Feminist views on family functions (it oppresses women)

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  • Feminist views on family functions (it oppresses women)
    • Difference
      • Black feminists- by regarding the family as the sole source of oppression, white feminists neglect racial oppression
      • Different social groups have different experiences- black/white, middle or working class, gay or heterosexual...
      • Other feminists- many experiences are similar, e.g. risk of domestic violence, sexual assault, low pay etc.
      • Black feminists- the black family is a positive source of support against racism
    • Liberal
      • The way parents socialise children is now more equal, and daughters have higher aspirations
      • Don't believe full gender equality has been achieved yet, but there has been gradual progress, e.g. men doing more domestic labour
      • Other feminists- fails to challenge the underlying causes of oppression, e.g. deep-rooted social structures, which need far-reaching revolutionary changes. Changes in law and attitudes aren't enough
    • Radical
      • Germaine Gheer argues for creation of all-female (matrilocal) households
      • The family and marriage are key institutions in patriarchal society. Men benefit from women's unpaid services
      • Argue for political lesbianism- the family must be abolished through separatism from men
      • Liberal feminists like Jenny Somerville argue that women's position has improved, and separation would fail due to heterosexual attraction
    • Marxist
      • Women are a reserve army of cheap labour taken on when needed, then 'let go' to return to unpaid domestic work
      • Main cause of women's oppression is capitalism. Women absorb anger at it. Ansley- women are 'takers of shit' who soak up male's work frustration in domestic violence
      • Family must be abolished at the same time as a socialist revolution replaces capitalism with a classless society
      • Women reproduce labour force through unpaid domestic labour, socialising the next generation of workers and maintaining and servicing the current one
    • Criticisms
      • Assumes family and members are simply passive puppets, manipulated
      • Ignores increased family diversity


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