Susan M. Okin

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Susan Moller Okin, "a renowned political philosopher, was found dead at her home in Lincoln, Mass., on March 3 [2004]. She was 57...

"Okin, the Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society, joined the Stanford faculty in 1990. At the time of her death, she held the Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a one-year fellowship at Harvard University.

"She was perhaps the best feminist political philosopher in the world," said Debra Satz, associate professor of philosophy. "More than anyone else I can think of, she made it the case that consideration of the status and position of women must be part of political philosophy's concerns. She was very bold in her approach to the field and she was not afraid to take on the established view."...

"Okin's work focused on the exclusion of women from most Western political thought, past and present. She argued that gender issues belong at the core, not the margins, of political philosophy. Her book Women in Western Political Thought (1979) is considered a cornerstone of research on women in politics. She also authored two other books, Justice, Gender and the Family (1989) and Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? (1999)...

"In that capacity, Okin became a staunch supporter of the Global Fund for Women, a San Francisco-based grantmaking foundation supporting women's human rights. In January, Okin spent three weeks traveling as a member of the fund's delegation to the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. During the trip, Okin wrote: "My view of Mumbai's and Delhi's slums has been transformed from seeing them [from the outside] as totally destitute and sordid places where no one could possibly lead a decent or hopeful life to seeing them as poor but vibrant communities, where with well-directed help from the outside, many people can improve their living conditions and hope for a better life for their children." Fund President Kavita Ramdas, who led the delegation, said Okin's "passion for women's rights and peace and justice were evident both in her academic work and in her philanthropy."

"At the Radcliffe institute, Okin was expanding on her recent work on gender, economic development and women's rights in the late 20th century. She also planned to collect her work on multiculturalism and feminism, and to begin looking at the subject of evolutionary biology from a feminist point of view...

"Okin received numerous awards during her career, including the American Political Science Association's Victoria Schuck Prize for the best book on women and politics in 1989 for Justice, Gender and the Family, and the Allan V. Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research in 2002." [1]

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  1. Susan Okin, feminist political theorist, dead at 57, news-service.stanford, accessed July 14, 2009.