Premium Essay

Patriarchy and Women's Reproduction

In: Social Issues

Submitted By tamlod
Words 1787
Pages 8
Patriarchy and Women’s Reproduction
The systems of male domination and female subordination have been a part of the history but these systems still continue to exist even today. The purpose of this paper is to explore how patriarchy controls women’s reproduction resulting in oppression and subordination of women. The paper argues that patriarchy controls women’s lives and their freedom by controlling their reproduction. The paper discusses the following aspects of this social issue: 1) why and how this social problem occurs, 2) the social process by which it is normalized or legitimized in our society, 3) analysis of new reproductive technologies from feminist perspective, and 4) some suggested solutions that would help to resolve this issue.
Patriarchy has been defined as the system of male domination or the power relationships by which men dominate women or it is simply, the rule of men (Omvedt, ). It controls women and treats them as inferior to men. Shulamith Firestone argues that reproduction plays a central role in women’s subordination and it is the basis of women’s subordination by men (Walby, 1990). The conventional patriarchal notion of a family is composed of a husband as the bread-winner and the wife as the homemaker and this notion still runs in this contemporary society (Walby, 1990). In other words, women are associated with childbirths and child-rearing whereas men are the ones who financially support the family, meaning they are the ones who have authority and complete control over the entire family. Therefore, even women’s reproduction are controlled by men. In many third-world socieites, women still do not have any control over their reproduction. They are unable to make decisions about their own reproduction such as how many children they want, whether to use contraceptives, or a decision to terminate pregnancy. Basically, these women are...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Feminism

...Environment Understanding Patriarchy Suranjita Ray• Subordination of women to men is prevalent in large parts of the world. We come across experiences where women are not only treated as subordinate to men but are also subject to discriminations, humiliations, exploitations, oppressions, control and violence. Women experience discrimination and unequal treatment in terms of basic right to food, health care, education, employment, control over productive resources, decision-making and livelihood not because of their biological differences or sex, which is natural but because of their gender differences which is a social construct. “Sex is considered a fact - one is born with either male or female genitalia. Gender is considered a social construction - it grants meaning to the fact of sex. Conversely, it could be said that only after specific meanings came to be attached to the sexes, did sex differences become pertinent” (Geetha, 2002: 10). Gender based discriminations and exploitations are widespread and the socio-culturally defined characteristics, aptitudes, abilities, desires, personality traits, roles, responsibilities and behavioral patterns of men and women contribute to the inequalities and hierarchies in society. Gender differences are man made and they get legitimised in a patriarchal society. This paper attempts to link the theoretical dimensions of patriarchy with its empirical experiences to engage in the ongoing debates and discussion on “patriarchy” which......

Words: 9801 - Pages: 40

Premium Essay

Patriarchy

...Bargaining with Patriarchy Deniz Kandiyoti Gender and Society, Vol. 2, No. 3, Special Issue to Honor Jessie Bernard. (Sep., 1988), pp. 274-290. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0891-2432%28198809%292%3A3%3C274%3ABWP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W Gender and Society is currently published by Sage Publications, Inc.. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/journals/sage.html. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to and preserving a digital archive of scholarly journals. For more information regarding JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. http://www.jstor.org Fri Jun 15 11:56:33 2007 BARGAINING W I T H PATRIARCHY DENIZ K A N D I Y O T I Richmond College, United Kingdom T h i s article argues that systematic comparative analyses of women's strategies and coping mechanisms lead to......

Words: 7674 - Pages: 31

Premium Essay

Feminism & Femen

...from? What differences does it have from “classical” feminism? For a few years now, we can often see in the media pictures of those bare breasts women protesting, the FEMEN. Where do they come from? What are they fighting for, or against? In this paper, we will have a closer look at where from comes their movement and what defines their ideology in order to understand their message and what they protest against. Methodology For this work, I used what the FEMEN movement wrote, its manifesto and different articles, and tried to find feminist theories on radical feminism in order to understand the basis of the FEMEN movement. Table of content Abstract 2 Methodology 2 Introduction 4 What is radical feminism? 4 The notion of patriarchy 4 The Marxist feminism 5 The FEMEN movement 6 Brief history of the FEMEN movement 6 Bare breasts as a weapon 7 Manifesto 7 FEMEN 8 Ideology 8 Objective 8 Missions 8 Exigencies 8 Tactics: sextremism 8 Symbols 9 Structure and activity 9 Financing 9 Information 9 Controversy 9 Ethical points of view on feminism 10 Conclusion 10 Afterword 11 References 12 Introduction Already at the beginning of the 15th century, a woman, Christine de Pizan, was protesting against the misogyny of the clerical church and the discriminations that women faced at this time. Considered an inferior to the male being in the Christian tradition, women have been facing a strict distinction of sexual rights ever since......

