Fe-Male and Male Nurses – How do we measure up?

Author Professor Kirby


Feminist Caring Ethics

We are Caring! We are Nurses!

Not to be gender bias, but most male nurses I have encountered have been excellent caregivers. Now, this may be my perception because there are so few men nurses in comparison to female nurses. However, today we will discuss Feminist Ethics. So, why discuss Feminist Ethics when my opinion appears to be shewed toward discrediting this theory? Well, I am glad you asked; let me explain. My interest stemmed from a recent how observation and conversation about the “unofficial” males and female roles in our society. The consensus was the mother is usually expected to take off work to tend to the needs of the children, such as school closings, illnesses, and routine appointments. I recognize this is not the exact topic of discussion, but this is what sparked my interest in the chapter of our reading assignment.

According to Tong, some feminine theorist like Ned Nodding believes genders gravitate more to contemplate behaviors in regards to caring for others (Rich and Butts, 2018. p. 166). Also, Sara Ruddick builds on this belief by emphasizing both males and females have natural instincts. Ruddick’s theory produces solid union between nursing care and motherliness (Sander- Staudt, n.d.). According to Sander- Staudt (n.d.), Ruddick believes “both men and women can be mothers or mothering.” Also, she infers mothering is peaceful and opposes war or violence; some people object stating mothering can be demandingly violent, protective and respond fiercely (Sander- Staudt, n.d.).

Nevertheless, Feminist Ethics of Caring is a controversial subject, whether addresses personal or professional ethical needs. Also, opinions will vary from person to person and situation to situation. My personal and professional view aligns with a modified version of Ruddick’s theory. Mothering is protective, just as nursing is advocating or protecting. Therefore, we can not talk about caring and disregard protective instincts or an aggressive masculine response. Maternal thinking is not gender-specific; some male nurse can run circles around some women nurses. However, men roles in our society do not represent their extremely caring and compassionate capabilities.


Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. (2011). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Sander-Saudt, M. (n.d.). Care ethics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy- A Peer Rewed Academic Resource, Arizona University. Retrieved from https://www.iep.utm.edu/care-eth/


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