Feminist views of the family revolve around and understanding of the term patriarchy, which means make domination. Feminists agree that men tend to have a superior position in society and that women suffer oppression because of this. Many feminists argue that the family is a corner stone of this oppression and as such needs careful analysis. Liberal feminists believe that the fanily is gradually becoming less oppressive for women, they cite the move of many families towards more symmetrical roles where men take more part in the domestic roles so that women are no longer burdened by the mundane, repetitive, low status work of cleaning, laundry and childcare work which makes their position in society less powerful than mens. However, radical feminists disagree.
For example, cultural feminists look to the different values associated with womanhood and femininity as a reason why men and women experience the social world differently. Other feminist theorists believe that the different roles assigned to women and men within institutions better explain gender difference, including the sexual division of labor in the household. Existential and phenomenological feminists focus on how women have been marginalized and defined as the “other” in patriarchal societies. Women are thus seen as objects and are denied the opportunity for self-realization. Gender Inequality: Gender-inequality theories recognize that women's location in, and experience of, social situations are not only different but also unequal to men's.
Whereas the husbands takes on the instrumental role; geared towards achieving success at work so that he can provide for the family financially. This interpretation can not be deemed as patriarchal and unequal as it is focal around the inkling of how separate roles work in the whole of society's favour. Therefore, not only does it benefit the men, but according to functionalists, it benefits the family too. A similar viewpoint to this perspective would be that the expressive role and instrumental roles help to craft a gender script, which cripples the progress in the division of labour. Therefore the domestic roles that men and women do still remain unequal and society continues to transmit the instinctive patriarchal agenda.
Therefore he is more likely to accept his status in society, which again fuels capitalism. The Marxists perspective also sees the role of women in the nuclear family as capitalist because in the traditional role of ‘the housewife’, women care for workers; looking after the housework and their children so they are free to work and making sure they are healthy by feeding them. This ensures that males are more productive whilst at work and boosts the economy; benefiting the bourgeoisie. This view does not take into account women who
The Apparel Industry is the most affected because of this; workers are obligated to work long shifts without any consideration of their well-being. The Desire Satisfaction theory could be applied to those who seek out for cheap alternatives when placing orders within the apparel industry. This theory states “something is good for you if it satisfies your desires” (Landau, 2012, p 43-44). This may qualify for manufactures taking advantage of workers by using sweatshops because they end up saving large amounts of money, while receiving the product they need, and delivering it to the buyer. The Desire Satisfaction theory can be applied to those who benefit from their careless actions that eventually affect others.
However, Marxists would disagree and say that this policy as it supports the working class mostly therefore encourages people to work at the benefit of capitalism. This is also shown through child benefit, which on the one hand Functionalists say supports the family in raising the new generation and helps it to function properly. But on the other hand it encourages people to work as both parents should work in order to get benefits. Furthermore, Feminists claim that child benefit also reinforces strict gender roles because the benefit goes to the mother implying that the mother is the one who will perform the expressive role of raising the child. This shows that although some state policies and laws can have a good impact on family life, they can also be seen as having negative implications.
They believe the number of symmetrical families is rising, with women going out to work and men helping with housework and childcare with the couple having joint conjugal roles. Also, Gershuny found that the more work women do, the less time they spend on housework, which suggests that tasks are being spread equally. Feminist sociologists believe there has been no improvement. They believe the division of labour is unnatural and is only to benefit men, with women carrying a ‘dual-burden’ of having to work full or part-time as well as take on the duties that are commonly
Parsons (1955) maintains that the family still has a vital role in preparing its members to meet the requirements of the social system. Thus, the family is arguably not patriarchal but just well adjusted to the needs of society. The Marxist feminist perspective view on the family is that it’s still is patriarchal and that this is not helped by the capitalist system. The man is oppressed by his job as his bargaining power is weakened by his obligation to his family, thus
Delphy and Leonard (1992) argued that the inequalities between partners in the home are a result of the fact that the head of the household is almost always male. This implies that men have more decision-making power, and are able to consume more of what the family earns, even if they are unemployed and it is the woman who is earning the money. They state that women, on the other hand, are expected to carry out domestic work without being paid. Marxist Feminists believe that the woman are a ‘reserve army’ of cheap labour in the family and they think that the family should be abolished along with the capitalist society that we live in.
A professional career was almost impossible, and despite Britain’s ruler being female for most of the nineteenth century until 1901 when Queen Elizabeth died, women were second class citizens. In 1870, Queen Victoria had written, ‘let women be what God intended, a helpmate for man, but with totally different duties and vocations.’ Trint, S. History Learning Site 2010-2011. Women’s Rights. www.historylearningsite.co.uk [accessed 07122011] Women’s subordination to men meant that their prime duty was domestic. Children were an economic responsibility for women - providing food, housing and clothing until the child was independent and could go out to work to provide for the family themselves.