IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

John Stuart Mill and the Employment of Married Women: Reconciling Utility and Justice


  • Nathalie Sigot

    () (PHARE - Pôle d'Histoire de l'Analyse et des Représentations Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Christophe Beaurain

    (GEOLAB - Laboratoire de Géographie Physique et Environnementale - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - IR SHS UNILIM - Institut Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société - UNILIM - Université de Limoges - Inrap - Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives - UBP - Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont-Ferrand 2 - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)


This paper explores the link between utilitarianism and feminism through the positions of John Stuart Mill. We try to reconcile Mill's conviction about the necessity of establishing equality between sexes with his position concerning the employment of married women. This reconciliation has already been attempted by other researchers. Our perspective is slightly different in that we seek to establish a globally coherent position by examining Mill's various writings in order to evaluate his feminism in terms of his utilitarian philosophy.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathalie Sigot & Christophe Beaurain, 2009. "John Stuart Mill and the Employment of Married Women: Reconciling Utility and Justice," Post-Print hal-00637276, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00637276
    DOI: 10.1017/S1053837209990046
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert W. Dimand & Evelyn L. Forget & Chris Nyland, 2004. "Retrospectives: Gender in Classical Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 229-240, Winter.
    2. Mendus, Susan, 1994. "John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor on Women and Marriage," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 287-299, November.
    3. Steven G. Medema, 2004. "Mill, Sidgwick, and the Evolution of the Concept of Market Failure," CAE Working Papers 03, Aix-Marseille Université, CERGAM.
    4. Ronald Bodkin, 1999. "Women's Agency In Classical Economic Thought: Adam Smith, Harriet Taylor Mill, And J. S. Mill," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 45-60.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00637276. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.