A-Level Notes > Jewish Free School A-Level Notes > A2 Level Politics Edexcel - Political Ideologies - Feminism Notes

Feminism Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 5 page long Feminism notes, which we sell as part of the A2 Level Politics Edexcel - Political Ideologies - Feminism Notes collection, a A* 100UMS package written at Jewish Free School in 2013 that contains (approximately) 5 pages of notes across 1 different document.

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Key themes:

1. Sex and gender - Biological and social/cultural distinctions between men and women
(gender is not destiny; possibility of sexual equality); patriarchy as systematic
subordination of women (sexual politics; institutionalised gender oppression); the
public/private divide (confinement to domestic/private sphere; exclusion from
public/political life, hence from power).

2. Patriarchy - emphasis placed on gender divisions (society characterised by gender
oppression); gender inequalities are rooted in, and reflect, sexual (and generation)
division of labour/power within the family); radical feminists view of patriarchy
(systematic, institutionalised and pervasive oppression); liberal feminism and patriarchy
(unequal access to public realm); socialist feminism and patriarchy (links between
gender and class oppression).

3. Liberalism and feminism - Individualism as basis for liberal feminism (personhood;
gender identity secondary); concern with the equal distribution of rights and
entitlements (legal and political equality, no restructuring of society); equal access to
the public realm (defence of the public/private divide; 'private woman' natural);
reformist approach (gender imbalance can be overturned through constitutional and
democratic pressure).

4. Socialism and feminism - Economic basis of gender inequality (reserve army of labour;
reproducing next generation of capitalist workers; training and incentivising male
workers, etc); orthodox Marxism (priority of class over gender; patriarchy a
consequence of private property; socialism/social revolution as a means of bringing
about women's liberation); modern Marxism (patriarchy and capitalism as interlocking
systems of oppression; patriarchy can survive the collapse of capitalism).

5. Radical feminism - Gender as the most politically significant of political divisions
(priority over class, race etc): patriarchy a systematic and pervasive form of oppression
(operates in all spheres of society and all societies); 'the personal is the political'
(gender oppression can be traced back to the structure of domestic/private life); sexual
revolution (qualitative social change not merely redistribution of rights or wealth); pro-­‐
woman feminism (essential differences between women and men; feminist separatism;
political lesbianism); difference feminism (rejection of feminist egalitarianism as form of
male identification; feminist form of identity politics).

6. Anti-­‐feminism - Organic critique of feminism (sex is destiny - women are naturally
designed for domestic, family-­‐based role); traditionalist critique of feminism
(patriarchal structures have been tried and tested by history); different but equal
(women should be respected in terms of their natural role and position); social cohesion
('private' woman as source of nurturing and stability within the family).

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