Feminist ethicists who are attentive to the intersections of multiple aspects of identity including race, class, and disability, in addition to gender, criticize and correct assumptions that men are historically privileged, as if privilege distributes equally among all men regardless of how they are socially situated.
They instead focus more on criticizing and correcting oppressive practices that harm and marginalize others who live at these intersections in order to account for the distinctive experiences of women whose experiences are not those of members of culturally dominant groups (Crenshaw 1991; Khader 2013).
aims “to understand, criticize, and correct” how gender operates within our moral beliefs and practices (Lindemann 2005, 11) and our methodological approaches to ethical theory.
More specifically, feminist ethicists aim to understand, criticize, and correct: (1) the binary view of gender, (2) the privilege historically available to men, and/or (3) the ways that views about gender maintain oppressive social orders or practices that harm others, especially girls and women who historically have been subordinated, along gendered dimensions including sexuality and gender-identity.
The point of feminist ethics is, ideally, to change ethics for the better by improving ethical theorizing and offering better approaches to issues including those involving gender.
Feminist ethics is not limited to gendered issues because the insights of feminist ethics are often applicable to analyses of moral experiences that share features with gendered issues or that reflect the intersection of gender with other bases of oppression.
Whatever the focus of feminist ethicists, a widely shared characteristic of their works is at least some overt attention to power, privilege, or limited access to social goods.
In a broad sense, then, feminist ethics is fundamentally political (Tong 1993, 160).
Criticizing the philosophical assumptions underpinning practices that denied girls adequate education, Wollstonecraft articulated an Enlightenment ideal of the social and moral rights of women as the equal of men.
Wollstonecraft also broadened her critique of social structures to encompass ethical theory, especially in resistance to the arguments of influential men that women’s virtues are different from men’s and appropriate to perceived feminine duties.