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The Subjection of Women Paperback – March 2, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: ReadaClassic.com (March 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611045002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611045000
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,322,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An excellent and affordable edition, with a pithy introduction by Okinthat that contextualizes and summarizes the argument well. Mill's work affords insight not only into the issue of women's emancipation, but also into the world of 19th century liberalism: its views of history, of class, and of slavery..." -- Peter C Caldwell, Rice University. "...A clear and helpful introduction by Susan Okin, one of the leading feminist scholars of our generation, as well as a useful bibliography and chronology of Mill's life... Invaluable for teaching and scholarship alike..." --Ian Shapiro, Yale University. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

This volume of The Subjection of Women provides a reliable text in an inexpensive edition, with explanatory notes but no additional editorial apparatus. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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I was 55 when I finally read this.
Hope Rose
Today, Mill's work continues to provide us with a framework for understanding social movements such as the gay rights and animal rights movements.
Matt
If you have any interest in feminism and/or classical liberalism (a.k.a. libertarianism), you must read this short, brilliant book.
Isabelle Guiang

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Whalen on March 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Mill states here that he still believes traditional gender roles (as we now call them) are desirable, but, being John Mill, he passionatly believes in the freedom of lifestyle choice for the individual. Hard to argue with that.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Matt on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Subjection of Women is an often overlooked classic by one of history's greatest minds. Published at the end of Mill's life, The Subjection brings together all of Mill's most important views on liberty, utility, human nature, and society. It paints a far more accessable ethic than more famous works, such as On Liberty. Mill uses his philosophical views to reach conclusions that were long ahead of his time, and in many ways continue to outpace our understanding of gender and society. This work is arguably the best feminist writing ever, and the best commentary on morality and social evolution.

Today, Mill's work continues to provide us with a framework for understanding social movements such as the gay rights and animal rights movements. Mill shows us how just institutions are vital to the happiness of both society and the individual, as these institutions are central to the formation of our characters. He shows us how both the oppressor and the oppressed are harmed by unjust institutional arrangements, such as gender inequalities in the family. In sum, Mill's The Subjection of Women is perhaps the finest piece of social and political philosophy produced in the modern era, and should be read by all interested in social justice, feminism, or ethics.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Isabelle Guiang on June 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
A founding document of modern feminism by the granddaddy of libertarian thought. If you have any interest in feminism and/or classical liberalism (a.k.a. libertarianism), you must read this short, brilliant book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By O. Debowy on September 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read the subjection of women as a freshman in college. I believe that the subjection of women is one of the best arguments for equality of genders that has ever been written. beyond the usual cited feminist arguments that pervade pop culture, this book using reason argues that not only are women disadvantage by society unequal treatment, but MEN are too. Society is deprived of what they might have achieved, and we are all the lesser for it. Although written a hundred years ago, the ideas still have not been taken to heart by society. If more people read this book, the culture would be better off.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Subjection of Women deals exclusively with a subject John Stuart Mill had often touched on previously - female oppression. This classic essay is the culmination of an issue Mill had been passionately involved in since youth, when he was arrested for distributing literature about contraception. It is the most important, famous, and influential feminist text between Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, coming about halfway between them. That it was written by a man, one born to a substantial amount of privilege and who was around very few women until adulthood at that, is of course all the more incredible. Going well beyond his prior suffrage call, it pushes for nothing less than full equality, not even stopping at legal equality but valiantly trying to change thought and custom. Mill's suffrage arguments are numerous and near-irrefutable. He has the noble distinction of being the first MP to propose female suffrage - in the 1860s! He would surely be glad to know the substantial progress since made, however disappointed - if not surprised - he may have been to know it would take sixty years to be realized.

However, the vast majority of the essay deals with the rest of female oppression, a far more formidable barrier - one that, indeed, has sadly still not been fully crossed. The arguments are again very strong. Following a short historical overview of female oppression and a blunt survey of its then current forms, Mill proceeds to demolish its basis. In perhaps the most brilliant and admirable application of utilitarianism ever, he convincingly shows that female oppression is not only a great evil to women but also to men and all of society.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on June 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
The cruel past of mankind is the framework for all existing inequalities past and present, proclaims John Stuart Mill in his passionate defense of the equality between men and women.

Natural condition
The only natural condition of the human race was the law of the strongest. A physical fact (strength) became a legal right. Inequality of rights was the publicly and openly avowed rule of life.
Mankind was divided in two classes: a small one of masters and a numerous one of slaves.
Human society was based on the principle of a fixed place (where one was born) and a fixed social position. The least possible was left to the choice of the individual. All those who resisted the authorities had all laws and all notions of social obligation against them.

Family
After the abolition of slavery, no official slaves remained, except the mistress in every house. The family still reflects the initial `natural' state of inequality. It is a school for despotism with unrestrained power at home for the head of the family in his role of absolute sovereign.

New laws
The legal subordination of one sex to the other must be replaced by a principle of perfect equality. The most universal and pervading of all human relations (marriage) should be regulated by justice. The laws (and institutions) should be adapted to `bad' men, not to `good' ones.
Merit, not birth, is the rightful claim to power and authority.
The free use of women's faculties would double the mass of mental faculties available for the service of mankind.

In this forceful diatribe, which is still highly topical in major parts of our `modern' world, John Stuart Mill extended the goal of his brilliant essay "On Liberty' to the concrete position of one half of the world's population.

It is a must read for all those interested in mankind and its history.
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