Feminist Perspective in Sociology Essay

“If we are to accomplish a richer civilization. rich in contrasting values. we must acknowledge the whole gamut of human potencies. and so weave a less arbitrary societal cloth. one in which each diverse gift will happen a fitting topographic point. ” — Margaret Mead I. Prologue At present. it is rather hard to conceive of how there was a clip when adult females were non afforded the same rights and chances as work forces. Some of these rights and chances include the right and chance to prosecute a college sheepskin and a calling. and the right to vote.

At present. it is rather revolting to believe how adult females were tagged and branded to stay at place and prosecute the best involvements of her household members. but non hers. It is rather hard to conceive of. but the truth of the affair is that there was such a clip that all these impossible things and revolting things were go oning. when adult females were to take the backseat to the work forces and when they were non regarded as peers. The end of the first moving ridge feminism was to rectify all these impressions and to seek to accomplish a place for the adult females when they do non take the backseat to the work forces. but stay beside the work forces as their peers.

Slowly. this was achieved. Hence. adult females were so are given the right and chance to prosecute a college sheepskin and a calling. and the right to vote. among all others. All of these things are singular accomplishments and should in and by themselves. be commended. However. it can non be denied one time once more. that the battle of adult females does non stop with the first moving ridge feminism. after all its non disposed to name it the first moving ridge if there is no 2nd moving ridge. The 2nd moving ridge devolved around the jobs that the accomplishments of the first moving ridge put to fore.

The amount of all these ends is finally for society dainty adult female non merely as an object but as a capable — who has her ain ideas and who can talk through her ain head and with her ain voice ( Delmar. 2005. p. 32 ) . The ultimate end was to emancipate adult female from her hypostatization. Therefore. MacKinnon remarked: I say. give adult females equal power in societal life. Let what we say matter. so we will talk about on inquiries of morality. Take your pes off our cervixs. so we will hear in what lingua adult females speak.

So long as sex equality is limited by “sex difference” whether you like it or don’t like it. whether you value it or seek to contradict it. whether you interest it out as a evidences for feminism or busy it as the terrain of misogynism. adult females will be born. degraded and die. We would still settle for that equal protection of the Torahs under which one would be born. unrecorded and die. in a state where protection is non a dirty word and equality is non a particular privilege ( 1987. p. 45 ) .

The issues and jobs created by the first moving ridge as manifested in the 2nd moving ridge led Bell Hooks to asseverate that [ a ] ll adult females are oppressed. and being oppressed means the absence of picks. The end of this Paper so is to seek to explicate in a simplified but non in a simplistic mode what Bell Hooks meant when she cited the above-named averment through an expounding of some the Hagiographas during the 2nd moving ridge feminism. The Paper shall be divided into four parts.

The first portion is the Prologue. where these paragraphs autumn under. which shall discourse in general the background and the end of the Paper. The 2nd portion shall discourse in general what Bell Hooks asserted through the mention stuffs. The 3rd portion shall discourse in specific item how all adult females are oppressed. one time once more through the reading stuffs. The 4th portion is the epilogue. which shall show the decision and personal ideas of the author of this Paper. II. The New Face of Oppression

Oppression presupposes two parties. one is the oppressor and the other is the object of the subjugation. or oppressee. so to talk. During the first moving ridge it is rather evident that the oppressor is the patriarchal and machismo feature of society. or work forces in short. and the object of the subjugation are adult females. In the 2nd moving ridge. one wonders how Hooks made this averment given the fact that the work forces and adult females duality and subjugation were no longer as manifest. The reply is simple. while the first moving ridge may hold achieved equal rights and chances for adult females and work forces. there is still subjugation.

It is merely that the faces of the oppressor and the oppressee have changed. With the 2nd moving ridge. other adult females became the oppressors. Harmonizing to most critics. this was an inevitable effect of puting equality with males as the primary end of feminism ( Jhappan. 1996. p. 25 ) . Jhappan expounds: [ I ] n world. the places of power and privileges enjoyed by white work forces have merely been made possible by racism and sexism. they require hierarchy. skewed power dealingss. inequality and the subjection of the bulk ( white adult females and people of coloring material ) .

It seems to me that white women’s “equality” with white work forces would merely be possible of the race hierarchy were kept well integral since the privileges that white work forces enjoy depend upon a racially satisfied societal system ( p. 25 ) . Simply. this means that with the end of equality with work forces. adult females aimed for an every bit oppressing place. where they are now the oppressors. While work forces were no longer tagged as the oppressors of all adult females. within the circle of adult females rose other oppressors in the face of fellow adult females who are of a different colour.

