Hypatia 31 (3):668-686 (2016)

Elizabeth Beaumont
University of Minnesota
How does so much gender inequality endure in an era when many laws and policies endorse principles of gender equality? This essay examines this dilemma by considering Susan Moller Okin's criticism of “false gender neutrality,” research on implicit bias, and the shifting relation of gender bias to American law. I argue that these are crucial elements of the modern cycle of gender inequality, enabling it to operate through a perverse “invisible-hand” mechanism. This framework helps convey how underlying gender bias influences individual behaviors that generate, legitimate, and mask broad patterns of inequality. Contemporary legal conflicts reflect many of these dynamics, which appear in controversies over gender-based violence, gender discrimination in pay and promotion, and women's reproductive health care benefits. This analysis advances our understanding of how the contemporary cycle of gender inequality operates, the complex links between individual behavior and structural bias, and the difficulty of pursuing gender justice through prevailing frameworks of law and liberalism. It also underscores the continued importance of feminists' collective work to address “invisible” as well as visible biases.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/hypa.12260
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,339
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Behaviorism 15 (1):73-82.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Gender.Anca Gheaus - 2018 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 389-414.
Unconscious Gender Bias in Fame Judgments?Axel Buchner & Werner Wippich - 1995 - Consciousness and Cognition 5 (1-2):197-220.
A Dispositional Account of Gender.Jennifer McKitrick - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2575-2589.
Feminism and Gender.Anca Gheaus - 2015 - In Andrew Fiala (ed.), Bloomsbury Companion to Political Philosophy. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 167-183.
Gender and "Postmodern War".Robin May Schott - 1996 - Hypatia 11 (4):19 - 29.
Exploring Social Desirability Bias.Janne Chung & Gary S. Monroe - 2003 - Journal of Business Ethics 44 (4):291 - 302.


Added to PP index

Total views
51 ( #208,859 of 2,448,758 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #177,863 of 2,448,758 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes