I the terms. Cuddon defines Modernism as “A

I am going to discuss the concept of living in a
postmodern world by focusing on gender as a social category. I will do this by
focusing on feminist viewpoints including structural, post-structional and
post-feminist perspectives. Feminist outlooks offer descriptive frameworks that
surround the idea of gender relations to aid political action and changes. To
begin, in order to argue that we live in a postmodern world it is important to
define the terms modernism and postmodernism. Barth claims that modernism and
postmodernism synthesises and combines ideas to create a broader understanding
of the terms. Cuddon defines Modernism as “A very comprehensive term applied to
international tendencies and movements in all the creative arts since the
latter end of the 19th c.” Postmodernism can be seen as an ‘intellectual
movement’ where Lyotard suggests grand narratives are rejected in order to make
way for smaller, more convincing narratives. The first issue I am going to address in
this essay is the unequal wage gap between women and men in the work place.
Despite The Equal Pay Act being in place today, employers still underpay women
in the same job as men. The Equal Pay Act (1970) states that men and women must
be paid equally for doing the same role or broadly similar in the workplace.
This law came about when 7 women who worked for the Ford Motor Company, sewing
car seats, walked out of their jobs. They were notified that their job skills
category were downgrading from a category C job (more skilled production job)
to a category B (less skilled production job) and that they were also being
paid 15% less that men who were also in a the same job. The theory I am going
to connect to this is the structural perspective. Structural theories around
gender focus mainly upon the idea that women’s oppression are a consequence of
racism, capitalism and patriarchy. Structural theories also branch off to
Radical, Marxist, Socialist and Liberal feminism.       To
begin, Marxist feminism mainly focuses on the idea that women are oppressed
through the capitalist economic system and are restricted due to the gendered
division of labour in the workplace. The two types of labour in the capitalist
economic system are reproductive and productive. Benston would imply that the
reproductive labour involves women performing domestic roles within the
household including childcare, cooking and cleaning for no monetary gain.
Productive labour includes women receiving a wage by providing a service that
will be of increased profit in the capitalist economic system. This links in
with the issue I am presenting as Marxists feminist explain how women are
unfairly exploited in the workplace and home when it comes to the amount they
are paid and are often seen as a ‘reserve army of cheap labour’.  Marx explains this term by suggesting that
labourers were controlled and restricted in the workplace under a hierarchy of
capitalism with the wealthy business owners on the top. Although to argue
against Marxist feminist ideologies, it can be suggested that their focus is
solely on the nuclear family and overlooks family diversity.      In
conflict with the Marxist feminist theories Liberal feminists believe that
there is a ‘March of Progress’ to which equality is becoming more significant
for women in society. This can be shown through legislation acts such as the
Abortion Act which enables women to take control of their own bodies through.
Also, as this act was introduced in 1967 it can be argued that radical feminism
is outdated. Liberal feminists also want to highlight that women going to work
has not only improved gender inequality as a whole, but it has also helped
women become more self-sufficient even being the lead paid earners in 25% of
families. So despite the fact that the gender pay gap is not entirely equal
yet, women can still overcome this barrier and be the main source of income in
the household. Over the years, evidence has shown that men are doing an
increased proportion of domestic labour but Official National Statistics show
that women are doing 40% more unpaid chores at home. This is where the
conflicting views come from the Radical feminists.       Radical
feminists look at the way men oppress women in relationships through
patriarchal acts to define their dominance in domestic violence and sexual
gratification. Radical feminist Greer made a controversial statement that women
are naturally “conditioned to accept a sense of inferiority to men and argued
for sexual liberation outside the monogamous family.” Greer also made it clear
that matrifocal or women only households were appropriate to remove any
possible chance of male dominance.

can be argued that radical feminists focus too much on men’s mannerisms rather
than looking at the political and economical side of society like liberal
feminists do. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) suggests that “The wage gap between working men and women will not close
until the year 2057.” Radical feminist would see this as a way of men
dominating and oppressing women in the workplace, whereas a liberal feminist
would see it as a slow progression to achieve equality for women. Although for
Hispanic women it will take until 2233 to achieve equal pay and for black women
it will take until 2124. Not only are these individuals discriminated against
by their gender but also against their ethnicity, showing that all women will
experience inequality differently. Which leads me onto to the next section of a
poststructuralist view

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