This is what Angela P. Harrris discusses in her article. in relation to what Catharine MacKinnon discusses in hers. By and large. the thought of the latter is that there is a cosmopolitan construct of a adult female so to talk. This cosmopolitan construct of a adult female is what was oppressed by society through male domination and domination earlier. For MacKinnon. there is merely one experience. civilization. heritage. demands for all adult females. therefore. their demands are all likewise. As most women’s rightists so were white adult females. most of what was pushed for were for the demands of the white adult females.

This is besides known as the impression of a massive adult females experience ( Harris. 2002. p. 384 ) . Through this gender essentialism and worse. racial essentialism was similarly furthered ( Harris. 2002. p. 384 ) . Therefore harmonizing to Harris. they cut down the lives of people who experience multiple signifiers of subjugation to extra jobs: “racism + sexism = straight black woman’s experience” or “racism + sexism + homophobia = black sapphic experience.

” Thus. in an essentialist universe. black women’s experience is ever forcibly disconnected before being subjected to analysis. as those who are “only interested in race” and those who are “only interested in gender” take their separate pieces of our lives ( p. 384 ) . An illustration for Harris is what MacKinnon does when she reduces Black adult females to merely worse signifiers of white adult females. and non as a separate and diverse adult female apart from the white adult female. but non an exasperation. MacKinnon imparts:

[ B ] deficiency is non simply a colour of skin pigmentation. but a heritage. an experience. a cultural and personal individuality. the significance of which becomes specifically… and glorious and/or ordinary under specific societal conditions. It is every bit much socially created as. and at least in the American context no less specifically meaningful or faulty than any lingual. tribal. or spiritual ethnicity. all of whom are conventionally recognized by capitalisation. While adult females on paper. were liberated from their hypostatization. what happened truly was that white adult females were liberated from hypostatization.

White adult females were no longer considered as objects —they became topics. Black adult females. though they were adult females but because they were black. were non likewise liberated. This is because [ tungsten ] hite women’s rightists have exposed male essentialism merely to replace it with another essentialism based on the impression of an indispensable adult female. However. as it turns out. this generic “woman” is non merely white. but in-between category. and besides able-bodied…Over the last twosome of decennaries people of colour have highlighted the silences of racialists Eurocentric history and discourses which render all “others” unseeable ( Jhappan. 1996. P.

22 ) . By virtuousness of the massive experience of adult females. adult females who did non suit the cast of the massive experience were oppressed in the sense that they were left with no pick. The pick was already made for them by the systems that were built in topographic point respecting such massive experience. They were left with no picks as their demands were non addressed. The demands that were addressed were the demands of those who fit the massive experience of adult females. III. The Specific Cases of Oppression

The specific cases of subjugation that are discussed in the mention stuffs are enumerated below. a. Oppression in Relation to the Family Through the thought of the household pay. adult females were oppressed with the fact that they were made dependant on the pay of their hubbies. They were made dependant with the impression that “a working adult male should gain plenty to back up his family” ( Gavigan. 1996. p. 237 ) . and accordingly. the topographic point of the adult female or the married woman is at place ( Gavigan. 1996. p. 237 ) .

As the hubby already earns adequate to back up the household. there is no more demand for the adult female to gain and augment the budget for the household. Therefore. she is tasked by society to remain at place and turn to the demands of her household members. Such true. does non necessitate professional and personal growing. Thus. while the members of the household prosecute different ends in their lives. the adult female is stuck at place looking after the household members. directing them off to make their dreams. while she stays in her topographic point. In add-on. if and when a adult female earns. she is given minimal pay.

The impression of minimal pay was put in topographic point to suit persons who were individual and who did non hold dependants to back up ( Gavigan. 1996. p. 238 ) . In this wise. adult females were oppressed with the fact that when they earn. what they earn is non even plenty to supply for their dependants. if any. b. Oppression under the Law Under the jurisprudence. heterosexual relationships are afforded more advantages and privileges. in footings of “tax benefits. standing to retrieve amendss for certain civil wrongs committed against partners. and rights to sequence and insurance benefits” ( Gavigan. 1996. P.

