NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 137
B EXT IMPACTSPUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY PERPETUATES PATRIARCHY
PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY DISCOURSE PERPETUATES MALE DOMINATION OF WOMEN
Judith Squires, 1999; GENDER IN POLITICAL THEORY, EE2001 hxm p. 31
Political theory, as we noted previously, need not be viewed as simply reflecting already given social relations; it can also be understood as part of attempts to institute them. On this reading it is the continued use of the terms of debate generated by the social and sexual contracts (notably the formulation of a public/private dichotomy which marginalizes the place of the family) by contemporary liberal theorists that itself perpetuates gender subordination. One of the central tasks of any feminist project must therefore be to reconfigure tile terms of political discourse. The existing terms of political discourse legitimate state policies which are fundamentally discriminatory in relation to women, and are able to do so because of women's historical, material and symbolic relation to the domestic.
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY PERPETUATES GENDER HIERARCHY
Nancy Fraser, Graduate Prof. of Political Science at the New School of Research, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Sex, Lies, and the Public Sphere: Reflections on the Confirmation of Clarence Thomas," EE2001-hxm p. 331
The extraordinary struggle over Clarence Thomas's nomination proved the continuing importance of the public sphere in relation to state power. However, it also showed the need to revise the standard liberal view of the public sphere, which takes the categories of public and private as self-evident. This struggle showed, in contrast, that these categories are multivalent and contested. Not all understandings of them promote democracy. For example, malesupremacist constructions enshrine gender hierarchy by privatizing practices of domination like sexual harassment. They enforce men's privacy rights to harass women with impunity in part by smearing in public any woman who dares to protest. As Alan Simpson understood so well, women are effectively asked to choose between quiet abuse in private and noisy, discursive abuse in public.
However, the gendered character of the categories 'publicity' and 'Privacy' cannot today be understood in terms of Victorian separate-spheres ideology, as some feminists have assumed. It is not the case now, and never was, that women are simply excluded from public life; nor that the private sphere is women's sphere and the public sphere is men's; nor that the feminist project is to collapse the boundaries between public and private. Rather, feminist analysis shows the political, ideological, gender-coded character of these categories. And the feminist project aims in part to overcome the gender hierarchy that gives men more power than women to draw the line between public and private.
PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY LEGITIMIZES MALE DOMINATION OF THE STATE AND INSTITUTIONS AND PERPETUATES PATRIARCHY
Zillah R. Eisenstein, Prof. at Northeastern University, 1981; THE RADICAL FUTURE OF LIBERAL FEMINISM, EE2001-hxm p. 25-6
The distinction between public (male) and private (female) life in Western thought, a preliberal patriarchal distinction, has been inherent in the formation of state societies. The formation of the state institutionalizes patriarchy; it reifies the division between public and private life as one of sexual differences. Rayna Rapp elaborates this point: "The radical separation of home and work place in industrial capitalism transforms and buttresses the distinction between private and public domains that has long had ideological legitimacy through state formation. 114 0 The domain of the state has always signified public life, and this is distinguished in part from the private realm by differentiating men from women. It is not accidental that heads of state are men. They represent this public space as male. This is a vital part of the authority and power the state receives and institutionalizes for men.41 The state formalizes the rule by men because the division of public and private life is at one and the same time a male/female distinction, Rapp substantiates this point, though somewhat more cautiously: "Within the variation of male-female relations, there is a strong tendency for state societies to consider public functions as male and private ones as female . The state's purpose is to enforce the separation of public and private life and with it the distinctness of male and female existence.
