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Feminism Powered By Docstoc

The Search for Equality
       What is Feminism?
• How would you define it as an

• What comes to mind when you think of
  the word “feminism”?
           Text definition
• An ideology that “opposes the political,
  economic, and cultural relegation of
  women to positions of inferiority.”

• Simply put, feminism affirms women’s
  equality with men, and rejects
 What does patriarchy mean?
• In the text:
• “the rule of men as a social group over
  women as a social group,” and
• “a system based on sexual hierarchy,”
  with men at the top and women below.
Examples of denial of equality
• Economically
  • Women paid less than men throughout the
    world. In U.S., pay gap about 75%
    (controlling for all other factors).
  • Women represent the majority of the
    world’s poor.
Examples of denial of equality
• Politically
  • Globally, only 23 women ever elected head
    of state (only 6 served in 1995).
  • Also underrepresented in legislatures.
• Political institutions don’t provide equal
  protection & equal access to the vote.
Examples of denial of equality
• Politically
• in U.S.
Examples of denial of equality
• Educationally
  • Girls denied education in many countries;
    2/3 of the world’s illiterate adults are
    women, higher in some places.
  • Under certain regimes, females punished
    for seeking an education (as under the
Examples of denial of equality
• Access to basic health care & food
  • Females less likely to receive adequate
    nutrition or health care.
  • Females subjected to female genital
    mutilation (FGM) in some cultures.
Examples of denial of equality
• Violence:
  • Femicide, the murder of women because they are
  • Outside the home, women vulnerable to assault
    and rape.
  • In the home, women beaten and even murdered
    by husbands or boyfriends, family members, and
    in-laws (dowry deaths).
  • Female babies much more likely to be subjected
    to infanticide in some cultures that value sons.
Feminism’s roots in liberalism
• In many ways similar to liberalism:
  emphasis on equality, on personal
  autonomy (the right and ability of
  individuals to make decisions for
  themselves), on the importance of
  democratic processes, on the right of
  revolution against tyranny.
      Female subordination
• Women’s inferiority to men legitimated
  historically by:
  • Enlightenment writers such as Rousseau
    and Jefferson
  • Some religious traditions
  • Aristotle (classical Greece)
  • Western democracies in the 19th & early
    20th centuries
      U.S. Historical Trends
• First wave of feminism: abolition
  movement. Mid-19th century
• Second wave of feminism: suffrage
  movement. Late 19th to early 20th c.
• Third wave of feminism: equal legal
  rights & political participation. Mid to
  late 20th century.
       Types of feminisms
• Liberal feminism
• Radical feminism
• Diversity feminism
          Liberal feminism
• Shared with liberalism these ideas:
  • Human equality
  • Human rationality
  • Importance of individual rights
        Early liberal feminists
•   Mary Wollstonecraft
•   Lucretia Mott
•   Elizabeth Cady Stanton
•   Susan B. Anthony

           • Wollstonecraft
        Mary Wollstonecraft
• Mary Wollstonecraft in the late 18th century
  used classical liberal arguments in favor of
  women’s rights:
  Women are human beings, “rational and
  capable of self-determination and liberty.”
  Patriarchy distorts women’s personalities so
  that they seem to be the worst stereotypes
  (vain & shallow).
    Modern liberal feminists
• Betty Friedan
• Gloria Steinem
Working within the
existing democratic
  Seeing patriarchy as hurting men as
  well as women.
Liberal feminist views
         Radical feminisms
• Multiple types of radical feminisms, but
  they all share a common critique of
  liberal feminism for accepting the status
  quo economic and social structures.

• The status quo operates with the male
  model as the norm (e.g., seeing the
  world as competitive and aggressive).
  Types of Radical Feminisms
• Socialist feminists argue that patriarchy &
  capitalism are linked; both exploitive.
• Lesbian feminists criticize society’s
  definition of heterosexuality as normal, & all
  other sexualities as deviant.
• Anti-pornography feminists argue that
  pornography fosters violence against women.
  Liberal feminists, in contrast, emphasize 1st
  amendment free speech rights.
        Diversity feminism
• The needs and perspectives of non-
  Anglo, non-Western, and non-affluent
  women must be considered. Liberal
  feminism ignores different perspectives.
• Women’s issues change across cultures
  and across time; no single feminist
  voice or viewpoint.
     Feminism as an emerging
• Impacts include:
  • New thinking about public policy priorities.
     • The “gender gap” in U.S. politics.
  • New thinking about traditional
       assumptions regarding gender roles.
        • Opens new areas of study in social science.
    Feminism as an emerging
      ideology, continued
• Impacts include:
  • New thinking about war & war crimes.
    • Realization that rape can be a weapon of war.
    • New studies of impact of war on children.

  Another emerging ideology:
• Environmentalism

• Next slide presentation.