The Ethics of Care

Ethics Rooted in Feminist Philosophy

Lesson Objectives

Understand the interrelated concepts of sex, gender, and feminism

Apreciate the beginning of the Modern Feminist movement in Britain & America

Appreciate the sociocultural history of Feminist thought in 20th century America

Appreciate the sociocultural history of Feminist thought in the 21st century

Appreciate some of the unique challenges faced by men in modern society

Understand the Ethics of Care, Natural Care, and ultimately Ethical Care

Key Terms





Care Ethics

Gender & Ethics

What is Gender?

• A person's sex refers to their genetic biology

     • Sexual dimorphism (ie. 2 sexes) is a distinction between male and female

     • Intersex: when a human or animal is not born male or female

• Gender is an expression of personal identification and/or cultural role (3 min vid)

     Transgender: a person's gender identity and biological sex do not match

     • Drag: a person's gender identity and gender expression do not match

     • Nonbinary: a person's gender identity is neither male nor female

• The World Health Organization recognizes the distinction between sex and gender

     • The social construction of gender changes in different times and places

The Late 20th Century Construction of Women

• Before the 1900s

     • Both boys and girls wore dresses and only men wore heels

     • Boys wore pink and girls wore blue (this switched 100 years ago)

     • Christian women covered their hair in public (cf. 1 Cor. 11)

     • Western women did not shave, polish their nails, or wear bras

• Before the 1960s

     • Women not expected to pierce ears or be in "bikini shape"

          • 60s inventions: bikinis, suntan lotion, and breast implants change this

     • The new focus on body image kickstarts the fitness craze of the 1980s

• Before the Internet

     • Women not expected to inject botulin toxin into their faces to appear youthful

     • People not expected to look like a digitally-filtered photo to find a partner

What is Feminism? (2 min vid)

Feminism is the position that women have been historically marginalized and ought to also have their voices heard (socially, politically, economically, etc)

• Feminism is pro-woman the same way that Civil Rights is pro-Black

     • Advocating for one group doesn't negate the importance of another

• Feminism does not posit that there are no gender differences

     • Otherwise, there would be no talk of "women" and "men," etc

     • Feminism takes the dynamic identities and roles of women as its focus