Granted, if one goes by the standard everyday definition of "ideology" as any body of beliefs concerning political affairs, it can be confusing.
Originally Posted by Orangey
If we go by the original definition of ideology by Destutt de Tracy: ideologies are bodies of ideas that aim towards the total transformation of society along the lines of an abstract theory that's divorced from reality; and often based upon a more reductionist apporach to issues.
By contrast; philosophy(in this case social and political) is based upon the critical study of the principles that underlie the right order, both personal and socially. Philosophy is not reductionist by nature, but rather acknowledges the multiplicity of reality. It's also more open-ended then ideology. Rather than aiming towards for the total transformation of the world, philosophy is more interested in providing the proper paradigms from which to address the world.
How does this apply to this discussion? Quite alot really. I'm arguing about the basic principles of a "conservative" approach to womens' issues - namely the primacy of family duties over more public ones. As I fully acknowledged, this need not mean women staying in the home entirely, but the whatever public affairs women do must revolve around that basic principle. How this works out in reality certainly differs according to circumstances. I'm not laying out a one-size fits all approach to the issue. So Im taking the more philosophical approach.
By contrast; it seems you, Eileen, and Ivy are taking more the ideological approach - or at the very least try to pigeonhole my views within an ideological perspective. Your sarcastic remark about how my views amount to "constitutive ideological rhetoric" for a male-dominated Capitalist society certainly shows this. If anything this is a classic example of the ideological approach.
Even with sarcasm aside, the standard response to my arguments have been the insistence of an abstract notion of "equality" for both private and public spheres in the lives of women(and to even an extent men too). Yet as I noted, the concrete reality speaks differently on several levels.
This goes to very much the heart of "Conservatism" as I understand it. Edmund Burke was a staunch critic of the abstract social theories of the Enlightenment, and how they played out in numerous areas of the world - most famously in France. He argued in favor of tradition precisely because it is based upon the concrete experience of countless generations; and it is utterly foolish for any one person or generation even to claim to have more understanding of the world than that - especially with the complex nature of man and society.
This doesn't mean, as many like ajblaise argued, an absolute resistance to change. Ironically Burke himself stated, "A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation." Rather tradition provides the foundation for change in proper directions and proportions.
Now as for the "equality" of public and private spheres. Well the orderings of any just(and perhaps we could add any geniunely democratic) society moves from the grassroots up. And the most basic unit that exists at the grassroots is the family. Democracy and justice cannot exist without that strong foundation, since man by nature is a social animal and needs to lives within concrete communities in order to fufill his public duties, not to mention find personal fufilment.
As Edmund Burke himself stated:
"We begin our public affections in families. No cold relation is the zealous citizen. We pass on to our neighborhoods and our provincial connections. These are our inns and resting places. Such division of our country as have been formed by habit and not by sudden jerk of authority are so many little images of the great country in which the heart is found something it could fill. The love to the whole is not extinguished by this subordinate partiality...To love the little platoon we belong to in society is the first principle of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country and to mankind."So by insisting upon a blind abstract "equality" between the family and "public life", you destroy the meaning and significance of both. If you cannot care for those closest to you, you certainly cannot care for those with less connection and attachment to you in the overall society. That's why the primacy of the family is important not only to women specifically, but society in general.
So that's by and large much of the basic points I've been trying to make within this discussion. I hope this helps clears things up a bit. And by goodness, there's still plenty more I have to address. *sigh* Oh well.