Utilitarian Perspective On Feminism

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A Utilitarian Perspective on Women’s Rights John Stuart Mill’s discussion of the subjection of women leaves many scholars regarding him as one of the first feminist philosophers of his time. His work analyzes and questions the everyday perspectives on women’s rights, and challenges common societal notions. Many philosophers today look to his work for a variety of reasons; some applaud his work for being ahead of it’s time. Others dismiss it, claiming that it’s flawed due to personal attachment. Both sides however regard Mill’s writing as one filled with valid arguments, well developed points of interests, and recognizable inclusive nature. This essay’s discussion will include the basic principles of Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill’s…show more content…
As each single pursues their own pleasure, they collectively contribute to a happiness for the greater good. Though their use of avoidance of pain, they each subdue unhappiness in the overall society. This collective contribution not only betters the societies pursuit, but promotes the allowance of individuality rather than conformity to solidarity. Mill’s utilitarian description provides a greater understanding for his further analysis as a philosopher; most notably in his arguments regarding women 's rights. Now that his concept of Utilitarian thought is greater understood, one can begin to identify John Stuart Mill’s points of discussion in his work The Subjection of Women. Mill clearly states that the current standard of living is wrong itself, and “ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality” ( Mill, 1) that does not subjugate or offer prejudice on either side. Although a somewhat unrealistic goal, Mill’s philosophical analysis actually provides some extremely contextual and concise points of discussion. One major point in his argument occurs in his discussion of women’s roles in history. Mill’s analysis of a lack of feminine power throughout the historical context of western culture is one that is referred to by modern feminists today. His claim of female repression as “a single relic of an old world of thought and practice” (Mill, 12) provides tremendous proof of historical accuracy, regarding the questionable structural integrity of religiously
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