The Differences Between Women And Women

1406 WordsAug 1, 20156 Pages
As I noted in Part 1 of this series, strands of thought that arise out of political movements are often difficult to categorize and also often answer to many names. The difference approach discussed here, following Haslanger and Hackett,1 may elsewhere be called radical, cultural, or gynocentric feminism. Recall that the basic nugget of thought underlying the sameness approach was the thought that men and women,2 in whatever way matters, are similar enough to warrant similar treatment. Insofar as they are denied similar treatment, they are wronged, and a system that denies them this treatment is wrong or unjust along the dimension of gender. I noted a problem with this approach in the first essay, which was that similar treatment is not always the best answer to the kinds of wrongs women face and which feminism seeks to alleviate. The difference approach may be seen as an attempt to offer a feminist alternative that avoids this pitfall. Whereas the sameness approach responds to the sexist—who claims that men are better than women in some relevant way—by asserting the sameness of men and women, the difference approach responds by turning the sexist’s argument on its head—at least sometimes, perhaps in many domains, women are better than men. Of course, what is claimed is really closer to this: traditionally feminine attributes and qualities have been undervalued or devalued by a male-dominated society and should be revalued to reflect their true worth. Depending on the

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