" Cultural and social differences, then, between men and women are not so much reflections of differing social roles and expectations as they are reflections of basic genetic differences between men and women..." (Groenhout 51)
3.1. The family
To understand this criticism of feminism and the reaction to the attack on female domesticity, one has to know something about the background that initiated this reaction. This refers especially to the view of the family as a valued institution central to the structure of society that is in decline throughout the world.
A number or critics note how the feminist view and the "new" role of women in society has negatively affected the family. This has resulted as well in many feminists turning against the more radical views of feminism as they feel that they endanger the integrity of the family and family life. As one critic notes, "From the early days of the women's movement feminism was perceived as force actively working against the family. Social conservatives charge feminists with renouncing the family as a source of repression and enslavement... (Klatch) Therefore, feminist ideology has been related to the collapse of the family, which is seen by many as "...the foundation of our society; if that crumbles, everything else goes." (Klatch)
Some critics of feminism go even further in their rejection of the standard feminist assessment of family life.
Feminism and feminists are not only responsible for destroying the family, but also the basic fabric of society, and the well being and health of individual women, men and children. Feminists are, according to this view, responsible for generating those problems feminists have struggled most with, such as abuse, violence, incest, rape and pornography.
This is a stern counter argument to the feminist view of the role of the woman in the home and the family, which frames the present discussion.
There are many other criticisms that can be brought against feminism. Feminism is also seen as the "New Narcissism." Klatch puts this view concisely as follows:
Inextricably bound to the association of feminism as anti-family is the perception of feminism as an extension of the new narcissism, a symbol of the Me Decade. For in condemning the family, social conservatives argue, the women's liberation movement advises women to pursue their own individual interest above all else.
Summation and conclusion
The view that women who are domestic and work at home and who support their families are necessarily subversive and oppressed has been a cornerstone of the femininity ideology. While this may be the case in some instances, it is also true that many women find a sense of freedom, identity and value in their roles as stay-at-home housewives and mothers.
An argument that runs counter to this feminist view is that many women often chose to stay at home. This also relates to other criticisms of the feminist ideology. Especially with regard to the effect that feminism has had on the family. There is a strong feeling among many feminists and non-feminists alike that the family is a valuable and important component of society and that the women's function in the home is a vital and necessary one. They therefore object to various feminist views that serve to degrade and reduce...
As Kalene Westmoreland states;
Domesticity has endured as a facet of everyday life in the late twentieth century and beyond, despite cultural acceptance of feminist beliefs and ideals which encourage women's movement away from the private sphere of the home.
The author also notes that there need not necessarily be a divide between the realistic aspirations of the feminist movement and domesticity. Rather, domesticity and the feminist ideals of equal rights and aspirations can function in concert. In other words, in the final analysis, the liberal ideal of personal freedom and women working at home and supporting the family are not necessarily incompatible.
Abrams, Kathryn. "From Autonomy to Agency: Feminist Perspectives on Self-Direction." William and Mary Law Review 40.3 (1999): 805. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001258482.
Kozol W. Fracturing Domesticity: Media, Nationalism, and the Question of Feminist Influence. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 20, no. 3, 1995.
Benedict, Helen. "Fear of Feminism." The Nation 11 May 1998: 10. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002286596.
Brenner, Johanna. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Us Feminism Today." New Left Review a.200 (1993): 101-160. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=98683067.
Davidson, Nicholas. "The Myths of Feminism." National Review 19 May 1989: 44+. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002145953.
Dow, Bonnie J. Prime-Time Feminism: Television, Media Culture, and the Women's Movement since 1970. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=460935.
Epstein, Barbara. "Feminist Consciousness after the Women's Movement." Monthly Review Sept. 2002: 31+. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002490851.
Ferrier C. So, What Is to Be Done About the Family? Australian Humanities review. September 2006. 14 Nov. 2008. http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-September-2006/ferrier.html www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000804098
Groenhout, Ruth E. "Essentialist Challenges to Liberal Feminism." Social Theory and Practice 28.1 (2002): 51+. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000804098.
