Feminist Movement Has Raised Awareness Of Gender Inequality Essay

Feminist Movement Has Raised Awareness Of Gender Inequality Essay

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Moreover, ever since the 1960s, the feminist movement has raised awareness of gender inequality in society and has since helped to challenge the traditional stereotype of a woman’s role in society, in and outside the home, in work, education and the law; by highlighting the value of self-esteem and personal choice for a female (O’Leary, 2015). These changes are demonstrated within in the media, an example of this comes from McRobbie’s (1994) comparison of girls’ magazines in the 1970s and the 1990s. In the 1970s girls’ magazines McRobbie found that magazines emphasised the importance of getting married, whereas nowadays, they contain images of assertive and independent women. Therefore, changes impacted by the feminism movement may explain the improvement of girls’ educational achievement as girls have improved their expectations and therefore have come to value education more. However, radical feminists are critical of this, as they argue patriarchy still exists (O’Leary, 2015).
Furthermore, changes within the family structure since the 1970s may have also been an impact on girls’ attitudes towards education. This is as of the increase in the divorce rate, and an increase in cohabitation and female-headed lone parent families (O’Leary, 2015). As a consequence, ‘Working mums’ have helped to act as positive role models and have helped to inspire girls to do well in education and to achieve (O’Leary, 2015). Therefore, girls now more than ever, have more need and also are more open to opportunities to become economically independent, thus explaining the rise in motivation to succeed in education (O’Leary, 2015). Women have also been given more opportunities for this including the 1970 Equal Pay Act, which makes it illegal to pay wom...


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...suggests that ‘schools do not adopt to a natural masculinity among boys or femininity among girls; they are simply agents in the matter, constructing particular forms of gender and negotiating relations between them’ (Connell, 1989, p.292). Mac and Ghaill (1994) argue boys identify themselves with a set of ‘macho’ male values that in turn reject the values and ethos of the education system. However, the perception of girls as being conformist and accepting of school ethos has been challenged by researchers such as Mac an Ghaill (1994), who refer to the ‘Posse’ who were deemed by teachers to be the worst behaved female group in the school. Therefore, this suggests that inequalities within the education system are believed to be a reflection of boys’ rejection of school ethos and values, however, research has suggested that this rejection is also experienced by girls.

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