Substantive Equality and Equal Citizenship1

Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (5):854-862 (2020)
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In Part 1, I argue that Watson and Hartley’s relational feminist political liberal approach – grounded in the idea of equal citizenship – produces a rather elusive liberal feminist agenda (because of its reliance on intuitions) and that it may lose track of the importance of goods whose value stems from the role they play in an individual woman’s or girl’s life rather than from the role they play in securing equal citizenship. I suggest that a distributive principle approach – like that of Susan Okin – might do better on both scores. In Part 2, I argue that Watson and Hartley may have overpromised what the state can and may do. Discussion includes focus on policy questions concerning, for example, prostitution and the gendered division of labor.



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Amy Baehr
Hofstra University

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