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Gender Roles In Society

.. y, and achievement motivaton. Lois Hoffman summarizes the research on school – age children using five hypotheses: (1) that working mothers provide different role models than nonworking mothers; (2) that employment affects the mothers emotional state; (3) that different situational demands and emotional states of the working mother affect child rearing; (4) that working mothers give less supervision than nonworking mothers; (5) that the working mothers absence leads to emotional and cognitive deprivation in the child. Self – perception and self – esteem among women who work has been a focus of research. The high rate of depression among full – time homemakers perceive themselves powerless and isolated (OBarr 27). Heidi Hartmann refers to patriarchy and class society, this theory is called the dual systems. They two are relatively independent power systems that are integrated and mutually influence each other.

Hartman summarizes her definition of patriarchy as: a set of social relations between men, which have a material base, and which, though hierarchical, establish or create interdependence and solidarity among men that enable them to dominate women. The material base upon which patriarchy rests lies most fundamentally in mens control over womens labour power (Jonasdottir 48). Marxisms identifies empty places to the feminist theory. Marxist theoretical concepts are and can only be sexblind – class, the reserve army of labour, and wage labourers. Capitalism is a necessity of capital structure to increase profits and the necessity of wage labour to earn its living: for instance sex, age, or ethicity. Also difference of capitalist societies and between periods of time and even within different regions in one country.

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The labour force refers only to value/cost and productivity. Many women and children were mine workers in England in thenineteenth century. Today nearly all miners are men. The leaders of Swedish, industry recruited Swedish housewives and not immigrants in the 60s. Today women all over the world systematically occupy the worst paid, subordinate work positions, and have inconvenient working hours, more so then men. Hartmann stresses labour unions are critical social institutions because men control the labour market and womens work.

Both historically and at present there is no doubt that one of the most central arenas of gender struggles outside the home. Womens repeat failures and inferior position within unions must finally be seen as a consequence rather than a high rank positon to society. Backlash is primarily a reactive position which means to have been lost, or to be under threat. The old fashioned thinking feel threatened with change of sex roles especially in power reations. Some backlash is regressive.

It returns to golden age of traditional sex roles and sexual values. It is said that feminists are the blame to life getting worse. Another kind of backlash is reactive. It is agreed that there was a problem before womens movement for women but their policies have made things worse. As Kenneth Minogue said: The first wave of feminism was rightly about equal opportunity.

Women rightly demands to be admitted on their individual merits ot the activities men had previously monopolised – politics, higher education, the professions and so on. Theres no doubt this created considerable problems about how to combine female aspirations, conventions, even dress, with what was necessary to be one of the boys. One unfortunate result of this development, however, was that it slanted aspirations away from those areas where women had previously excelled – style, grace, domesticity, the cultivation of intimacey – towards activities where male strength and competitiveness gave men an advantage (Haste 268). Unfortunately such reactive critics failed to ppreciate the difficulties of fighting those very past battles. The Book of Eve of Constance Beresford – Howe was very descriptive. It was basted on women in the past-approximately the 1950s.

Eva played the role of a slave,a care giver and a robot that just kept going in an monotonous way of life. She lived the life of what others expected of her. Like many other women, Eva was raised to come second to men. This lifestyle was normal to her and to her family. She finally came to realization; so she decided to put a stop to the kind of life that made her unhappy. She decide to leave this life behind; without knowing where she was going.

She wanted to begin a new life of her own but didnt know how. Slowly, it all came together for her. She began to realized she was her own person and she could think and do what she pleases. This was a shock for her son and husband because they could no longer control or manipulate her and her thoughts. The symbol of the clock through out the house proved everything was timed and controlled. Evas life with her family was always perdictable. After she was on her own, she finally came to terms with herself and decided not to go back. Although life was difficult financially without the lean of her husband, she still felt her sanity and her life was much more important then the stability of her husband had to offer. Eva felt the price was to high to pay.

In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton was also a very moving and well described novel of how difficult it is to be a native woman in todays society. The stereotype of the cultural back ground of an Indian family lifestyle is almost impossible to make progress. April paid a heavy price to be like one of the white girls as a young girl herself. She was put in different foster homes without her younger sister Cheryl. They were taken from their alcoholic parents at a young age. Aprils first experience as a controlled slave was in a particular foster home that scared her for life. She would not be permitted to have any say when living in the foster homes.

As a young woman she had finally a chance at the brass ring. She earned to live on her own and then with time her sister Cheryl came to live with her. April felt it wasnt enough for her to make it in a white mans world. She then married a wealth white young man The cycle unfortunately did not break, she then become a slave to her husbands world. April had to live to her husband and her mother-in-laws expectations and lifestyles: she still was not free. She finally had proof of her insticts that her husband did not marry her for love.

Instead he was unfaithful with April; she then divorced the family. Although she was financially set, she learned that her freedom was much more precious. Fortunately, April didt have the same Metis problem as her sister; which was alcoholism. Her sister seaked for comfort through the bottle just like her parents. She wasnt as strong as April and couldnt over come the negativity of the world. The constant rejection and abuse of the whitemans world was forcing them to slip into the pattern life of what is expected of them.

Some cycles are very difficult to break because they tend to always follow you. The novels relate to the information of the aspects of gender and how it relates to a women world. It doesnt matter the class of the woman, the employment strategies, or the home caring strategies: it still a very male domineering world. The theories focused on many different informative definitions of the different ways of thinking as women or man. It is still not considered a tangiable solution to the feminists because of the strong power and control men have in our society.

For many decades feminists have made a difference. But yet, like April and Eva women are still havent grabbed the brass ring. Sociology Issues.


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