Journal of Practical Ethics 2 (1):44-67 (2014)

When Mill published The Subjection of Women in 1869 he wanted to replace the domination of one sex by the other laws based on ‘a principle of perfect equality’. It is widely complained, however, that even advanced countries have still failed to achieve equality between the sexes. Power and wealth and influence are still overwhelmingly in the hands of men. But equalities of these kinds are not the ones required by the principle of equality that Mill had in mind; and, furthermore, a principle that demanded them would actually be incompatible with Mill’s. The conclusion is not, however, that social policies dealing with men and women are all they should be. It is just that although the fundamental problems of feminism could be – and to a considerable extent still can be – expressed in terms of requirements for justice and equality, we have now reached a stage where concentrating on these ideas can distort the real problems, and may actually impede the kind of progress that is needed.
Keywords feminism  gender equality
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