Sex refers to the biological differences in human beings such as their reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics that occur during puberty. Gender describes the roles and behaviors that a society or culture delineates as masculine or feminine. (Whittington-Walsh)
Marxist Feminist Theory
Gender inequality refers to the unequal treatment or perception an individual based on their gender. It focuses on socially constructed differences rather than the biological aspects. Gender stereotyping is when generalizations are made about what attributes and roles a specific gender should fulfill. These stereotypes often create false notions of others that lead to gender inequality. (Whittington-Walsh)
The functionalist perspective is the ideology that individuals have a specific role that supports the structure of society. Talcott Parsons, a structural functionalist, believed that a gendered division of labour was necessary for a society to survive. It justified gender inequality because it states that the male (father) plays the leadership role in the family while the female (mother) plays the expressive role. (Whittington-Walsh)
The Marxist Feminist theory focuses on the ways in which women are oppressed through capitalism and privatization. According to this theory, women are exploited because much of their domestic labour is uncompensated and devalued. Since men receive valuable income, they are ranked as higher importance known as patriarchy. (Whittington-Walsh)
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, two young boys, Jem and Dill plan to peak through the windows of the mysterious Radley house. Scout, Jem’s sister who is a tomboy, objects their reckless idea and Jem responds by calling her a "girl". She immediately stops complaining and goes along with his plan to avoid the cowardice characteristic associated with females. (Lee 1960)
You're gettin' more like a girl every day!
At Tom Robinson's trial, Jem asks his father why people like Miss Maudie don't serve on the jury. He explains that it is because Miss Maudie is a woman and women need to be protected from sordid cases because they are frail. The jury consists of men which reveals gender discrimination. Women in the town of Maycomb suffer from gender stereotyping and inequality. (Lee 1960)