Families are an essential part of the society. They are comprised of people related by blood and close relation. However, families are not entirely formed by people. There are certain aspects that help to make families strong. A family that sustains its members supports them through problems. Family values are very essential in support of family members.
A value is literally defined as the worth or the quality attached to a thing. Family values are the values shared for the advantage of all family members. They unite parents and children to pursue happiness, give and get love and enrich intimacy of all family members. Family values are a set of social standards that are defined by a family and its history of customs. These values provide a physical and emotional basis for raising the family. Family values developed traditionally and are strengthened by religious and spiritual beliefs and traditions. They act as foundations for the way children should grow, learn and live with other people outside their family. These values encompass several things that include marriage, communication, morals, holidays, religion, cohesion, traditions and interactions with other relatives.
The shift from second-wave feminism to third-wave feminism has brought many intriguing questions about social and theoretical change. The second-wave feminism emphasizes on gender equality while the third-wave feminism emphasizes on oppression of women. Feminists associate certain values to the family that are entirely different from traditional values. Feminists concentrate on the equality of the spouses in marriage among other things. They also state that being a male or female is not a social construct but a biological fact (Shaw and Lee 372).
Feminist family values emphasize on microeconomics of marriage. They consider economic protection in the family as one of the essential values. They state that the man and woman in the family should always be equal in terms of their economic liberation. This provides physical and economic safety that ensures the security of the family. Feminist values emphasize on shaping the next generation. Therefore, they emphasize on legal legislation that recognizes people who take care of children and the elderly, in the family. They emphasize that women should be paid for the work that they do in families because it is an essential role in sustaining the family (Shaw and Lee 380).
Feminists also challenge the notion of patriarchy in the family as a value. They emphasize that families formed of single mothers should be recognized similarly to the nuclear family units that have two spouses. However, feminists do not confront the notion of patriarchy openly because they are afraid that they may be considered as lonely and lacking satisfying male companions. To them sexuality, expressed though gender, is a construct that is learnt through the actions of people as they try to conform to social constraints (Shaw and Lee).
Feminists also emphasize on the issue of personal choice as a value in the family. They state that women should have equal rights with men with regard to children. Feminists state that mothers should have a right to choose to bear children despite their economic circumstances. They also state that women should be provide with the right of choose on whether to perform an abortion or not. Therefore, when making the choices of the number of children desired in marriage, economic considerations should be upheld both for the rich and poor women. Feminists put emphasis on economic issues because they consider it as a significant aspect that ensures proper upbringing of children in the society (Shaw and Lee 428).
In conclusion, family values differ with respect to traditional, religious and feminist considerations. Traditional and religious foundations of family values emphasize on moral issues for the benefit of all members in the family. Feminists emphasize on material considerations as essential values in the family. Therefore, the values that feminists emphasize in the family have been controversial and questionable. Most people have seen these values as selfish considerations meant to liberate women in the family.
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