Words: 3337 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Assess the Contribution of Feminist Perspectives to Our Understanding of Society

...Assess the contribution of feminist perspectives to our understanding of society. (33 marks) Feminism is a set of ideologies used to advance the cause of women’s equality and to end the sexist theory and practice of social oppression. It is a structuralist theory which is made up of several versions, but they all argue that society is patriarchal. The types of feminism I will be reviewing are liberal feminism, radical feminism, marxist feminism, and difference feminism. Aside from all agreeing that society is patriarchal, these versions of feminism disagree on two levels; the extent of patriarchy in society and also what needs to be done to create gender equality. Firstly, liberal feminism. Liberal feminists believe all humans should be treated equally; however they believe that women aren’t treated equally to men in society. Liberal feminists suggest that to create greater gender equality laws that are unfavourable to women need to be changed in order to present women with greater opportunities. Oakley distinguishes between sex and gender, referring to sex as the biological differences between males and females such as their reproductive role, whereas she refers to gender as culturally constructed differences between masculine and feminine roles and identities assigned to males and females. Liberal feminists therefore disagree with the functionalist Parsons who believed that males and females perform the roles they are biologically suited to do, contrarily......

Words: 912 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Feminist View of the Family

...women and reproduces patriarchy. They have focused on the unequal division of domestic labour and domestic violence against women. They regards gender inequality as something created by society. There are various types of feminists with different views of such Marxist Feminists suggest that the nuclear family meets the needs of capitalism for the reproduction and maintenance of class and patriarchal inequality. It benefits the powerful at the expense of the working class and women. Margaret Benston argues that the nuclear family provides the basic commodity required by capitalism: labour power by reproducing and rearing the future workforce at little cost to the capitalist class. It maintains the workforce´s physical and emotional fitness through the wife´s domestic labour and women in families can be used as a reserve army of labour to be used in times of economic growth and pushed back into the home during times of economic slow-down. However, difference feminists argue that they assume all women are exploited under capitalism. For example, Lesbian and heterosexual women, black and white, middle and working class women have very different experiences. Black feminists would also argue that Marxist feminists ignore black and Asian women’s experience of racism. Radical feminists such as Kate Millett see modern societies and families as characterised by patriarchy (domination of men over women and children). They argue the family is the root of all women’s oppression and......

Words: 437 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Patriarchy

...Sociology 101 Research Paper Patriarchy What is Patriarchy? The basic definition is control by men and literally means “the rule of the father”. The term was used to refer to autocratic rule by the male head of a family, however; in modern times it typically refers to social systems where adult men primarily hold power. Males hold primary roles such as political leadership, moral authority, and property control, and fathers hold control over wives and children. Matriarchy is when women have control. Many countries including America are mainly a patriarchy. Throughout the history patriarchy has wiggled its way into the social, political, legal, and economic organization of a range of different cultures throughout the world. Evidence suggests that prehistoric hunter and gatherer societies favored equality for all people and that patriarchy social structures didn’t develop until years after the end of the Pleistocene era. One researcher, Robert M. Strozier, says historically there is no evidence found yet that there was a specific event that triggered patriarchy. Others think that the beginning of the spread of patriarchy had started six thousand years ago when the concept of fatherhood took place. The geographical record shows that there was climate change around 4000 BCE that had led to famines in the Sahara, Arabian Peninsula and the Central Asian deserts. James DeMeo argues that this is the event that occurred and led to patriarchy. This resulted in warlike,......

Words: 1225 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Conceptualising the Wad Approach

...Conceptualising the WAD Approach According to Rathgeber (1990), the WAD approach emerged as a neo-Marxist feminist approach and sought to address the limitations of modernization theory within Women In Development, (WID) approach. The WAD approach emphasizes the idea that the rise of globalisation with its inequitable gender relations and prioritisation of global capitalism was inimical to women and men in the developing countries. Another argument of the WAD approach is that, it accepts women as important economic actors in their societies and argues that women have always been part of the development process, therefore integrating women in development is a myth. A further WAD argument is that the structure of capitalism keeps women at home in the domestic arena and that the capitalist class system is the determining factor in the male abuse of women. Connell et al (1999) explain that, one of the tenets of the WAD approach is that although women have always been involved in developmental activities, their contributions have been overlooked and marginalized in national and donor development plans. The WAD approach argues that women are deeply integrated in the Capitalist structures, and no amount of superficial manipulation will solve their problems. What is required for women to advance is the removal of the inequitable structures and relationships. The needed reforms are both international and domestic, and must be at the political and institutional level as well as the......

