Jenkins, Katharine. Amelioration and Includion: Gender Identity and the Concept of Woman
2016, Ethics 126(2): 394-421.
Added by: Emily Paul
Abstract: Feminist analyses of gender concepts must avoid the inclusion problem, the fault of marginalizing or excluding some prima facie women. Sally Haslanger's 'ameliorative' analysis of gender concepts seeks to do so by defining woman by reference to subordination. I argue that Haslanger's analysis problematically marginalizes trans women, thereby failing to avoid the inclusion problem. I propose an improved ameliorative analysis that ensures the inclusion of trans women. This analysis yields 'twin' target concepts of woman, one concerning gender as class and the other concerning gender as identity, both of which I hold to be equally necessary for feminist aims.
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Comment: In my view this paper is a 'must include' in any feminist philosophy course with a unit on the metaphysics of gender - or on a social ontology course. Especially useful in conjunction with Haslanger's 'Gender and Race: (What) are they? (What) do we want them to be?'