1. Why do radicals tend to move attention away from procedural justice and toward distributive inequities and moral righteousness? What implications does this have for gender justice? In this context, are procedural and distributive justice contradictory? Over-lapping?
According to Kennison, there are three primary reasons why radicals do not believe in conventional forms of justice. The first is that since their belief tends towards extreme ideals, these ideals often are incompatible to that of conventional justice (27). Therefore, where conventional justice would seek to compromise, radical ideologies would see compromise as betrayal. The second reason is that conventional justice is often unresponsive to what radicals consider as evidence (28). Most of the issues that are raised by radicals are supported by evidences that could be highly assumptive, such as how a company’s dress code policy of requiring women to wear skirts might automatically appear sexist to radical groups. Thirdly, radical groups believe conventional judicial procedures to be no more than tools of the very entities that they oppose (28). They believe that people in power control justice and therefore conventional justice cannot be trusted. As a result, radicals tend toward distributive justice and moral righteousness since it is in these methods that they feel the satisfaction of actually doing something about their concerns. Statistical grounding is a better basis for them than a judicial verdict. In terms of gender justice, radicals tend to look at how many more men have jobs than women to assert that injustice has been committed. Even in this context, procedural and distributive justice should still not be seen as contradictory positions, neither do they overlap. They coexist in any situation and can both be implemented. Ideally, procedural justice should lead to distributive justice.
2. Some people might suggest that gender justice is good business? Is it?
Gender justice can be seen as good business. Flynn discussed that women have taken various measures to assert gender justice from men that often have financial expenditures. In the first place, women struggle for an unoppressed identity (73). This prompts various commercial entities to take heed of women’s needs with respect to achieving this identity. Fashion trends are shaped according to what makes the woman feel more independent of male dominance. Shows like Oprah and Ellen are run to satisfy women’s needs to deny male superiority. “Sex and the City” became a hit primarily because it featured four strong women who do not back down to male authority. Women want to be shown this and how to be like this and so that creates a commercial demand for cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, gyms and spas designed to make a woman feel more powerful.
3. Is there a social contract (see Plato or Singer) that develops in ongoing social interactions? If so, then how does a gendered culture reflect injustices in ways that can`t be reached by procedural or other forms of justice?
According to Hatcher, Plato argued that the mere willing entry into a society develops social contracts (51). Social interactions no doubt create unwritten contracts between different members or factions in a specific society. This is because repeated interactions lead people into building habits that later on become norms. This means that gender injustice may take its roots from the social contracts built between men and women over the years. If we look at American history, women liberation movements were virtually nonexistent until after WWII (Solinger 14). Prior to that, women willingly signed social contracts of obedience and docility to men without them knowing it. Since these contacts are signed willingly, they cannot be seen as a transgression against procedural justice. However, distributive justice still dictates that the presence or absence of the willingness of a person does not absolve another of denying that person due equity. Therefore although procedural justice may not be able to reach some injustices in gendered cultures, distributive justice can.
Flynn, Alicia H. What Women’s Lib Cost Women. Random House, 1999.
Hatcher, Kenneth. An Introduction to Idealism. Macmillan Press, 1995.
Kennison, Lawrence B. Understanding Social Deviation & Deviants. Cornerhouse Press: New Jersey, 2001.
Solinger, Ricky. Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States. Hill & Wang: New York, 2002