Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability
Accountability protects public health and safety, facilitates law enforcement, and enhances national security, but it is much more than a bureaucratic concern for corporations, public administrators, and the criminal justice system. In Why Privacy Isn't Everything, Anita L. Allen provides a highly original treatment of neglected issues affecting the intimacies of everyday life, and freshly examines how a preeminent liberal society accommodates the competing demands of vital privacy and vital accountability for personal matters. Thus, 'None of your business ' is at times the wrong thing to say, as much of what appears to be self-regarding conduct has implications for others that should have some bearing on how a person chooses to act. The book addresses such questions as, What does it mean to be accountable for conduct? For what personal matters am I accountable, and to whom? Allen concludes that the sticky webs of accountability that encase ordinary life are flexible enough to accommodate egalitarian moral, legal and social practices that are highly consistent with contemporary feminist reconstructions of liberalism.
It is worth noting, however, that people also lie to protect the privacy of others.
They lie attempting to conceal facts about others' affairs. President Clinton's
secretary, Betty Currie, may have done this. We lie sometimes to protect our
friends, members of our families, or our lovers. We may also lie because we
believe that we have a professional duty to guard zealously the confidentiality of
personal, business, legal, and medical information about other people. Public
Figures and Public ...