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Living With Contradictions: Controversies In Feminist Social Ethics

Living With Contradictions:
Controversies In Feminist Social Ethics
Alison M. JaggarAvalon Publishing1994

Some people believe that feminist ethics is little more than a series of dogmatic positions on issues such as abortion rights, pornography, and affirmative action.This caricature was never true, but Alison Jaggar’s Living with Contradictions is the first book to demonstrate just how rich and complex feminist ethics has become. Beginning with the modest assumption that feminism demands an examination of moral issues with a commitment to ending women’s subordination, this anthology shows that one can no longer divide social issues into those that are feminist and those that are not. 

Living with Contradictions does address many of the traditionally “feminist” issues. But it also includes issues not generally recognized as gendered, such as militarism, environmentalism, and the treatment of animals, demonstrating the value of a feminist perspective in these cases. And, far from reflecting any monolithic orthodoxy, the book shows that there is a rich diversity of views on many moral issues among those who share a feminist commitment. Readers can sample a varied selection of papers and essays from books, journals, newspapers, and grassroots newsletters. Covering a wide range of moral issues, this collection refuses to offer simple solutions, choosing instead to reflect the complexities and contradictions facing anyone attempting to live up to feminist ideals in a painfully pre-feminist world.Based on years of the editor’s work in the field, imaginatively edited, and including generous introductions for students, this is the ideal text for introducing feminist perspectives into courses in ethics, social ethics, and public policy.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Living with Contradictions

Part I: Equality
… Introduction
… Sexual Differences and Sexual Equality / Alison Jaggar
… Reconstructing Sexual Equality / Christine Littleton
… Toward Feminist Jurisprudence / Catharine Mackinnon
… Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics / Kimberle Crenshaw

Part II: Women Working
A. Affirmative Action and Comparable Worth
… Reverse Discrimination as Unjustified / Lisa Newton
… Fairness, Meritocracy, and Reverse Discrimination / Hardy Jones
… The Wage Gap: Myths and Facts / National Committee on Pay Equity
… An Argument Against Comparable Worth / June O’Neill
… Some Implications of Comparable Worth / Laurie Shrage

B. Sex Work
… Prostitution / Alison Jaggar
… A Most Useful Tool / Sunny Carter
… Stripper / Debi Sundahl
… Confronting the Liberal Lies About Prostitution / Evelina Giobbe
… What’s Wrong with Prostitution? / Carole Pateman
… International Committee for Prostitutes’ Rights / World Charter and World Whores’ Congress Statements / International Committee for Prostitutes’ Rights

Part III: Marketing Femininity
A. Representing Women: Pornography, Art, and Popular Culture
… Why Pornography Matters to Feminists / Andrea Dworkin
… Pornography, Oppression, and Freedom: A Closer Look / Helen Longino
… Feminism, Moralism, and Pornography / Ellen Willis
… False Promises: Feminist Antipornography Legislation / Lisa Duggan, Nan Hunter, Carole Vance
… Racism in Pornography and the Women’s Movement / Tracey Gardner
… Confessions of a Feminist Porno Star / Nina Hartley
… The Cum Shot: Takes on Lesbian and Gay Sexuality / Cindy Patton
… Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women Is Different / Ann Snitow
… Ways of Seeing / John Berger

B. Presenting Women: Fashion and Beauty
… What’s Wrong with Being a Sex Object? / Linda Lemoncheck
… Bibo / Interview by Wendy Chapkis
… The Unadorned Feminist / Janet Richards
… Gynocide: Chinese Footbinding / Andrea Dworkin
… “Do Something About Your Weight,” / Carol Schmidt
… Hunger / Naomi Wolf
… Skin Deep / Wendy Chapkis
… Marieme / Interview by Wendy Chapkis
… The Myth of the Perfect Body / Roberta Galler
… Women and the Knife: Cosmetic Surgery and the Colonization of Women’s Bodies / Kathryn Morgan
Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self / Alice Walker

Part IV: Women’s Fertility – Individual Choices and Social Constraints
A. Abortion
… Deregulating Abortion / Ninia Baehr
… Women and Children First? / Anne Maloney
… Abortion: On Public and Private / Catharine Mackinnon
… Abortion and a Woman’s Right to Decide / Alison Jaggar
… Parental Consent Laws: Are They a “Reasonable Compromise”? / Mike Males
… Choosing Ourselves: Black Women and Abortion / Beverly Smith
… A Reproductive Rights Agenda for the 1990s / kathryn Kolbert
… The Global Politics of Abortion / Jodi Jacobson
… Parental Preconception Sex Choice Technologies: A Path to Femicide? / Helen Holmes, Betty Hoskins
… Disability Rights Perspectives on Reproductive Technologies and Public Policy / Deborah Kaplan
… Abortion Through a Feminist Ethics Lens / Susan Sherwin

