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Her needs are changing and unpredictable even to her mother. A mother sometimes is troubled by a child's whim. Therefore the ethics of care entails stronger imperatives among them than among citizens because the relation between mothers and children is one between a powerful recipient of demands and a powerless claimant. Ruddick, therefore, carefully describes the efforts that mothers try to make: [S]ome mothers struggle to create nonviolent ways of living with and among children. They school themselves to renounce violent strategies of control and to resist the violence of others despite provocation, exhaustion, and multiple temptations to assault and passivity.

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Ruddick, : xix. On the part of children, they are totally dependent on those who take care of them.


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It is easy to imagine how profoundly a mother's response, whether with careful affection or with indifference and violence, has influenced her child's life over extended time. Children are too vulnerable to resist to or escape from their relationship with those who raise them. Nedelsky, : Furthermore, we can add to Nedelsky's lists the national policy on receiving foreign domestic workers and care workers. Liberal theorists might respond to these analyses by saying that they also agree that human beings are always social beings. She emphasizes that the individual capacity to find their own way of life is being nurtured in the wider range of network from the intimate sphere to the global economy.

Because there is unequal allocation of vulnerability to a social situation among people, the inequality itself causes more violence to vulnerable people than to others. She condemns global and national communities for their lack of concern about children: In a caring society, attending to the needs of every child would be a major goal, and doing so would be seen to require social arrangements offering the kinds of economic and educational and child care and health care support that members of communities really need.

Held, : , emphasis mine. As I already discussed, emphasizing the importance of child rearing involves meanings that are ontological because it shows the interdependence of human beings , practical because it reveals the vulnerable and unequal aspects of human beings , and critical because it enables us to see the violence inherent in inequality.

Held and other authors also indicate that the ethics of care proposes a different approach to social injustice from that of the traditional theory of justice. Such an approach uncovers the exclusive and closed character of the liberal understanding of justice. Arguing that the ethics of care has more inclusive scope of concern than theories of justice may sound unusual, given that liberal theory of justice is based on the notion of universal and autonomous individuals, and thus its scope seems to be universal and highly inclusive.

Liberal theories of justice have failed to see injustice in the exploitation of domestic workers, as in them it is the image of economically independent male citizens that defines what kinds of rights should be respected. Liberal theorists would respond to such a criticism by asserting that their theory of rational choice or social contract does not aim to be applied to personal or familial interactions, but to the public realm or contexts of strangers.

However, who are strangers? We have to decide who we are, prior to deciding which rights are to be secured. She notes that in the bloody ethnic conflicts or civil wars, the problem of citizenship often arouse. Young also regards the theoretical link between individualism and the statism of liberalism as one reason why liberal theories of justice can be indifferent to the five faces of injustice I have discussed earlier.

Virginia Held

For social oppression is not caused by individual actions or malice but rather by institutionalized and structural patterns and social norms to which people ordinarily are accustomed and subject. She finds that the normal model of justice limits our intellectual sensitivities to injustice.

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The view shifted from that of social problems to that of the personal responsibility of poor people in s in the USA. Even though liberal theorists of justice, such as Ronald Dworkin, apparently aim for more equal social justice and subscribe to more welfare assistance and a fair redistribution of social resources, their work results in reinforcing the libertarian sense of responsibility, which finds the fault of every social problem to be the result of deviant personal behavior.

Dworkin and other luck egalitarianism theorists distinguish between the inequality that arises out of personal choices that are made and that based on social and personal circumstances beyond an individual's control.

Virtue ethics and an ethics of care: complementary or in conflict?

According to Dworkin, a person who is born without sight should be compensated for her unfortunately disadvantageous situation. Young, however, argues that if we merely compensate her for her bad luck, we will never go on to examine why the current system of institutions and social norms make her blindness socially disadvantageous. To attain more justice, Young proposes a social connection model, in which we are attentive to social injustice, especially tto the injustices that derive from the globalization of market economy.

This model involves five characteristic approaches to social injustice. First, it aims to investigate where social injustice occurs and to situate its occurrence within the social connections and interactions nested by thousands of our legal and everyday behaviors. In contrast to the normal model of justice, where assaults are singled out and separated from society, the social connection model seeks to reform the current patterns of social connection in efforts to respond to victims suffering from social injustice.

