Gender Inequality (Feminism Movement) Essay

2682 Words Dec 14th, 2010 11 Pages
Gender Inequality (Feminism Movement)
Western female thought through the centuries has identified the relationship between patriarchy and gender as crucial to the women’s subordinate position. For two hundred years, patriarchy precluded women from having a legal or political identity and the legislation and attitudes supporting this provided the model for slavery. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries suffrage campaigners succeeded in securing some legal and political rights for women in the UK. By the middle of the 20th century, the emphasis had shifted from suffrage to social and economic equality in the public and private sphere and the women’s movement that sprung up during the 1960s began to argue that women were oppressed by
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Walby shows that within the private structure and the public structures, patriarchy does use different strategies to maintain gender inequality and these strategies both achieve the subordination of women. The household strategy is considered to be exclusionary and the public structures strategy as segregationist. The strategy in the private arena is based on household production. Application of this strategy in the domestic sphere depends on individual patriarchs controlling women in the private world of the home. The male patriarch in the household is both the oppressor and recipient of women’s subordination. This strategy is direct; women are oppressed on a personal and individual basis by the individual patriarchs who share their lives. The segregationist strategy used in the public patriarchy actively excludes women from the public arena using various structures to subordinate them. Application depends on controlling access to public arenas. This strategy does not benefit the institution directly, but it does ensure that individual patriarchs are privileged at the expense of women, and it maintains gender differences. The way in which individual patriarchs and

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