In this pathbreaking study of the works of Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and Mill, Susan Moller Okin turns to the tradition of political philosophy that pervades Western culture and its institutions to understand why the gap between formal and real gender equality persists. Our philosophical heritage, Okin argues, largely rests on the assumption of the natural inequality of the sexes. Women cannot be included as equals within political theory unless its deep-rooted assumptions about the traditional family, its sex roles, and its relation to the wider world of political society are challenged. So long as this attitude pervades our institutions and behavior, the formal equality women have won has no chance of becoming substantive.
Susan Moller Okin (1946-2004) was a prominent feminist philosopher and the Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society at Stanford University. Her books include Justice, Gender, and the Family and Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?
Introduction to the 2013 Edition ix Acknowledgements xix Introduction 3 PART I. PLATO 1. Plato and the Greek Tradition of Misogyny 15 2. Philosopher Queens and Private Wives 28 3. Female Nature and Social Structure 51 PART II. ARISTOTLE 4. Woman's Place and Nature in a Functionalist World 73 PART III. ROUSSEAU 5. Rosseau and the Modern Patriarchal Tradition 99 6. The Natural Woman and Her Role 106 7. Equality and Freedom - for Men 140 8. The Fate of Rosseau's Heroines 167 PART IV. MILL 9. John Stuart Mill, Liberal Feminist 197 PART V. FUNCTIONALISM, FEMINISM AND THE FAMILY 10. Women and Functionalism, Past and Present 233 11. Persons, Women, and the Law 247 12. Conclusions 274 Appendix to Chapter 2 305 Afterword to the 1992 edition 309 Notes 341 Bibliography 387 Index 399