Liberal Feminism

Details of Liberal Feminism and their theories

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  • Created by: Kee Wills
  • Created on: 12-11-12 14:47

Liberal or Reformist Feminism

Liberals are concerned with the Human and Civil Rights and freedoms of the individual. Reformism is the idea that progress towards Equal Rights can be achieved by gradual reforms, without a need for revolution.

They Campaign for Cultural change aswell as Law.

Liberals reject Parsons idea that we are biologically suited to our roles. Liberals are in agreement with Ann Oakley in terms of differences between Gender and Sex.

Gender behaviour and differences vary over time and between different Cultures. What is considered appropriate behaviour or the right behaviour for women in some Cultures may not be the same for others.
Example: Women in Saudi Arabia are forbidden from driving any sort of vehicle whereas it is quite common for Women to be driving.

Stereotypes and Sexist attitudes are Socially Constructed and transmitted through socialisation - therefore to achieve Equality we must change society's socialisationi patterns.
Example: Female teachers in traditional male roles and Fathers  taking responsibility in Domestic tasks.

Liberal Feminism can be seen as a critique of the functionalist view of gender roles. Parsons distinguishes between instrumental and expressive roles.
They challenge his view and say that both men and women are equally as capable of performing roles in both spheres

Evaluation
Sylvia Walby argues, they offer no explanation for the overall structurepf gender inequality. Marxists & Radical feminism fails to recognise the underlying causes of women's subordination. Instead they believe that far-reaching, revolutionary changes. 

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