INTACT at Epoché
Intact Bodies: The Ambivalence of The Natural and The Normal – John C. Brady in Conversation with Clare Chambers was published in the February 2022 issue of Epoché, the monthly magazine for the Philosophy diaspora. You can read the interview here. Clare Chambers is a professor of political philosophy at the University of Cambridge. Her work deals with contemporary liberalism, social construction, feminism, and social justice. Her latest book, Intact (Allen Lane, 2022), is an analysis of the ways in which the body is a political site where the inequalities of sex, gender, race, disability, age, and class are reinforced. The book argues for the value of the ‘unmodified body’.…
INTACT at Hay Festival
I’ll be discussing INTACT at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye on 5th June 2022. You can buy tickets here.
INTACT at Oxford Literary Festival
I’ll be discussing INTACT at the Oxford Literary Festival on 26th March 2022. You can buy tickets here. Philosopher Clare Chambers argues that it is time for men, women and children to reclaim their bodies and that an unmodified body is a key principle of social and political equality.Chambers ranges across a variety of areas from bodybuilding to makeup, male circumcision, breast implants, motherhood and childbirth. She argues that social pressure to modify your body sends a message that you are not good enough, and it reinforces inequalities of sex, gender, race, disability, age, and class.Chambers is professor of political philosophy and a fellow of Jesus College in Cambridge. She…
INTACT on BBC R3 Free Thinking
I’ll be discussing INTACT with Matthew Sweet on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking on 24 February 2022. You can listen to the programme here.
INTACT on BBC R4 Woman’s Hour
I discussed INTACT with Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour on 22 Feb 2022. You can listen to the programme here. Discussion of INTACT starts about 20 minutes in.
INTACT in i news
“The rise of ‘shametenance’, the exhausting things we do to hide our natural bodies because we feel inadequate. Why are we so ashamed of the way we look?” A wonderful article on INTACT by Kasia Delgado of i news, which includes a charming photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can read the article here.
Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body
In an age of social media and selfies, of pixel-perfect pictures and surgically-enhanced celebrities, the pressure to change our bodies can often seem overwhelming. We are told we should conceal the signs of ageing and get our bodies back after pregnancy. We ought to perfect our complexions, build our biceps, trim our waistlines, cure our disabilities, conceal our quirks. More than ever before, we should contort our physical selves to prejudiced standards of beauty and acceptability. In this thought-provoking work, acclaimed political philosopher Clare Chambers argues that the unmodified body is a key principle of equality. While defending the right of anyone to change their bodies, she argues that the…
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Sex, Money, and Luck in Sport
Clare Chambers, “Sex, Money, and Luck in Sport” published in Journal of Medical Ethics Vol. 46 No. 9 (2020). You can read the paper here.
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Medically unnecessary genital cutting and the child’s right to bodily integrity: an international expert consensus statement
In American Journal of Bioethics Vol. 19 (2019). Keeping our focus exclusively on a Western context for the purposes of this article, we argue as follows: Under most conditions, cutting any person’s genitals without their informed consent is a serious violation of their right to bodily integrity. As such, it is morally impermissible unless the person is nonautonomous (incapable of consent) and the cutting is medically necessary. This paper is authored by the Brussels Collaboration on Bodily Integrity (2019). This work grew out of informal discussions among participants in the G3 International Experts Meeting on FGM/C in Brussels, Belgium, May 20-22, 2019, along with other scholarly collaborators. We are physicians,…
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Reasonable Disagreement and the Neutralist Dilemma
Chambers, Clare, “Reasonable Disagreement and the Neutralist Dilemma: Abortion and circumcision in Matthew Kramer’s Liberalism with Excellence” in The American Journal of Jurisprudence (May 2018). You can read the paper here. Abstract: This paper starts by investigating the idea of reasonable disagreement. It then considers Matthew Kramer’s argument that there is no neutral solution available to the disagreement over abortion. The paper argues that Kramer’s account has wider application, and identifies a neutralist dilemma. The neutralist dilemma applies when, of two policy options available to the state, one is unreasonable. It follows that the state should enact only the reasonable policy. However, in a neutralist dilemma the fact of reasonable disagreement due to the…
Cosmetic procedures: ethical issues
Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 2017 This report was written by the Working Party on Cosmetic Procedures, of which I am a member. There has been increasing demand for invasive cosmetic procedures in the UK, prompting questions about potential risks to users and the lack of regulation and professional standards in this area. This report explores ethical issues in cosmetic procedures with a particular focus on the role and responsibilities of health and scientific professionals and others in responding to demand for invasive non-reconstructive procedures that aim to enhance or normalise appearance. It engages in detailed ethical analysis and makes recommendations affecting all parts of the sector. You can read the report…
Medicalised Genital Cutting and the Limits of Choice
in Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery: Interdisciplinary Analysis and Solution, edited by Sarah Creighton and Lih-Mei Lao (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
Judging Women: 25 Years Further Toward a Feminist Theory of the State
In Feminist Political Quarterly (Vol. 3 No. 2, 2017).
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Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble
In The Oxford Handbook of Classics in Contemporary Political Theory, edited by Jacob T. Levy (OUP, forthcoming). This chapter provides a critical introduction to Judith Butler’s classic work Gender Trouble, including an analysis of the impact it has made on political theory. The chapter is online first and you can read it here.
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Sex, Culture, and Justice: The Limits of Choice
(Penn State University Press, 2008) Autonomy is fundamental to liberalism. But autonomous individuals often choose to do things that harm themselves or undermine their equality. In particular, women often choose to participate in practices of sexual inequality—cosmetic surgery, gendered patterns of work and childcare, makeup, restrictive clothing, or the sexual subordination required by membership in certain religious groups. In this book, Chambers argues that this predicament poses a fundamental challenge to many existing liberal and multicultural theories that dominate contemporary political philosophy. Click on the book title to see more.
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Autonomy and equality in cultural perspective: Response to Sawitri Saharso
in Feminist Theory Vol. 5 No. 3 (December 2004).
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Are breast implants better than female genital mutilation? Autonomy, gender equality and Nussbaum’s political liberalism
in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISPP) Vol. 7 No. 3 (Autumn 2004).