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Carole Pateman and the feminist critique to the classical theory of democracy (Locke and Rousseau)

Alicia del Águila About the author

The present work is based on the assumption that the non-insertion of women in the political arena - a recent fact, 20th century - occurred not in spite of democratic thought, but because the democratic theory was based in that exclusion of women in the public space. This assumption is a product of the critical gaze that feminism has made to the classic theories of democracy, specifically, to the social contract. In this framework, Carole Pateman is an author of the highest relevance, since her criticism is based on the deconstruction of classic speeches about democracy, and not from outside. The present paper makes a follow-up of Pateman's main ideas in her book The Disorder of Women, around two classics of the social contract, Rousseau and Locke, about essential issues, to understand the exclusion of women from the political arena: the social contract, the public sphere and their subjects, the citizens. To do this, we will be based on other authors, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, cited by Pateman in that book, and C.B. MacPherson, a theorist and critic of the liberal thought and modern democracy.

Democracy; Social Contract; Public Sphere; Locke; Rousseau

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