Women, From Subjection To Liberation
For several hundred years, the male supremacists saw the origins of the unequal relationship between the sexes as biologically determined and, hence, beyond the scope of social change. But, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the feminists spearheaded the Women?s Liberation Movement, created the new visibility of women and their specific problems and concerns, and discovered that none of the explanations put forth by male social scientists was satisfactory. This was further confirmed during the 1970s by the international community when it declared 1975 as International Women?s year. This represented a turning point, for, it was a response to the feminists, demands and to the realization that they were speaking of the problems affecting more than half of the world?s population. It was here where the covert or overt biological determinism, which Freud called the anatomy is destiny?, was rejected by the feminist challengers. They argued that the unequal, hierarchical, and exploitative relationship between men and women is caused not by biological but by social-that is, historical-factors, which are very much within the scope of social change. The present volume issues, examines the interface between male supremacists and feminist challengers, and pinpoints how the process of liberation of women is underway even if no dramatic changes have occurred.
Rekha Pandey (b. 1965) who has had a consistently brilliant academic career in currently a researcher in the Department of Sociology, Banaras Hindu University. For a short spell, she taught at Christ Church College, Kanpur. Currently she is doing her Ph.D. on “Women’s Place in Agrarian Social Structure: Conditions, Constraints, and Contributions.” Her areas of interest are Sociology of Women, Social Stratification, Sociology of Development, and Sociological Theory. She has published a number of articles in various sociology and social work journals.
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