Gender Equality And Gender Inequality

1279 Words 5 Pages
Gender appears to be a concept that is either black or white – but in actuality is a very controversial area of analysis. For hundreds of years gender and gender equality have been a topic of interest. Today, the interest has grown and spread to various social media platforms with an emphasis on the feminist social movement. However, in order to understand gender inequality, one must first understand the theories behind the mobilization and creation of this social phenomenon. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Simone de Beauvoir were(are?) two leading female theorists from the twentieth century with comparable (I’m trying to say different but similar views on gender equality) theories on gender equality. Although gender equality is a controversial …show more content…
If a woman is seen as weak, passive and defective (1989: __), she will begin to believe that she is and learn to rely on men as her only means of subsistence. This notion is reinforced by Gilman who states, “We are the only animal species the female depends on the male…” (1989: ___). However further into her article Gilman argues several different concepts justifying women’s consumption of economic goods provided to them through their share as housewives in a traditional marriage (1989: __). These concepts range from justification through her duties as a housewife, marriage as a partnership, marriage as a business relationship, wives as earners of domestic services, and concluding with women participating in housework because it is their duty, or unjustly; the duty of a woman (1989: __). Dissimilarly, de Beauvoir argues that women are reliant upon the male gender because they are seen as ‘other’ in comparison to them. Women are defined in relation to men, whereas men are not defined in relation to women, resulting in the superiority of men once again in societal constructions (1989: __). Here, between Gilman and de Beauvoir we see a contrast in why each author sees women as dependent upon men. Gilman takes the standpoint that women are dependent upon men for their means of subsistence because economics and gender cannot be separated resulting in women not being able to be employed in many jobs that are considered better suited for men; industrial jobs (1989: __). Since women are unable to receive employment from these male-focused jobs they are left unemployed and resultantly without an income and must fill homemaker position (1989: __). Contrastingly, de Beauvoir argues that women are dependent upon men for their means of subsistence because few women have disputed male sovereignty because of the powerless positions they have been allocated in historically and because

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