Liberal Feminisms Challenge To The Patriarchy Sociology Essay Essay
Broad feminism can be defined as a construct concentrating on adult females ‘s personal ability to keep equality through their actions and picks and advocates an equal society. It is the belief that adult females should hold the same rights as work forces when it comes to reproduction, wage, instruction, and health care ( USA People Search, 2011 ) . Pasque has argued that the broad women’s rightist position “ expounds upon the virtues of a flat playing field that would let adult females to seek the same chances as work forces ” ( Pasque, 2011:5 ) , which is similar to McLaughlin ‘s analysis, adding “ particularly with respect to their moral and rational features ” ( McLaughlin, 2006:236 ) . One definition of patriarchate is a societal system where the function of the male as the primary authorization figure is cardinal to societal administration. The patriarchal household is the footing of society, with a male parent as an institutionally strengthened authorization. There is some argument about the definition of patriarchate, but for the intent of this essay I will accept the definition which states patriarchate describes the establishments of male regulation and privilege, dependant on female subordination. Heterosexual power dealingss refer to work forces ruling adult females, particularly with work forces ‘s traditional function of being the breadwinners of the household in the populace sphere, with the adult females in charge of the family and kids, hence staying in the private domain. For more than two centuries, women’s rightists have fought against this public/private duality and the claim that female subordination follows from the natural features of the sexes ( Pateman, 1987 ) . As Harriet Taylor ( 1851 ) said “ The great alteration would be that the married woman would now be raised from the place of a retainer to that of a spouse ” ( Pateman, 1988:163 ) . Feminists identify female emancipation with outgo of civil and political rights which include adult females ‘s entryway into the public universe on an equal footing as work forces ( Young, 1998 ) .
This essay will discourse whether broad feminism, a construct posited in SATC, successfully presents a challenge to male domination in society. I will look at illustrations that express the competition to patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss through fiscal independency, the credence of homosexualism, the embrace of unconventional positions on sex and relationships, the version of traditional maternity, the jubilation of straightforwardness, the acceptance of traditionally male functions, female authorization and the queering of heterosexual power dealingss. I will so analyze ways in which patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss have been reproduced in SATC and conclude by make up one’s minding which instance is stronger.
Female fiscal independency is a cardinal manner that patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss are challenged. In the past “ societal usage and jurisprudence deprived adult females of the chance to gain their ain life… matrimony was their lone hope of a nice life ” ( Pateman, 1988:158 ) , showing why adult females were antecedently to the full dependent on work forces. In SATC, all four adult females have successful callings and do non necessitate a adult male to supply for them, countering the traditional position. The ‘breadwinner-housewife ‘ relationship is non demonstrated in the series with respects to the four chief characters ; even when Miranda marries Steve, she retains her high-octane lawyer place. This personal liberty challenges the patriarchal position that adult females should stay in the private sphere as alternatively, all four adult females have well-established places in the populace sphere, for illustration Samantha owns her ain PR house and Carrie is a ‘celebrity ‘ journalist.
Patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss are challenged by SATC by its non-traditional positions of sex and dealingss, for illustration through its portraiture of homosexualism, the alternate position of maternity and promiscuousness. Traditionally, homosexualism has been labelled as pervert and unnatural by society ( REFERENCE? ) . The increased tolerance of homosexualism, both of work forces and adult females, is a broad impression. In SATC this is shown through Carrie ‘s friend Stanford ‘s homosexualism being discussed openly, showing credence. Furthermore, Miranda ‘s co-worker sets her up with a adult female, Syd ( 4 ) . Though Miranda does non really get down a sapphic relationship, in volitionally presenting as a sapphic it is revealed how accepting of homosexualism SATC is.
Motherhood is thought to be reduced to instinct. However, from a broad women’s rightist position, it is possible for adult females to be content through other facets of their life, including calling and friends. This excessively is presented in SATC through holding kids non being portrayed as a precedence. All four chief characters are childless in their mid 30s and make non experience the demand to hold kids to finish their lives. Alternatively Miranda professes to disliking kids and when she begins dating a divorced adult male who has a kid, she is uncomfortable with the kid ‘s presence in her life ( 3 ) .
