NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 139
B EXT IMPACTSPUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY EXCLUDES WOMENS VOICES AND EXPERIENCES
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY SEEKS A HOMOGENOUS WORLD WHICH NECESSARILY EXCLUDES WOMEN
Iris Marion Young, Prof. of Ethics and Political Theory at the University of Pittsburgh, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Impartiality and the Civic Public: Some Implications of Feminist Critiques of Moral and Political Theory," EE2001hxm p. 440
I have argued that the distinction between public and private as it appears in modern political theory expresses a will for homogeneity that necessitates the exclusion of many persons and groups, particularly women and racialized groups culturally identified with the body, wildness, and irrationality. In conformity with the modern idea of normative reason, the idea of the public in modern political theory and practice designates a sphere of human existence in which citizens express their rationality and universality, abstracted from their particular situations and needs and opposed to feeling. This feminist critique of the exclusionary public does not imply, as Jean Elshtain suggests, a collapse of the distinction between public and private .41 Indeed, I agree with the many writers, including Elshtain, Habermas, and Wolin, who claim that contemporary social life itself has collapsed the public and that emancipatory politics requires generating a renewed sense of public life. Examination of the exclusionary and homogeneous ideal of the public in modern political theory, however, shows that we cannot envision such renewal of public life as a recovery of Enlightenment ideals. instead, we need to transform the distinction between public and private that does not correlate with an opposition between reason and affectivity and desire, or universal and particular.
WOMEN'S ISSUES ARE ALWAYS SUBORDINATED WITHIN THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMIZATION
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. 11
Feminist activism and scholarship, then, have illuminated the disparate impact that the public/private divide has had on women and its role in diminishing the impact of efforts to eradicate women's oppression. Women's issues often are buried because of the layers of public and private. Women's issues are said to be located mainly within the private sphere of domestic law. Within the state, these are dismissed by the operation of the domestic state/family divide described earlier (see Olsen 1985). Outside of the state, within the international realm, they are overlooked as a result of the mandate of international law to deal only with 'external' or public' matters of the state.
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DIVIDE PERPETUATES THE EXCLUSION OF WOMEN
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. 8
Gendered concept of citizenship The public-private dichotomy also helped in the development of an exclusionary, gendered concept of citizenship, although the actual expression of this may differ in different states. In classical liberal theory, the cloak of citizenship is supposed to sit on the shoulders of an abstract, 'disembodied' individual. Yet, this individual has visible and valued 'male' characteristics. Historically, for example, the value of citizenship has, at least partly, been derived from militarist norms of honour and camaraderie, which included only men (Young, 1989, p. 250). While these attributes have become less prominent for the modem state, the model of the citizen continues to be based on the rational actor who can transcend body and sentiment, engaging instead with the rational and the discursive. Conceptually, the feminine is excluded from the public realm of citizenship, because, in western cultural codes, the feminine is seen as the realm of desire and the body. In the modem state, the citizen is also the active individual who participates in the labour market and who votes. Until relatively recently, women were restricted in the exercise of citizenship through these channels. In short, both the functions and qualities deemed compatible with the exercise of citizenship are in fact those characteristics that are culturally associated with men (Lester, 1997, p. 69). As James has argued, the cluster of activities, values, ways of thinking, and of doing things, which have long been associated with women, are all conceived as outside the political world of citizenship and largely irrelevant to it construction (James, 1992).
