Are communitarianism and feminism compatible with each other?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With one caveat, we can say that communitarianism and feminism are compatible.  The caveat is that there are different strains of feminism, some of which are less compatible with communitarianism than others.

Communitarianism is a philosophical viewpoint that argues for the importance of communal rights.  It does not ignore individual rights, but it places them in a balance with communal rights.  To many feminists, it is very important to do this as well.  The idea of people aggressively pursuing their individual rights without regard for the good of the community is sometimes seen as a masculine (as defined by our society) idea.  Feminists, on the other hand, are more concerned with what is good for everyone.  They believe that a more feminine way of looking at rights would be one that is more concerned with the ways that our actions affect other people and our community.  If we paid more attention to these effects, the world would be a better place.

In this way, feminism and communitarianism are compatible.  Both believe that society is harmed when we pursue our individual rights without regard to the needs of the broader society.