This article assesses the development of Rawlss thinking in response to a generation of feminist critique. Two principle criticisms are sustainable throughout his work: first, that the family, as a basic institution of society, must be subject to the principles of justice if its members are to be free and equal members of society; and, second, that without such social and political equality, justice as fairness is as meaningful to women as the unrealized promise of Forty acres and a mule (...) was to the newly freed slaves. Key Words: Rawls political liberalism feminism religion public-private social contract. (shrink)
Many experts in moral education agree that the potential for empathy, a key moral emotion, is innate. However, it is also evident that this potential needs to be developed if children are to acquire crucial moral qualities such as honesty, concern for others and a sense of fairness. Our central claim is that important structural changes in both families and schools may be necessary for the development of empathy and, hence, the fostering of these moral virtues. Since many families and (...) schools are far from ideal, both are likely to need help from the other and each can compensate to some extent for the other's failings. However, unless families become more sex-egalitarian, and schools become more multicultural in their student and faculty populations as well as their curricula, both lack components necessary for their success as moral educators. If such changes occur, the resulting dynamic between families and schools may be ideal for the healthy moral development of citizens. (shrink)
The recent global movement for women's human rights has achieved considerable re-thinking of human rights as previously understood. Since many of women's rights violations occur in the private sphere of family life, and are justified by appeals to cultural or religious norms, both families and cultures (including their religious aspects) have come under critical scrutiny.
Throughout history, women and men have been seen as "opposites" in various respects. Examples from the writings of political theorists illustrate this point, while Virginia Woolf is shown to have departed radically from the general tendency to dichotomize sexual difference. Further, this "need" to dichotomize sexual differences contributes to anxiety about and stigmatization of homosexuality. As the social salience of gender becomes reduced, it is to be expected that hostility to homosexuality will decline.