B. Procreative Technology and Procreative Freedom
… The Meanings of Choice in Reproductive Technology / Barbara Rothman
… Reproductive Rights and Wrongs / Betsy Hartmann
… Subtle Forms of Sterilization Abuse: A Reproductive Rights Analysis / Adele Clarke
… “Informed Consent”: The Myth of Voluntarism / Gena Corea
… Babies, Heroic Experts, and a Poisoned Earth / Irene Diamond.
Access to In Vitro Fertilization: Costs, Care, and Consent / Christine Overall

Part V: Family Values
A. Contract Child Production
… Inside the Surrogate Industry / Susan Ince
… Reproductive Freedom and Women’s Freedom: Surrogacy and Autonomy / Christine Sistare
… Contract Motherhood: Social Practice in Social Context / Mary Gibson
… Children by Donor Insemination: A New Choice for Lesbians / Francie Hornstein
… The Facts of Fatherhood / Thomas Laqueur

B. Valuing Alternative Families
… The Politics of Childlessness / Karen Lindsey
… When Women and men Mother / Diane Ehrensaft
… The Radical Potential in Lesbian Mothering of Daughters / Baba Copper
… A Lesbian Family / Lindsy Van Gelder
… Black Women and Motherhood / Patricia Collins
… The Che-Lumumba School: Creating a Revolutionary Family Community / Ann Ferguson
… Friends as Family: No One Said It Would Be Easy / Karen Lindsey

Part VI: The Personal as Political
A. Sexual Practice
… The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm / Anne Koedt
… Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence / Adrienne Rich
… Scratching the Surface: Some Notes on Barriers to Women and Loving / Aude Lorde
… Virgin Women / Marilyn Frye
… Heterosexuality and Choice / Christine Overall
… Bisexual Feminist Politics: Because Bisexuality Is Not Enough / Karin Baker
… Beyond Bisexual / Annie Sprinkle
… Sex Resistance in Heterosexual Arrangements, A Southern Women’s Writing Collective
… Feminine Masochism and the Politics of Personal Transformation / Sandra Bartky
… Feminist Ejaculations / Shannon Bell

B. Consuming Animals
… Dismantling Oppression: An Analysis of the Connection Between Women and Animals / Lori Gruen
… The Sexual Politics of Meat / Carol Adams
… Feminism and Vegetarianism / Lisa Martin
… Hunting: A Woman’s Perspective / Gretchin Legler
… Shots in the Dark / Andree Collard, Joyce Contrucci
… Some Doubts About Fur Coats / Slavenka Drakulic

Part VII: Feminists Changing the World
A. Militarism
… The Protected, the Protector, the Defender / Judith Stiehm
… The Army Will Make a “Man” Out of You / Helen Michalowski
… “Some of the Best Soldiers Wear Lipstick” / Cynthia Enloe
… Surprise! Rape in the Army
… Our Greenham Common: Feminism and Nonviolence / Gwyn Kirk
… Greenham Common and All That…A Radical Feminist View / Lynn Alderson
… Notes Toward a Feminist Maternal Peace politics / Sara Ruddick
… “They Won’t Take Me Alive” / Eugenia
… We Speak for the Planet / Barbara Omolade

B. Environmentalism
… Taking Empirical Data Seriously: An Ecofeminist Philosophical Perspective / Karen Warren
… From Healing Herbs to Deadly Drugs: Western Medicine’s War Against the Natural World / Marti Kheel
… Development, Ecology, and Women / Vandana Shiva
… Conversations with Gaia / Val Plumwood
… Searching for Common Ground: Ecofeminism and Bioregionalism / Judith Plant
… Women, Home, and Community: The Struggle in an Urban Environment / Cynthia Hamilton
… Questioning Sour Grapes: Ecofeminism and the United Farm Workers Grape Boycott / Ellen O’Loughlin
… Stealing the Planet / Jo Cochran
… Reproductive Choices: The Ecological Dimension / Ronnie Hawkins
… Women, Population, and the Environment: Call for a New Approach / The Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment