Examine the ways in which feminism has contributed to our understanding of families
Feminists take critical views of the family as they argue it oppresses women and therefore creates issues such as unequal divisions of domestic labour and domestic violence against women. Feminists believe that there is a ‘triple burden’ of paid work, domestic labour and emotional work. Also gender inequality is not regarded as natural or inevitable, but something that has been created by society. Feminists also argue that the oppression of women is due to patriarchy.
The New Right has been criticised by feminists such as Ann Oakley (1997) as it has a conservative and anti-feminist perspective on the family. The New Right is firmly opposed to family diversity. The New Right sees the nuclear family as the ‘natural’ family and is based upon fundamental biological differences between men and women. In their view, the nuclear family has clear-cut divisions of labour between the breadwinner-husband and homemaker-wife. Therefore leading to criticisms from feminists. Ann Oakley argues that the New Right wrongly assumes that husbands and wives’ roles are fixed by biology. She also believes that the New Right view of the family is a negative reaction against the feminist campaign for women’s equality. Even more so, other feminists argue that the traditional nuclear family favoured by the New Right is based on the patriarchal oppression of women and is a fundamental cause of gender inequality. In this view, it prevents women working and keeps them financially dependent on me.
Feminism is often referred to as ‘feminisms’ as it is acknowledge that the feminist label is broad and a cover many types of feminist. The main types of feminists are; Liberal, Marxist, Radical and Difference.
Liberal feminists such as Jenny Somerville (2000) believe that the main obstacle for women is the equality in attitudes, practices and law in which can be changed without any fundamental changes to...
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