They hold the belief that power lies with men instead of the economy and the structure of society is so men are able to maintain their power. Along with having these beliefs, feminists also believe women are being suppressed in society. One area feminists hold strong views over is the family. They believe that society is patriarchal. Linda N. (undated) provides a definition as men holding the position of power and the head of the family unit.
She points out that women depend on men for survival and that is only seen in the human species. Her whole argument is based on the female economic dependence on the male. Gilman notes that males direct the activities associated with the female role. The author explains that by a woman having a man economically involved she is then forced to pay back the debt to the man with domestic service. According to Gilman, the result is the traditional role of mother, which then is passed on to her children.
Functionalist Murdock suggested as children we are socialised into societies shared norms and values and he believed that males provide the economic roles and females provided the expressive role. Therefore it is natural for women to play the expressive role in the household looking after the family’s emotional needs. However, radical feminist Ann Oakley argues that the role of the housewife is a social construction and isn’t linked to the female role. The housewife role makes sure that women stay inferior to men making it difficult for them have careers. Women carry out the triple burden in the household; the domestic labour, emotional labour, and paid labour.
EXAMINE THE VIEW THAT DIVISION OF LABOUR BETWEEN COUPLES HAVE BEEN MORE OR LESS EQUAL. [24 MARKS] Domestic division of labour means the gender roles of men and women played in relation to housework, childcare and paid work. For example, men are expected to do more DIY work while women are expected to do the housework and take care of the child by providing emotional support to them. Some sociologists believe that families nowadays are moving towards equality and that the families are becoming symmetrical. A symmetrical family is a family where ale the chores are shared equally between couples.
However, some sociologists disagree with Murdock’s functions of the family and have criticised him. Some argue that these functions could be performed in other institutions equally as well as in the family, or by non-nuclear families. Marxists and Feminists reject his 'rose-tinted' harmonious consensus view that the family meets the needs of both wider society and all members of the family. They argue that functionalism neglects conflict and exploitation: Feminist see the family as serving the needs of men and oppressing women. Marxists argue that it meets the needs of Capitalism and not the needs of family members or society as a whole.
Good wives were considered to cook, clean, take care of the children, and treat their husbands well. Such traits are still believed to be good to this day, but the problem is when these views get in the way of a woman’s goals to become something more than just a house-wife. Further, she goes to describe how degrading some of these comments are such as “I want a wife to pick up after me.” (180); “I want a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a wife’s duties.” (180). After reviewing just these few comments out of many I see that those statements are very degrading and narcissistic. This is no way to treat a woman that you are supposed to love; it sounds more like being a wife was more like being a slave in her viewpoint.
This might be because Ibsen’s plays could be a page out of real life at the time he wrote them. They both satirize gender roles and the consequences of “breaking the rules” of these roles. The role of women during this time was almost strictly to be a wife and a mother. She was to be dependent on her husband and she should be happy to be reliant on his superior capabilities as a man. Men had the role of the provider, the head of the house, they were supposed to be independent and were thought of as superior to women both physically and mentally.
Outline and assess functionalist and new right views on the family This essay aims to explore the views of the functionalist and new rights approach on the family. Functionalists argue that the family is the most important institution in society as it benefits both the individual and society. They have the most positive view on the family, and state that it performs vital functions for the maintenance of society. Their main emphasis is on the nuclear family which is the stereotypical family of married, heterosexual parents with children - they tend to ignore any other family types. The approach presents the family as a family isolated from wider kinships because of the mobility required by labour markets in industrial societies.
Rudimentary Roles? Women in Colonial America After the transition from a patriarchal society in England to the more democratic society in the New World, women began to have a more important role in the lives of the new settlers. Both genders had to do their own share of labor. King James I stated that “he who will not work shall not eat.” During the busy and tough times of the early settlements, the same saying applied to the females as well. Their importance in colonial America would be shaped through the roles of maintaining household and farm order, encouraging faith and moral development, and the role of a subordinate to men.
Gender equality does not mean that men and women become equal, it means that they are entitled to have access to the same opportunities for education, employment, financial independence (UNFPA 2013), and that they share the responsibility for the home and child care. It is important to have a level playing field in relation to social institutions such as employment, law and education. As it is only then will women gain equality, the same treatment and rights that men get. It is more important for ethnic women and indigenous women as these demographic types suffer even more than the typical "western woman"(Gen 14 2013, p.13). Looks play a major part for these women as does the language barrier.