through better contracts? Carole Pateman’s The Sexual Contract suggests that the problem is not women’s “inability” to negotiate for themselves, to. The Sexual Contract: Carole Pateman: In her most famous work, The Sexual Contract (), Pateman challenged the liberal idea that the power of the state. The Sexual Contract [Carole Pateman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this remarkably original work of political philosophy, one of.

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The Sexual Contract | work by Pateman |

In this remarkably original work of political philosophy, one of today’s foremost feminist theorist challenges the way contemporary society functions by conrtact the standard interpretation of an idea that is deeply embedded in American and British political thought: The author shows how we are told only half the sexuwl of the original contract that establishes modern patriarchy.

The sexual contract is ignored and thus men’s patriarchal right over women is also glossed over.

No attention is paid to the problems that arise when women are excluded from the original contract but incorporated into the new contractual order. One of the main targets of the book is those who try to turn contractarian theory to progressive use, patemsn a major thesis of the book is that this is not possible.

Thus those feminists who have looked to a more “proper” contract- one between genuinely equal partners, or one entered into without any coercion- are misleading themselves. In the author’s words, “In contract theory thhe freedom is always a hypothesis, a story, a political fiction. Contract always generates political right in the forms of domination and subordination.

The author offers a sweeping challenge to conventional understandings- of both left and right- of actual contracts in everyday life: By bringing a feminist perspective to bear on the contradictions and paradoxes surrounding women and contract, and the relation between the sexes, she is able to shed new light on fundamental political problems of freedom and subordination.

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Read more Read less. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. Add both to Cart Add both to List. One of these items ships sooner than the other. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by Amazon. The Racial Contract by Charles W. Customers who bought this sexuql also bought. Page 1 patemann 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Second Treatise of Government Hackett Classics.

The Basic Political Writings: With selected variants from the Latin edition of Hackett Classics. From the Inside Flap In this remarkably original caroole of political philosophy, one of today’s foremost feminist theorist challenges the way contemporary society functions by questioning the standard ptaeman of an idea that is deeply embedded in American and British political thought: Stanford University Press; 1 edition August 1, Language: Start reading The Sexual Contract on your Kindle in under a minute.

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The Sexual Contract

Please try again later. This author follows the logic of “pure contractarianism” to its theoretical conclusion: Pateman shows that trying to ignore the flaws and contradictions implicit in existing “social contracts” used as the primary vehicle to frame Western concepts of freedom and equality i. According to her, if we take at face value what demonstrably is recognizable as modern patriarchy and allow its implied exploitative meanings of dominance to act as a “stand-in” for reality, that is, as “the extant social contract,” we are engaging in a dangerous and unnecessary form of self-delusion, a form that denies the rights and genuine freedoms of more than half the human population.

She shows how when women “go along-to-get-along,” allowing the poisonous implications of the flawed model of human freedom to get played out in everyday American society and social experience, we end up with the societal contradictions that we see everyday, in which marriage arrangements, sexist employment contracts, etc.

The upshot of the book is that by exposing the flaws, delusions and self-contradictory sexist implications built into the flawed versions of the “social contract” as her compatriot Dr. Pateman is able to reset the parameters for the fundamental theoretical vehicle that frames Western social and political experience. This treatise is cleanly if not always clearly written and is without a doubt the work of a seasoned Philosopher going about her daily business.

I should have read it first before having read Charles Mill’s the “Racial Contract” for it is clear that much of his work leans heavily on her work.

But since I only learned about it through Mill’s book, I had no choice but to read them in the order I received them. Although I don’t subscribe to most feminist theories myself, I found Pateman’s work to be incredibly well reasoned, and very interesting to read. One of her most intriguing arguments is that the marriage contract implicitly binds the woman to the man, creating a relationship between a master and his servant.

I like that she is careful enough to add disclaimers to many of her arguments, explaining that no, not all men are like this, no, not all men desire to be masters in their marriages. She doesn’t use these disclaimers as outs though – they only add to the strength and realism to her reasoning.

She demonstrates that although we cannot generalize the natures of men, we can analyze and criticize the obligations that our society’s contractual language creates for women.

She writes very clearly, and although you have to pace yourself as you move through the book, you probably won’t find yourself too confused or lost at any point. It’s quite easy to follow her train of thought. You cannot understand the political order without first understanding the sexual order.

Pateman’s book is both deep and broad. You won’t be the same after reading it. Ground breaking feminist theory.

The Sexual Contract by Carole Pateman

A great work of political thought. I found it to be full of information that I was pteman taught in when in high school. One person found this helpful. This book is one of those singular works which takes up a kind of genealogy of the intellectual foundations of modern gender relations.


Her critiques of the major Enlightenment political philosophers covers a lot of ground and does it well. Cafole is a critique not just of the conservative and liberal tradition, but of the patriarchy contained within the Left as well. As usual, feminism provides some of the most sophisticated critique of Left organizational practice, not just in relation to women, but as a whole.

Obviously, one reviewer was looking for something a bit more right-wing. But her work her follows alongside her defense of ideas like a minimum income, which are not intended to ‘make people work’ in a society where ‘work’ contrsct ‘exploitation’ and alienation, the struggle against the imposition of work is the struggle against inhuman conditions.

Especially in relation to women, however, patemah position makes sense, since ‘housework’ is work, and work for capital at that, which goes unwaged.

The struggle for a social wage is the struggle for recognition and against the imposition of the endless work which is capital’s goal for women. Some people may not like this book because they think that we have now found the best of all worlds, but the continued gendering of inequality, oppression and labor indicates that maybe its time for more fundamental transformations.

This was the first such book I’d read that didn’t rely on political cliches to make it’s point. Pateman offers a sensible and attainable solution and offers a look at gender relations that isn’t steeped in anger, but maintains an urgency.

It’s a must-read for anyone who thinks they know the answers. My hat is off to Pateman. See all 10 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. A Theory of Justice: Original Edition Oxford Paperbacks The Birth of the Prison.

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