• Created by: Mui
  • Created on: 21-04-13 19:46


Women are discriminated against because they're women and this discrimination should be challenged/removed

Social change is required to achieve full rights, with chareacterisation of feminist movements taking place in 'waves'

First wave 1918-1920 w/ woman gaining suffrage, Second wave 1960sproduced equal pay/access to employment Betty Friedan brought the issue of conciousness 

Kate Millett, Germain Greer and Eva Figes wrote about the nature of womens social conditioning, to accomadate themselves to the demands of male dominated society (sexism)

Public (1st wave) and private spheres of life (2nd wave) > womens oppressions within the family 'the personal is political'

Feminists argue new generations of women are unaware of their condition, resurging sexist attitudes 'lad culture' and celebrities

Media is promoting the idealisation of marriage and children again

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Sex and gender

Sex is the biological divide between men and women, this is biological destiny

Gender isnt predetermined or linked with 'sex', the opposite of conservative who argue gender roles are natural

Gender roles determined by culture, theres no uniform method in raising children

Gender also applies to how each sex is seen in society, the gender roles ascribed to men and women such as heavy manual jobs being 'mens' work 

Perceptions of gender differences were used to argue against women voting and used to explain 'glass ceiling'

Theres no gender equality, the idea women have less commitment to work because of family and children

Women are excluded from public AND social affairs, they are the rulers of the private sphere (this is a justification to keep them at home)

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Marxist feminists view this as a subsidary feauture of male oppression, radicals place it as the pivotal point, liberals apply it to the 'public sphere' only

Patriarchy means ruler of the father, men rule society and the family is a mean to socialise acceptance of male domination

Radicals such as Kate Millett view patriarchy being the core of all social/political relations, causing sexual divison of labour

Regardless of mens status/ethnicity, they are at the top of the hierachy... They have a bond, and use this power to exer their influence and control their women

Liberals believe it influences the public sphere, pointing to male dominate of senior positions in politics and business - resulting in policy making that reflects male priorities

Women cant raise a family without sacrificing their career paths, and the glass ceiling - this must be broken through legislation and public policy

Gradual reforms have been successful since 1997 maternity/paternity leave, and more women MPs

Socialist feminists believe in 'double oppression', working class women are oppressed at work and at home, despite working they still assume the domestic role... 'Unpaid labour' women raise future workforce free of charge... Ultimately patriarchy is down to capitalism so it must be overthrown

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Liberal feminism

Original form, put forward by Mary Wolfstonecraft (product of the enlightenment), rationality indicated women should have human rights and rights to education

First wave focused on the public sphere, to open up proffessions for women, women were rational being who were denied their natural rights

1920 most women in industrialised countries had the vote

Informal discrimination was the focus of 1960s, Bettey Friedan 'Feminine Mystique' argued the mystique was the myth that women seek femininity and domestic bliss -> it displayed womens confinement in the private sphere, it was psychologically oppressive

Equal Pay Act (1970) was achieved, LFs note women have been able to advance to top professions in politics and business

In non industrialised countries women still lack basic rights and formal equality, Islamic movements attempt to reinforce patriarchal oppression, ethnic feminists accus Western liberals of reflecting concerns of white middle class professionals 

Neo liberal feminism supports positive discrimination for women

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Socialist feminism

Many marxist feminists were supporters of the first wave, fouder of the Suffragettes was a leading member of Labour Party

Engels argued womens oppression arose out the creation of class society, and abolished property ownership by women and inheritance in the female line

Men were assigned property rights over the female and non adult members, creating the 'bourgeoisie family' - form of family adapt to meet the need of the ruling class

Rowbotham - women suffer from 'double oppression' of being workers and mothers and homemakers, they are also a reserve army of labour, producers of new labour and maintenance staff for exiting workers

Orthodox communists believe women roppression was a by product of capitalism, Marxists believe working class women have common interests with working class men

^ Often criticised for seperate womens organisation, a ploy which divides the working class

Third Way politics has impacted socialist feminists, with goals resembling liberal feminism e.g. pressuring businesses to promote women or 'equality of opporunity'

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Radical feminists

Womens movement, a self education groups of second wave feminism, it propelled many womens to 'political seperatism' - only viable solution is to create their own seperate society, and insistance of women only organisations, exclusion of men from campaigning

Radical feminists inspired by Simione de Beauvoir in 'The Second Sex' which argued gender dominates women lives, the steretypical male image portrayed as desirable/social norm

Germaine Greer in 'Female ******' argued women are socialised into passive sexual roles

Susan Brownmiller in 'Against Our Will' argued male control of women through violence was central to the success of patriarchy

Unlike Marxist feminists - gender was the primary social/political division within society, its attributes were 'essential' - womens core attributes of compassion, nurture and empathy made them superior to males

'Personal is political', which rejected the liberal feminist argument of public and private spheres, arguing most important political contests are fought between men and women in their own pesonal relation -> this operated everywhere

Women centered - disregard class, ethnic or religious identities, SISTERHOOD was the motto and women conciousness had to be raised

'Political lesbianism' was extreme seperatism, the ultimate rejection of patriarchal society

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Anti feminists

Conservative critique of feminist thought, anti feminism follows principles of conservatism

Some anti feminist critituqes are down to religion, whilst others come from a view of society

Organic society, every stablished social feauture serves a fundamental function, sexual divisions of labour and social roles are destiny

Womens emotional, psychological, and physical nature fits the role of the mother, anything different will cause social dysfunction such as inadequate socialisation of children leading to anti social behaviour

More should be given to married couples through taxation, and mothers should be encouraged to be home makers

Patriarchal families have stood the test of time, its a universal family type, and womens role in the nuclear family is essential

Division of labour should not imply superiority/inferiority, each role is essential for the function of society

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