As a result of the former definition, the construction of gendered roles became prominent.The role of women in society had been attached to the responsibilities of managing the household, with domestic duties (cooking, cleaning, shopping) and childcare. Such duties are socially-constructed as a ?natural? part of womanhood; the work is undervalued by society in contrast to men (Williams, 1993; Carreon, Cassedy and Borman, 2013). Men are in fact seen as the polar opposite of women, with their ?natural? role residing with the labour force, due to being breadwinners and in paid employment, they are viewed by society as ?good fathers? (Ross, 2016:116).
Men versus Feminism - allies or enemies? The first and definitely the most difficult problem men had with feminism and still do, is that it isn't directly about them and as a result it becomes a major task for them to engage with it in a positive way. Feminism is only designed to affect women and contribute towards women's struggles and issues. One argument supporting the inclusion of men in the feminist conversation is that through the exclusion of men from the movement is defined as exclusively a female struggle, which could be argued to be sexist in it.
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"In conclusion, I don't think that traditional roles are disappearing as such, but women are changing their priorities. As women are able to get into the labour force and into the highly paid jobs, they are able to provide economic stability for themselves and their children. Increased childcare facilities are enabling women to work and single mothers to cope. However, it seems that after their day at work, women go home and return to their traditional roles by doing the housework and looking after the children.
Men's roles do not seemed to have changed much. More men are staying at home and looking after the children during the day yet it seems that this responsibility is handed over to the wife on her return from work."
"This theory is highlighted by the debate between the optimists and pessimists. Sociologists of the 1960's and 1970's and many recent historians have been optimistic in the situation for women prior to the industrial revolution, for example Shorter. They believe that the industrial revolution supported the marital family and an increase in equality between men and women. This resulted from educational opportunities, which encouraged and aided women to enter the labour market, increasing their visibility and freedom. However Marxists and Feminists, for example Clark disagree portraying that as a result o capitalism which created cheap labour, women's position in the home was highlighted. It is possible that the two schools will never agree upon a conclusion of the position of women.
It remains questionable whether the past could and will ever be rectified. Women's history remains premature. Roger's highlights women's historiography remains ambiguous because the status of women and their domination in the private arena conceals as much as it enlightens. In Thomas suggests that until more precise categories and clearer questions can be formulated the research will remain incomplete. To date women's history is a social history, which seeks to recover the position of invisible women portraying them both as individuals and as part of a group."
"In conclusion MacKinnon seems to over rate the effect of pornography on the everyday social structure and the harm that it causes. Her assumption that it sets the standards for all sexual acts and gender roles is over generalised, neglecting the fact many do not view pornography as a realistic portrayal of gender roles or the sexuality of gender. In the end pornography may not be promoting women's rights to equality, but it is hardly as damaging as she claims.
C. MacKinnon, 'Not a Moral Issue' from Feminism Unmodified, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987. pp. 146-162.
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