Feminism

  • Created by: yazminab
  • Created on: 25-04-19 15:15
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  • FEMINISM
    • What do feminist theorists believe?
      • That women are disadvantaged because of their gender.
      • The patriarchy holds political power and this should be overthrown.
      • Women are prevented from holding power due to physical, domestic, legal, political and economical reasons, as well as due to social structures.
      • Patriarchal systems which oppress women:
        • housework: unpaid, low status work.
        • Paid work: wage gap e.g. Wimbledon prize money
        • State: policies favour men e.g. maternity leave.
        • Male violence: Systematic and rarely reported, e.g. Weinstein.
        • Cultural institutions: religion, media and education.
        • Gender relations: Gender roles through behaviour and regimes
    • The three waves of feminism
      • First wave: Liberal feminism
        • Mary Wollenstonecraft started feminism by advocating for education for women
        • J S Mills argued in his book that women should have the right to vote (suffrage)
          • First wave feminism led to women's suffrage , e.g. 1918 in UK and 1920 in USA, allowed women to sit in Parliament and allowed women access to divorce.
      • Second wave: equality
        • Frustration and unhappiness faced by women confined to household roles.
        • Social change to overcome the patriarchy.
          • eg welfare benefits to help with childcare or nurseries in workplaces.
        • female oppression originates in the house, e.g. gender roles.
        • achievements: vote, access to education, divorce, changes to marriage law and access to abortion.
          • still problems,  e.g. 80M women in africa subject to FGM, child brides etc.
      • Third wave: patriarchy
        • Felt feminism was to focused on white middle class western women.
        • Focus on issues such as domestic abuse, childhood marriage, denial of education and poverty levels.
        • Pressure to adhere to media beauty standards of beauty distract women from the inequalities they face.
    • The five approaches to feminism
      • Liberal feminism:
        • create equality for men and women (supports pluralism)
      • Radical feminism:
        • compete with men by becoming more like them
        • lesbian separatism as all men are the enemy
        • oppose marriage, motherhood, heterosexuality and anything feminine.
      • Marxist feminism:
        • The capitalist system is responsible for gender inequalities.
        • Unpaid homemaker or part time jobs with low wages.
      • Black feminism:
        • integrate race and class into feminism to explain inequality.
      • Post modern feminism:
        • Gender is fluid
        • No fundamental essence of gender.
    • Criticisms of feminism
      • Marxists: inequality will only be solved by ending capitalism
        • Eg, men are typically the 'bread winner'
      • Elitists: divisions are due to different characteristics rather than gender.
      • Pluralists: significant advances in women rights, e.g. female PM May, and men have suffered too e.g. through conscription.
      • Conservative critics: women do not embrace the opportunities available to them.
      • The multiple strands of the theory mean theorists are divided.

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