism has failed to challenge the unequal treatment
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230). This is the fundamental issue in her book as well as; addressing the apparent unequal and unfair treatment around the world. This is also an American concern when she quotes “3,000 women are killed by men in the United States each year; we refer to that state of affairs as “peacetime.”(pg 261). These examples are enough to show that there is a serious human rights issue for women. Women’s rights were created by men and reflect the experiences of men, not women. The issue MacKinnon is trying to bring attention to is the way that the laws are written. Human rights assume that the local governments also have laws in place to protect individuals. Mass rape, forced prostitution and forced impregnation, etc. are considered individual actions and are not human rights violations. “So women’s rights are thus not yet human rights, whilst a woman is not yet a name for a way of being human” (pg. 147). MacKinnon brings awareness of these problems throughout the entire book. Catharine MacKinnon is known worldwide for her work in women’s rights and bringing forth change. On the
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