Constructing a concept of woman : women’s universal fear of sexual harassment and assault
Date of Issue2019-03-27
School of Humanities
In this paper, I attempt to develop a thick concept of woman that can unify all women while being able to account for the differences of each individual woman. This is motivated by Mari Mikkola’s argument that there cannot be a universal concept of woman, and that there needs to be a paradigm shift from gender-focused feminism to humanist feminism. The core of this paper argues that what unites all women is a shared implicit fear of being sexually harassed or assaulted by men. Although this fear is a universal one, the types of fear will differ for every woman, depending on various factors such as race and geographic location. Hence, this can account for the differences of each woman. Women’s fear of being sexually harassed or assaulted by men is an implicit one, and can only be observed through the precautions taken by women to avoid being victims of sexual harassments or assaults. Contrary to Mikkola’s argument, I will also show that thick concepts of woman can be compatible with normative humanism.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University