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Social Sciences
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Feminism and Motherhood (Reaction Paper Sample)


The topic of this paper poses the question do motherhood and feminism compete with or compliment each other. There are many debates emanating from this question. These arguments are proposed and a reaction for the entire argument stated in this paper.

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Feminism and Motherhood
Since the 1960s when the wave of feminism took center stage globally, most people, including feminists themselves would agree that since then a lot has changed in terms of the image of a woman in society. Currently, with the exception of a few countries such as in the Arab Emirates, women have all the rights that their opposite gender has, such as voting, same job opportunities, education and so forth. However, even in this new millennium, the question still arises as to whether the dream of those who campaigned for female rights during those years has been fully realized in today’s society. This is especially so with the woman still being viewed the being responsible for the kitchen and the children. Therefore, the question of whether indeed women are and shall always be expected to be responsible in these two senses through the institution of marriage is always an open subject. This paper will try to look at these issues through looking at particular questions that regard them.
First, the question of what it means for a woman to have a choice between going to work and staying at home to look after her kids is a major source of conflict between die-hard feminists and those they view as being soft feminists. Amongst those who believe that the nuclear family setting is retrogression from the successes made in the 60s and 70s, is Jon Roesch in her article, Turning Back the Clock? Women, Work and Family Today; where she clearly states that the belief in the nuclear family setting is anti-feminist. One of the examples used in the article is the legislation brought forward by former US president George Bush known as the Health Marriage Initiative. To fund this project, his government diverted $1.5 billion from other programs that represented poor women and children (Roesch, internet source). Therefore, she argues, diverting money from projects that obviously need it more than this one just to teach heterosexual couples on marriage, while at the same time being opposed to gay and lesbian relations, is being hypocritical.
Therefore, going per her argument, the mere fact that women are expected to choose between going to work or staying at home is a change in tact that simply shows that feminism is still thrives in our society. However, others that see the argument from a different line, even feminists themselves, easily contest the line of thought. One of the arguments made by Susan Bell and Karen Offen in their book Women, the Family and Freedom, they argue that in the 1950s, the main argument made by those anti-feminist was that socially, the place for women was in the homestead with their children and taking care of the family (Offen & Bell, 79).
However, they continue to say that in those early stages of the movement, the main goal of the women that took to the streets in cities like New York was to demand for equal rights like their male counterparts. The equal rights being regarded in this instant was that these women would be able to go to any work they chose to and not get kicked out due to their gender, or getting similar salaries as their male counterparts in the same job positions. As these two further state, during this time, th...
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