Against Social Contract Theory

1499 Words6 Pages
This essay will be outlining why Pateman is against the social contract theories. On the former, this essay will consider why the social contract theories should be favoured. In order to construct this essay, it will consist of the social contractors, Lock, Hobbes and Rousseau. Thus, from this paper, it will arrive at the conclusion that, Pateman has valid reasons on why she rejects the social contract theories, which is due to her feminist beliefs. A social contract theory is a consensual agreement between the state and the subjects. The subjects are entitled to give up a degree of their freedom by following laws. The formation of a social contract will in return provide people with security and protection from the state. A social contract…show more content…
Mill suggested that women were comparable to salves (Pateman 1980,p149-168). This is because when women became married, they consented to a Marital/sexual contract. This meant that women consented to any sexual relations with their partner (Hasday 2000,p22-26). This had become a problem because women would be getting raped by their partners, Pateman suggests that we cannot get out of this sexual contract and live in a liberal state (Pateman 1980,p149-168). Women were portrayed as if they have a voice and what they say matters but in reality, it did not. This could be illustrated through sexual intercourse. Men would assume that females meant ‘yes’ when they say ‘no’ due to modesty. An impermissible act can become permissible though consent but if it has not consented, then it remains impermissible. Therefore, law for rape made it difficult for females to speak out about rape, as females had consented to a marital contract. Radical feminist, Brownmiller, suggested that men can rape if they wanted to as they have the biological capacity to rape (Heywood 2012, p230-246). However, it could be argued that women can now have property, vote and rape is now considered as a crime. As well as, the state no longer depends on the sexual or social contract. However, it is still difficult to achieve justice in rape crimes and there is a lot of pressure on women who have been assaulted to stay quiet. Furthermore, women are still underrepresented in politics and the public sphere in general. Women hold 12% of the full-time top paid jobs (Vale 2017), indicating that, men have higher paid jobs. Therefore, the social contract portrayed the fact that women and men are equal but they were still undermined hence why Pateman does not
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