Feminism revision cards

Revision cards for A2 Politics - Feminism

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  • Created by: Jessica
  • Created on: 25-04-12 21:13

Origins and development of Feminism

- An organised woman's movement emerged in the 19th century

- By the mid 19th century, the movement had a central focus - trying to get women the vote. This was led by the suffragettes & was known as the 1st wave of feminism. It was believed that if women could vote, all other forms of sexual discrimination and prejudice would go away

- Women's movement was strongest in countries with advanced political democracy

- The first attempt to introduce female suffrage was by J.S.Mill in 1867. It was defeated by the House of Commons

- The first wave of feminism ended when women over 30 with property got the vote in 1918. In 1928, women achieved the same voting rights as men

- The women's movement was regenerated with a second wave in the 1960s. Betty Friedan's 'The Feminine Mystique' relaunched feminist thought. She explored women's frustration & unhappiness caused by being confined to wife and mother

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Origins and development of Feminism

- 2nd wave feminism realised that women getting the vote had not solved all their problems

- Texts like Germaine Greer's 'The Female Eunuch' focused attention on women's personal, psychological and sexual oppression

- Second wave feminism wanted to liberate women. It was thought that a revolutionary process of social change would be needed to achieve this

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Public/private divide

- Modern feminists think politics takes part in all social groups, and is not just confined to government affairs

- Feminists argue that sexual equality has been preserved because sexual divisions of labour is seen as natural and not political

- Traditionally, men are in the public sphere embracing politics, literature etc. and women are confined to the private sphere of family life

- Feminists challenge the divide between public men and private women

- Radical feminists oppose the idea that politics stops at the front door and that female oppression operates in all walks of life and is often most prominent in the family such as the distribution of housework

- Liberal feminists object to restrictions on women gaining access to the public sphere but are concerned not to politicize the private sphere and threaten freedom and personal choice

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- Radical feminists argue gender is the most politically important of social divisions

- Feminists see sexism as a form of oppression

- Feminists see society as based on a system of sexual inequality and oppression

- Patriarchy can be used to describe families dominated by men. Feminists think that male dominance in the family represents male supremacy in all institutions

- Feminists believe that men have dominated women in all societies but that it varies depending on when in history and in what culture

- In Western countries, women's position has improved since the 20th century

- Patriarchy is especially prominent in the developing world such as Bride murders in India and female circumcision in Africa

- Women are under-represented in senior positions in the public sphere such as in politics and business

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