263 ) . The same are non afforded to homosexual relationships ; therefore adult females are oppressed. Oppression of adult females under the jurisprudence is manifested explicitly in Welfare Law. When adult females seek aid under the public assistance jurisprudence. particularly the solo parents. they have a difficult clip obtaining the aid that the jurisprudence provides because of the really stiff and rigorous definition of “spouse” under the Torahs such as the Family Law Act. RSO 1990 and Canada Pension Plan Act: “spouse” means either of a adult male and a adult female who ( a ) are married to each other or

( B ) have together entered into. a matrimony that is rescindable or null. in good religion on the portion of the individual asseverating a right under the Act x x x “spouses” means a partner as defined in subdivision 1 ( 1 ) . and in add-on includes either of a adult male and adult female who are non married to each other and have cohabited ( a ) continuously or ( B ) in relationship of some permanency. if they are natural or adoptive parents if a kid x x x “spouses: in relation to a subscriber means’ ( I ) if there is no individual described in subparagraph ( two ) . a individual who is married to the subscriber at the relevant clip

or ( two ) a individual of the opposite sex who is live togethering with the subscriber in a conjugal relationship at the relevant clip. holding so cohabited with the subscriber for a uninterrupted period of at least one twelvemonth ( Gavigan. 1996. p. 266 ) When solo parents seek societal public assistance aid. there were ever resort to the tribunals in order to find whether or non a peculiar relationship was sufficiently connubial to justify the characteristic as spousal and accordingly to justify the benefits provided by the societal services ( Gavigan. 1996. p. 266 ) .

Besides. the definition of the term “spouse” was excessively proficient such that even in heterosexual relationships. there were ever doubt as to whether a relationship is sufficiently connubial to justify the benefits granted by societal services ( Gavigan. 1996. p. 267 ) . An illustration of the ill-effect of this jurisprudence is the demand that the partner who should back up the partner ( married woman ) and the kids. must non populate in a certain propinquity ; otherwise the latter can non have the benefits under the Welfare Law ( Gavigan. 1996. p. 269 ) . c. Oppression by Virtue of Race or Color

This signifier was already discussed in portion two. However. in add-on Jhappan tells us that for coloured adult females. race instead gender has been the primary beginning of subjugation. …while white women’s rightists have theorized the male breadwinner dependent-female. post-Industrial Revolution household signifier of the West as a beginning of women’s subjugation. different household signifiers persist in other civilization even among those populating in the diasporas. For many adult females of coloring material. in fact. province actions such as iimmigration and labour policies that have separated and distorted households have oppressed them more than gender dealingss ( p. 23 ) . vitamin D.

Oppression of Oneself by Oneself Women besides admit that in and by themselves. they are oppressed. As there are adult females who are of different civilizations. there are certain facets of their individuality that is rejected by another facet. but which they finally have to cover with. For case a adult female who has both black and Caucasic heritage. the black heritage forsakes slavery while the Caucasic heritage promoted the same.

There may be cases in the life of such individual when determinations have to be made prefering one facet over the other. and in such case. the adult female is the oppressor of her ain ego as she is left with no pick but to make up one’s mind in such mode. although contrary to an facet of her individuality. IV. Epilogue Delmar has pointed out that the job of subjugation within the circle of feminism is rooted on the fact that the really definition of feminism is massive and abstracted. The very definition of feminism forgets or averts from the world that there exists a multiple consciousness of adult females.

With the realisation that a multiple consciousness of adult females exists. so there may be the realisation that there are assorted aspects of subjugation. Consequently. solutions may be afforded to these assorted aspects in order to get rid of. if non minimise the same. This is why at the beginning of this Paper a quotation mark from Margaret Mead was stated. “If we are to accomplish a richer civilization. rich in contrasting values. we must acknowledge the whole gamut of human potencies. and so weave a less arbitrary societal cloth. one in which each diverse gift will happen a fitting topographic point.

” With the realisation that adult females are rich in civilization. in contrasting values. so we can recognize that there is a whole gamut of potencies. With such assortment. a less arbitrary societal cloth may be established. and through such less arbitrary societal cloth. each and every person may happen his or her ain topographic point without needfully suiting into a massive cast. Mentions Delmar. Rosalind. ( 2005 ) . What is Feminism? Feminist Theory: A reader. 27-36. New York: McGraw-Hill. Gavigan. Shelley. ( 1996 ) . Familial Ideology & A ; the Limits of Difference.

Womans and Canadian Public Policy. 225-78. Toronto: Harcourt Brace. Harris. Angela. ( 2002 ) . Race and Essentialism in Legal Theory. Women. Law and Social Change. 4th erectile dysfunction. . 383-92. Concord. ON: Captus Press. Jhappan. Raddha. ( 1996 ) . Post-Modern Race and Gender Essentialism or a Postmortem of Scholarship. Surveies in Political Economy 51:15-58. MacKinnon. Catharine. ( 1987 ) . Difference and Laterality: On Sexual activity Discrimination. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. 32-45. 240-45. Cambridge. Ma: Harvard University Press.


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