Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2022.06.07 View this Review Online  

Manon Garcia, We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women’s Lives, Princeton University Press, 2021, 234pp., $22.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780691223209.

Reviewed by Ellie Anderson, Pomona College Five years after the climax of #metoo, a surprising development is afoot: women’s submission is trending. The tradwife movement in Britain and the Christian US celebrates housewives submitting to their husbands “like it’s 1959,” as blogger Alena Kate Pettitt puts it. In a more ironic vein, TikTok videos about smooth-brained bimbo feminism encourage young women to give in to the objectification that society inevitably places on them. In such a landscape, the question arises: Why do so many women consent to their own submission? This is precisely the question guiding Manon Garcia’s book. Garcia’s answer is that femininity is itself…

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Conscience in Reproductive Health Care: Prioritizing Patient Interests

Conscience In Reproductive Health Care Prioritizing Patient Interests

Carolyn McLeod, Conscience in Reproductive Health Care: Prioritizing Patient Interests, Oxford University Press, 2020, 204pp. $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198732723.

Reviewed by Doug McConnell, University of Oxford


“Carolyn McLeod’s book is essential reading for ethicists interested in conscientious objection in healthcare. Her central argument is that the very nature of the fiduciary relationship between healthcare professional and patient requires the professional to prioritise the patient’s healthcare interests over their own interests. Her arguments apply to those who primarily want protection for their consciences and not those who publicly refuse to provide services as civilly disobedient acts aimed at changing the law or standards of practice. McLeod focusses on the reproductive services of abortion and emergency contraception (EC), but her views are readily extended to any case of conscientious refusal to provide ‘standard’ healthcare services, that is, legally permitted services considered good care by the professional institution. Although others have occasionally noted that fiduciary relationships count against accommodating conscientious refusals of service, McLeod shows that the restrictions that fiduciary relationships place on conscientious refusals are much more significant and pervasive than previously thought. McLeod’s line of argumentation is also novel in that it focusses primarily on what professionals owe their patients rather than what they owe their profession.”

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