Hayden, Dolores. The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1981. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=61730722.
Klatch R. Women Against Feminism. 14 Nov. 2008. http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst203/readings/klatch.html
Marshall, S, and Orum a. "Opposition Then and Now: Countering Feminism in the Twentieth Century." In G. Moore and G. Spitze (eds.), Research in Politics and Society. Vol. 2, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. 1986 www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000366040
Mccloskey, Liz. "Feminist Homemaker Confesses: Taking the Irony out Housework." Commonweal 14 June 1996: 6+. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000366040.
Mitchell, Juliet. Woman's Estate. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 1971 www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=65715535
Newman, Louise Michele. White Women's Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=65715535.
Sowards, Stacey K., and Valerie R. Renegar. "The Rhetorical Functions of Consciousness-Raising in Third Wave Feminism." Communication Studies 55.4 (2004): 535+. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5008460252.
Stacey, Judith. "Family Values Forever: IN the MARRIAGE MOVEMENT, CONSERVATIVES and CENTRISTS FIND a HOME TOGETHER." The Nation 9 July 2001: 26. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002403734.
Stacey, Judith. "The Smoke Screen of 'Family Values." Insight on the News 29 Nov. 1993: 27+. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000240705.
Steuter, Erin. "Women Against Feminism: an Examination of Feminist Social Movements and Anti-Feminist Countermovements." Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 29.3 (1992): 288-306. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=95715573.
Tonn, Mari Boor. "Fighting Feminism: Exploring Triumphs and Obstacles in Feminist Politics and Scholarship." Women's Studies in Communication 27.3 (2004): 377+. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5009563670.
Westmoreland K. INTERIOR REVOLUTIONS: DOING DOMESTICITY, ADVOCATING FEMINISM in CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FICTION. 2006. 4 Nov. 2008. http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-01/unrestricted/Westmoreland_dis.pdf
Why We Don't Care about Feminism Any More." The Evening Standard (London, England) 24 Jan. 2006: 20. Questia. 14 Nov. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5012487975.
Feminism and "A Doll's House" In the globe, feminism is a common practice in the social customs of both developed and developing nations. This is because, in both cases, there has been an apparent similar portrayal of women, who have gone through various phases of social levels compared to the consistent social dominance, which is evident in almost every society in the globe. Feminism seeks to know why women continue to
"Lady Gaga in part because she keeps us guessing about who she, as a woman, really is. She has been praised for using her music and videos to raise this question and to confound the usual exploitative answers provided by 'the media'… Gaga's gonzo wigs, her outrageous costumes, and her fondness for dousing herself in what looks like blood, are supposed to complicate what are otherwise conventionally sexualized performances"
Feminism Is for Everybody Describe each of the following theoretical perspectives of women's subordination in society. Discuss which aspect of woman's subordination each focuses on. Biological determinism or essentialism holds that there is a natural and genetic difference between men and women and from a patriarchal viewpoint finds that women are intellectually and physically inferior and should be relegated to child rearing and domestic duties. Liberal feminism, often called middle class feminism
As such, she fails to address the central problem of feminism in the Pontellier perspective, namely the impossibility of female individuality and independence in a patriarchal world. It is only in isolation that Edna can find any happiness, and she must make this isolation more and more complete in order to maintain her happiness, as the patriarchy has a means of encroaching on all populated areas, and Wollstonecraft's feminism
Once women were exposed to feminism, and along with it the freedom to express themselves politically in the ways that they choose based upon informed decisions, by and large, feminists embraced a more liberal political mindset (Inglehart, et al., 2000). This is not to say that they abandoned their family and religious values, but perhaps it is more correct to say that in more left wing thinking, feminists were
For there to be an a priori sexual origin, people would be born with a sexual orientation and culture would have no impact in shaping people's sexual identity. To this end, a gay male in the 19th century would be exactly the same as a gay male in the 21st century, and this cannot be the case. The struggles faced by a gay male hundreds of years ago are