Feminism Flashcards Preview

Sociology > Feminism > Flashcards

Flashcards in Feminism Deck (26):

How do liberal feminists believe that women can achieve equality?

Through gradual reforms, e.g. Laws and policies against sex discrimination


What do liberal feminists see as a barrier to women?

Traditional prejudices and stereotypes about gender differences


How do liberal feminists distinguish between sex and gender?

Sex = biological differences
Gender = culturally constructed differences between masculine and feminine roles


How do liberal feminists think sexist attitudes and stereotypes are constructed and transmitted?

Through socialisation


How do liberal feminists seek to change traditional stereotypes ant women?

Seek to promote appropriate role models in education and the family, e.g. female teachers or fathers performing domestic tasks


How do liberal feminists challenge Parsons?

Women are equally capable of performing roles in both spheres


What are 3 evaluation points of the liberal feminists?

1) Their work has helped demonstrate that gender differences a not inborn but the result of different treatment and socialisation patterns
2) Their theory is over optimistic, ignores deal seated structures such as patriarchy and capitalism which oppress women
3) Marxist and radical feminists argue that liberal feminists fail to identify the underlying cause of women's subordination


What 3 claims do radical feminists make?

1) Patriarchy is universal
2) Patriarchy is the primary and most fundamental for of social inequality and conflict
3) All men oppress all women


How do radical feminists argue that patriarchy is both public and personal?

- Public because it happens in they public sphere of work and politics
-Private because it happens in the private sphere of the family, domestic labour and sexual relationships


How do radical feminists argue that patriarchy constructs sexuality so as to satisfy men's desires?

Men force women into a narrow and unsatisfying 'compulsory heterosexuality', which becomes they only form of sexuality


How do radical feminists propose change?

- Lesbianism is the only non-oppressive form of sexuality
- Some advocate separatism - living apart from men and creating a new culture of female independence
- Through sharing experiences in female only consciousness, e.g. starting groups


Give 4 criticisms of radical feminism?

1) Not all women are in the same position
2) Marxist feminists argue that class is the main form of oppression, not patriarchy
3) Inadequate theory of how patriarch will be abolished
4) Neglects female violence against males


How do Marxist feminists see women's subordinate position in capitalist society as resulting from?

Their primary role as unpaid homemaker, which places them at a dependant economic position in the family


What 4 important functions does women's subordination perform for capitalist society?

1) Women are a source of cheap, exploitable labour
2) Women are a reserve army of labour
3) Women reproduce the labour force
4) Women absorb anger that would otherwise be directed at capitalism


Explain the ideology of familism. What do the Marxist feminists say about it?

1) It presents the nuclear family and its sexual division of labour as natural and normal
2) The family is the only place where women can attain fulfilment
3) We must overthrow the ideology of familism that underpins the conventional family and the unequal division of labour
4) This would free the sexes from restrictive stereotypes and ensure domestic labour was shared equally


Give 4 evaluation points of Marxist feminists

1) Fails to explain women's subordination in non-capitalist societies
2) Does not explain why it is women who are the one's to perform unpaid domestic labour
3) Places insufficient emphasis on the ways that men oppress women
4) It is not proven that unpaid domestic labour is the fastest and cheapest of reproducing labour power


Explain difference feminism

Difference feminism does not see women as one whole homogenous group


What does difference feminism say about the experiences of women?

That every kind of woman has a different experience of capitalism, patriarchy, racism, etc.


What does difference feminism claim?

That feminist theory has claimed a 'false universality' for itself - it claimed to be about all women, but was in fact only about white, western, heterosexual middle-class women


What do difference feminists argue that Marxist and liberal feminists are?

Essentialist - they see all women as the same


What do difference feminists say is the result of essentialism?

It fails to reflect the diversity of women's experiences and other women are excluded


What are poststructuralist feminists concerned with?

Discourses - ways of seeing, thinking or speaking about things


What do poststructuralist feminists say a discourse is?

Something that gives power over those it defines - e.g. by defining childbirth as a medical condition, and women as patients, medical discourse empowers doctors and disempowers women


What do poststructuralist feminists believe there is?

No fixed essence of what it is to be female


Why do poststructuralist feminists believe the is no fixed essence of what it is like to be a woman?

Because our identities are constituted through discourses, and because there a many different discourses in different times and cultures, there can be nor fixed entity called 'womanhood' that is the same everywhere


Give 3 criticisms of poststructuralist feminism

1) Walby argues there are important similarities between women - they are all faxed with patriarchy
2) Celebrating differences may have the effect of dividing women into an infinite number of sub-groups, weakening feminism as a movement for change
3) Segal says it abandons any notion of real, objective social structures. Oppression is not just the result of discourses, it is about real inequality