Liberal Feminism And Its Effect On Equality Essay

822 Words Apr 26th, 2016 4 Pages
Liberal Feminism Responds
It is likely that a liberal feminist would disagree with the wide scope MacKinnon has arranged for what constitutes as sexual discrimination, which catalogues any activity that promotes the “subordination of women to men” as sexually discriminatory. This is worrying for liberal feminists in two ways. First, such a method of classification is broad and difficult to define. There are many practices that can be conceived as either detrimental or beneficial to the task of furthering equality. For example, affirmative action can be seen as a method that provides equal opportunities to women, or it can be seen as reinforcing gender stereotypes and fostering animosities between genders. The point made is that there exist many cases where the subjugation of women is hard to define. Thus, in terms of jurisprudence, it is impractical and challenging for judges to determine exactly what should be considered discriminatory if one were to proceed by MacKinnon’s standard. Secondly, there is the fear that such a one-sided evaluation of sexual discrimination might wrongfully disadvantage men. While MacKinnon might see this as a nonissue (for how can men ever be discriminated in a system that favours them), a liberal would be concerned with any elements that could signify inequality (even if it was the other way around). In these two ways, liberal feminism would disagree with MacKinnon’s dominance analysis, as the qualifications for such a standard is too abstract…

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