In SATC, Miranda was an illustration of a individual but fighting female parent for some clip. Single maternity goes against conventional heterosexual power dealingss, as a adult female frequently gives birth outside of the traditional confines of matrimony and raises her kid independently, whilst still go oning her occupation. The fact that Miranda attends to her babe every bit good as her demanding occupation, surely goes against usage.
Abortion is another country covered by SATC ; Miranda contemplates abortion when happening out she is pregnant, but decides against it at the last minute. Carrie and Samantha admit to holding had abortions. Women ‘s ability to hold the option of abortion is what Pateman ( 1988 ) compares to the right of having belongings. She identifies abortion as an authorising thought and “ To win recognition that adult females own the belongings in their individuals… seems to strike a decisive blow against patriarchate. ” ( Pateman, 1988:14 ) .
Conventionally, adult females are expected to acquire married, but the embracing of individual life is a peculiarly broad value which is justified and even promoted in SATC. Being sexually active is shown to authorise adult females and give them the same picks as work forces. Carrie frequently uses the footings “ individual New Yorkers, ” thereby grouping individual people in a distinguishable class of humanity. This clearly challenges traditional patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss, where adult females were expected to be under the control of their hubbies and were “ non supposed to hold sexual desires ” ( Pateman, 1988:159 ) . Carrie articulates her antipathy to marriage in stating “ I ‘m get downing to believe I ‘m non the marrying sort ” ( 2 ) , and in making so, besides differentiates herself from those who are the “ marrying sort ” . This duality is solidified with Miranda ‘s overdone remark that “ married people are the enemy ” ( 2 ) . Broad women’s rightist ideas are portrayed through the lens of adult females who have the desire for promiscuousness, for illustration, when Miranda sleeps with Skipper, she does non desire a monogamous relationship ( 4 ) .
Adopting male character traits is another manner that the adult females of SATC challenge patriarchate. They are aggressive, profane, have sexual authorization and are unfastened. Aggression is shown when Samantha finds out Richard is rip offing on her ( 17 ) . Another manifestation of aggressiveness in SATC is cursing. The usage of profanity by adult females can be seen to be “ raising consciousness, denouncing sexism and authorising adult females ” ( Cameron, 1985:125 ) . Samantha is the personification of crudity in SATC and adopts typically male behavior by cussing invariably and frequently demoing aggression: referring to her fellow ‘s “ large, black prick, ” ( 7 ) and naming Big a asshole ( 4 ) . Broad feminism is disputing patriarchate as adult females have adopted male qualities, film overing the differentiation between genders and enabling adult females to be equal to work forces.
Womans showing sexual release, authorization, authorization and openness are other ways that male domination in society is contradicted and adult females are seen as following male character traits. Hollway ‘s ‘dominant discourses of heterosexualism ‘ including the male sex thrust and ‘have and keep ‘ discourses, are non supported in SATC. + account? ? ?
Sexual authorization is shown through unfastened gender, built-in throughout SATC. Samantha is the most sexual character. She prioritises her sexual demands, being shown with a new adult male each episode. Samantha is indiscreet in her utilizing of work forces for sex, a position surely disputing patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss. Additionally, Samantha is shown masturbating several times, demoing a controversial and uncommon word picture of adult females ‘s gender. Through this, SATC refutes traditional gender functions where work forces have high sex thrusts and adult females are expected to desire to settle into monogamous relationships. Samantha ‘s sexual opposite Charlotte is besides seen to be sexually empowered, but this is manifested in a different manner. Despite her personal sexual regulations, Charlotte is besides sexually sceptered and provides a challenge to patriarchy as she is in control of her ain sex life.
