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First and foremost, I had no idea that ethical theories were so one sided. I have always heard the phrase about all men being created equally, which is bologna, but the feministic view of those words never occurred to me. Also, Held (1990) stated “The total or relative exclusion of women from the domain of public life has then been seen as either inevitable or appropriate” (para. 33). I don’t believe that women are being excluded from the domain of public life, but I would be curious to see an updated article from Held on this subject. A lot has happened in the last twenty six years, and seeing how close Hilary Clinton came to being the first female president, I think that her outlook would be somewhat changed. The third area that I found interesting was when Held (1990) stated that “Women rarely receive the nurturing and empathetic support they provide”, which struck me, because the whole article talks about how women take emotion into consideration more often than men (para. 48). It made me think that feminism is equally as one sided as the traditional system that we have, but it is supposed to be better because there is more emotion involved.
I won’t say that America’s ethical theories are perfect by any means, but I don’t feel as though ethical practices in the western world exclude women as much as the article would have you think. A woman who wants to live her own life with no ties to people is free to do so. What really confused me about this article is at the end where Hind (1990) stated “The implications of this work are that we need an almost total reconstruction of social and political and economic and legal theory in all their traditional forms as well as a reconstruction of moral theory and practice at more comprehensive, or fundamental, levels” (para. 54). This part confuses me, because it reminds me of someone building a sand castle on the beach, and when they are almost done, someone comes up and says “I don’t like that we need to tear it down and start over.” It seems childish to me that the feminist philosophers can’t come to reason with ethical theory, so the reaction is to start from scratch.
Held, V. (1990) “Feminist Transformations of Moral Theory,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 50, pp. 321-344. Reprinted by permission of Blackwell Publishing Ltd.