Feminism, Feelings and Philosophy

  • Morwenna Griffiths

Abstract

Women are more emotional than men, or such is the commonly held belief in present day Western society. But is the belief true? And does it matter? The answers are not easy ones to find because the meaning of the statement is so unclear. It might mean, for instance, that women are less in control of their emotions, or it might mean that they feel things more deeply, or that they are more irrational than men. None of these statements necessarily implies any of the rest — though they often come as a package. Indeed, the statement that women are more emotional than men has no clear meaning. However, it has a considerable political force because it is used to justify or explain the position of women. The usual justification/explanation runs: since women are more emotional they are less suited to public life. But this is not the only possible political use of the statement. It has been taken up recently by some feminists and used in celebration of women’s values and as a criticism of men and their personal, moral or social arrangements. In other words, feminists have stood the argument on its head. It now goes: since men are so unemotional, they are unfit to run public life.

Keywords

Depression Europe Expense Hunt Metaphor 

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Copyright information

© Morwenna Griffiths and Margaret Whitford 1988

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  • Morwenna Griffiths

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