chapter  7
49 Pages


Gender matters. And it matters not just in the physical, mental, and emotional realms, but morally as well. As we turn to a consideration of the topic of gender, we discover that a wide array of moral issues come to the fore. Some have to do with equality and the various ways in which women have been denied equality in our society: sex discrimination, sexist language, sexual harassment, rape, pornography, hate speech, and reproductive rights. Others have to do with issues of diversity: not only diverse ideals of the place of gender in society but also the issue of whether women have a distinctive moral voice. In this introduction, we survey these issues, seeking to illuminate what is at stake in each of these areas and highlighting the questions each of us must answer in regard to this issue. Then we turn to a discussion of competing models of the place of gender in society and conclude with a discussion of the means of remedying some of the problems discussed here. First, however, let’s take a quick look at the ways in which the issue of gender is similar to, and different from, ethnicity.