GS 201 tutorial questions –T3
November 2, 2012
1. According to Mill, why was marriage problematic for women?
Marriage is seen for women as destination they need to reach in life, and the only acceptable destination. This
becomes a problem because women living the housewife lifestyle are feeling unfulfilled in their lives.
2.According to Mill, how would expanding rights for women shift notions of masculinity and
responsibilities of men?
Men have the need to support the family and provide. A woman’s income is seen as a second income and one
that shouldn’t be necessary if a man is successful outside of the home. If a woman is supporting the family the
man should be seen as not good enough to care for his family and therefore unsuccessful in his business life.
This brings embarrassment and a sense of loss of masculinity to this man and shames his family. The people
who were bringing in two incomes at the time were the poor labourers who needed both man and woman to
work, they were lower in society and often families of colour.
3. What is the 'problem that has no name'? (Freidan)
The problem that has no name is the issue housewives are feeling about their unfulfilled lives. They are
expected to have the television and magazine representation of a happy family and if they don’t they are made
to believe that it is their fault. This problem has therefore not been openly discussed, partly because of the guilt
and because of the representation of proper housewives. But after interviewing women at her college she
discovered that the majority of women were feeling the same lackluster in their lives because of lack of
fulfillment. This problem had no name because it wasn’t openly discussed before this book, and wasn’t greatly
4. How does this link to 'housewife's fatigue' and the reliance on medication?
Housewives were feeling depressed or unfulfilled in their home life so they attempted to fill this void with
medication. Women attempted to fill this void with social events, hobbies, etc but when this became not
enough to fill the gap they turned to psychiatrists and medication. The women believe the problem lay within
them and not with the social constraints of their society, they therefore harboured guilt and negative feelings
towards themselves which they were then about to combat with medication.
5. According to Engels, how/why did we move from the communistic household to the pairing family?
The subordination of women is much like the class struggle of the bourgeoisie and the peasant classes, one is
made to feel less than equal so the dominant group can rule and successfully obtain the lives they desire and
6. How do Engels' arguments on family link to Locke's notion of property?
Locke defines property as something owned by a man (white property owner can obtain possessions) these
possessions include the labour and goods of his wife and children. Engels argues that women are not born into
subordination but that men have made sure women are looked at as property in society. This is solidified in
what he calls the nuclear family. Engels goes so fa