NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 140
B EXT IMPACTSPUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY MASKS PATRIARCHY
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY CONCEALS MASCULINE POWER AND DOMINATION THROUGH THE IDEAL OF UNIVERSALITY
Joan B. Landes, Prof. of Women's Studies and History at Penn State University, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Introduction," EE2001-hxm p. 144
A question arises as to whether a universalistic discourse model can satisfy conditions of genuine equality. I have suggested that the virtues of universality and reason are offset by the role they play within a system of Western cultural representation that has eclipsed women's interests in the private domain and aligned femininity with particularity, interest, and partiality. In this context, the goals of generalizability and appeals to the common good may conceal rather than expose forms of domination, suppress rather than release concrete differences among persons or groups. Moreover, by banishing the language of particularity, the liberal public sphere has jeopardized its own bases of legitimation in the principles of accessibility, participation, and equality. Last, I have argued that style and decorum are not incidental traits but constitutive features of the way in which embodied, speaking subjects establish the claims of the universal in politics.