Select and Describe a School of Feminist Thought Which You Think Best Explains Gender Inequality and Justify Your Selection

Topics: Feminism, Radical feminism, Gender role Pages: 5 (1864 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Select and describe a school of Feminist thought which you think best explains gender inequality and justify your selection

Feminism is defined as a collection of movements that are aimed at defining, establishing and defending the rights and equal opportunities for women. Within feminism there are many schools of feminist thought, all with different ideas on how to defend and establish equal rights; however some are more extreme than others and others best explain why there is gender inequality. This essay sets out to describe why liberal Feminism best explains why there is gender inequality and will also explain why some other schools of thought do not correctly explain why there is inequality. Liberal Feminism is not an extreme school of feminist thought like radical feminism; therefore it is widely accepted by a lot of western societies thereby making it quite a popular school of thought. It explains that one of the ways that women are not completely equal in society is not because of men but, in countries like England and America, it is the state or government that keeps women from achieving equality. So, women who believe in liberal feminism believe that their political role is to put an end to the laws that limit women’s liberties, and also put an end to the laws that grant women special treatment and privileges. This means that if this idea was put into action men and women would be completely equal, unlike some schools of thought like radical feminism that appear to want to race women above of men, which wouldn’t mean equality. The reasoning behind Liberal feminism is very obvious, women who work full time are paid on average 15.5 percent less than men for work of equivalent value, women make up only 22 percent of Mps in the uk and 96 percent of executive directors of the uk’s top 100 companies are men. So it is understandable why liberal feminists want to even out the numbers.

Another explanation from feminists like Ann Oakley to why women are not equal in society is that gender role socialization is responsible for sexual division of Labour. Boys and Girls are socialized in different ways; girls are often encouraged to take caring roles which could lead them to having jobs like nurses. This is because of the 3 agents of socialization, the media, school and the family. In most cases this attitude is started in the home where boys and girls are treated differently. The toys they play with at a young age differ dramatically. Boys are encouraged to play with action figures and construction based toys, whereas girls play more with things like dolls and arts and crafts. This means that girls are seen from a very young age to be the ones who care for a family and thereby be less career motivated. Both genders are in most cases treated differently in the same situation. When a young boy hurts himself he is told not to cry, but in the same situation girl are traditionally given more sympathy and attention. Looking at this evidence feminists like Ann Oakley believe that it is more difficult for women to pursue careers, this could be due to men seeing women as more of a housewife then a serious business woman. This could be due to the fact that many men, and some women, see that the natural maternity instinct is more suited to caring roles than business roles. This does not mean that all women go into caring roles like the socialization of women wants, many rebel or react against it by pursuing a career or by some other means. In some forms of media like films women are often seen as the weaker sex or the ones who are particularly weak. Take most action movies, especially old movies, women are always the ones that need to be rescued from any given situation. Another example of sexist media would be things like clothing magazines being in most cases specifically aimed at women and car magazines aimed at men. There Is nothing stopping women being interested in cars but the industry is geared...
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