On Feminist Ethics and Politics
Claudia Card, ed.
For years, mainstream feminist ethics focused criticism on male supremacy. Feminist philosophers in this volume adopt a less male-focused stance to look closely at oppression's impact on women's agency and on women's relations with women.
Examining legal, social, and physical relationships, these philosophers confront moral ambiguity, moral compromise, and complicity in perpetuating oppression. Combining personal experience with philosophical inquiry, they vividly portray their daily engagement with oppression as both victims and perpetrators. They explore such issues as how pornography silences women and radical feminist politics' complicity in racism.
“Card has compiled an excellent set of essays examining the legal, social, and physical relationships in misogynist societies.”
“Every essay contains something innovative and important.”
—The Philosophical QuarterlySee all reviews...
“The main themes of this valuable collection of essays are the damage, both psychological and moral, suffered by women under conditions of sexual inequality, and the scope for action to repair such damage.”
“This is a good collection of essays on a number of topics of interest to feminists.”
“Claudia Card has done it again. In assembling these fascinating essays by leading feminist and lesbian ethicists, she has provided an opportunity for exploring stretches of the moral landscape that have, up until recently, been terra incognita. The discussions of ‘gray zones,’ guilt, moral failure, ‘greeting,’ rape, hate speech, and joy don’t just deepen our understanding of these matters—they also show us that morality is quite different from what the standing moral theories have taken it to be.”
—Hilde L. Nelson, author of Feminism and Families
“At its best, normative inquiry in philosophy both enlightens and challenges us, encouraging us not only to reflect on past wrongs but to envision a morally more satisfactory, and politically more inclusive, future. The richly varied essays in this volume, contributed by many of the most influential feminist philosophers of the day, do all of that and more. This anthology is a fine sequel to Feminist Ethics and, like its predecessor, will surely help determine the shape and content of feminist ethics and political philosophy for many years to come.”
—Michele M. Moody-Adams, author of Fieldwork in Familiar Places: Morality, Culture, and Philosophy
“It’s not easy to do the right thing, form just pictures of ourselves and take appropriate responsibility in a life lived within multiple simultaneous systems of oppression. In this volume, feminist ethics is philosophically and morally subtle enough to really help. Don’t look here for innocence or closure, but find here a certain gritty clarity about the murky.”
—Marilyn Frye, author of The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist TheorySee fewer reviews...
Among these insightful essays, Sandra Bartky argues that women share guilt for racism when they benefit from it without protest; Susan Brison reflects on uses of narrative in trauma recovery from such experiences as being targeted for rape or murder; Joan Callahan examines fallout of derogatory speech directed at lesbians; Virginia Held proposes carrying care into marketplaces and governments; and, in her introduction, Claudia Card draws on Primo Levi's conception of "gray zones" in exploring dangers of character damage to victims of misogyny.
A fitting companion to Card's highly regarded Feminist Ethics, this volume interweaves observations on character, political ethics, violence, and love into an accessible sourcebook for students. It tackles some of feminism's most pressing issues and helps readers to identify and then overcome the real damage caused by oppression.