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Feminist Theories

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sheree gordon

on 6 March 2015

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Transcript of Feminist Theories

Feminist Theories

The Learning Objective
1. To have some knowledge of the main types of feminist theories
2. To recognize the differences between the feminist theories
3. To be able to criticize some of the feminist theories
Marxist Feminist
Capitalism creates gender inequality and oppression.

They shut down the view that male dominance is the root to women's oppression.

Idea 1
Idea 2
Liberal Feminist
Known as Reformist.
Believe in gradual change
Women can achieve equality through laws
Freedom of the individual
Civil Rights
reject idea of biological differences between man and women.

Radical Feminist
Emerged in the early 1970s.
+Patriarchy is the cause for social inequality and conflict.
+Women become dependent on males due to roles being played.
+All men oppress all women.

Post-structuralist Feminist
Discusses Discourse and Power/Knowledge.

The Enlightenment Project was misinterpreted.

There is no fixed entity called womanhood.

We are all different.

Feminism examines society from the view-point of women.

See society as male dominated - seeking change in women's position within society.

Their principle is about liberty and equality.
History of Feminism
Traced back to the late 18th century of the Enlightenment.

Many enlightenment thinkers defended the rights of women.
Cont. of Roots of Feminism
In the 19th century feminist started to have a voice. It was their first wave of feminism.

They have started to recognized injustice behavior towards women in their society.
Sex and Gender
Ann Oakley (1972) defines Sex and Gender.

Sex differences are fixed while gender changes between cultures.

Stereotyping is formed through our socialization

To achieve equality - we must CHANGE social patterns
Problems With Liberal Feminist
1. Marxist Feminist argue that it fails to give explanation on women oppression.

2. Naive to believe laws bring equality and opportunity.

3. Radical Feminist argue that revolutionary change is needed.
Patriarchal oppression is direct and personal.

political involvement + Power= Relationships

In all relationships, one always try to dominate another.

men dominate women through sexual politics.

sexual politics = power (control)

only to please men desires.

Problems with Radical Feminist
1. Liberal Feminist argue that women's position has improved through social reforms.

2. Assumes all women are the same

3.Somerville (2000) theory to abolish patriarchy is wrong.

4. Marxist argue that capitalism oppresses women, not men.
Functions Women play for capitalist society?
1. Source of cheap, exploitable labour

2. Reserve army of labour.

3.Reproduce the labour force.

4. Absorb anger - Ansley (1972): 'Takers of Shit'
Problems with Marxist Feminist
1) Radical feminist argue that we should treat patriarchy not as a subset of capitalism but as a problem in its own right.

2) Women oppressed cannot solely rest on capitalism.
Problems with Post-structuralist Feminist
1. Walby (1992) argues that there are similarities among women.

2. Segal (1999) argues that we should concentrate on the inequalities of wealth and income.
Refer back to the pros and cons
Explain how it will help
Describe the next steps
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
An English utilitarian and classical liberal philosopher.

Jeremy Bentham
The 1st Feminist Philosopher

'Vindication of the rights of women' (1792)

Education and women's upbringing created inequality and dictatorship.
Mary Wollstonecraft
He spoke about complete equality between sexes; including the rights to vote and to participate in government
Role of women in Islam
It is forbidden for a woman to travel because traveling involves hardship and exhaustion. They believe women are weak and need someone to help and stay beside the woman.

Also Things may happen to her that may cause her to lose CONTROL!!????...
How do we change our socialization patterns?
Michelle Obama
Kate Middleton
Male Home-maker
How can these problems be solved?
1. Female Independence

2. Greer (2000) states all female households replace heterosexual families.

3. Living apart from men
Political Lesbianism
Radical feminist argue:

1. By being in an heterosexual relationship you are 'SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY'.

2. Lesbianism is the only non-oppressive form of sexuality.

Equal Pay Act 1970

Equality Act 2010

Sex Discrimination Act 1986
Full transcript