Susan Okin was a philosophical feminist that championed the rights of women in the family settings. Philosophical feminism is a loose terminology that refers to a given set of different approaches applied in the maters regarding the role of gender in certain philosophical concepts, philosophical concepts highlighting the bias aimed against women and theories that presumes women equity. This phenomenon of philosophical feminism began in the 1960-70s when women began to raise questions as to why they were not employed to work in certain disciplines, yet they had the capability. Susan Okin together with other liberal feminists has demonstrated the various ways in which gender discrimination has hampered the aspiration of ladies to achieve their goals more independently without necessarily having to depend on men. In this article, I address the reasons as to why I do not agree with Susan in her critique against John Rawls and Michael Walzer. (Meyers) I do not agree with Susan as she is a strong believer in feminism and utterly degrades the work done by men. This forms a biased basis for her decision to critique the two gentlemen. She assumes that a family is founded on gender institutionalization and sexual differences and that it is a process conceived socially, I completely disagree with her point because many families live in peace and harmony not putting their mind on gender matters. They have divided roles within the family that are followed responsibly. She does not consider the fact that the male cannot and will never take some roles in the family such as childbearing and the only role that the male can play is to offer a support system to the family that is the female when they bear children.
She argues that justice is the way to put a family together fundamentally. She assumes that families to have justice, they must institute gender roles equally across the board. Another reason why I dislike this notion is based on the comment that is given by Rawls; says that justice is an inappropriate modality or parameter to measure the wellbeing of family life. In the same breath; he agrees that justice is an important virtue but not the only virtue as put by Susan. He acknowledges that the majority of families are built on the virtues such as love and solidarity. To me, this makes sense as it represents the noblest virtues that govern the majority of families across the world. (Larmore).
In political philosophy, we have a phenomenon referred to as communitarian tradition. This tradition can utilize understandings and beliefs to solve social dominations. Walzer proposes that this principle of justice should be based on the common understanding of each of the cultures that exist. This is a theory that I agree with, it is more naturally inclined to occur, and it's a force of nature that should be respected. Susan argues that this kind of theory prosecutes individuals to social domination right after birth and that social privileges, duties, and opportunities are only available for the male as it is already predetermined by the gender. She forgets that in a social place, it is like the rule of the jungle, which is a natural phenomenon which determines survival for the fittest. A female can be born but fails to be proactive to attain the privileges that are available in the society; hence it is a more individual-based affair that can be easily manipulated by a mere argument of feminism. (Larmore).
Susan argues that it is unjust for individuals to be allocated opportunities based on their gender appearances. She argues that gender roles can be uniformly applied to each person within a family institution. If a couple is faced with a situation, for example, one has to quit a job to look after the family while the other is to go out to fend for the family. In this situation normally the lady will automatically be the one to step down her job to take care of the house. In Susan's opinion, she will instead employ mechanisms that will see the man forced to undertake some of these duties. She concludes that this is not just and that the woman also must have a shot at going to fend for the family while the man stays home. (Serva) This makes sense for argument, but it does not apply to realities of life. It is common knowledge that kids grow well and gets nurtured well with the closeness of their mothers; they have to breastfeed and this role that cannot be taken by the man. I, therefore, disagree with her opinion and propose that it should be domestically viewed on how best it can work. A good question will be, how about if the lady job earns less than what can sustain the family? Will, the man, quit his high earning job to baby sit? In my opinion, it is a domestic affair, and it employs different dynamics which are specific to a given family.
In conclusion, gender roles play a major role in impacting on the direction of a given family. Feminists will champion for the equal distribution of functions and rally against the tagging of functions in lines of gender affiliation. This may give rise excitement on how it is going to level things out. But the big question is, at what cost? The moms being breadwinners is a fast growing issue that needs to be addressed, it is causing untold suffering to moms, children, and fathers, all in the name of overturning roles and duties. It is a divergent sought of thing that will need to be addressed from the grass root level that is the family and not a countrywide policy as proposed by Susan. (Filipovic).
Filipovic, Jill. "The rise of 'breadwinner moms' is less a win for equality than it looks." The Gurdian (2013).
Larmore, Charles. "Susan Okin: Justice, Gender and the Family." politicalnotmetaphysical (2016).
Meyers, Diana. "Philosophical feminism." BRITANNICA (2018).
Serva, Christine. "Susan Okin's 'Justice, Gender & the Family.'" Study.com (2018).
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