feminism debates

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how relatively important are sex and gender in fem

sex

  • it is inevitable that women will take the lead role in childrearing so men will dominate in the world of work
  • women are physically weaker than men so will inevitably have an inferior position
  • women are born with an innate nurturing and unaggressive character and so are less fitted to the world of competitive capitalism

gender

  • men have a vested interest in maintaining their dominant gender role in society
  • the gender role of women is embedded in their consciousness from an early age to such an extent that women don't understand its patriarchal origin
  • in modern society there is no reason why the different biological status of women should affect their role in the economy
  • gender differences are an articificial construct designed to perpetuate patriarchy
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does liberal feminism fail to understand the natur

yes

  • has been a mainly white middle class movement and doesn't understand the position of working class/ethnic minority women who face multiple forms of oppression
  • don't understand the ways market capitalism inevitably oppresses and discriminates against women
  • underestimate the importance of the personal is political

no

  • understand that formal inequality is not the only problem 
  • believe patriarchy will decline as men will no longer hold dominant positions in society
  • women now have a more developed understanding of patriarchy and are steadily achieving sufficient power to be able to combat it
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are women oppressed and discriminated against unde

yes

  • as long as men dominate positions of economic power, they will discriminate against women
  • the predominance of women playing domestic roles means that men are bound to dominate economic life
  • women's innate lack of aggressiveness and competitiveness makes them ill suited to capitalism

no

  • women are making progress in achieving senior positions in economic life
  • no longer inevitable that women must concentrate on domestic roles
  • there is no such thing as the innate non aggressive nature of women
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