[SydPhil] Notification: Holly Lawford-Smith (Melbourne)*Please note change of time* @ Wed 27 Feb 2019 15:30 - 17:00 (AEDT) (Seminars)

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Tue Feb 26 15:30:10 AEDT 2019

This is a notification for:

Title: Holly Lawford-Smith (Melbourne)*Please note change of time*
Title: Women-only spaces and the right to exclude

Abstract: The ‘right to exclude’ is much-discussed in the political  
philosophy literature on immigration. Theorists argue that a nation has the  
right to self-determination, and that a significant part of  
self-determination is the freedom to associate (and to not associate) at  
will. Thus, it is up to nations whether and to what extend they admit  
would-be migrants. In pushing back against this claim, opponents tend to  
draw distinctions between groups of different kinds, from intimate  
associations like marriages, through expressive associations like  
religions, to political associations like nations. Intimate and expressive  
associations, they concede, may have the right to self-determination and so  
a right to exclude; but political associations do not. I draw on this  
discussion over immigration to assess two different claims made by gender  
critical feminists, first, that female people are entitled to female-only  
spaces (to the exclusion of all male people, regardless of gender  
identity), and second, that lesbians are entitled to lesbian-only spaces  
(to the exclusion of all male people, regardless of gender identity). I  
include under the broad category of ‘spaces’ both identity terms like  
‘woman’, ‘female’, and ‘lesbian’, and also categories like women’s sports  
and women-only shortlists. The right to exclude premised upon national  
self-determination is undermined by a difficulty in specifying what the  
‘self’ in ‘self-determination’ is supposed to be, but this difficult does  
not cross over to the category of ‘women’ or the category of ‘lesbian’,  
even though both terms are politically contested at present. I argue that  
for the same reasons some people think you cannot be racist against  
dominant racial groups, we should also think there is no problem in  
excluding members of dominant groups. Nations’ right to exclude is at its  
most controversial precisely because of the vulnerability of would-be  
migrants (e.g. refugees, ecological migrants, and economic migrants). But  
transwomen are not made vulnerable by exclusion from female-only spaces, in  
particular when there are third spaces available. So the two cases are not  
parallel. Women, and lesbians, have the right to exclude.
NB: Tea starts at 3pm
When: Wed 27 Feb 2019 15:30 – 17:00 Eastern Australia Time - Sydney
Where: Muniment Room, University of Sydney
Calendar: Seminars
     * Luara Ferracioli- creator

Event details:  

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