Especially in the age of globalization, we are interconnected and interdependent not only economically but also personally. The global connections where human beings interact offer the circumstances that enable some people to advance their capacities while simultaneously preventing others from realizing their capabilities, thus disadvantaging them. This inequality is a result of the typical structural violence to which the social connection model urges us to respond.

Third, given that no one can avoid political responsibility for reforming currently unjust social situations, even the victims of social injustice are considered to bear some responsibility for them.

What is FEMINIST JUSTICE ETHICS? What does FEMINIST JUSTICE ETHICS mean?

Those who suffer from structural injustice often know better than others what they really need for compensation or reforming their personal circumstances. Fourth, on one hand the normal model of justice focuses on the past actions that are seen to be the direct cause of the injuries, on the other hand, the social connection model urges us to act together for the future reform of society. As Gilligan's interviewees and the character of Amy in Heinz's dilemma show, as long as the current social institutions remains unchanged, the dilemma itself is unchanged and individual decisions often hurt others without any intention of doing so.

Therefore, finally, the social connection model entails taking political responsibility while the liberal model is a judicial one which isolates the person who is liable for the injury from innocent others. Young defines this political responsibility as follows: Those who share responsibility for structural injustice may also find ways of making social change, moreover, through collective action in civil society independent of or as a supplement to state policies and programs Young, In the section two, I examined the three interwoven perspectives to personal sufferings and social injustice.

In the final section, I examine the issue of comfort women of Japanese troops during the Second World War with the ethics of care. Before I explore how the ethics of care offers us a better approach to the issue of the comfort women, of Japanese Troops under the Second World War, I summarize the crucial aspects of the issue first.

Since then, feminist scholars and activists in Japan have asked why it took so long for victims to speak out? Was it a problem of nationalism or sexism? Why does sexual violence hurt victims more than other forms of violence? Japan as a state should take legal responsibility as the first and indispensable step to restore justice and dignity of victims. Despite all demands they take legal responsibility for the issue of comfort women, the Japanese government has never admitted having legal or political responsibility for this event: only moral responsibility.

It has firmly denied having legal responsibility, and the Japanese courts have repeated over and over agin their justification of the government's denial. The reasons cited are that all international law issues were settled by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems Concerning Property and Claims on Economic Cooperation between Japan and Republic of Korea, and other relevant treaties.

During the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal, survivors of sexual enslavement during the war often made the claim that they wished to restore justice for themselves. Their testimonies were such moving, courageous, and powerful voices for justice that they demanded us to rethink whether any political theory of justice had ever engaged with this kind of atrocity. First, an ethics of care makes us aware of that our gender and identities are constructed and connected by the political power of the state as well as by personal relationships. The state, and especially the modern state, has politically constituted the gender and sexual hierarchy, the sexual division of labor, and the boundary between the private and the public sphere, at times by using raw violence.

Being a woman, whether biologically or socially, makes a person more vulnerable to social and political pressures than being a man because she is situated in a socially subordinated position. The system of comfort women itself was created by the political powers of the state. Even though feminists cannot adopt a position entirely outside the formations of state power, or biopolitics, they should and can fight against state power by changing its current constellation. Unless the state power that created the system of comfort women is radically challenged, we still live in the same power vacuum as before and cannot change ourselves.


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Second, the ethic of care does not teach us how to heal wounded people effectively but rather teaches us how difficult it is to do so. To heal the wounded requires an unpredictably long time, for their sufferings are caused not only by direct injuries but also by by the structural violence inflicteed on their historical and political situation. The ethics of care requires us to explore why and how some women but not others became victims of sexual slavery by the Japanese troops in the Second World War as well as to find out who caused these atrocities.

Moreover, it makes us attentive to the reasons why survivors could not raise their own voice or why national and international communities silenced their voices for such a long time. The efforts to compensate them for their sufferings seem to constitute the impossible task of repairing the irreparable.

Finally, we can interpret the civil movements of supporters and survivors themselves through the social connection model of justice. Survivors as well as their supporters seek justice to reform the current constellation of gender politics. We have many examples of women's issues such as domestic violence and sexual harassment, demanding the reinterpretation and reimagining of misfortunes as injustice by challenging established positive laws and the rigid division between the public and the private realm.

Whom do you consider to be your most important teacher s in this area? What works in the ethics of care do you see as the most important? See answer to Question 2 9. What are important issues for the ethics of care in the future? Do you have any recommendations or wishes? I wish you much success!!