Exit, Choice and Loyalty: Religious Liberty Versus Gender Equality: In Memory of Susan Moller Okin
Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 407-420, Winter 2005
14 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2005
One of the reasons that Susan Okin’s scholarship commands respect in our field is that it exhibits her commitment to - and talent for - constructive interpretation, charitable criticism, and a willingness to build on the insights and good arguments of others. These reflections try to honor those commitments while exploring Okin’s own views on one of the themes of longest concern to her: the constraints of justice on socialization of women in the family and by other nonstate agents. Her close reading of the arguments of others, combined with her far too early and unexpected death, leave us with several interpretations of what might be her own considered views. Okin’s use of the insights of Mary Wollstonecraft, J. S. Mill, and John Rawls illustrate the challenge. One of Mary Wollstonecraft’s and J. S. Mill’s concerns that Susan Okin explicitly shared was the injustice of socialization of women to oppressive gender roles. Together with other “constructive” feminist critics she objected to Rawls’s theory of justice as fairness, and to Political Liberalism on this count. Rawls addressed some of these issues, but not even to his own satisfaction. One of Okin’s very last completed papers criticized Rawls’s response.
Keywords: Susan M. Okin, religious liberty, gender equality, justice
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation