The feminist movements of the Western World, primarily, comprised of two waves that together developed the feminist theory or knowledge. The first wave of this movement dates back to the era between the decades 1860s and 1920s whereas the second wave of it originated from the period of 1960s and extends to the current period of time (Grewal and Kaplan, 2002). Nevertheless, the most established Western Feminist Theory originated through the publication of a range of literary materials that included The Female Eunich by Germaine Greer in 1970, The Feminine Mystique by Friedan in 1963, Sexual Politics by Kate Millett in 1969, The Dialectic of Sex by Shulamith Firestone in 1970, Women’s Estate by Juliett Mitchell in 1971 and Sisterhood Is Powerful by Robin Morga in1970 (Brown, 1997). These texts depicted the meaning of liberation, emancipation and oppression of women. The prime purpose of analysis was based on the institution of family or marriage that legislates or dictates the gendered classification of labor in accordance to the contemporary structures of daily life as it generally assigns men to the public domain and women to the private domain. This essay is encompassed on the ‘English Model’ of the Feminist Theory as it represents the more general inclination of the Western culture in relation to the analytical, descriptive and normative concepts regarding feminism.
The feminist theorist rationally evaluated the exceptionally disproportionate consequences for women and men, which have been caused due to the accepted norms of the public and private distinction in the western society or even in the rest of the world (Grewal and Kaplan, 2002). The women were given very limited access or no access at all, in some cases, to the public domain of work that included decision making, politics, knowledge development, law making and culture production because they were assigned to fulfill their natural social role ,in the private domain only, of getting married, reproducing the family, and being a mother. Women, as an individual or as a group, were not allowed to cherish the equal opportunities, liberties, rights and parities in the public domain in comparison to the privileges given to men. Thus, the women were considered to nominally attain the democratic model of a ‘good life’ that was engraved in to the gist of the most western constitutions. As compared to men, women were envisioned to take on most of the obligations related to the social reproduction mechanism like child bearing and giving time to the family, even though the society as an entire unit encourages its custom-made natality policies to sort out the social reproduction issue. Thus, the feminist theorists figured out the fundamental enigma that enclosed the condition of women in the contemporary societies of the industrialized world (Grewal and Kaplan, 2002). Despite the society having supported its stance on reproduction policy where men were expected to be the primary care-takers, however, the women still fully contributed to the workforce through their services, due to which they were unable to give sufficient time to their families and children (Jackson, 1993). Moreover, the women being extremely committed towards their marriage, family and children held themselves back from becoming independent in relation to both financial matters and decision making for themselves as well as for their families. Furthermore, the careers were structured such that they were modeled on men only, and not on women, whose obligations to their families did not conventionally meddled with their professions. Thus, the western society, in particular, has never been just towards the women as it has been biased favoring men in all walks of life.
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Jackson, S. (1993). Women’s Studies: A Reader. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.