Presentation on theme: "Money, Sex and Power Theme 2: The Politics of Sex"— Presentation transcript:
1 Money, Sex and Power Theme 2: The Politics of Sex Citizenship and its exclusions: the sexual contractWeek 5
2 Lecture outline 1. The social contract 2. Pateman and the sexual contract3. How can women/feminists challenge these exclusions?
3 The social contractPateman – feminist critique of social contract theoryShe argues that the social contract incorporates a sexual contract which excludes women from the political arenaIdea of social contract is metaphor for understanding governmentHobbes (1651), Locke (1690), Rousseau(1762): government should be for and by the people
4 Social ContractDifferent theories reflect desire to base legitimacy of government on choice of people governedEmerged from increasing importance in 17th and 18th centuries of contracts in commercial transactionsSocial environment of increasing individualism, secularisation, legalism
5 Critics of social contract theory Governments based on coercion not consent (Hume, Bentham, Paine)Run for the benefit of those governing rather than those governedMost governments established by forceClaims of women to be recognised as citizens date back to the 18th century – they were not included in the social contract nor were they regarded as citizens
6 Pateman: the sexual contract The social contract and liberal political theory generatesLiberal politics and the political freedom of (male) individualsThe sexual subordination of women to men in marriageSocial contract creates division between state and civil societyRequires sexual contract to maintain patriarchalism
7 Separation of state and civil society Separation of political power from paternal power‘masculine right over women is declared non-political’ (Pateman, 1988:90)Original contract wasn’t only a social contract establishing freedom, was also a sexual contract perpetuating dominationEstablished men’s political right over women through conjugal right
8 Public vs privateContract theorists created division between public sphere of civil freedom and private sphere of familyPateman argues that women not party to the original contract, they’re the subject of the contractCivil society referred to as the ‘private’ sphere in opposition to ‘public’ sphere of stateFamily, where women are subordinated, is forgotten
9 PatemanExclusion of family and domestic arena not accidental – structural and systematicDenial of political significance of sexual and marital dominance suggests patriarchy of no relevance to public domainWhat social and political forces confined women to family and allowed men freedom of movement between private and public?
10 Important concepts 1. Possessive individualism 2. Contract, equality and subordinationFree ‘men’ are individuals who own property rights in their own persons and can enter into contracts.Only men have rationality, independence and ownership of property in their own persons.Women naturally inferior to men and lack ability to engage in rational, independent thought.They’re not born free (as men are). Do not have ownership of property in their own person. Cannot be possessive individuals.
11 Marriage contractIf women lack capacities to make contracts how can they enter the marriage contract?Male sex right based on coercionWomen do not have same civil status as menIn 19th century married women were the property of their husbandsHusband and wife one person and that person was the husbandToday rape in marriage outlawed in UK but not in some states in US
12 Sexual difference‘the construction of sexual difference as political difference is central to civil society’ (Pateman, 1998:16).
13 Contract, equality and subordination Contract can’t be understood as voluntary agreement between free and equal individualsE.g. employers and employees unequal in terms of economic constraints, women and men unequal in terms of family constraintsSocial contract creates political right in form of domination and subordination
14 Political fictionContracts claim to regulate voluntary and free exchange of services between individuals who own property in their own persons and capabilitiesExchangers are free individuals‘We cannot contract out our services and capacities, while leaving ourselves free’ (Diana Coole, 1990)
15 Challenging exclusions The personal is political - sloganSexual contract not confined to private sphereIt is about:Institutionalising heterosexualityDefining women as embodied sexual beingsHow men claim rights of access and control over women’s bodies
17 Integrationist approach Aims to include women in current political formsWomen recognised as independent, autonomous, rational, possessive individualsGender neutral politicsWomen and femininity identified as problem
18 Transformationist approach Change politics so it’s more woman friendlyReconfigure political arenaEmphasises gender difference, recognises it, takes account of differenceMen and masculinity are the problemPateman adopts this approach – also Nancy Fraser
19 Displacement/ politicisation Attempts to deconstruct genderWay gender is constructed is the problemReorganise public/ private division in less patriarchal ways
20 ConclusionsPolitical theory is highly gendered, political practice resistant to women’s inclusionWomen’s exclusion from politics and political theory is both gendered and political – requires explanationSexual contract provides basis for the social contract, excludes women from full political and sexual citizenship