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Marriage and Divorce.doc

6 Pages

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1350
Julie Dowsett

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MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE (PARTS 1 AND 2) A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. —Tenneva Jordan 1.The Family as Socially Constructed - women are no longer part of men’s property and liberal feminist state that it is a positive thing a.societal standards for a “good mother” vis-a-vis a “good father” - mothering and fathering are about parenting - Mothering and fathering are very different (like good mother or unfit mother) - Mothering, is a wide variety of behavior, for “good fathers” they are associated with the role of providing for the family - Fathering a child is just the creation of the child (sperm and egg) for mothers, its more judgmental b. the ideology of (white, middle-class, heterosexual) motherhood - generally the importance of mothers changes in the political and economic conditions - Child rearing is part of a women’s identity - Women’s labour outside the home is required then its not emphasized but if labour outside home is not required then it is emphasized - For economic standards, both parents work to have a middle class life style - The ideology of motherhood is the primary role, and more of an idea of motherhood (by only giving birth to a child, can a women achieve her destiny or her full potential, and achieve their meaning in life) - The “self-less” mother is usually someone who puts others before herself (puts her needs aside and puts her family first) - A mother as a “keeper of hearth (fireplace) and heart” - A “labour of love” (basically to love labour) - Those who choose not to have children are seen as unnatural or selfish and those fathers who don’t want children are not seen as unnatural or selfish - Ideology motherhood are usually heterosexual women, therefore those who are lesbian are seen as unfit mothers - Mothers are blamed for many problems - Feminist studies continue to be held responsible for any disorder of their child (bed wetting, learning problems etc) - Employed mothers continue to be scolded for not spending enough time with their children - Children are not negatively affected by their mothers employment, and those children in daycare can develop social skills and etc, and sons are likely to not have stereotypes of mothers - Only children of specific mothers are seen of value therefore, those who are aboriginal, the poor, and women of colour are viewed as valueless - precentantly, been a redrick, that the poor have too many children and that working class and racetionalized women are seen as bad mothers ** 2.Marriage and Property a.Blackstone on coverture - blackstone reading, is the laws of England, much more influenced in Canada and US then in England - Coverture developed in the late 1500s, also connects to capitalism (changes to production in England), Conventure, the husband is considered as the lord, and both were viewed as one person, and the husband is usually the main individual and women is just “part” of it - ^ husband has the right to give the “power of correction” - Domestic violence is allowed as long as he “corrects his wife” therefore it Is okay for the husband for violence b.Engels on marriage turning women into property - Engels would state that women are seen as property - Marriage turns women into property and wives become property to the husband - Women for Engels, are exchanged between men (like in the wedding, fathers “give away” their daughters to the husbands) - Engels argued that wives are seen as sex worker or prostitute, like the sex worker, money is exchanged for sex - Capitalism turns women into commodities (exchange of money) c. the “unity doctrine” in Canadian law -Unity doctrine is the legal understanding of marriage in Canada, it is the updated version of coverture (both become one person, and usually the husband is the “person” and women loses her womanhood, and just an extention of the husband, in other words, women have the same legal status of those who cannot take care of themselves) - So if women owned property, it all belonged to the husband and left women vulnerable - Canadian law, husbands are able to leave their wives and children, and still have power over you 3. Early Industrial Capitalism and Marriage/Divorce Law a. Ontario Married Women’s Property Act (1884) - started in 1800s - Feminization of property became visible in cities - Feminists and reformers, legislation that will make men support women - Introduced act women who got married, would not lose their property (both spouses can have and dispose property) b. Ontario Deserted Wives’ Maintenance Act (1888) - first time a legal obligation offered separation for heterosexual couples - Did not apply to married couples until WWII c. Federal Marriage and Divorce Act (1925) i. first legislative act under federal government’s new jurisdiction over marriage and divorce (obtained with Confederation in 1867) - marriage and divorce now can be handled by gov’t - Provinces had their own act before ii. prior to this, divorce was difficult (if not impossible) to obtain in most provinces - BC, Nova Scotia and Ottawa iii. people with (lots of) money could petition Parliament for divorce, using the Act of 1857 (British statute) - you need a lot of money and time as well as going to Ottawa for a divorce (therefore only rich people got divorce) iv. Act of 1857 had sexual double-standard - husband could rape the wife, can have another women (mistress) for divorce - Men can have multiple women - Before common for men to have multiple wives - To create certainty for children, men would commit adultery - Permitted women to sue for adultery eliminated this double standard d. maternal feminism and the “ideology of motherhood” - maternal feminism , men and women are different but complimentary in nature - Supposedly, masculine traits were to protect family, feminine traits about nurturing family - Maternal feminists believed that women were subordinate to men because their central role as mothers were not recognized - Those feminists embraced ideology of motherhood, felt motherhood was a sacride institution - From 1800 onward, those feminists fought for rights for those angelic women - Abandon of the unity doctrine (where men owned women like property) - Introduced that husband who left her, gov’t helped abandon married mothers but upholding motherhood maternal feminist entrenched within the law a definition of the family based on heterosexual marriage and a gender division of labour, and still exists today 4.The Rising Influence of the Ideology of Motherhood a.Prior to the mid-late 1800s, father was sole legal guardian of the children - were based on the English common law rule, men were the sole legal guardian - Very limited in cases were mothers could become legal guardians - Mothers had no legal right to custody and visitation - ^ many cases where the father consent, but the documents were unenforceable - Engels states that children were “natural property” and women were “property” - Engels starts that fathers “continues after death so he may appoint gu
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