Sociology : Stratification : Feminism



We are now able to disregard (if we choose) almost all the consequences of tehe reproductive division between the sexes. 1. Contraception - women have control over their own fertility. 2. Formula Milk - distribution of child-rearing (both in terms of the work and the joy).

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Patriarchy penetrates societies structures but the family is a key source of women's oppression. As societies key socialisers, ironically women are complicit in reproducing patriarchy - the other agents reinforce patriarchy.

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Walby 1990

Gender inequality exists because patriarchy is embedded throughout society. It is a system of 6 social structures which men dominate, oppress and exploit. Three of these include patriarchal culture, paid work and male violence.

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Employed women do two thirds of all domestic labour on average.

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The biology of childbirth necessitates the inevitable dependence of women and children on men, for protection if not subsistence. To be free from this she suggests women must free themselves from child bearing.

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Argues it overstates the idea that inequality is the result of economic decisions. Many women prioritise family life, not their careers.

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Working mothers are still being financially dependent on male partners due to low paid and often part time jobs. She refers to women as 'semi-proletarianised' workers and are economically more disadvantaged than working-class men. They are a 'reserved army of labour' and are first to be shed in recessions.

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Because of their size and strength, men will always be a physical threat to women. However, by raising women's consciousness through sharing experiences, women can develop a sense of shared oppression and sisterhood.

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Kelly and Radford

Male violence against women often contains an element of sexual power. Even when violence is not overt, the threat of violence limits the lives of women. Threat of violence is there because according to radical feminists, all men have the power to ****. Many behaviours which distress women are not viewed as serious by the police so this forms part of their daily lives and they must learn to tolerate behaviour they fear and dislike.

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Introduced the idea of differentiation, recognising that the female experience was shaped by factors like ethnicity, culture, and religion. She is critical of how feminism failed to address the interrelations between ethnic groups, sex and social class. To eliminate sexism you need to eliminate patriarchy, capitalism, and racism.

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Argues there are a range of genders and black feminists should look to undertand the diversity of experience and discrimination that non-cis individuals face.

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Walby 1997

Updates her work in order to recognise the impact of an additional system of oppression of racism. She saw racism as intersecting with capitalism and patriarchy in what she terms her 'triple systems theory'.

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The attempt to dominate nature is a product of male reasoning. Suppresses women's way of knowing the natural world. Scientific thinking tends to be dominated by men which often means women are marginalised. To reduce patriarchal destruction we must work with nature.

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