Feminist Perspective of the Family

  • Created by: m_ali31
  • Created on: 25-04-15 12:01

Feminist Perspective of the Family

KEY IDEA: Belief that society is patriarchal and women are oppressed, and the family adds to their oppression. 


  • campaign against sex discrimination and want equal rights e.g. employment and pay
  • Oppression is gradually being overcome but progress is still needed e.g. Sex Discrimination Act (1975), men have increased in their domestic duties by 60% over 30 years, socialisation of the young is changing
  • CRITICISM- lib feminists do not challenge the actual causes of womens oppression


  • Believe the main cause for women's oppression is because of capitalist society, as it performs several functions for capitalism: 

1) Women reproduce the labourforce; through unpaid labour they socialise the next generation of workers

2) Cheap Labour; they will be taken on and let go when needed by employers e.g. maternity leave

3) Absorb anger: Soak up the frustratuon of their husbands through facing domestic violence

Fran Ansley- 'Women are the takers of ****' 

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Feminist Perspective of the Family

  • Marxist feminists are criticised for ignoring progress such as women in power, and it ignores domestic violence against men 


  • Belief that all societies have been founded on patriarchy and men are the enemy and source of oppression
  • Men benefit from women's unpaid labour, sexual services and are dominated through the threat of violence
  • Believe that the only way to abolish oppression is through separatism- living independently of men
  • Political Lesbianism is encouraged as heterosexual relationships = 'sleeping with the enemy' 

Strengths and Criticisms: 

  • ignores violence agaisnt men 
  • most women make the conscious and active decision to get married, work and choose when to have a child
  • equality is increasing e.g. joint conjugal roles
  • provide an alternative although it is seen as extreme
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