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Gender Inequality.

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Introduction

Gender Inequality In exploring the essay title, it would seem wise to explain the terms "Gender" and "Inequality". Within this essay, "gender" refers to the socially defined differences between men and women. As the word suggests, "inequality" means unequal rewards/opportunities for different individuals within a group or groups within a society. Primarily, during this essay, I intend to exam the causes of gender inequality through biological and socially constructed gender theorists, such as Tiger and Fox and Ann Oakley. Secondly, Young and Wilmott and again Ann Oakley's definitions of the family today, will outline the consequences (Effects) that these causes have had upon the family today. There are numerous Sociological debates about the relationship between the biological and socially constructed views on the causes of gender inequality. To explain gender inequality in Britain today, one might be encouraged to briefly look upon the historical explanations of gender inequality, in order to understand its origin. Engels, the nineteenth- century philosopher, socialist and co-founder of Marxism, attempted to explain the basis of gender inequality in his works "The origin of the Family, Private property and the State" (1884). In his work he attempted to explain the history of women's subordination, "materialistically" in terms of the spheres of private property and monogamy. ...read more.

Middle

Lastly, Liberal Feminists campaign for the equal rights and opportunities for women by removing economic, political and legal obstacles and replacing them with the freedom of choice. At first glance, women's position to men has changed for the better in the year 2001. Legal reforms have been set in place and it would appear that a certain level of equality is practised in Britain. Whilst aware of the gender inequality within the structures of Education, Work and Class, my intention is to focus upon the Family, in an attempt to explain the consequences of gender inequality in Britain today. In Britain today, the consequences of the biological differences between men and women, are visible within the type of roles men and women play in the family. In regards to Parson's theory of women's 'expressive' role - one which is caring and nurturing, Marsden and Duncombes (1993) analysis of the roles within the family, clearly shows that the 'biggest part of the emotional work in families is done, unpaid by women'. As well as women's emotional participation to the family, Marsden and Duncombe describe women as performing a 'triple shift', having completed their paid employment, they return home to do most of the housework as well as most of the emotional work as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

In her article, Wolf acknowledges that feminists of late could only dream of freeing themselves from their reproductive chains. For Fertility specialist have discovered a method for women to have babies without the involvement of men. These radical advancements involve tricking an egg into conceiving, brought about by a concoction of chemicals, as well as creating the first artificial womb lining. Naomi Wolf asks the question of whether this movement creates more freedom for women. In her view it "puts women at a turning point at which they could lose something precious, motherhood". Wolf comes from the stance of equality between the sexes and encourages men and women to acknowledge their biological roles and work in harmony with each other. To conclude, it would seem that the causes of gender inequality in Britain today, would always offer debates between the biological and socially constructed theorists. However the consequences of gender inequality, as outlined above, seems to be more susceptible to change. Changes within legal, social and economic reforms have created a degree of equality, but do men and women want to be equal? The answer to this, probably not. However to end the conflict of inequality between the sexes perhaps men and women need to recognise their differences, in an un-objective manner, and embrace the person they are regardless of their sex or gender. ...read more.

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