Analysis Of The Subjection Of Women By John Stuart Mill
He does not recognize that the society he wants women to participate in needs to be fundamentally changed. Mill believes that simply removing the barriers to women in a patriarchal society will allow them to flourish. This is an invalid conclusion because it devalues feminine qualities. Mill imagines a female being we cannot imagine because women have been so restricted from embracing their true nature. He does not however consider that a women’s version of success may not be identical to that of a man’s. Society’s very foundation is built on the idea that obtaining wealth and power leads to happiness and equalizing men and women will not solve this deep problem.
Other theorists such as Iris M. Young take a difference approach in their feminist theorizing. Young’s piece “Humanism, Gynocentrism, and Feminist Politics” discusses how the sameness approach exhibited by Mill “consists of freeing women from the confines of traditional femininity” and that Mill would see femininity as stunting women’s growth. Gynocentric feminists like Young say this ideology is damaging because it devalues women’s labors and feminine values and upholds masculinity as the norm; a standard women and even some men cannot or do not wish to