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Equal Citizenship and Public ReasonA Feminist Political Liberalism$
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Christie Hartley and Lori Watson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683023.001.0001

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Social Norms, Choice, and Work

Social Norms, Choice, and Work

Chapter:
(p.189) 8 Social Norms, Choice, and Work
Source:
Equal Citizenship and Public Reason
Author(s):

Christie Hartley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190683023.003.0009

In modern liberal democracies, the gendered division of labor is partially the result of men and women making different choices about work and family life, even if such choices stem from social norms about gender. The choices that women make relative to men’s disadvantage them in various ways: such choices lead them to earn less, enjoy less power and prestige in the labor market, be less able to participate in the political sphere on an equal basis, make them to some degree financially dependent on others, and leave them at a bargaining disadvantage and vulnerable in certain personal relationships. This chapter considers if and when the state should intervene to address women’s disadvantage and inequalities that are the result of gender specialization. It is argued that political liberals can and sometimes must intervene in the gendered division of labor when persons’ interests as free and equal citizens are frustrated.

Keywords:   political liberalism, public reason, division of labor, gender, autonomy, FGM, cosmetic surgery, sex equality, care work

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