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY CREATES A NORMATIVE INDIVIDUAL THAT NECESSARILY EXCLUDES THE "OTHER," AND WOMEN ARE ONE OF THESE EXCLUSIONS
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. 3-4
Western liberal thought has constructed a notion of rights based on an ideal type of citizen. This citizen is abstract, universal, non-gendered, and nonracial; a citizen who is entitled to what we may refer to as 'natural rights' (Benn, 1972). From the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries onwards, it has been commonly held that it is the task of the state and of the law to safeguard these rights, lists of which were drawn up in such documents as the American Bill of Rights and the Declaration des droits de I'homme et du citoyen (Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen), However, political practice was such that the exercise of full citizenship continued to be confined to particular groups, for example, the fully literate, the sane, or the propertied, elite minority, Despite significant advances, both in political philosophy and democratic practice, especially since the development of the modem welfare state, the concept and practice of citizenship continues to be restricted. As second-wave feminism clearly exposed, women have been given only limited access to full citizens' rights, even in the modem welfare state. This led to activism on the part of liberal, or 'rights' feminists, aimed at ensuring that the rights traditionally ascribed to men were also made available to women and that barriers to women's participation as full citizens of the state were dismantled. Rights, it was argued, should be made available to the abstract, universal, nongendered subject, that is gender should not be a valid basis upon which to exclude access to rights.
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY SUBORDINATES WHAT IS FEMININE
Iris Marion Young, Prof. of Ethics and Political Theory at the University of Pittsburgh, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Impartiality and the Civic Public: Some Implications of Feminist Critiques of Moral and Political Theory," EE2001hxm p. 429
The dichotomy between reason and desire appears in modern political theory in the distinction between the universal, public realm of sovereignty and the state, on the one hand, and the particular private realm of needs and desires, on the other. Modern normative political theory and political practice aim to embody impartiality in the public realm of the state. Like the impartiality of moral reason, this public realm Of the state attains its generality by the exclusion of particularity, desire, feeling and those aspects of life associated with the body. In modern political theory and practice this public achieves a unity in particular by the exclusion of women and others associated with nature and the body.
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY REIFIES MALE UNIVERSALITY WHICH NECESSARILY EXCLUDES WOMEN
Joan B. Landes, Prof. of Women's Studies and History at Penn State University, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "The Public and the Private Sphere: A Feminist Reconsideration," EE2001-hxm p. 142-143
In my study Women and the Publ'ic Sphere in the Age of the
French Revolution, however, I argued that Habermas's formulation
effaces the way in which the bourgeois public sphere from the out
set worked to rule out all interests that would not or could not
lay claim to their own universality.20 The notion of an enlightened,
theoretical public reduced to 'mere opinion' (cultural assumptions,
normative attitudes, collective prejudices, and values) a whole range of interests associated with those actors who would not or could not master the discourse of the universal. Moreover, the structural division between the public sphere on the one hand and the market and the family on the other meant that a whole range of concerns came to be labelled as private and treated as improper subjects for public debate. Habermas overlooks the strong association of women's discourse and their interests with 'Particularity" and conversely the alignment of masculine speech with truth, objectivity, and reason. Thus he misses the masquerade through which the (male) particular was able to posture behind the veil of the universal.
PUBLIC/PRIVATE DISTINCTION PERPETUATES EXCLUSION AND DOMINATION
Anita L. Allen, Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, "COERCING PRIVACY," William & Mary Law Review, March, 1999, 40 Wm and Mary L. Rev. 723, EE2001-hxm, P.
Critics of liberalism are apt to insist that the public/private distinction is altogether an ideological tool of subordination in societies in which white men with property dominate other groups. Feminists charge that privacy justifies exclusive monopolies over social resources as well as societal indifference to the violence and poverty that characterize the "private" lives of many women and children. n103 The private sphere is permeated by government. The public sphere is ubiquitous. Law, and therefore the arms of "public" government, defines and mediates the complex entity-to-entity relations that constitute "private" life. For example, a person is permitted to drive a car, adopt a child, practice a religion, marry outside of her race, expect confidentiality from physicians, belong to exclusive private clubs, and use birth control pills, all because of legislative and constitutional provisions created and enforced by government. n104 Moreover, government serves essential policing and adjudicative functions without which personal privacy would be impossible for most people. If someone is being harassed in certain ways that violate privacy, he or she can call the police. If someone harms another's privacy interests, the harmed individual may be able to bring a lawsuit to have losses compensated.