Pateman's The Sexual Contract And Rousseau

Great Essays
Throughout the analysis of the philosophical works of Pateman’s, The Sexual Contract and Rousseau’s, The Social Contract, these modern and pre-modern authors have given us an understanding of the patriarchy and how it applies to our modern societies. Throughout human history, social groups and societies have developed patriarchal ways of ruling. Although we have progressed, certain characteristics in the modern time like the marriage contract and the political atmosphere prove to show that our society is still patriarchal in its core. This did not happen overnight though. What were the elements that established patriarchal thought in the first place? After the careful analysis of different authors, it is clear that throughout the early modern …show more content…
These contracts, which are often considered the “patriarchal” contracts, due to the fact that men created them, can manifest themselves into the public sphere. Surprisingly enough, some might argue that patriarchy has little to no relevance in the public world. However, patriarchy is existent in our civil society and therefore, apparent in the public sphere. For example, Pateman argues that even the employment contract has elements of patriarchy. “The employment contract and (what I shall call) the prostitution contract, both of which are entered into the public, capitalist market, uphold men’s right as firmly as the marriage contract.” (Pateman, 4) Both, the public and the private sphere are co-dependent on each other. However, women form part of a sphere that is and is not in civil society. “The private sphere is part of civil society but is separated from the ‘civil’ sphere.” (Pateman, 11) We must also consider the fact that women belong to the private sphere (natural), whereas men belong to the public sphere (civil). Even though both spheres are opposed, they complement one another by gaining meaning through each other. The independent and free “individual”, who is the maker of contracts, is characterized by the subjection of women …show more content…
Sadly, during the modern era, women are still disadvantaged in a profession. For example, as Gerda Lerner mentions in her book on regard to women in academia, The Female Experience An American Documentary, “Even when women are hired they generally remain at the bottom of the academic hierarchy. The higher the rank, the lower the percentage of women.” (Lerner, 253) This is the case because men are often given priority over women on these professional positions. In another note, many employers are sometimes discouraged from hiring women due to the possibility of their new employee getting pregnant, which would result in a temporary maternity leave. Consequently, this is something that many employers do not want to deal with since job turnover is costly. (Fox, Quinn) As Annie B. Fox and Diane M. Quinn mention in their research article, Pregnant Women at Work, “Research suggests that pregnant women are discriminated against in the workplace and that a significant percentage of new mothers leave the workforce.” (Fox, Quinn) Additionally, many of these women are negatively stigmatized by society and are often discouraged from pregnancy if they intend to pursue a professional career. These women are often treated differently not only by their employers but also by our society. As Quinn and Fox mention, “Because pregnancy is closely tied to motherhood, female gender stereotypes related

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