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Feminism, Democracy and the Right to Privacy

Abstract : This article argues that people have legitimate interests in privacy that deserve legal protection on democratic principles. It describes the right to privacy as a bundle of rights of solitude, intimacy and confidentiality and shows that, so described, people have legitimate interests in privacy. These interests are both personal and political, and provide the grounds for two different justifications of privacy rights. Though both are based on democratic concerns for the freedom and equality of individuals, these two justifications for privacy can be distinguished because the one is principally concerned with protecting the personal freedom and equality of individuals, while the other is principally concerned with their political equivalents. Feminists have often been ambivalent about legal protection for privacy, because privacy rights have, so often, protected the coercion and exploitation of women, and made it difficult to politicise personal forms of injustice. However, interpreting the content and justification of privacy rights in light of the differences between democratic and undemocratic forms of politics can enable us to meet these concerns, and to distinguish a democratic justification of privacy rights from the alternatives.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 1:48:42 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 1:59:53 PM

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Annabelle Lever. Feminism, Democracy and the Right to Privacy. Minerva, 2004, 9, pp.1 - 31. ⟨hal-02506480⟩

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