Beauvor's Theory Of Gender Inequality

1423 Words 6 Pages
However, de facto inequality within society makes equality difficult to achieve. Gender equality can be achieved according to Mill through changing the laws in regards to marital contracts and allowing women to own property, but for Beauvoir this is not sufficient. “Even when her rights are legally recognized in the abstract, long-standing custom prevents their full expression…”(Pg. 606). Beauvoir argues that the economic sphere perpetuates this inequality because men being the bourgeoisie have better opportunities, while the women, the proletariat, are exploited. Beauvoir’s recognition of gender equality through legal means is not sufficient sets the stage for the second wave of feminism.
The second wave of feminism begins approximately at the end of World War II. Catherine Mackinnon the author of Feminism Unmodified discusses how legal achievements for gender inequality had been more consequential towards the feminist movement than aiding the movement. “Feminism has not changed the status of women. It is not enough to observe that social change is glacial, law is inadequate to move anything basic, and power is powerful.”(Pg. 2). Mackinnon makes her argument
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For first wave theorists, such as Mill, the solution to gender inequality is by changing the laws. Mill argues laws in regards to martial contracts need to be altered. Mill believes that women are oppressed due to the unfair marital contracts. So, in order to achieve equality Mill argues that women should have the right to earn and own property while married or not married. First wave feminism solution to gender equality is largely through legal means of women’s rights. Second wave feminism’s solution is a combination of legal rights to women, and altering societal beliefs of women. Third wave feminism is a combination of the first and second wave, but it extends beyond women, and to all forms of

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