Outline and Asses the Feminist Explanations of Gender Inequalities

893 words 4 pages
Outline and asses the feminist explanations of gender inequalities (40)
Feminists believe that women are unequal to men, and the different groups think it is down to different reasons. Liberal feminists think it is because it is down to gender role socialisation. Marxist feminists believe it is down to capitalism. Radical feminists think women are not equal to men because of relationships within the home, and black feminist think they are unequal not just because they are women, but also because of their skin colour. All groups of feminists also believe that women are subordinated due to patriarchy, (the idea that males are dominant).
Firstly, liberal feminists, such as Ann Oakley argue that gender role socialisation is responsible for
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Therefore, it is not capitalism that controls and exploits women; it is men themselves within the home. Women are disadvantaged in the labour market because within the home they are forced by men to be housewives and mothers.
However, Radical feminism has been criticised by Marxist feminist for focusing on just one source of gender inequality; the home. They don't take into account the fact that capitalism could be contributing to women being disadvantaged in terms of employment. Radical feminists have also been accused of being ethnocentric; i.e. they assume patriarchy is the same in all societies and cultures. However this may not be the case if you for example look at patriarchy in Asian cultures and white cultures, it might be quite different.
Black Feminism essentially argues that sexism and racism are inextricable from one another. Forms of feminism that strive to overcome sexism and class oppression but ignore or minimize race can perpetuate racism and thereby contribute to the oppression of many people, including women. Black feminists argue that the liberation of Black women entails freedom for all people, since it would require the end of racism, sexism, and class oppression.
In conclusion, all feminist theories agree that we live in a patriarchal society. However the reason we live in a patriarchal society is commonly argued amongst feminists each believing that a different ting caused