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Gender Inequality & Theories of Patriarchy
Assess the claim that gender inequalities in the domestic and occupational divisions of labour are best understood with reference to the concept of patriarchy. You should illustrate your answer with reference to a range of feminist perspectives.
Western female thought through the centuries has identified the relationship between patriarchy and gender as crucial to the womenˇ¦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 womenˇ¦s movement that sprung up during the 1960s began to argue that women were oppressed by patriarchal structures.
Equal status for women of all races, classes, sexualities and abilities - in the 21st century these feminist claims for equality are generally accepted as reasonable principles in western society; yet the contradiction between this principle of equality and the demonstrable inequalities between the sexes that still exist exposes the continuing dominance of male privilege and values throughout society (patriarchy). This essay seeks to move ...