Feminist philosophy plays a major role in the understanding of how traditional society has formed biased concepts against women. This type of philosophy views the traditional society in a female perspective. Female philosophers try to bring this issue into perspective to help re-evaluate and change the situation. Tradition has taught us that men are superior to women. This explains the reason why men dominate every sector of life especially in the political arena where the society believes that women are inferior. Feminist philosophy, therefore, tries to argue the case, that the men and women have equal chances in the society.
Feminist philosophy has never been something healthy for the society. The male dominance in almost all the sectors has greatly affected females. Many feminist philosophers have come out to criticize this issue. They have come up with different theories to try and argue these cases in an attempt to expose the situation. Genevieve Lloyd in “The man of reason: Male and female in western philosophy” (1984), clearly brings out what takes place in the society. Her work suggests that it has been believed that man is the voice of reason. She claims that this is true when it comes to sex and the physical ability and not in the intellectual perspective.
Peggy McIntosh also relates how the American society favors the whites based on the color of their skin. This acts as their protection in different situations wherever they are. She also talks of the male dominance in the United States’ society. In effect, things seem to be normal to everyone, as these dominant groups in the society never seem to notice any oppression. However, some of these oppressions are also active and can be seen, especially in accessing things.
Recently, the US House of Representatives convened experts on Oversight and Government reform hearing on access to contraceptives. This was considered a slap on the face for women. The so-called list of experts was composed of men exclusively. The panel comprised of four whites and one black. This is the United States’ top government body that should be able to come up with a list that is gender and racially balanced. This list of shame brought back the memories of the colonial age in which oppression was the order of the day. Those who were not valued were restricted from taking part in the formulation of certain laws.
First, matters dealing with contraceptives are a major concern to women. Their involvement in such serious matters is paramount. Therefore, their exclusion from this panel could not guarantee a fair outcome of the hearing. This might have been driven by the traditional belief that decisions were taken by the male. Genevieve (1984), in her theory, explains that man is the voice of reason in the traditional set up. The man has been perceived to be the decision maker even in matters that concern woman. This should be the case in the modern society.
One fails to understand why a panel of men would be able to deliberate on the issue of contraceptives whereas most people who use contraceptives are females. This clearly shows that the American society is still dominated by the males. It should be noted that the best way of coming up with effective policies is by involving all the affected parties. In this way, implementing such policies would also be very easy. In this case, exclusion of women from this panel was an abuse to their reproductive health. It is hurting the women to see men sitting somewhere and deciding for them the further way of their reproductive health. It can never be over emphasized that women should have been included in this panel.
Today’s life is full of challenges, with many changes taking place in all areas of life. This is why contraceptives play a vital role in the life of the modern woman. Having an all-men panel would unlikely help the situation. Since time immemorial, males have been termed as conservatives on reproductive matters. This, therefore, puts the credibility of this panel in question. It should not mean that the panel should have consisted of only females. This also would not be wise. Rather, a panel with equal representation would mean that some sobriety would be used to come up with amicable outcomes.
Another area of the concern about the panel is the fact that there are four whites and one black. The American society has for a long time been associated with racism. The system has been set in a way that the whites are given privileges more than the blacks. A critical look at the situation reveals that white dominance has been going on without being recognized. McIntosh (1986) explains this in her essay entitled, "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies."
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Having only one black person out the five panelists is a show that our society has not changed yet. They have been educated to believe that they have nothing to do with racism. However, the dominance of the whites is seen in various fields. Being a white in the United States is a guarantee to easy access to things without huddles. One is assured of living anywhere without harassment. Moreover, a good job is guaranteed for a comfortable living. Selecting only one person of color is a clear denial of the equal opportunities with the whites. This is a propagation of the oppression on the black people.
Whereas the whites have more privileges and are economically more established than blacks, the blacks face many challenges, both socially and economically. A case, which deals with accessing contraceptives, to the best of knowledge, affects blacks more than the white populations. Involving them in this panel would ensure that their cases are conclusively heard and dealt with. The government should not assume that the composition of the panel would help deal with the issues at hand. It would be better to give equal opportunities to both, whites and blacks. This is the way forward to ensuring that racism is wiped out.
Racism and discrimination on sexual grounds are issues that keep going on in our society. The government is entrusted with the responsibity of ensuring that everyone in the country gets equal opportunities. Having a society, that is racially and sexually skewed, slows down the development of our nation. When everyone is given equal opportunity in taking part in the nation building, things can never be the same. The biggest impediment to this is the belief that some groups of people are superior to others. This locks very important brains that would greatly contribute to the development of the society.
This action by the House of Representatives should never be allowed to happen again. Women are able to help in formulating policies that would help to transform life. There is a number of women who have proved their worth in leadership positions. Finally, the whites and the blacks should be given equal opportunities in leadership. The traditional concept of dealing with the issues should be discarded and a new method be adopted, a method that would give equal opportunities to all.
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