Feminist Views on the Family

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Marxist Feminism

  • Argue the main cause of the oppression of women is down to capitalism. 
  • Their oppression serves capitalism by unpaid domestic labour, reproducing and socialising next generation of workers and maintaining and servicing the current labour force (absorb men's anger that would otherwise be directed at capitalism).
  • Ansley describes wives as 'takers of ****' who soak up fustration their husbands feel because of their exploitation at work.
  • Women are also reserve army of cheap labour when extras are needed. 
  • When no longer neede they can return to primary role as unpaid dometic labour force.
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Liberal Feminism

  • They believe oppression is slowly being overcome and there has been gradual progress.
  • Evidence of this is shown within society and within the family.
  • Within the family: studies suggest men are doing more housework and the way parents socialise their children is more equal.
  • Within society: equal pay and end to discrimination in employment.
  • Believe oppression can be overcome by changes to deep-rooted social structures.
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Radical Feminism

  • Believe all societies have been founded on patriarchy.
  • The solution to oppression of women is overturning patriarchal systems and abolishing root of oppression: the family.
  • Also believe the solution is seperatism (women must organise themselves to live independently from men).
  • Argue for political lesbianism (the idea that heterosexual relations are inevitably oppressive as they involve 'sleeping with the enemy'.
  • This would not work however, no reproduction.
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Criticisms of Feminist Views

  • Ignore family diversity as they assume the traditional nuclear family is the dominant one in society.
  • Liberal feminists say Radical feminists fail to recognise that women's postion has improved considerably (better access to divorce, job opportunities and ability to choose marriage or cohabitation).
  • All strucutural theories.
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