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The Persistence of Gender Inequality

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The Persistence of Gender Inequality

Mary Evans

ISBN: 978-0-745-68991-3 October 2016 Polity 200 Pages

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Description

Despite centuries of campaigning, women still earn less and have less power than men. Equality remains a goal not yet reached. In this incisive account of why this is the case, Mary Evans argues that optimistic narratives of progress and emancipation have served to obscure long-term structural inequalities between women and men, structural inequalities which are not only about gender but also about general social inequality. In widening the lenses on the persistence of gender inequality, Evans shows how in contemporary debates about social inequality gender is often ignored, implicitly side-lining critical aspects of relations between women and men. This engaging short book attempts to join up some of the dots in the ways that we think about both social and gender inequality, and offers a new perspective on a problem that still demands society’s full attention.

Acknowledgements vii

Preface viii

1 What is Gender Inequality? 1

Making Inequality 5

What Has Changed? 10

Changing Conditions 12

2 Worlds of Inequality 23

Exploiting the Feminine 25

Problems at Work 30

Problems of Agency 35

Locations of Inequality 38

3 Problems of Subjectivity 47

Imagining the Female Body 48

Other Bodies 53

How the Body Matters 58

Questions of Order 61

4 Enter Feminism 76

Conditions for Feminism 76

A Secondary Sex 82

Changing Times 87

Unchanging Times 97

5 Making Gender Equality 120

The Rights of Women 122

The Limits of Liberalism 130

Notes 140

Bibliography 152

Index 166

"A perceptive, focused essay...Highly recommended."
Times Higher Education

"In this wide-ranging and elegantly written book, Mary Evans deftly unravels existing mystifications about gender equality as an inevitable achievement of feminism in late modernity. If we don’t tackle the reality of still-existing global social inequalities, the feminist project will remain unfinished."
Kathy Davis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

"In this wide-ranging, highly readable text, Mary Evans argues that the persistence of gender inequalities demands that we recognize those inequalities as structural rather than individual, that we refuse the ‘exceptionalism, individualism and deep hunger for the extraordinary’ which contemporary politics and culture encourage, in favour of a greater, more systematic integration of care work into political agendas, a more clearly defined feminism, and a recognition of the need for change beyond the integration of women into education. A useful volume, giving pause for thought, in a hectic age."
Gabriele Griffin, Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University