Words: 2179 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Feminism

...In Search of Her: A Postcolonial/ Feminist Enquiry into the Identity of Indian Woman Kochurani Abraham “The home was the principal site for expressing the spiritual quality of the nation’s culture and women must take the main responsibility of protecting and nurturing this quality. No matter what the changes in the external conditions of life for women, they must not lose their essentially spiritual (ie feminine) virtues; they must not, in other words, become essentially westernized.” - Partha Chatterjee, “The Nationalist Resolution of the Women’s Question”* “What was gradually and carefully constituted, brick by brick, in the interaction between colonialism and nationalism is now so deeply embedded in the consciousness of the middle classes that ideas about the past have assumed the status of revealed truths…It has led to a narrow and limiting circle in which the image of Indian womanhood has become, both a shackle and a rhetorical device that nevertheless functions as a historical truth.” - Uma Chakravarti “Whatever happened to the Vedic Dasi?: Orientalism, Nationalism and a Script for the Past.”* Who/where is the Indian woman? Since this conference focuses on the theme “Identity, Difference......

Words: 4288 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

Theories and Concepts Assignment

...socialist feminism; rape; masculinities; violence; sexual harassment; biology is not destiny; and negative feminist stereotypes. I have chosen to discuss the two feminist theories that were previously mentioned due to the fact that they both focus heavily on the oppression of men in society, as well as the evident gender division between the sexes. I have chosen to focus on the six concepts that were previously mentioned because they focus on how women are oppressed, and mistreated in society. Radical Feminism Radical feminism supports the idea that patriarchy is the main form of oppression women face. The goal of radical feminism is the elimination of patriarchy. From a radical feminist perspective, women are oppressed in three main ways or areas: the state, the nuclear family, and through reproduction and mothering. Radical feminism also suggests that the lack of control women have over their own bodies and own reproduction is central to oppression. Radical feminists aim towards eliminating sexual, as well as physical violence against women (Calixte et al., 2009). The significance of radical feminism is that it focuses on what is seen as the major oppressors in our culture. Moreover, radical feminism opens our eyes to male dominance and how it has been highly normalized. It alerts us to how ‘normal’ or common images from pornography reduce women to sexual objects. Moreover, it makes clear that prostitution is a form of economic and sexual exploitation women. Instead of......

Words: 2415 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Wid Wad Gad Theories

...socially. It is a central organizing principle of societies, and often governs the processes of production and reproduction, consumption and distribution’ (FAO, 1997). Development is a process of structural societal change. Thomas (2000, 2004) refers to this meaning of development as a process of historical change. The essay shall look at Women in Development, Women And Development and Gender And Development and give their contributions to development as well as their strengths and limitations. The term "women in development" came into use in the early 1970s, after the publication of Ester Boserup's Women's Role in Economic Development (1970). Boserup was the first to systematically delineate on a global level the sexual division of labour that existed in agrarian economies. The Women in Development concept is based on a recognition of the importance of the roles and status of women in development process. It is meant to give special attention to the women's role, while extending development assistance. For the effective and efficient implementation of assistance, it is essential to ensure that the women should have the opportunities to participate positively as important players in development process. Such enlargement of opportunities will also pave the way for the enhancement of women's status. Boserup's documentation of the regressive impact of development on women's lives and livelihoods signalled the start of liberal feminists' advocacy of the integration of......

Words: 2167 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Gender and Development Theories, Wid, Wad and Gad, Their Strengths and Weaknesse

...Theories of Development-Empowerment a)WID,b)WAD,c)GAD Ever since the formation of the United Nations Commission on the Status for Women in 1946, it had been proposing a U. N. Women’s Conference with little success. Gradually with pressure from the American Women‟s Movement, the U.N. General Assembly declared 1975 as the International Women’s Year and 1975-1985 as the International Decade for Women. This declaration led to a growing awareness of women‟s issues and an acceptance of their demands as legitimate issues for policy making, both at the national and international level. The major themes of the International Women’s Year and Conference were-- Equality, Development and Peace. Equality, however, had been a dominant issue for the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and it came primarily from the feminist movement of the Western industrialized nations. Peace was increasingly considered to be a women issue by the countries of the Eastern block. Development, on the other hand, was a recent issue put forward mainly by the newly independent “Third World” nations as a key to improving women’s lives. During the Decade, the important but previously invisible role of women in the social and economic development of the poorer countries was highlighted. The declaration of the International Decade for Women (1975-85) signified the new visibility of Women in Development (WID) in international forums. During the past few years, the term "women in development" has become...

