Liberal Vs. Marxist Feminism SECTION ONE: Liberal vs. Marxist Feminism Liberal feminists believe that oppression and inequality must be justified. In other words, any inequality between genders must be explained and justified, in order for it to be accepted by the liberal feminists. According to our textbook, the liberal feminism originated from the social contract theories. Such theories state that all forms of social domination or authority must be justified, according to the textbook.
Liberal feminists hold a view that every member of the society should be equal. They also insist that the violent forms of oppression should be controlled throughout the society, for they find domestic violence and violence against women to an unjustifiable form of oppression. They also argue that the development of an individual is usually forced into a gender channel, where members of different sex groups are gradually taught and instructed to follow a certain particular gender pattern. Marxist feminism supports the idea that the biological difference cannot justify any form of oppression and inequality in human societies. Marxist feminists do believe that biological differences are not responsible for oppression and inequality between sexes.
Instead, Marxist feminists argue that it is the class structure that is responsible for the oppression and inequality between sexes. Particularly, Marxist feminists state that the capitalism is primarily responsible for the class structure in our society. They further challenge the idea that the equality is possible in the capitalistic system. Common: Both types of feminism do agree that inequality and oppression between sexes is social rather than being biological. Both systems advocate equality for members of both sexes. Contrast: Marxist feminists argue that the equality between sexes cannot happen within the capitalistic society.
They further argue that the basis of oppression and inequality is founded by the very idea of private property. Liberal feminists would disagree, for they consider the private property and affairs outside the scope of their control. They would argue that it is the social education and development that responsible for sex based inequalities. Proponent of Marxist Feminism: The proponent would argue that a materialistic possession of vitally important to the community resources could lead to the possessive attitudes towards women. If one can decide whether the community lives or dies, then why can’t one decide whether a person lives or dies? Again, the proponent will state that any form of oppression has to have a root or foundation, and they would argue that the concept of capitalism is such foundation for further exploitation.
Proponent of Liberal Feminism: The proponent would state that it is unarguable that two new babies of different sex are equal. The proponent would state that only further social development shapes such babies into an inferior and a superior. Further on, the proponent would demand a justification for the very idea of gender inferiority. He or she would say that different educational and developmental methods lead to different levels of intelligence and thinking. He or she would say that the very idea that the biological gender difference determines the social status is unjustifiable and should be stopped by authorities.
Similarly, authorities should watch for violations of the gender equality within homes, schools, public and private places. Marxist Feminism Critic: I would like to say that ever since humans became a society, the idea of private property was born. As an individual and as a group, humans tend to claim certain objects as private and public property. Your followers argue that the idea of the private property causes inequality. I might partially agree with it. How does one oppress others, if one owns a house, a bed, a chair, or a toothbrush? Then maybe there are different levels of importance among private property.
Maybe owning a storage of grain resources are more important to the society then an ownership of the same value in the hat production. I also see a loophole in your theory. If none is allowed to own an important piece of property or interest, then what stops one from controlling it without the ownership? Communist countries, government officials, federal judges are such examples. Let’s say that there is no inequality among the federal judges, and then we would be wrong. There is inequality based on the biological gender within the judiciary system of the United States.
You say that the capitalistic structure of the nation and the idea of the private property is the cause of the oppression and inequalities, but you fail to mention your solution. Can people exist without personal control or possession of some sort of material or power like property? I think that a personal influence in such spheres is unavoidable, and that varying it from one form into another won’t continue. I don’t think so, and that is the reason behind my skepticism on the Marxist feminism. You state that if we live in a socialistic system, the oppression and inequality would disappear. I think that your point of view is wrong, for other countries had and have lived in such structure, yet the oppression and inequality against women is still there.
Liberal Feminism Critic: I know that you state that all should be equal in a sense when one’s inequality is determined by one’s physical abilities. I think so too, but I have a big problem with your theory. I do think that biological start does determine certain physiological properties of the person. I have read an article about two twin brothers. During the circumcision, one brother lost his penis, for the doctor made an error with his burning tool. The parents decided to bring the boy up as a girl, and the boy’s genitals were reconstructed into girls form. The girl grew older, yet she could not partake her social duties and take her place in the society.
Much later she found out that she was originally a boy, then she demanded that her procedure is reversed. Now he lives as a grown man with a family. An example like this is a proof that in one particular case the biological difference showed up and took over the social upbringing routines. I am not sure whether this can be applied to everyone or not, but in one particular case the biology mattered. Also you advocate the authoritarian control within the society and private homes. I believe that such control is a negative influence on equality.
Many of us are very different from each other. What one considers normal is far away from such for another. You advocate that the domestic violence should be punished more severe. I think that such action would only aggravate the domestic violence to another, more drastic level. My theory indicates that the very foundation of our society is the problem, yet you point of view takes no account of such matters.
My fellow feminists and me state that the problem is not in the social upbringing of the children to follow different sociological gender patterns, but that it is instead is in the foundations of our community. You pay no attention to such fundamental structure, yet you are trying to fight the oppression and inequality, which is the most basic properties of human relationship. PART II: The Feminist Majority Report: Corporate Women and the Mommy Track By Katherine Spiller Katherine Spiller writes that many women are denied their corporate and business progress based on the faulty myth of mother related expenses. The author also writes that women are kept in lower corporate positions due to their mother like nature. She underlines that such actions are not explained through sex oppression and discrimination, but they are justified by the myth of the mother-employee. The author lists different aspects of corporate myth about women, and she criticizes them from a liberal point of view.
First she says that many people believe that women will eventually be incorporated in the corporate America and be giving equal to men opportunities. She says that this is not true, for women have been in business for a long time now. The position of women is still in the lower end of the corporate America, and their educational advancements are powerless to their progress. She brings up statistics that women represent about one percent of the Corporate Officers at the vice presidential level and higher. She states that it will be another half of a millennium, before women reach a fifty percent level.
Similar picture is seen in Corporate Boards and other important positions. Today’s CEO women have very unorthodox to the public paths to their success. In other words they have not reached their positions in the Corporate America through conventional and commonly accepted ways. Another myth, she describes, is that many people believe that family and children related responsibilities keep women from performing on the same level as men do. In reality, most women deny this assumption and state that their family does not keep them from performing their best in the office.
Also, the writer states that many low level employed women never have the maternal leave and support. Another myth is that maternal leave and other family related time off work is too expensive for corporate executive offices. The reality shows that women are more likely than men to stay on the job, for their options are limited. Thus the corporate office would have higher expenses for male employees rather than for female employee. Katherine Spiller also writes than women usually return back to work quickly, for they are afraid of loosing their positions. Another myth is based on women’s use of maternal excuses for personal preferences.
In the reality, the same myth is used to shorten women’s wages, to keep women from higher positions, and to keep women in lower positions instead. The author argues that the problem here is not that women need more, but it is that women must be treated equally as men. For instance, men, who have health problems, are usually treated well by the company, while women are subjected to criticism. Another myth is based on women’s intentions to quit their jobs in order to start personal businesses. In reality this is not true, for the majority of women start their business in their late forties. Then their reasons for such actions are not connected to childbearing.
At the same time, men, who start their own businesses, are viewed as entrepreneurial and career advancers. Yet women are given the negative side of the same image. Another myth is that any woman is able to reach her goals, for the corporation is looking for the best person. In reality many men are given their positions because of their kin relationships, writes the author. Women on the other side are denied such advancements. Many women find other much more serious obstacles than family life on their way up the corporate ladder.
Also, the maternal myth keeps many women on the bottom and middle positions, while they are denied the higher and more important positions. My short summary: I think that Katherine Spiller tried to say that sexist image forces women to accept their traditional place away from work. Sexist view also justifies that women should be paid less and given less responsibility. However, even this justification is not true, for many women do hold very crucial to individual’s life positions. What women are not controlling is the society, for many high level positions do exert much stronger control on the society.
The very realm of the corporate America is on the scale of the whole nation. Many men would be in panic, if a woman had some sort of control over them, as a group. If a woman declared an international war, many men would be disappointed with her. Janet Reno is usually joked about, for people see a masculine fighter in her persona. Male version of Janet Reno would only attract people’s support.
Jesse The Body Ventura is very popular for his previous head bashing lifestyle. Any woman of such past would only be laugh at. I think that similar sexist approach is present throughout the nation. Workplace is only one of many places, where it occurs on daily basis. My agreement: I agree fully that women do not get their fair chances in the corporate office. I furthe …