Theories of INEQUALITY: FEMINISM

Feminism is not a single theory, but is a range of theories and approaches that use existing theories and develop new theories to explain gender inequalities in society. They each agree on very little, except that women experience social control and domination - that our society works to benefit men. According to Millen, what makes the feminist approach feminist in intent is that it is politically motivated and that it intends to have a role in changing social inequality. 

It is claimed by many people in society that women are the "weaker sex", and that their reproduction functions and ability to bear children make them unable or unfit for life outside the home. There are a variety of theories which suggest that males and females are physchologically and emotionally different. Walkgate criticises this biological approach to male dominance by stating that just because a woman can bear a child, does not necessarily make her want one, or be more suited to care for one. Other Feminist critics state that different values are placed on traditional feminine characteristics, so being caring is less valued than being physically able. If caring were more highly valued, then men could share in childcare equally with women. Durrant estimated that employed women do two thirds of all domestic labour on average once they are in a relationship, which limits their potential as they are spending more time at home preoccupied with the completion of chores.

Some sociologists have argued that there is a lack of coherence to the feminist movement and that feminists themselves are unsure on what they actually want and how society should operate. This is because there are many strands to feminism. Principally, there are three main strands to 'Second Wave Feminism', they are; the Liberal Feminists

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