Volume 29, 2018
Philosophical Approaches to Gender
Two Notions of Reciprocity
Gender Equality and Reciprocal Claim
This paper will compare two notions of reciprocity: The Confucian golden rule and the existentialist feminist Beauvoir’s reciprocal claim, tracing their implications and influences in Chinese women’s contextual status and inferior position. It will analyze why the lack of reciprocal claim can put women in a subordinate status and contribute to their inequality and powerlessness. Under the Confucian idea of social harmony, which should be compatible with feminist ethics of care, its notion of reciprocity can be defended only if it is integrated with gender justice implied in Beauvoir’s notion of reciprocity with a claim to a humanistic approach in analyzing women’s realities.