Analysis of Gender Inequality with a Focus on Feminist Ideas

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Analysis of Gender Inequality with a Focus on Feminist Ideas The goal of this paper is to describe and analyze gender inequality, focusing on the history of feminist ideas. I will start with a basic overview of the entire feminist movement, and will then analyze feminism more specifically. In this analysis I will focus on the different types of feminism. Most notably of these types will be the main groups that consist of socialist feminists, liberal feminists, and radical feminists. I will describe the goals and ideals of these groups along with describing how a functionalist and conflict theorist looks at gender. Feminism has been defined as the advocacy of social equality for men and women, in opposition to patriarchy and sexism. It is, historically, a very recent movement. It started in the 1840's as women who opposed slavery, it morphed to include women's suffrage and has developed into the modern feminist movement. There are five basic feminist ideas. The first being the importance of change, this means that feminism advocates change towards equality between men and women. The second idea of feminism is to expand human choice. They propose a means by which each human can develop all human traits. The third idea of feminism is to eliminate gender stratification, what this means is that feminists oppose laws and cultural norms which limit the education, income and job opportunities of women. The fourth idea of feminism is the ending of sexual violence. The fifth advocates promoting sexual autonomy, what this means is that feminism pushes women's control over their sexuality and reproduction. Socialist feminism evolved from the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. This is probably because Marx paid absolutely no at... ... middle of paper ... ...how conflict theorists over look the fact that men and women can live quite happily together in the family structure. A third argument against the conflict theorists look at gender is their claim that capitalism fosters more patriarchy. Studies have shown that agricultural countries are typically more patriarchal than industrial-based countries. Gender equality can be looked at in many different ways. A conflict theorist would look at it and say that capitalism is to blame for many of the faults of gender inequality. Functionalists, I believe, feel that there is, inherently, no real problem with the way things are in their day and age. Also, there are three different types of ways that a feminist would look a solving the evils of gender inequality. There are liberal feminists, radical feminists, and social feminists, with radical feminists being the most extreme.

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