Reading reflection: CH-9 communicating gender at work
This reading touched down on three feminist perspectives that can be used to further understand power relations within organizational life. The three perspectives are liberal, radical, and critical feminist. The author argues that the critical feminist perspective is the better one of the three to use while looking at organizational communication in relation to power. In the later part of this reading masculinity is broken down within organizations as being socially constructed in everyday interactions within the organizations life.
This reading does a good job at defining what being a feminist means over its historical time period. Feminism means to be dedicated towards the improvement of equality with genders. There were three waves of feminism, which can all be seen as taking steps towards equality for women. The first wave came about around the mid-19th century and had to do with the right to vote for women. This was a huge step forward for the white women’s population. The second wave of feminism had to do with the lack of presents of females within the work field. This wave of feminism was not taking into consideration that there has been females in the work field previously, but the white middle class women were absent. This wave was considerably focused of the white middle class females and not the women of color or lower class that have been in the work place. The last wave of feminism tries to capture what the second wave missed, which is the equality of the oppressed groups of females such as women of color and different classes that was absent. The third wave doesn’t stop there though; it tries to include men as well when looking at the inequality issues associated with power and gender.
The three types of feminism are liberal, radical, and critical. I will briefly touch down on the first two because I know that the author favors the critical feminism perspective. The liberal feminism is referred to as the women’s suffrage movement. This perspective is trying level the playing field for women in the work force by allowing women to have an equal access to work and career opportunities like men. There are things within the organizational life that are still to this day not making the opportunity for women as equal to their counter parts. Women in organizations experience this thing called a glass ceiling where women have trouble progressing after a certain position within the hierarchical system.one thing that really shocked me is that the United States is ranked 20th out of 21 countries for parental leave. This perspective sees men and women more alike than different. The radical feminism perspective tries to say that women should not buy into this patriarchal system and think that they can accomplish the same task as men, but they should take on more of a matriarchal system instead. This matriarchal system is the alternative to the patriarchal system and radical feminist will say that they must start over and create new organizations with feminine ideologies as dominate. This can be seen as a women centered perspective that tries to encompass the women’s way of knowing. This perspective sees men and women as having more differences then similarities unlike the liberal feminists. The critical feminism perspective is the author’s ideal way to try and understand the relations between gender and organizational communication. This perspective does not take a liberal or a radical stance towards gender in organizations instead it sees gender as being socially constructed. Times change and with that so do the gender expectations. Using this critical perspective we can see that organizations are “gendered”, meaning that gender is an essential feature to organizational life and is always being constructed through interactions between organizational members day to day. The critical feminist perspective also is concerned with the way organizational members do gender. The example Mumby uses to demonstrate this is the “real man” analogy basically saying that a real man is someone who does hard, physical dirt works etc. and if you don’t fall into that you are not fulfilling the real man’s expectations. This perspective looks at both male and female as being connected with gendered organizational processes. Femininity and masculinity both are socially constructed and this critical feminism perspective does help to try and understand the definitions that we associate with them. to demonstrate that gender is socially constructed we can look at the definition of masculinity that is explained later in this chapter and shows the changed of the meaning over the years. I think that this is an important topic to reflect on because in my eyes when it comes to gender things are still not equal especially in the work field. Organizations would benefit if there were women at the top of the latter in my eyes, but it’s just that they are not being as easily allowed to move up in the organization or even treated fair in occupations that they dominate seen with the term glass escalator. People need to stop being so traditional and realize that women and the oppressed groups will have great contributions to our society and have the same abilities that men do.