Is Capitalism Good for Women?, by Ann Cudd
This paper investigates an aspect of the question of whether capitalism can be defended as a morally legitimate economic system by asking whether capitalism serves progressive, feminist ends of freedom and gender equality. I argue that although capitalism is subject to critique for increasing economic inequality, it can be seen to decrease gender inequality, particularly in traditional societies. Capitalism brings technological and social innovations that are good for women, and disrupts traditions that subordinate women in materially beneficial and socially progressive ways. Capitalism upholds the ideology of individual rights and the ideal of mutual advantage. By institutionalizing mutual advantage through the logic of voluntary exchange, progressive capitalism promotes the idea that no one is to be expected to sacrifice their interests with no expectation of benefit. Thus capitalism opposes the traditional, sexist ideal of womanly self-sacrifice…..