Feminists Views On The Family.

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Feminists Views On The Family.

Feminists believe that society is patriarchal. They believe that men use their economic and cultural power to control women and soceity. 

18% of women earned less than men, more likely to be in poverty.

Natasha Walter said that " Women don't have equal access to jobs" 

In 2000: 18% of women were hospital consultants.

7% were univeristy professors.

4.5% were company directors. 

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Liberal Feminists

Liberal Feminists: 

  • Liberal feminists are concerned with campaigning against sex discrimination and for equal rights and opportunities for women.
  • They argue that women’s oppression is being gradually overcome through changing people’s attitudes and through changes in the Law such as the Sex Discrimination Act (1975), which outlaws discrimination in employment.
  • They are more optimistic as they believe that we are moving towards greater equality.
  • Liberal feminists do not believe full gender equality has yet been achieved in the family, they argue that there has been gradual progress.
  • Some studies suggest that men are doing more domestic labour, while the way parents now socialise their sons and daughters is more equal than in the past and they now have similar aspirations for them.
  • Other feminists criticize liberal feminists for failing to challenge the underlying causes of women’s oppression and for believing that changes in the law or attitudes will be enough to bring about equality.
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Radical Feminists:

Radical feminist: 

They believe that men control and have power over women.

The way that soceity is organsied builds patriarcal opressions. 

  • The family and marriage are the key institutions amongst a patriarchal society. Men benefit from women’s unpaid domestic labour and from their sexual services, and they dominate women through domestic violence or the threat of it.
  • Radical Feminist hold the view that the family is the cause of womens oppression.
  • Radical Feminists argue that the only way to end women’s oppression is through individualism [ Giddens] - women must learn to live independently.

Criticisms:                                                                                                                                  Jenny Somerville 2000 [ liberal feminist] says that Radical feminist fail to recognise the improvements in womens positions in society. There is better access to divorce, better job opportunities, control over their own fertility, and the ability to choose whether to marry or cohabit.                                                                                                                                  However, Somerville does recognise that women have yet to achieve full equality.

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