A2 Government and Politics - Feminism ideology.

  • Created by: Maya
  • Created on: 27-01-14 17:56

Feminism Revision notes.


Definition –  

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment, this being described as the desired outcome for feminism.

Core Themes –

  1. Politics of Personal Life – Traditionally the public sphere of life, economic and political work has been the preserve of men whilst women were forced to live and work in the private sphere e.g. housewife/full time mother.

Radical feminists believe the family life should be conditioned through distribution of household work, and child rearing on women to be resolved through a welfare state.

Social feminists link the cause of women’s roles in society to the capitalist system.

Liberal feminists reject the restrictions on women’s access to the public sphere.

  1. Patriarchy – Belief that gender is a social change. And that man dominates not only the private life but also the public life too as a result of this social system. However this male supremacy can be varied amongst different cultures.

Radical feminists believe gender is the most important division in society so believe in the idea of sexual politics.

  1. Distinction between Sex and Gender – Feminists see gender as a cultural/political distinction, in contrast to biological sexual differences. Gender divisions are therefore a manifestation of male power.

Difference feminists believe gender differences reflect a biological gulf between male and female attributes and sensibilities.  

  1. Equality and Difference – Feminism is characterised by sexual equality achievement.

Liberal feminists champion legal and political equality  allowing women to compete in the public life with men, Liberal equality in terms of economic power addressing issues of ownership of wealth, pay differences and unpaid jobs.

Radical feminists are concerned with equality in family/personal life in terms of childcare =, control of owns body and sexual expression.

Strands of feminism.

Liberal feminism.

  • First wave

  • Established on the principle of independence – all humans are equal.

  • Discrimination against women should be prohibited – equal rights.

  • Reformist – Doesn’t want to challenge society. Reform is necessary to establish the goal.

  • Believes in right to education, right to vote, right to pursue a career.

  • Belief that men and women have different attributes explaining why women traditionally go for the domestic life.

  • Ann Oakley is a key thinker – however she crosses the spectrum as a socialist thinker because she was reformist in her approach.

  • Ann Oakley believed the gender role was based on




dont you mean social revolution rather than evolution for radical feminists?