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Transcript of Feminism
Feminism is not...?
Sex vs. Gender
Most significant social cleavage gender
Key terms: gender inequality & male dominance
Sex biological differences
Gender behavioral traits associated with masculinity/femininity
Masculinity & Femininity
Socially constructed images of what a "man" or "woman" should be & how they should behave
Characteristics, meanings, and practices associated with being a man (masculinity) or being a woman (femininity)
Differences in social roles
Inequalities in power
Masculine & feminine traits are defined in opposition to one another. To be a "man" is to not be a "woman" and vice versa.
Who do you think would be more accepted by members of society?
Origins & Development
First wave of feminism
central focus: female suffrage (the right to vote)
women should enjoy same legal & political rights as men
19th Amendment in 1920
Second wave of feminism
1960s & 70s
central focus: personal & psychological aspects of female oppression
not just political freedom, but "women's liberation"
more social change
The Public/Private Divide
government, politics, careers
largely dominated by men
centered on the family & domestic responsibilities
women are restricted to private role of housewife & mother
thus excluded from politics & career
as: power-structured relationships, arrangements whereby one group of people controls another
Feminists insist that politics takes place in all social groups (not just government)
Politics exists wherever there is social conflict (ex: between family members, employers and workers)
Sexual inequality is a result of this division of labor
"Sexism" is a form of oppression similar to racism
Patriarchy male dominance, women subordination
Smaller scale: dominance of the husband/father
Larger scale: male dominance in all other aspects of life (education, work, politics)
For example: a patriarchal government half of the population which if female controlled by the half that is male
Sex and Gender
Anti-feminists argue that divisions in society are "natural"
"biology is destiny"
men and women fulfill the roles designed for them
Women's social position is linked to their ability to bear children
Biology should not determine women's social destiny
Women may be mothers, but they do not need to accept the responsibilities of motherhood
Patriarchal ideas make no distinction between sex and gender