Feminism and the Family

feminism and family

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  • Created by: Melissa
  • Created on: 21-01-12 12:55

Basic Themes

  • social reproduction of labour - Rulng classhave a passive and obedient workforce. Women take care of workforce- ruling class wins
  • social control - parents put up with bad jobs for the sake of their children. family = safety valve against frustration. People expect the family to be a happy place
  • work by women in the home is unrecognised and performed freely
  • symmetrical family does not exist - women do the work. Triple shift = domestic labour at home, paid work and emotional support at home

Feminists argue it is mainly women who:

  • do the most childcare/housework
  • make sacrifices
  • less likely to make decisions
  • more likely ot be dependent
  • have to both work and look after the home
  • are more likely to be victims of domestic violence
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Marxist Feminists

"Capatilism is the main form of oppression"

3 main functions

  • women reproduce labour force through unpaid domestic labour, socialising next generation of workers and maintaining current one. Benston - family produces and rears cheap labour
  • Women absorb anger - Ansley - women are takers of **** - men forced to work to maintain home and dependants
  • reserve army of labour - do paid job when men are unable then return to unpaid labour

Cooper- children taught to submit authority and be obediant.

Family must be abolished at the same time as the socialist revolution, replacing capitalism with a classless society

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Criticisms of Marxist Feminists

  • too much of a tranditional picture of a family with dad working ect
  • ignore that women have fought back and become indepedant
  • ignore other factors that might effect the family ie racism
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Radical feminists

Society = patriarchal, men = enemy, family = main patriarchal institution

Delphy and Leonard - family is an economic system , members work for the head of the household. Wives meet husbands physical, emotional and sexual need. Work never stops and is unpaid. Men exploit women. Women perform 57 unpaid services.

Criticisms

  • assumemale head of the family
  • based on a small amount of evidence
  • ignore that power is sometimes shared
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Radical feminism pt 2

Greer - men and women should live should live separately. Only women equal. 'Political Lesbianism' - don't sleep with the enemy

Purdy - baby strike - babies are expensive, a big commitment and prevents equality in the labour force. Only way to get men to listen

Criticisms

  • too extreme
  • Somerville argues women's postion in the family has improved, with better access to jobs, divorce and contraception. Separatism is unlikely to work - heterosexual attraction
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Liberal feminists

  • Campaign against sex discrimination and for equal rights and oppurtunities. Women have come a long way with family friendly policy and sex discrimination acts.
  • Gradual march of progress - men doing more domestic work and socialisation of children is more equal
  • Somerville wants equal maternity and paternity rights and mpre flexible working hours

Criticisms

  • Not sure changes in the law will get rid of all inequality
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Overall Criticisms

  • Feminism may be out dated - women are educated, there has been a feminisation of the economy
  • Bulk of male/female relationships are based on love and respect - not exploitation
  • Many women find motherhood a rewarding and fufilling experience
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Comments

zoe

good

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