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Feminism.

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Presentation on theme: "Feminism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feminism

2 Lesson objectives To understand the key ideas of feminism

3 Write down five words that spring to mind when you think about feminism.
Don’t show anyone

4 A Bad reputation?

5 But Perhaps we should all be feminists?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

6 What are fundamental values of feminism?

7 It’s axiomatic (self evident!)
All varieties of feminist thought (even the most politically conservative) tend to begin from the observation that women are not only socially different but also fundamentally unequal to men.

8 Did you know? On average two women a week are killed by a violent partner or ex partner in the UK? Up to 3 million women and girls across the UK suffer domestic abuse, stalking or other violence every year In 2011 the Forced Marriage Unit advised over 1,450 people – 78% of these were women or girls Around 66,000 women in the UK have suffered genital mutilation

9 Did you know? Women represent 42% of the workforce, but only:
22% of MPs 6.1% of FTSE 100 executive positions 20% of university professors 3% of chairpersons Women earn an average of £140,000 less than men over their working careers

10 Class and patriarchy The dual burden (Home and work)
The triple shift (children, job, housework)

11 "malestream" bias. "appendages" of men
"...sociology examines the status quo, calls it phenomena, and pretends to take no stand on it, thereby avoiding the necessity to comment on the invidious character of the relationship between the sex groups it studies. Yet by slow degrees of converting statistic to fact, function to prescription, bias to biology (or some other indeterminate) it comes to ratify and rationalize what has been socially enjoined or imposed into what is and ought to be. And through its pose of objectivity, it gains a special efficacy in reinforcing stereotypes...Functionalists, like other reactionaries, are out to save the family". Radical feminist Kate Millett ("Sexual Politics", 1971)

12 Homework: Observe 2 days of your household. Who does the chores
Homework: Observe 2 days of your household. Who does the chores? Follow this up with a quick interview to find out what attitudes people have towards the division of labour.

13 Plenary Now look back at the 5 words you wrote at the start of the lesson. Have you changed your mind?

14 Lesson objectives Identify the different branches of feminism.
Explain the feminist view of the family. Evaluate the feminist view of the family.

15 The three major types of feminism
a. Liberal feminism. b. Marxist feminism. c. Radical feminism.

16 1. Liberal feminists Ann Oakley Claire Wallace

17 Liberal Feminism What does the word liberal mean?
Willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas.

18 Liberal Feminism Liberal feminists do not spend time blaming men or capitalism for women’s position in society. They aim to change social policy/laws to support women. Liberal Feminists believe that laws such as the Sex Discrimination act are making life better for women although equality still does not exist.

19 LAWS Look at the timeline and identify any significant acts that have created greater gender equality in the uk

20 Key Terms Emotional work Economic dependency Gender stereotypes
Discrimination Patriarchy

21 Evaluation Marxist and radical feminists argue that liberal feminists are too optimistic. Marxist feminists argue that there needs to be a revolution and capitalism must be overthrown in order to women to gain equality. Radical feminists argue that women will only experience equality when patriarchy is no longer in place.

22 Evaluation New laws don’t necessarily stop people committing crimes

23 2. Marxist feminists

24 Marxist Feminism What is Marxism?
A combination of Marxism and Feminism. What is Marxism? Marxism is a perspective inspired by Karl Marx. Society is unequal due to the economic system The powerful minority exploit the majority Most things in society can be attributed to the economic system

25 Marxist Feminism Marxist Feminists look at the ways women are exploited and how this benefits the capitalist society. Can you think of any ways the exploitation of women

26 Marxist Feminist view of Family
Zaretsky: Family must be abolished Paying wages for housework preserves traditional inequalities Socialisation of household work Dialectic = (method of argument; exposing false beliefs)

27 Ansley (1972) The emotional support that wives provides help to support the husband’s frustration and this frustration comes from the stress of working within a capitalist system.

28 Ansley (1972) Marxist Feminism ‘Women are takers of shit’
Talking point: how might take out the frustrations of capitalism on men their partner/wife?

29 Pair/Share: when might the second function come into play?
Marxist Feminism Beechey believes that housewives carry out two functions: To provide care for current and future workers To be a cheap reserve army of labour Veronica Beechey Pair/Share: when might the second function come into play?

30 Marxist Feminism Enemy=capitalism Capitalism is the cause of oppression in the family not men

31 To summarise Barrett: a "patriarchal ideology" only develops effectively out of the initial relations of (male) domination and (female) subordination produced by the Capitalist system of production - not the other way around as many Radical feminists have argued.