The creative activity of a non-traditional, non-nuclear household based on sistership shows a queering and break of heterosexual power dealingss as their friendly relationships are portrayed as stronger and more changeless than any romantic relationship. The importance of friendly relationship over love affair is emphasised when Carrie realises that she had “ committed the central wickedness. I ‘d abandon my girlfriends for my new fellow ” ( 4 ) . The relationship between the four SATC girlfriends is the most close and strong bond seen on the programme, using girlfriends as a primary support system, a signifier of sapphic feminism. Charlotte besides asks the misss “ What if we were each others ‘ psyche couples? And so we could allow work forces be merely these great nice cats to hold merriment with? ” ( 9 ) . Patriarchy is challenged as adult females have a wider household pick ; they are self-sufficing, depend more on other adult females instead than work forces and are financially and emotionally independent. This is demonstrated when Big says to Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte: “ You ‘re the loves of her life. A cat ‘s merely lucky to come in 4th. ” ( 8 ) .
Power is represented through the adult females ‘s callings and the kineticss within their relationships with work forces. Carrie is a author of a popular sex column for The New York Observer, frequently being recognised in public, keeping a high degree of influence within the metropolis. Samantha is a PR executive who owns her ain house, stand foring many of the New York elite. Miranda is a spouse at an established jurisprudence house, a place few adult females hold. Charlotte is the manager of an art gallery, interceding with creative persons and traders. Carrie writes from her place, rather evidently non under any supervising. Each adult female maintains a certain sum of control in about every relationship portrayed in SATC. After hearing intelligence about her ex-boyfriend, Samantha exclaims “ I ‘m the 1 with the power now. I ‘ve evolved past him. ” ( 12 ) It can be seen when Charlotte proposes to Trey ( 13 ) , exemplifying female laterality within a relationship.
The adult females of SATC are self aware of the power they hold over work forces through their gender. Samantha illustrates this through analyzing unwritten sex: “ The sense of power is such a bend on. Possibly you ‘re on your articulatio genuss, but you ‘ve got him by the balls. ” ( 4 ) This same sexual power can be held over other adult females ; Samantha says “ married adult females are threatened because we can hold sex anytime, anyplace, with anyone. ” ( 2 )
Within SATC, traditional heterosexual power dealingss are non presented. Big and Carrie in the movies are shown as holding a balanced relationship, despite Big ‘s alpha-male position, his professional power and tall physical visual aspect. Carrie asserts her sentiments and feelings throughout their relationship, guaranting an equal presence. This goes against traditional gendered sex functions in relationships, where adult females should be low-level to work forces who have an ultimate authorization, turn outing that broad feminism can show a challenge to heterosexual power dealingss. In 1860, a feminist address was given claiming “ There is one sort of matrimony that has non been tried, and that is a contract made by equal parties to take an equal life, with equal restraints and privileges on either side. ” ( Pateman, 1988:154 ) . Broad feminism allows for this antecedently unseasoned matrimony contract to go a world, disputing gender inequality as shown with Carrie and Big ‘s matrimony.
Although broad feminism is demonstrated by a imperfect, modern life style where adult females incorporate sexual release, modern positions on sex and independency into their lives, some traditional patriarchal positions remain and are reproduced in SATC. Double criterions between work forces and adult females illustrate this. Contradictions occur when males and females are seen as different despite populating the exact same life style, for illustration when Miranda states “ A 34 twelvemonth old cat with no money and no topographic point to populate, because he ‘s individual, he ‘s a gimmick. But a 34 twelvemonth old adult female with a occupation and a great place, because she ‘s individual, is considered tragic. ” ( 13 ) Besides Charlotte dates a adult male who she suspects is cheery, but expects him to cover with a mouse. When he does n’t, she leaves him as he is non manfully plenty. ( 12 )
Womans being in charge of family jobs are another manner that patriarchate can be said to be reproduced. Charlotte is domesticated and in charge of the private kingdom through organizing the interior decorating of her matrimonial place. However, this is countered by Carrie, who ne’er cooks and even uses her oven as excess storage infinite for her apparels. Miranda, nevertheless, has Magda her aged maidservant, to look after her house and mind her babe. However, the fact that these differing points of position are shown in SATC demonstrates empowerment as broad feminism allows adult females to hold the pick as to which lifestyle they lead.
