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“Good housekeeping”? Re-assessing John Stuart Mill’s position on the gendered division of labour

McCabe, Helen

Authors

Helen McCabe helen.mccabe@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

This paper considers an oft-criticised passage of John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women, arguing that Mill’s position is misunderstood. In this passage, Mill identifies a trilemma facing women in non-ideal circumstances. Two elements of this can be satisfied, but not all three, so long as men continue to refuse to perform their domestic responsibilities. In these non-ideal circumstances, Mill privileges justice over autonomy – women ought only to be asked to do their fair share of labour, which, if they chose to marry and have children, will mean it is unfair to ask them also to work full-time outside the home.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal History of Political Thought
Print ISSN 0143-781X
Electronic ISSN 0143-781X
Publisher Imprint Academic
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 1
APA6 Citation McCabe, H. (in press). “Good housekeeping”? Re-assessing John Stuart Mill’s position on the gendered division of labour. History of Political Thought, 39(1),
Keywords John Stuart Mill; family; justice; history of political thought; family.
Publisher URL http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/imp/hpt/2018/00000039/00000001/art00007
Related Public URLs http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/hpt
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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