‘I mean, what are they there for: to smell good and look pretty!’
As an ideology, feminism seeks to highlight the disastrous impact of patriarchy upon women’s lives. They claim that the exploitation and subjugation of women occurs both within the private sphere and the public realm. The socialist feminist Simone de Beauvoir argued that only man has the freedom to choose and set himself up as essential and subject. In contrast, women are both inessential and object. To address the problem, she advocated a family structure centred upon a balanced couple that displayed “equality in difference, and difference in equality.” Eco-feminists such as Carolyn Merchant extend this critique of patriarchy towards the damage done by men to the environment, advocating a more maternal relationship with Mother Earth.