Sexual torment could besides been seen as a manner that patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss are reproduced, as work forces appear to still retain sexual power over adult females. However, this topic is non tackled by SATC. As it is an of import issue to cover with, I believe it should hold been, but this may turn out how SATC shows a more idealized version of broad feminism as factors which counter it are non given much importance.
Heterosexual power dealingss are reproduced when Charlotte says “ Everyone needs a adult male. That ‘s why I rent. If you own and he still rents, so the power construction is all away. It ‘s castrating. Men do n’t desire a adult female who ‘s excessively self-sufficing. ” ( 16 ) This shows that she is cognizant of patriarchate in society and is supporting/substantiating ( ? ) it.
Gerhard ( 2005 ) negotiations of household pick. She believes that primary dealingss should be with adult females, whereas work forces come and travel ( Gerhart, 2005 ) . SATC has a household made out of four adult females. However, heterosexual power dealingss are finally reproduced, as all four adult females had settled into heterosexual relationships by the terminal of the series. Although the fairytale love affair is originally debunked, Carrie does, in the terminal, catch her adult male.
With these illustrations in head, does broad feminism provide a challenge to patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss? With many readings of patriarchate, heterosexual power dealingss and broad feminism, are they germinating footings which change with clip? By construing them as inactive constructs, are the developments of the footings being disregarded?
SATC is a really successful portraiture of broad feminism. The challenges presented to patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss include fiscal independency, tolerance of homosexualism, modern maternity, unconventional positions on gender, a meeting of gender functions, a queering of heterosexual power dealingss and authorization. However, they are countered slightly by the ways in which heterosexual power dealingss and gender inequality are corroborated in the series, including dual criterions, anticipating work forces to be manfully and an unconventional life style pick non turn outing good in the long term for adult females.
I believe the challenges presented to patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss do outweigh the limited ways in which they are corroborated in the series. Although SATC can be seen as a more optimistic version of broad feminism, there are many true to life state of affairss and illustrations used in the series. “ Womans have to be brought into civil life on precisely the same terms as their hubbies… since few adult females can gain every bit much as work forces, merely some in-between category, professional adult females are likely to be in a place to negociate ” ( Pateman, 1988:155 ) However, SATC presents feminist ideals through the portraiture of sexy, upper category Manhattanites, adult females really fortunate to hold the picks to do. An individualized position of equality is presented in SATC, some independent adult females may be able to move like work forces and have the resources to make so, which include economic and cultural capital. However, most adult females ca n’t. SATC adult females have power because they have entree to resources and because they are extremely educated, for illustration Miranda is a alumnus of Harvard Law School. If adult females sought to affect themselves at an equal degree to work forces in the workplace “ The barrier of sexual high quality and domination would be broken down: adult females would see a possibility… of going peers, non merely in domestic but in civil life, with work forces. ” ( Thompson, 1825:164 ) . Because the SATC adult females have done merely that, it can be concluded that broad feminism can dispute patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss.
The domination of all work forces over adult females within the populace every bit good as private kingdom is a effect of patriarchate, particularly as historically the public kingdom has to the full excluded adult females. Filmer ( 1680 ) said in ‘Patriarcha ‘ that patriarchate was under menace. Now in the twenty-first century, it is safe to state that patriarchate is so in diminution in societies worldwide ( SEP, 2011 ) . Broad feminism argues for gender equality through taking favoritism against adult females and a challenge to female stereotypes. It is certain that broad feminism does fulfill and transcend Hooks ‘ ( 2000 ) definition of feminism as “ a motion to stop sexism, sexist development, and subjugation ” ( Hooks, 2000:1 ) .