Provide you with a brief overviewof the basics of Feminist Theory &get you familiar with the key conceptsUnderpinning this sociological perspective
Learning Outcomes:•By the end of the session you should allhave a basic understanding of the FeministPerspective.•Be able to define important key concepts•And independently undertake a plenaryactivity to apply your knowledge &understanding of this perspective.
Question ?Write down what youautomatically think ofwhen you are asked toConsider what is a feministor Feminism.
What is Feminism?Like Marxism,Feminism is aStructural, ConflictTheory.
Feminists are not allSkin headed lesbian men hating womenFeminism is a broad term coveringseveral types or branchesRadical DisabledMarxistBlackDifferenceLiberalAnd even MEN can be feministsThe list goes on................
Feminism isConcerned with exploring the inequalitiesthat exist between men & womenin society from a female perspective& illustrate how males dominate socialrelationships & restrict theopportunities of women.
Consider the clip which reflects howwomen were traditionally seen.Harry Enfield: Women Know Your Limits
Brief Background to Feminism•Campaigners for equality for women bought aboutFeminism.•At the beginning of the 20th Century, women werecampaigning for equal rights in terms of education,marriage, employment & politics.•Second Wave Feminism emerged as a challenge toexisting social theories which were Male-stream,meaning dominated by male thinkers & thereforebias, sexist & lacking in emotional focus & a femalePerspective on things.
The Suffragette Movement•Emmeline Pankhurst born in Manchester was marriedto Marsden Pankhurst an MP & barrister, who workedwith her to promote equality for women.•Emmeline led the British suffragette movement & aftermany frustrating years of government ignoring them, theyeventually won the right for all British women to vote.•The suffragettes had chained themselves to railings, set fireto government buildings & became more violent in theirattempt to get women equality with men.
By Summer 1914, 1,00’0’s of suffragettes hadbeen imprisoned.But in July, World War I provided a real turningpoint for the campaign.Women had to do the work of men in the factories, on theLand and support & care for their families. The governmentcould not deny then, that they were equally as capable as men& gave women over the age of 30the right to vote.
Sadly, after all the hard workin fighting to get womentreated equally with men,Emmeline died just a fewweeks after Britishwomen were granted theright to vote.
Today, although much has beenachieved through campaign activity,Women still earn on average 80%of male earnings for doing theSame job & are still victims ofStructural, cultural & economicGender discrimination & inequality.
So, let’s take a lookat what Feministstoday, are stillcocerned about.
As we noted earlier,there are several differenttypes of Feminist theory,but all of them sharecertain characteristics.
•They all believe that there is afundamental division in societybetween men & women.•That women are to some extentexploited by men.•That society is male dominated orPatriarchal.
Variations between Feminists can belumped into 4 broad approaches•Radical•Marxist•Liberal•Difference
Radical feministsOne of the most significant butcontroversial voices of this perspectivein the 2oth Century is Australian bornGermaine Greer.Academic writer, journalist & scholar.
Radical (basically meaning extreme)feministsBelieve that men are the enemy, and thatthey control, exploit & oppress womenthrough the process of patriarchy(male rule or domination) in employment,family relations, sexual relations & status.
Radical Feminists solution to this:•Men give up their patriarchy•Women exist without men &self-reproduce•Women keep their livesseparate from men•Abolish the nuclear familyunit
Marxist FeminismIn the 1970’s a number of women began to drawUpon Marxist theory to explain the oppression ofWomen in society.They do not see women’s oppression arising solelyFrom Patriarchy, but primarily from Capitalism thatForces them to be unpaid labourers & nurturers inOrder to maintain capitalism.
Fran Ansley (1972)Ansley believes that women suffer as aresult of Capitalism due to being the‘takers of shit’whereby they absorb their Husbandsfrustration at his powerlessness & status ina Capitalist Society.She argues that women act as asafety valvethat ensures that capitalism continues &the bourgeoisie remain powerful &wealthy.
Liberal FeminismLiberal Feminism is less of a theoreticalperspective and more of a political movement.They tend to criticise other Feminists for ignoringthe progress that has been made in society withregards to gender inequality.They are also more likely to argue that genderRoles are also limiting for men
Ann OakleyOakley like many other liberalfeminists focuses her research onIdentifying discrimination & lack ofequality of Opportunity for womenin order to highlight these issuesand to raiseawareness &change attitudes.
Difference FeminismBasically, the 3 branches of feminism we have justConsidered tend to see women as a single group who sharethe same interests, experiences & types of exploitation.Difference Feminism, that has much in common withPostmodernism, argues that women have a variety ofinterests & needs and are not one single united group.
For example•Many women are lone parents so are notexploited by a cohabiting man.•Different cultures or families fromdifferent ethnic backgrounds have variedgender relationships in them that are notConsidered to be exploitative but ratherNatural & right.•Lesbian relationships
Radical Feminism Marxist Feminism Liberal FeminismSociety iscontrolled bySociety is definedas...Who benefits frominequalityWhat is to blamefor inequalitySolutions to theexploitationCriticismsMake a copy of this table on A3 paperCut up the statements you’ve been givenAnd then using your hand-outs decidewhich statement belongs to which Feministperspective.
Men Primarily Capitalism &MenMainly men but somewomen do have powerRecognises inequality existsbut doesn’t really provide atheory to explain why or howit continues.Places too much emphasison men working & women’slack of finances. More maleunemployment lately-Welfarestate supportPatriarchy doesn’t explainwhy women are exploitedonly how.Exaggerates the extent ofinequality in society.Men Having a lack of equalityof opportunityNobody. Gender stereotypesmean that men miss out onraising children & women inpaid work.Separation of the sexes andwomen become self-reproductiveGet rid of sexism in thesocialization processNew reforms & laws againstdiscriminationRevolution or moreeconomic equality tobalance men & women’sfinancial powerWomen are dominated bymen due to biology –menare stronger, women givebirthMen’s status as paidemployer means womenare financially dependenton menSocialization into gender roles &sexist discriminationPatriarchal Patriarchal The Bourgeoisie &Men/husbands
Radical Feminism Marxist Feminism Liberal FeminismSociety iscontrolled byMen Primarily Capitalism &MenMainly men but somewomen do have powerSociety is definedas...Patriarchal Patriarchal Having a lack of equality ofopportunityWho benefits frominequalityMen The Bourgeoisie &Men/husbandsNobody. Gender stereotypesmean that men miss out onraising children & women inpaid work.What is to blamefor inequalityWomen are dominatedby men due to biology –men are stronger, womengive birthMen’s status as paidemployer meanswomen are financiallydependent on menSocialization into genderroles & sexist discriminationSolutions to theexploitationSeparation of the sexesand women become self-reproductiveRevolution or moreeconomic equality tobalance men &women’s financialpowerGet rid of sexism in thesocialization processNew reforms & laws againstdiscriminationCriticisms Patriarchy doesn’texplain why women areexploited only how.Exaggerates the extent ofinequality in society.Places too muchemphasis on menworking & women’s lackof finances. More maleunemployment lately-Welfare state supportRecognises inequality existsbut doesn’t really provide atheory to explain why or howit continues.