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Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic SocietiesTeaching for Cosmopolitan Values and Collective Identities$
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Kevin McDonough and Walter Feinberg

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199253668.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2019

“MISTRESSES OF THEIR OWN DESTINY”: GROUP RIGHTS, GENDER, AND REALISTIC RIGHTS OF EXIT

“MISTRESSES OF THEIR OWN DESTINY”: GROUP RIGHTS, GENDER, AND REALISTIC RIGHTS OF EXIT

Chapter:
(p.325) CHAPTER 12 “MISTRESSES OF THEIR OWN DESTINY”: GROUP RIGHTS, GENDER, AND REALISTIC RIGHTS OF EXIT
Source:
Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic Societies
Author(s):

Susan Moller Okin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199253668.003.0013

The essays in Part III of the book, on liberal constraints and traditionalist education, argue for a more regulatory conception of liberal education and emphasize the need for some controls over cultural and religious educational authority. Susan Okin, in her essay on group rights, gender, and realistic rights of exit, is mostly concerned, not with the oppression of traditional groups by the liberal state, but with the oppression of individuals, and especially of girls and women, by the traditional community. She is critical of those liberal theorists who argue that a right of exit is sufficient to qualify a cultural or religious group for special recognition in liberal societies, and to counter these views, she notes that the unequal treatment of girls and women can mean that even though they may have a formal right to exit a group, their actual opportunities for doing so are far less adequate than those of their male counterparts. She holds, then, that the right of exit is not sufficient and that the liberal state should have a higher requirement, namely, that girls and women should be treated fairly within the group and thus should be able to take advantage of any formal right of exit. The chapter is arranged in three sections: Section 12.1, Gender and Other Forms of Inequality in Group Rights Theories, shows, by looking at three examples of liberal defenders (as exemplified by Joseph Raz, William Galston, and Chandran Kukathas) of group rights, that they tend not to take gender inequality seriously when considering group rights and limitations; Section 12.2, Cultural Factors Affecting Women’s Realistic Rights of Exit, specifies and discusses a number of reasons that contribute to women being significantly less able than men, in many cultural contexts, to chart their own courses of life outside their community of origin; and Section 12.3. Rights of Exit and Realistic Rights of Exit for Women, concludes that the theories examined contain several problematic elements concerning rights of exit for women.

Keywords:   Chandran Kukathas, cultural authority, cultural groups, educational authority, formal rights to exit, gender inequality, gender rights, girls, group rights, inequality, Joseph Raz, liberal education, liberalism, realistic rights of exit, religious authority, religious groups, rights to exit, traditionalist education, William Galston, women

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