Introduction to Sociology
Belief in the social, political, and economic equality
of the sexes.
The movement organized around this belief.
Feminist Theory is an outgrowth of the general
movement to empower women worldwide.
Feminism can be defined as a recognition and
critique of male supremacy combined with efforts to
The goals of feminism are:
To demonstrate the importance of women
To reveal that historically women have been
subordinate to men
To bring about gender equity.
Feminists fight for the equality of women and argue
that women should share equally in society’s
opportunities and scare resources.
As old as human history itself.
In Germany the feminists were fighting for the right
of women to engage in sexual relations regardless
of marital and legal consideration.
Marianne Weber (the wife of Max Weber) was a
Weber thought that women should be treated
equally in the social institution of marriage, along
with all the other social institutions.
She made it clear that marriage was between a
man and a woman
The contemporary feminism movement began in the
Free love helped escape the sexual double standard.
Divorce became commonplace
Women were “happy housewives” no more
Higher level employment and fulfillment outside the home
were becoming the norm
All people are created equal and should not be
denied equality of opportunity because of gender
Liberal Feminists focus their efforts on social change
through the construction of legislation and
regulation of employment practices
Inequality stems from the denial of equal rights.
The primary obstacle to equality is sexism.
Division of labor is related to gender role
Females give birth. Males left to support family
Male power and privilege is the basis of social
Sexism is the ultimate tool used by men to keep
Women are the first oppressed group
Women's oppression is the most widespread
Women’s oppression is the deepest
Women’s oppression causes the most suffering
Women’s oppression provides a conceptual model
for understanding all other forms of oppression
Men control the norms of acceptable sexual
Refusing to reproduce is the most effective way to
escape the snares
Speak out against all social structures because they
are created by men
Views women’s oppression as stemming from their
work in the family and the economy
Women’s inferior position is the result of class-based
Socialist believe that history can be made in the
private sphere (home) not just the public sphere
An increased emphasis on the private sphere and the
role of women in the household
Equal opportunities for women in the public sphere
Attempts to criticize the dominant order.
All theory is socially constructed.
Rejects claim that only rational, abstract thought
and scientific methodology can lead to valid
The basic idea is that looking to the past is no
longer the way to go. We are a global economic
world highlighted by technology. Looking to the
past no longer applies.
Girls begin to suffer bouts of clinical depression form the
frustration they experience when their bodies changes.
Beyond depression and thoughts of suicide, girls are more
vulnerable to eating disorders, substance abuse, and
dropping out of school.
Body is at heart of the crisis of confidence for adolescent
By the age thirteen, 53 percent of American girls are
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