The rights of women Reclaiming a lost vision

Erika Bachiochi

Book - 2021

"Erika Bachiochi offers an original look at the development of feminism in the United States, advancing a vision of rights that rests upon our responsibilities to others. In The Rights of Women, Erika Bachiochi explores the development of feminist thought in the United States. Inspired by the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Bachiochi presents the intellectual history of a lost vision of women's rights, seamlessly weaving philosophical insight, biographical portraits, and constitutiona...l law to showcase the once predominant view that our rights properly rest upon our concrete responsibilities to God, self, family, and community. Bachiochi proposes a philosophical and legal framework for rights that builds on the communitarian tradition of feminist thought as seen in the work of Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Jean Bethke Elshtain. Drawing on the insight of prominent figures such as Sarah Grimké, Frances Willard, Florence Kelley, Betty Friedan, Pauli Murray, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Mary Ann Glendon, this book is unique in its treatment of the moral roots of women's rights in America and its critique of the movement's current trajectory. The Rights of Women provides a synthesis of ancient wisdom and modern political insight that locates the family's vital work at the very center of personal and political self-government. Bachiochi demonstrates that when rights are properly understood as a civil and political apparatus born of the natural duties we owe to one another, they make more visible our personal responsibilities and more viable our common life together. This smart and sophisticated application of Wollstonecraft's thought will serve as a guide for how we might better value the culturally essential work of the home and thereby promote authentic personal and political freedom. The Rights of Women will interest students and scholars of political theory, gender and women's studies, constitutional law, and all readers interested in women's rights"--

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2nd Floor 305.4209/Bachiochi Checked In
Catholic ideas for a secular world.
Notre Dame, Indiana : University of Notre Dame Press [2021]
Physical Description
xv, 402 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 383-392) and index.
Main Author
Erika Bachiochi (author)
  • Mary Wollstonecraft's moral vision
  • Men, marriage, law, and government
  • The young republic and the unequal virtues of the agrarian home
  • Women's suffrage, rational souls, sexed bodies, and the ties that bind
  • The Industrial Revolution and the debate between abstract rights and concrete duties
  • The "feminine mystique" and human work
  • Sex role stereotypes and the successful quest for equal citizenship status
  • Caring for dependency in the logic of the market
  • Sexual asymmetry, American law, and the call for a renewed family ecology
  • Reimagining feminism today in search of human excellence.