Presentation on theme: "Patriarchy and Radical Feminism"— Presentation transcript:
1 Patriarchy and Radical Feminism Week 9Gender and Society
2 Recap Social construction of gender Look at social structures such as media, work and educationConsidered Liberal and socialist feminismIntroduced patriarchy as a form of oppression
3 Outline Main points of radical feminism Definitions/critiques of patriarchyUniversalism andEssentialism
4 Radical feminismRadical feminism is often the one in public imaginationWomen oppressed as womenKey sites of oppressionFamily and personal relationshipsSexuality
5 Gendered powerMale power needs to be recognised and understood in all its formsMale oppression has primacy over other forms of oppressionViolence is a key part in maintaining male dominance
6 Violence against women Not random acts by a few men but a key element in male powerViolence and/or threats of violence are used to control womenSexual violence is a continuumDomestic violence, sexual harassment, pornography, prostitution, rape etc are all linked
7 Continuum of sexual violence ‘The continuum of sexual violence ranges from extensions of the myriad forms of sexism women encounter everyday through to the all too frequent murder of women and girls by men’Kelly L (1988) Surviving Sexual Violence Minnesota. p97
8 Domestic violence in the UK One in four women will be assaulted by a male partnerOn average two women per week are killed by a male partner or former partnerOne incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minuteOver a third of all female murder victims are killed by a current or former partnerWilcox P (2005) Understanding Domestic Violence Routledge
9 Rape on Trial 1 in 4 women suffer rape or attempted rape. 97% of callers to rape crisis centres knew their assailant (usually they are current/ex-husbands/ partners)Less than 7% had reported the assault to the policeOnly 5% of rapes reported to the police end up in a convictionLees S (1996) Carnal Knowledge Penguin
10 Restricted movements Women are expected to restrict their lives ‘Women have been warned not to go out alone after dark after a series of three rapes and two abduction attempts in the same town over 10 days’. (Northampton Times 10/09/05)Women are expectedto restrict their livesWhy are men asked to stay in,so as not to be a threat towomen?
11 Sexual ExploitationRadical feminism believes that prostitution, pornography and similar sexualised events are always exploitativeAll sexualised treatment of womenreinforces male power
12 Continuum of ViolenceRadical feminists do not claim that all men are violent towards womenBut all men benefit from the threat of violence posed by some menThe risk means that women may become dependant on male protection
13 Continuum of violence?To what extend do you think it is useful to think of violence against women as a continuum?
14 Patriarchy defined Different definitions: Millet - Universal system of male dominanceWalby – Six main social structuresFamily WorkState ViolenceSexuality Culture
15 The family systemFor Millet, patriarchy is a socially conditioned belief system which appears to be natural.It arises from and is reinforced by the perpetuation of heterosexual familyThe ideals of romantic love helps men to exploit and undermine women
16 Walby’s Social Structures FamilyMale breadwinner/female homemakerWorkvertical and horizontal segregationStateLaws supporting male powerSexualityCompulsory heterosexualityViolenceActual or threatsCultureSupport though literature and media
17 Patriarchal StateFor radical feminism, male dominance is also supported by a patriarchal stateCrimes against women not taken seriouslyThings are improvingRape now recognised in marriageDomestic violence taken more seriouslySome problems remainImmigration requirements can mean women have to choose between violence or deportation
18 How do you think the different elements support or undermine each other? Discuss this with you neighbour.
19 Universalism Universal oppression lead to ideas of ‘sisterhood’ Women’s shared positionas oppressedStressed similaritiesbetween womenWomen’s experience keyto gaining understanding
20 EssentialismFocus on women’s shared experiences risk risks being essentialistValorising mothers as caring risksreturning to biological-reductionismDanger of overlooking the differencesbetween women
21 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of seeing women as a social group with common interests.
22 Radical feminist activism Rape crisis centresRefuge movementWomen’s health movementWomen’s peace movement
24 Public and PrivateLiberal feminism concentrates on the public sphere and formal equalitySocialist feminism looks at both the public and private spheresRadical feminism concentrates on the private sphere
25 Summary Patriarchy is the key concept for radical feminism Feminist activismReproductive rightsViolence against womenDangers of universalism and essentialism