Jeremy Bentham – the influence of Javier Milei and feminism

Portrait of Jeremias Bentham, painted by Henry William Pickersgil


As seen in this recent video published on our YouTube channel, Javier Milei explains that one of the first feminists was the liberal thinker Jeremy Bentham.

Let’s take a closer look at this remarkable figure, the father of utilitarianism. What did he think about the equality of men and women? What are his theoretical foundations?

Jeremy Bentham, a British philosopher of the 18th century, is considered one of the founders of utilitarianism, a moral theory that holds that the best action is the one that produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Bentham was also a defender of human rights, and his ideas have had a significant impact on the feminist movement.


Bentham believed that women were equal to men in all respects, and that they had the same rights and opportunities. He argued that discrimination against women was unfair and inefficient, and that it harmed the entire society.



Bentham was one of the first philosophers to advocate for women’s suffrage. In his work “An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation” (1789), Bentham wrote that “women should have the same right to vote as men.” He also advocated for women’s education and equal employment opportunities.

Bentham’s ideas about feminism had a significant impact on subsequent feminist movements. His defense of equal rights for women helped lay the groundwork for the suffragette movement and the women’s rights movement of the 20th century.


Some of Bentham’s arguments in favor of equal rights for women

  • Women are rational and sentient beings, so they are capable of making informed decisions.
  • Women have the same interests as men, so they have the right to participate in decision-making that affects society.
  • Discrimination against women is unfair and harmful to the entire society.

Jeremy Bentham in a display case in the entrance hall of University College London (2020). Image Wikipedia.

Bentham’s arguments remain relevant today. The feminist movement continues to fight for equal rights for women, and Bentham’s ideas continue to be a source of inspiration for feminist activists.

Books by Jeremy Bentham on feminism

Jeremy Bentham did not write any book specifically on feminism. However, his ideas about equal rights for women can be found in his works on utilitarianism and human rights.

In his work “An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation” (1789), Bentham argued that women should have the same rights as men, including the right to vote, to education, and to equal employment opportunities. Bentham also advocated for the abolition of slavery and other forms of discrimination.

Bentham believed that discrimination against women was unfair and inefficient. He argued that women are rational and sentient beings, and that they have the same interests as men. He also pointed out that discrimination against women harms the entire society, as it limits the talent and productivity of half the population.

Bentham’s ideas about feminism had a significant impact on subsequent feminist movements. His defense of equal rights for women helped lay the groundwork for the suffragette movement and the women’s rights movement of the 20th century.

Some of Bentham’s works where his ideas about feminism can be found:

  • “An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation” (1789)
  • “A Fragment on Government” (1776)
  • “Of the Influence of Natural Religion on the Temporal Happiness of Mankind” (1822)

In addition to these works, Bentham also wrote a series of essays and letters on feminism. These essays and letters have been collected in the work “The Works of Jeremy Bentham” (1843).

José Carlos Bermejo
José Carlos Bermejo. Madrid, November 1971. Writer. Graduated in Political Science and Sociology, he has collaborated in different media, traditional and digital. He is the author of the novels WILDE ENCADENADO (prologue Luis Antonio de Villena), and the thriller Li es un INFINITO de Secretos . He also from the short story books Retazos de un mundo IMperfecto . and Pieces of an INcoherent world . And The detective and the woman: A tribute to Charles Bukowski + info: www.josecarlosbermejo.com

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