NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 127
A EXT--PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY LINKS
THE PLAN REIFIES THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY THAT
RENDERS WOMEN'S OPPRESSION INVISIBLE
Judith Squires, 1999; GENDER IN POLITICAL THEORY, EE2001
hxm p. 29
This private sphere is then deemed politically it-relevant, and theorists focus exclusively on the relation between the state and the sphere of civil freedom. Indeed, public and private come to be understood as relating to the state and the sphere of civil freedom respectively, thereby rendering the 'private' sphere of the family invisible. Women, Pateman tells us, 'are not party to the original contract through which men transform their natural freedom into the security of civil freedom. Women are the subject of the contract' (Pateman 1988: 6). The public realm cannot be understood in isolation from the private realm, and yet there is now a refusal to admit that marital domination is politically significant.
This critique focuses on the way in which the historical origins of liberal theory rely on the incorporation of already existing patriarchal relations which, being excluded from the categories of both civil society and the state, are then rendered invisible. It then becomes possible for contemporary liberal theorists to forget (or overlook) the fact that the 'liberal individual' was explicitly argued to be the male head of household by the classic exponents of liberal theory. In this way gender is given a highly specific and structuring role within liberal theory at the same time as liberal theory presents itself as gender-neutral.
THE PLAN REIFIES THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY WHICH ENTRENCHES AND REIFIES STATE POWER
Susan B. Boyd, Chair in Feminist Legal Studies and Prof. of Law at University of British Columbia, 1997; CHALLENGING THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DIVIDE," Challenging the Public/Private Divide: An Overview," EE2001hxm p. 15-16
The above discussion has shown that the dividing line between ostensibly public' and 'private' spheres is unclear, and it shifts in a manner that is connected to the state's role in regulating power relations between various groups. To trace the operation of the divide and the role of the state accurately, the intersecting factors of race, class, gender, sexual identity, and disability must be carefully articulated. Some authors argue that it may be more useful to examine the multiple sites of power struggle that affect women's lives than to focus on the geographic imagery of 'public' and 'private' or an analysis of state action (e.g., Elliot 1989; Rose 1987).