The personal is political because we are political and social animals. Aristotle chose three human relationships as the core ones to discuss in his Politics: King and subject, master and servant, and husband and wife. While Aristotle’s view of gender in Athens has been shown to be naive by later post-structuralist surveys, this insight is something that liberals have sought to bury since Hobbes. It is a delicious irony that it is the Feminists who keep this ancient insight alive against the onslaught of liberalism.
But this also means that the care with which we cultivate our family relationships is also about the care with which we cultivate political relationships and much more. The personal may be political and vice versa, but it doesn’t have to be always the individual against the world.
I keep waiting for feminists to rediscover the common good, family honor, and the virtue of duty through this central insight though on those, I may be waiting a long time.