Surpassing Liberal Feminism: Beauvoir’s Legacy in Global Perspective
Paradigmatic as Beauvoir’s thinking is for contemporary Western feminism, in the light of global developments, it is important to note that her feminist ideals surpass the dominant forms of Western liberalism in substantial ways. Her positive concept of ‘ethical’ freedom does not correspond to Western liberalism’s negative concept of freedom as the absence of constraints. Nor does her gender egalitarian concept of society resemble Western liberalism’s model of society with its dichotomous organization of labor and care. It is argued that Western feminism, as it was conceived by Beauvoir, can be elaborated substantially, as well as strategically, into an inclusive feminism for a globalizing, yet culturally plural world.