Elizabeth Spelman

Elizabeth Spelman teaches philosophy at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is working on a slim book exploring the nature of abundance.

Room for the Lambs: sexual equality

Elizabeth Spelman, 26 January 2006

The official US publication date of this portfolio of Catharine MacKinnon’s articles and speeches over the past twenty-five years coincided with the release of Inside Deep Throat, a documentary about the making of the notorious and hugely profitable pornographic exploration of the lady with the lively larynx. MacKinnon has spent a good portion of her career as a scholar and litigator...

Assertrix: Mary Wollstonecraft

Elizabeth Spelman, 19 February 2004

It’s a rare champion of justice who is not rather partial to the injustices that grease the gears of his or her everyday life. Feminists know this all too well: 19th-century white women opposed to being ‘treated like slaves’ remained unmoved by the enslavement of black women (and men); some women who insist on fair salaries at the office try to pay as little as they can to...



9 October 2003

By what mysterious forces did the subtitle of my book morph from ‘The Impulse to Restore in a Fragile World’ to ‘The Impulse to Destroy a Damaged World (LRB, 9 October)? No doubt it was due either to someone at the BBC or Blair et cie, but still a bit puzzling!

Sock it to me: Richard Sennett

Elizabeth Spelman, 9 October 2003

Among the more reasonable demands we make of our fellow human beings is that they treat us with respect. ‘Just a little bit’, as Aretha Franklin sang and sang again, seems to go a long way. Few exchanges among people appear to cost those who offer it so little and benefit those who receive it so much. ‘Why, then,’ Richard Sennett asks, ‘should it be in short...

How do they see you? Martha Nussbaum

Elizabeth Spelman, 16 November 2000

On the occasion of a meeting of the American Philosophical Association some years ago, hotel housekeepers were overheard commenting that in comparison with other conventioneers, philosophers ‘don’t screw very much, but they sure do drink a lot’. What the real if apocryphally reported housekeepers may not have noted – obliged as they were to be constantly cleaning up...

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