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Feminists and the Ideology and Practice of Marital Equality

Karen R. Blaisure and Katherine R. Allen
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 57, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 5-19
DOI: 10.2307/353812
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353812
Page Count: 15
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Feminists and the Ideology and Practice of Marital Equality
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Abstract

The literature on marital equality documents the incongruency between the ideology and practice of marital equality. Twenty married female and male feminists were interviewed and asked to describe the influence of feminism on their marriages. This study confirms a distinction between the ideology and practice of equality within heterosexual marriage. However, it also reveals the possibility of upgrading marriage for women and the establishment of marital equality. Couples reported the practice of vigilance, defined as an attending to and a monitoring of equality, within and outside of their relationship. This vigilance of equality appeared as five processes: (a) critique of gender injustices, (b) public acts of equality, (c) support of wives' activities, (d) reflective assessment, and (e) emotional involvement.

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