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The feminist ethics

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The feminist ethics

Feminist Ethics is an ethical approach that is built on the belief that women have been underappreciated in a mostly male-dominated world. It, therefore, creates ethics hinged on the feministic approach (Edmonds & Juliana, 2019, 58). Traditional ethics, as criticized by the feminist philosophers, focus on the perspectives of the men, giving little or no regard to the women’s ideologies (Srinivasan &Amia, 2017, 1). These ethics aim at understanding three critical moral beliefs and practices. These beliefs are the historical privileges bestowed on the men, the societal view of gender, and how the different opinions about gender are oppressive to especially the females.

The feminist ethics, therefore, aim to underscore the experiences of the oppressed persons in the gendered ways (Permatasari & Indiani, 2016, 30). Traditional ethics uphold masculine cultural traits while giving less weight to feminine characteristics (Srinivasan &Amia, 2017, 1). The 20th century saw the advent of feminist care ethics with its proponents deviating from defending the societal views of patriarchal societies while highlighting the plights of the women (Ramdas & Kamalini, 2016, 847).

Characteristics of Feminist Ethics

There are distinctions between the feminine and masculine ideologies in care and justice. Some of the key features are its support of binarism, intersectionality, ethics of care, and the critique on traditional ethics.

Generally, feminist ethics antagonize those proponents of traditional theories that, according to them, are a false description of gender. The critics of the feminist arguments, however, are of a different view that sometimes the philosophers speak without paying attention to their presumptions. According to Ruiz, traditional theorists had inattentiveness to the women issues. Some feminists endorse deontological theories, which postulate that women’s rights should be observed and respected, especially in political contexts (Robinson & Fiona, 2016, 91-108).

Some theorists, whoever postulates that the moral character of either a man or woman is harmed if there are unequal social arrangements. Most importantly is the argument that most women are “objects” to be attractive to men. This argument portrayed an immoral influence over the minds of women. Robinson & Fiona, 2016, 91-108 argued that the fundamental equality of men and women is unrivaled and that their capacities for pleasures and responsibilities are at bar. On the other hand, other proponents advocate for both men and women to be morally happy and better through character elevation. However, some feminists advocate for a contractual or mutual agreement. Contractarian ethics allow moral agents to correct gendered oppressions and socially constructed beliefs of gender inequality contexts (Robinson & Fiona, 2016, 91-108).

Another characteristic of feminist ethics is its focus on gender binarism. The view of binarism is that there is male and female gender. Some feminists argue that feminism liberates both men and women from any oppressive social arrangements. Some philosophers are against separation. They postulate there should be no distinction between the elements of both genders. The values of both sexes, such as emotions and rationality, should be promoted and incorporated in the new culture. The critics of binarism, however, argue that some gender is reflected as having better experiences than the other (Robinson & Fiona, 2016, 91-108).

The ethics of care or that of gendered morality is another feature of feminist ethics. Gilligan does not agree with theorists, who argue that the virtue of others is better than that of the rest. Instead, she asserts that the morality of responsibility should only show the difference between genders and never show any gender superiority or inferiority. This feature of feministic ethics builds on the care perspective, which states that women are more likely to express the justice perspective as compared to their male counterparts. Women will care for others by showing values such as intimacy and autonomy. The critics of this perspective, however, argue that limiting women to caring would discriminate against them against some other roles in society. The preoccupation with the soft and kind side of caring, women are more likely to be distracted from concentrating on their capacities for injustices and harm (Robinson & Fiona, 2016, 91-108).

Intersectionality, on the other hand, builds on the fact that masculinity and feminity are not for a specific race. Moreover, no universal definition of feminity as there is a particular category of women who are more feminists or not than others (Robinson & Fiona, 2016, 91-108). The intersectional approaches do not promote binary gender as it avoids taking any social positions. However, its critics state that it degrades the category of a woman as it doesn’t respect the nature of the women. Its protagonist, on the other hand, alludes that intersectionality brings out all the characteristics of a woman, such as distinct gender identities.

Difference between Feminist Ethics and Traditional Ethics

The feminist ethics promote contractual or mutual agreement between the male and the female. However, in traditional ethics, the man has superior and unrivaled authority over the woman. Feminist ethics are advocating for equal treatment and access to opportunities. In contrast, the traditional ethics have specific opportunities assigned to a particular gender.

Secondly, feminist ethics focus mostly on the female gender and highlight how they have been oppressed in a primarily male-dominated territory. Traditional ethics, on the other hand, do not side with any gender as it does not foresee oppression along gender lines.

Thirdly, feminist ethics are against any form of gender superiority. It builds on ensuring that no one gender has exclusive authority and responsibility for the other. Traditional ethics, on the other hand, have rigid and well-regulated measures that do not give preference or advantage to any gender. However, since most of the men have an upper edge in most scenarios, they are in a better position to get these opportunities.

Feminist ethics promote intersectionality, which highlights the characteristics of women. Traditional ethics, on the other hand, emphasizes the aspects of the two genders. They do not discriminate on any gender.

Personal Reflection

The feminist ethics have both pros and cons. The core values of feminist ethics are to bring equality to not only opportunities but also responsibilities. I would not agree with the principles of its ethics. This is because, at some point, feminist ethics lay more emphasis on the female gender, their oppression, and their dissatisfaction with most of the things in society. These ethics also promote conflict with the male gender as the women would want to take over more masculine responsibilities, including those of being family heads. Furthermore, feminist ethics support more seclusion of more in the activities that are considered feminine by society.

In conclusion, feminist ethics advocate for the inclusion of women in most responsibilities and, at the same time reducing oppression against women. These feminist ethics cushion while at the same time highlighting the plights women have had to go through with the traditional ethics.

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