Breaking Social Conventions to Achieve Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

All the moralities tell them that it is the duty of women, and all the current sentimentalities that it is their nature, to live for others; to make complete abnegation of themselves, and to have no life but in their affections.

This passage reflects McCann's (2004) analysis of the liberty of an individual as elucidated in Mill's discourses. Mill's comparison of voluntary slavery to women subjugation was also utilized in his analysis of human liberty, wherein he asserted that this practice was synonymous with the 'violation of...fundamental tenets of liberty...voluntary, free choice ceases to exist...the individual "abdicates his liberty" (56). What McCann's analysis revealed was that women subjugation had become deeply integrated in 19th century society, thereby creating the social order wherein submission to male domination and power became voluntary and was tolerated. In the process of voluntarily submitting to patriarchy and male domination, women, in turn, lose their right to have freedom as functioning individuals in their society.

In order to prevent this from happening -- that is, wherein women would gradually lose their liberty due to continued oppression and subjugation by males -- Mill proposed that a gradual change of the prevalent ideology on the male-female dichotomy be enforced in order to abolish the social norm and status quo of women oppression in the society. This proposition was explicated as follows:

But what we are now discussing is not the need which society has of the services of women in public business, but the dull and hopeless life to which it so often condemns them, by forbidding them to exercise the practical abilities which many of them are conscious of, in any wider field than one which to some of them never was, and to others is no longer, open.

For Mill, equality would be achieved only when women were made to realize the liberties that they have, a right that had gradually diminished as a result of their long history of oppression. In the passage above, he reflected his utilitarian stance, wherein he applied women subjugation in the context of social progress -- that is, by arguing that this social order was a detriment to the movement of humanity towards modernization and social progress (Hamburger, 1999:154). To achieve equality between males and females was to establish a new social order where society approaches the ideal egalitarian society humanity had long desired to have. In effect, gender inequality stood in the way of social progress; thus, for the greater good, gender differences should be recognized to create a constructive social order that would lead to a harmonious society (Stafford, 2004:175).

Drawing primarily from Mill's belief that each individual should exercise his/her liberty while subsisting to the utilitarian belief of "greater good," "The Subjection of Women" was a discourse intended to put forth the fact that in order for humanity to progress and move forward, it should learn to adopt to change and realize that each individual has his/her own significant role in contributing to this progress. And for John Stuart Mill, this will only become possible if human society will learn to break its rigid norms regarding gender inequality (i.e., male superiority and female subjugation) and subsist to an ideology that supports and promotes the right of every individual live on the principles of liberty and equality.

Bibliography

Hamburger, J. (1999). John Stuart Mill on liberty and control. NJ: Princeton UP.

McCann, C. (2004). Individualism and the social order: the social element in liberal thought. NY: Taylor & Francis.

Mill, J.S. (1869). E-text of "The Subjection of Women." Available at http://www.constitution.org/jsm/women.htm.

Stafford, W. (2004). "Is Mill's 'liberal' feminism 'masculinist'?" Journal of Political Ideologies, 9 (2).

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Hamburger, J. (1999). John Stuart Mill on liberty and control. NJ: Princeton UP.

McCann, C. (2004). Individualism and the social order: the social element in liberal thought. NY: Taylor & Francis.

Mill, J.S. (1869). E-text of "The Subjection of Women." Available at http://www.constitution.org/jsm/women.htm.

Stafford, W. (2004). "Is Mill's 'liberal' feminism 'masculinist'?" Journal of Political Ideologies, 9 (2).

Cite This Term Paper:

"Breaking Social Conventions To Achieve" (2005, May 09) Retrieved November 16, 2018, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/breaking-social-conventions-to-achieve-65270

"Breaking Social Conventions To Achieve" 09 May 2005. Web.16 November. 2018. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/breaking-social-conventions-to-achieve-65270>

"Breaking Social Conventions To Achieve", 09 May 2005, Accessed.16 November. 2018,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/breaking-social-conventions-to-achieve-65270