Feminism and Ethics
Feminist Ethics is an attempt to revise, reformulate, or rethink traditional ethics to the extent it depreciates or devalues women's moral experience. Allison Jaggar, a feminist philosopher, thinks that traditional ethics lets women down. Feminist have come up multiple approaches to ethics, each addressing issues that traditional ethics has failed or neglected women. Feminist approaches to ethics started all the way back in the 18th century. Back then, feminists debated on questions like, “Are women's ‘feminine’ traits the product of nature/biology or are they instead the outcome of social conditioning?” and “Are moral virtues as well as gender traits connected with one's affective as well as cognitive capacities, indeed with one's physiology and psychology.” These 18th and 19th century feminists contributed to the development of the many feminist approaches used today.
Today, there are many different approaches to feminism. These include liberal feminists, radical feminists, marxist/socialist feminists, multicultural feminists, and global feminists.
Each of these have their own approach to feminism, but they are all alike in the fact that they believe women get treated inferiorly to men and that this needs to be changed. These different approaches give women many ways to understand the ways in which gender, race, class, and so forth affect their moral decisions. While most critics of feminists think that these approaches are “female-biased,” feminists can easily argue that they are just trying to do what traditional ethics should have done in the first place. Feminists can safely argue this because traditional ethics seems to be based only on the experience of men. Therefore, feminist ethics remains committed to the task of pulling all women towards the goal of gender equity with men.

How this relates to class
This article relates to class because it’s all about ethics. In class we've talked about the many different approaches to Ethics by different philosophers. In this article, different approaches to ethics by different feminists are discussed. Is it ethical to say that men are superior to women? Or is it ethical to say that men and women are different in gender, but morally the same? Feminists believe that the traditional way of ethics is not being ethical at all. It is not ethical to leave women out of the picture when talking about ethics.


  • What theory of Ethics seems the most logical?
  • How are Ethics and Feministic isses the same?
  • How are they different?
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