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY IS INHERENTLY FLAWED BECAUSE IT IS BASED ON SEXIST ASSUMPTIONS
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," EE2001-hxm p. 13-14
Moreover, the public and private spheres, when they can be identified as such, exist not so much in opposition to one another, but rather in reciprocal connection with one another (Fudge 1987; Olsen 1985; Rose 1987Thornton 1991). The ways in which the public sphere is organized - arguably along the lines of a presumed married man's lifestyle - rely on a particular way of organizing the private sphere. The ability of the unencumbered individual (man) to participate in the public sphere of work and politics assumes that someone, usually a woman, is preparing his food, cleaning his house, and raising the next generation of labourers through her reproductive labour. The 'sexual contract' under which women purportedly voluntarily agree to do these things supports men's ability to succeed in the public sphere and to have greater power than women both there and in the private sphere (Pateman 1988). Families that are not structured on this model have greater difficulty negotiating the demands of family and work (Iyer, Kay this volume; Mossman 1994a, 1994b). Although many individual men do not dominate the market sphere per se, this model enhances profit making by corporate capitalists because of the subsidization it offers to business through women's unpaid labour. Expectations that child care will be done 'for free' (by mothers in the home) are also reciprocally connected both to the underpaid nature of child care labour (often performed by women of colour: Macklin 1992) and to the lack of publicly funded day care that would enable women to work outside the home (see Teghtsoonian this volume). These relationships illustrate the complex connection between production (assumed to occur in the market) and reproduction (assumed to occur within the family) (Fudge 1987, 488; Ursel 1992).
THE AFFIRMATIVE'S POLITICAL ACT OF CONSTRUCTING A BOUNDARY BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PERPETUATED STRUCTURES OF INEQUALITY, EXCLUSION OF WOMEN, AND PATRIARCHY
Susan Baker, Senior Lecturer in European Social Research at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, 1999; WOMEN AND PUBLIC POLICY: THE SHIFTING BOUNDARIES BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPHERES, "Risking Difference: Reconceptualizing the Boundaries between the Public and Private Spheres," EE2001-hxm p. 12-13
The examples discussed above show that the claim to a clear boundary between the public and private spheres is an ideological claim-that is it forms part of the theoretical and practical support structures of patriarchy. The distinction between the public and private spheres is best seen, therefore, as socially and politically constructed to serve an ideological function. Furthermore, the positioning of the boundaries is historically and culturally specific: 'a shifting Political construction under constant renegotiation, which reflects both historical and cultural contexts as well as the relative power of different social groups' (Lester, 1997, p. 124). The difference between the gains of the women's movement in the later half of the twentieth century provides an example. The 1970s saw a number of issues move from being considered private issues to being seen as public policy concerns. However, the public-private distinction took on a new significance in the 1990s, with privatization Policies and attempts by the 'New Right' to push economic dependence from the public sphere back to the the private sphere. As a consequence, the gains achieved by women proved Vulnerable, particularly within the labour market (Forbes, 1996, p. 147). Similarly, efforts in the 1990S to develop a more communitarian relationship between the state and the citizen, as seen, for example, in the UK under the Blair Government, in the US, and in Germany, provide us with contemporary examples of the ways in which the relationship between the public and private spheres are subject to constant Political and social negotiation (Loughlin, 1998).
The construction of the boundary between the Public and private spheres, thus, becomes a Political act (Landes, 1998, p. 3). Crucially, tills involves the exercise Of Political Power. In the context of modern, liberal, democratic society, the Public-private boundary becomes part of the structural inequalities that are embedded in the state.
DUALISTIC CATEGORIES OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE REIFY WESTERN HISTORY OF PATRIARCHY
Zillah R. Eisenstein, Prof. at Northeastern University, 1981; THE RADICAL FUTURE OF LIBERAL FEMINISM, EE2001-hxm p. 22
Patriarchy and Public-Private Life
The universality of patriarchy in Western society is expressed in the sexual assignment of private and public life, to woman and man, respectively. Although the meaning of "public" and "private" changes in concrete ways, the assignment of public space to men and private space to women is continuous in Western history. To speak in such sweeping terms of so pervasive a category as public and private spheres in the Western world is indeed to run the risk of oversimplification. But no student of history can fail to be impressed with the consistency with which societies have organized themselves into public realms considered male and private realms considered female. The narrative that follows is intended only to chart the bare outlines of this course.