Chapter 1 Liberal feminism
In the 1960s and 70s feminism took on a turn of events and introduced the notion of equality, more
importantly thinking of women as individuals. Liberal feminism does not agree that differences based on
biology should account for reasons as treating men and women different and therefore goes on to argue
that men and women are not all that different and should not be treated differently especially under the
law. Liberal feminism accepts and works within the gendered social order, with the effect of purging of
its discriminatory effects of women(Lorber). Today its wants to undergo gender- reversing and
counteracting the effects of gender discrimination. Wants to gender mainstream.
Liberal feminism has contributed much to society, “stop calling a wife the “little women”, use Ms.
Instread of Mrs, recognize womens past achievments and current capabilities in many fields , get
husbands to share some of the housework and child care, legalize abortion” (26).
Liberal feminism has helped women in the workplace, work- family balance and has demonstrated a
notion of a glass ceiling. Gatekeeping keeps women from reaching top positions in their occupations
Liberal feminism believes that society is divided into two categories : a private category and a public
one. They argue that women are stuck in this private sphere women are treated differently and they do
not earn money for the work they do. Unlike publc which is mostly consumed by men who get paid for
all the work they do. They claim that these categories create thises artificial barriers for women (SLIDE
Liberal Feminism has come up with a socution. They argue that to fix the problem there should be
equality which is basically the basis of liberal feminism. Women should be trated the same as men.
There also should be individual rights and freedoms granted for women, such as the right for a women
to compete in the labour market. There also should be value given to womens “autonomy” and
freedom. Women should have a sense of entitlement. They believe that there does not need to have a
huge revolution btu a reform is needed. Ther should also be equal access to opportunities given to
women . and there should be equal redistribution of benefits and opportunities among men and
women. (SLIDE 7)
Liberal Feminism has achieved a lot since coming into view in the 60s and 70s. they have gotten women
legal equality in many matterns with men. They have allowed abortion to be a womens right and have
created great awareness for violence against women.
Although Liberal Feminism has made a difference it is not perfect. The conception of human nature or
the self planted by liberal feminism leads women to be viewed as emotional and socialized to be
interdependent. Womens sense of self is situated and concrete. Women do not live by reason,
autonomy, and self-isolation alone. Liberal feminism also values male traits ; equality is women acting
like men. It equals male being with human being, it also essentializes feminity and masculinity and it
does not fully acknowledge racism, classism and heterosexism.
Liberal and Radical Feminism
Liberal Feminism- summary – lorber
In 1960s and 70s feminist focus in us was on women as individuals
Liberal feminisms complaint that women were confined to the main “job” of wife , mother….
Another thing that kept women down was men’s devaluation of them as not too bright, cloth conscious,
and overly emotional,
Liberal feminism claims that gender differences are not based in biology and therefore that women and
men are not all that different …/…/ so they should not be treated differently under the law
It accepts and works within the gendered social order, with the goal of purging it of its discriminatory
effects on women. Tday this goal is termed undergoing gender-reversing and counteracting the effects
of gender discrimination. A parallel goal is gender mainstreaming – ensuring that government laws and
organizational policies do not adversely affect women and do address women’s needs
Early appleals of liberal feminism wwas easy- stop calling a wife the “little women”, use Ms. Instread of
Mrs, recognize womens past achievments and current capabilities in many fields , get husbands to share
some of the housework and child care, legalize abortion (26)
Argues that gendered characteristics, such as womens parenting abilities , may seem biological
but are really soiccal products
Gendered inequality is built into this socialization bc supposedly masculine characteristics , such
as assertiveness, are highly valued than supposedly feminine characteristics such as emotional
Promotes non-sexist socialization and education of children as well as media presentations of
men and women in non-traditional roles, expecially men as caring and competent fathers.
Sex and gender are the organizing markers in all societies. In no country, political group, or
community are men defined as lesser human beings than their female counterparts. But almost
everywhere women are so defined.
So many women and girls accept the Orwellian notion that restriction is freedom, that suffering
is pleasure, that silence is power.
Belief systems are powerful. And beliefs that are unprovable or proven untrure often capture
the greatest number of believers. Sometimes they are simply the best stories,
32- success and filure in the workplace
In last 25 years through liberal feminism politics of affirmative action to ensure gender balance
and lawsuits charging discrimination against women in hiring , promotion, and salaries … led to
higher education , professions of law and medicine, the sciences and all sorts of workplaces,
from large-scale corporations to coal mines
Developed theories to explain the persistence of the gender segregation of jobs and the gender
stratification of organizational hierarchies
Earlier theoires argue that women are not as aggressive about competing with men on the job
or at school bc fear success will make them so disliked that they would never have a social life.
Kanter hypothesis- as workplaces become ore gender-balanced, men would become more
accepting of women colleagues, and women would have other women to bond with instead of
having to go it alone as the single token women.
Affermitive action – was developed to redress the gender, racial, and ethnic imbalance in
workplaces , schools, and job-training programs. Employers are legally mandated to hire
workers of different racial and ethnic categories and genders to achieve a reasonable balance in
Law also requires employers to pay the workers the same and give them an equal chance to
advance in their careers
The kanter hypothesis predicted a positive attitude change when a formerly imbalanced
workplace becomes more gender-balanced
o Found that when more women enter the workplace , there is often a backlash in the
form of increasing sexual harassment and denigration of women’s capabilities
o Men who are tokens in women dominated occupations , tend to be pushed into
administrative jobs. Phenomena became known as the glass escalator, in contrast to the
glass ceiling that keeps women from the top obs in occupations dominated by men.
Men in “womens work” tend to gravitate to specialties that seem more masculine
34- Gatekeeping and the Glass Ceiling
Gatekeeping keeps women from reaching top positions in their occupations- paraphrased.-
It used to keep wome out of certain fields entirely . now keeps women out of the line for
promotion to top positions
Most work their way up in a job through networking and mentoring . which s much easier if
become a protégée of a senior colleague.
o few take on women