32 Evaluation Radical feminists argue that patriarchy not capitalism is the issue that needs to be addressed. Liberal feminists argue marxist feminists ignore the progress that has been made over the last 50 years.

33 Rihanna ‘Man Down’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE hy-RXkNo0
‘Man Down’ is about domestic abuse. In this video Rihanna was sexually abused by her boyfriend. The song depicts her retaliation.

34 The ‘Dark side’ of family life
Domestic Violence The ‘Dark side’ of family life

35 Interview with Rihanna
/watch?v=O- wyhPK81Io&feature=rela ted Watch this clip and make notes. Do you feel sorry for Rihanna? Did she bring this on herself?

36 Chris Brown’s response
watch?v=p5DQ8qh1slQ&f eature=related Do you think Chris Brown is remorseful? Do you feel sorry for him?

37 What is domestic violence?
“Physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. It may involve partners, ex partners, household members or other relatives.” Taken from the Women’s Aid Federation (2008)

38 Victims of domestic violence
Lorena Bobbit Pamela Anderson

39 Are Lorena’s actions justified?
Lorena Bobbit celebrities-who-suffered-domestic- violence/ Lorena fights back! Are Lorena’s actions justified?

40 The British Crime survey (2007)
Domestic violence accounts for almost a sixth of all violent crime. It is estimated that there are 6.6 million domestic assaults a year, about half involving physical injury.

41 Mirlees- Black Mirlees- Black found that: Most victims are women
99% of all incidents against women are committed by men. Nearly one in four women has been assaulted by a partner at some point in her life time, and one in eight repeatedly so.

42 They argue that marriage legitimates violence against women.
Dobash and Dobash (1979) Interviewed women in women's refuges in Scotland and used police and court records to research domestic violence. Dobash and Dobash found that violent incidents could be set off by what a husband saw as a challenge to his authority. They argue that marriage legitimates violence against women.

43 Kathryn Coleman Kathryn Coleman (2007) found that women were more likely than men to have experienced ‘intimate violence’ across all four types of abuse – partner abuse, family abuse, sexual assault and stalking.

44 Official Statistics Official statistics understate the true extent of domestic violence. Why?

45 Victims may be unwilling to report it to the police.
Stephanie Yearnshire Victims may be unwilling to report it to the police. Stephanie Yearnshire (1997) found that on average a woman suffers 35 assaults before making a report. Domestic violence is the violent crime most likely to go unreported.

46 David Cheal Police and prosecutors may be reluctant to record, investigate or prosecute those cases that are reported to them. David Cheal 1991 found that this reluctance is due to the fact that Police and other state agencies are not prepared to become involved in the family. They make 3 assumptions about the family...

47 WHY IS IT IGNORED? The family is a private sphere so access to it by the state agencies should be limited. The family is a good thing and so agencies tend to neglect the ‘darker side’ of family life. 3) Individuals are free agents, so it is assumed that if a woman is experiencing abuse she is free to leave.

48 Radical Feminist view point
The evidence from Dobash and Dobash is evidence of patriarchy according to Firestone and Millet. The key division in society is between men and women. The family is the main source of female oppression. Women are dominated through domestic violence or the threat of it.

49 Radical Feminism Radical Feminists see the exploitation of women as being a result of having men dominate society. Delphy and Leonard (1992) Family role  maintains patriarchy (rule by men). Family is a system whereby men benefit at the expense of women.

50 Radical Feminism Men benefit from women’s unpaid domestic labour and from their sexual services, and they dominate women through domestic and sexual violence or the threat of it. Women should find alternative family forms to the nuclear family to escape patriarchy. Talking point: what alternative families might radical feminists prefer?

51 Enemy=men Men are the source of oppression and exploitation
Radical Feminism Enemy=men Men are the source of oppression and exploitation

52 Shulamith Firestone The biological family unit is seen, by Firestone, to be the source of patriarchal domination and she characterises it as being based upon four "facts“ – what might they be?: 1. Women, because of their reproductive biology, have always been dependent upon men for their protection and survival. 2. Human infants are dependent upon adults for a relatively long period of time (during which they have to be looked after). 3. There is a basic and universal mother - infant bond based upon the fact that the mother actually gestates the child - it comes from her body. 4. The biological (reproductive) division between the sexes is the origin of all other divisions - economic, political and ideological.

53 Domestic violence is a way of exerting dominance in a patriarchal society.
Additionally male domination in state institutions helps to explain the reluctance of the Police and courts to deal effectively with cases of domestic violence.

54 Criticism Faith Robertson Elliot rejects radical ideals of patriarchy in the family. Not all men are aggressive or violent. Radical feminists tend to ignore this.