Words: 1100 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Opression or Economic, Demographic Necessity

...something that will likely never be reproduced. Both of these societies are recognized as patriarchal in nature, which means that there were limited opportunities for women in comparison to the western societies of today which will be discussed in Return of the Patriarchy by Phillip Longman. The best way to determine the reasons for the limitations placed on Greek and Roman women is to refer to ancient writings which capture the realities of their lives and times. It can be surmised from these writings that the limitations placed on women was not the result of lack of respect or capability but driven by necessity. The necessity of a patriarchal society in Greece and Rome was the primary factor in the limitations set on women. Phillip Longman talks about patriarchy in his article Return of Patriarchy describing it as, “a value system that not only requires men to marry but to marry women of proper station…a cultural regime that serves to keep birthrates high among the affluent, while also maximizing parents’ investment in their children…no advanced civilization has yet learned how to endure without it” meaning that the only way that Greece and Rome could have existed for as long as it did was with this system of patriarchy, the foundation of both civilizations (Longman, 58). High fertility rates were pushed into the Greek and Roman cultures because as Longman points out when plants and animals were domesticated people were no longer concerned about overpopulation but lack of......

Words: 3043 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Qfqfe

...Throughout the semester, the theme that has intrigued me the most is that of women’s identity, now and historically. Throughout history, women were outcasts to the formal configurations of political life. Over the course of the century, however, women in America progressed considerably into all facets of public life, the political realm, the labor force, memberships, careers, mass media, and trendy culture. I believe that women’s identity now and historically has progressively been revamped through the use of proper integration and successful women’s movements. Since the beginning of time, women have been fighting for their rights and fighting to be equal with men on every level. Both individuals and organized groups felt that women were treated unjustly, and they vowed to fix these problems. The peak of this movement transpired in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Women's Liberation Movement was recognized as an organized power to gain equality of women. Starting in primitive eras, women of the Prehistoric Age were first reflected as inferior through division of labor. The men were sent to hunt for food, and the women were caretakers watching over the family. This conception of sexually depicted roles implied that women were too delicate and frail to go out hunting with the men (Sinclair 184). The New Stone Age kept women's status inferior to that of men. They were still in charge of rally and farming, which led them to many technological advances in the fields of plowing......

Words: 2441 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Gender Note

...Presented By: Ronia Chaukura, James Tembo and Jealous Nyamakuti Topic: Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these 3 approaches to development: a) WID (Women In Development) b) WAD (Women and Development) c) GAD (Gender and Development) Objectives By the end of this presentation students should be able to: a. Define the 3 approaches WID, WAD, and GAD b. Understand the weakness and strengths of the approaches. c. Highlight one relevant approach to the Zimbabwean situation. Introduction There are three main approaches to the development of women namely WID, WAD and GAD. The struggle for women to get recognition in society was evident before the colonial era in Zimbabwe. After the attainment of Independence in 1980, the Zimbabwean Government made a commitment to redress the situation of women. This presentation will first present the definition of terms, details of the approaches to development of women. Thereafter, the discussion will go on to explore strengths and weaknesses of women in development. This presentation will conclude by highlighting the relevance of the GAD approach to the Zimbabwean situation. Definition of terms: Development – is a systematic use of scientific knowledge to meet specific objectives or requirements (Business Dictionary.com). Gender – is a cultural definition of behaviour defined as appropriate to sexes in a given society at a given time (Moser: 1993). WID (Women in Development) is......

Words: 931 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Gender and Development Theories, Wid, Wad and Gad, Their Strengths and Weaknesse

...contributions to development as well as their strengths and weaknesses. One of the most famous approaches to development was the feminist Women in development (WID). This was adopted in the 1970s in response to women movement in the west. The women in the west advocated for inclusion of women who have been excluded from development policies and programs. Baserup (1979) point out that the primary goal of WID was to include women into existing initiatives cited in Schech and Haggis (2000). Women were marginalized and excluded from the benefits of development. In so doing, the WID approach pointed out that the major problem to women’s unequal representation and participation is the male biased and patriarch cal development policies (Beneria and Sen 1982:161 c.f Schech and Haggis 2000). In short, the WID approach blamed patriarchy which did not consider women’s productive and reproductive work. In fact, women were tied to domestic work hence were almost invisible...

Words: 1973 - Pages: 8