55 Criticism Radical feminist’s fail to explain female violence including child abuse by women and violence against male partners. Mirlees-Black found that one in seven men has been assaulted and one in 20 repeatedly so.

56 Other groups at risk... Mirlees –Black identified other social groups at a higher risk of domestic violence: Children and young people Those in lower social classes Those who live in rented accommodation Drug users and those with high levels of alcohol consumption

57 Richard Wilkinson (1996) Domestic violence, inequality and stress.
Domestic violence is the result of stress on family members caused by social inequality. Inequality means that some families have fewer resources than others such as income and housing.

58 WHY? Those on low income or living in overcrowded accommodation are likely to experience higher levels of stress. This reduces their chances of maintaining stable, caring relationships and increases the risk of conflict and violence....

59 WHY? Worries about money, jobs and housing may spill over into domestic conflict as tempers become frayed.

60 WHY? Lack of money and time restricts peoples social circle and reduces social support for those under stress.

61 VULNERABLE Wilkinson and Mirrlees-Black show that not all people are equally in danger of suffering domestic violence. Those with less power, status, wealth or income are often at greatest risk.

62 However, unlike the radical feminist approach, Wilkinson does not explain why women rather than men are the main victims.

63 Films on Domestic violence
Nil by Mouth Sleeping with the Devil Dangerous Intentions Burning bed

64 Dark side of the family Nearly 1 million women experience at least one incident of domestic abuse each year (2009/10 British Crime Survey data:  as reported in latest cross-government VAWG strategy) At least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence (DoH, (2002)  Women's Mental Health : Into the Mainstream, accessed at:  p.16) Two women are killed each week by their partner or ex-partner (Womens Aid (March 2011) 54 per cent of women victims of serious sexual assault were assaulted by their partner or ex-partner (Stern, (2010)  The Stern Review p.9 ) Women experience an average of 35 incidents of domestic violence before reporting an incident to the police

65 Wilson and pickett Inequality not gender

66 Other Feminist Schools
Lesbian feminism Lesbian-feminist politics is a political critique of the institution and ideology of heterosexuality. Heterosexuality is viewed as the ‘norm’ and homosexuality is seen as ‘deviant’. Heterosexual relationships are seen as a cornerstone of male supremacy. Rita Mae Brown, Charlotte Bunch, TiGrace Atkinson, McKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, Adrienne Rich “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (1980) Humanist feminism women’s oppression is the inhibition and distortion of women’s human potential by a society that only allows the self-development of men. Black feminism argues that sexism, class oppression, and racism are inextricably bound together

67 General evaluation

68 Difference feminism Difference feminists argue that we cannot generalise about women’s experiences as if they are all from a conventional nuclear family. For example, black feminists argue that white feminists neglect black women’s experience of racial oppression. Black feminists argue that black families are a positive course of support and resistance against oppression. Others dispute this arguing that women share many of the same experiences when compared with men, they face greater risk of domestic violence, sexual assault, low pay etc. SRO 2011

69 Criticisms of feminism
Liberal feminists are often criticised for failing to challenge the underlying causes of women’s oppression. Jenny Somerville (2000): radical feminists fail to recognise that women’s position has improved considerably (it is therefore dated) and argues that separatism is unlikely to work. Most women want to spend time with men, marry them and have children together The New Right: equality is not always a good thing SRO 2011

70 CRITICISM Pessimistic view. Not all men are the enemy
Functionalists argue not all women view the family negatively; many have positive experiences in the family. Functionalists argue that women are suited to caring roles and should be performing domestic duties. Marxist feminists argue radical feminists ignore the role of capitalism. Sommerville (liberal feminist) Radical Feminists ignore the progress has been made by women.

71 Exam Materials: Jan 2009 Item 2A
Functionalists argue that the family contributes to the maintenance of the social system and that individuals benefit from the security and mutual support that the family provides. However, critics suggest that these views are optimistic and idealistic, and do not reflect the reality of family life. For example, feminists are highly critical of the family and the traditional expressive role that functionalists identify for women. Instead, feminists focus on the ways in which family life may have a harmful effect on women.

72 Four Mark Question Refer back to Item 2a (Jan 2009)
(b) Suggest two ways in which ‘family life may have a harmful effect on women’ (Item 2A, lines 6 ñ 7). (4 marks) Two marks for each of two appropriate ways suggested, such as women may: suffer domestic violence be excluded from decision making have to sacrifice career for family life be expected to carry out domestic role which can be monotonous have a double burden of housework as well as paid work outside the home be expected to care for relatives do domestic tasks unpaid.


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