Feminism for me has come to be the recognition of oppression and privilege. What one does with this knowledge of oppression and privilege is that person’s version of feminism. After reading Tong (2009) on various feminist theories, I have come to see the different feminist theories in a continuum of the feminist movement. Therefore, these theories cannot be boxed into clear-cut categories that share nothing in common with each other. I will attempt to formulate my own feminist theory using the previous works of feminist scholars as my foundation. In order to explain the application of this theory, I will illuminate a feminist issue. Further, I will present ways to tackle the problem and provide limitations of my theory.
My feminist theory draws influences from a variety of ideas I have come across during the course of this semester. My theory is rooted in radical-socialist feminism with a postcolonial approach. Postcolonial/transnational feminism, unlike other theories we have encountered in this course, does not explain a unique cause of women’s oppression but presents how oppression plays out differently depending on geography and culture. It also demonstrates the ways through which we can try to overcome women’s oppression globally.
As an international student from India who is acquiring her education from a “First World” university, I can often hear the difference in the way oppression is talked about. My perspective is rooted in the knowledge I gathered for twenty years of my life where issues like dowry, female feticide/infanticide, honor killings and everyday sexual harassment were very pertinent to me. By examining radical-socialist feminist theories, I could try to understand the root of women’s oppression even if the or...
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... patriarchal society.
A limitation of this model, like many other models, is it deems the problem it is trying to address as static. With the progress in time, the problem evolves and the model should be dynamic enough to explain it over the course of time. The concept of marriage, while grounded in patriarchal foundation, is continuously changing in the wake of new technologies and global political scene. The theory is also limited by context, as it may not be able to explain every problem connected with oppression. Further, Bergoffen (1999) argues that our current understanding of marriage is patriarchal itself and it hides the true essence, which is ethically erotic. Moreover, the concept of Western cultural dominance and Eastern submission is modifying as well. The duality persists but it is not as clear as it used to be in the pre-technological revolution era.
We cannot deny the imperfection of the world today; poverty, violence, lack of education, and the general overwhelming deficiency of basic daily necessities are among some of the most troubling issues on the agenda. By carefully selecting our critical lens, we can gather that there are many aspects of today’s issues where we can focus our attention and begin the quest for solutions to these pervasive problems. Authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2009) utilize their book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide to emphasize the particular struggle of women in the world today and how by addressing three particular abuses of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence (including honor killings and mass rape), and maternal mortality, we may begin “unlocking an incipient women’s movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty” (p. xxii). However, we must first understand the difficulty of addressing such complex issues by a proposing a “one-size fits all” solution and take into consideration the varying feminist perspectives that currently contemplate the oppression of women in societies around the world. To be able to critically digest Kristof and WuDunn’s book we must explore the types of stories and evidence included and how they’re presented, and the generalized theories behind the insight and solutions regarding the women in need around the world. The authors alienate their audience by ignoring the complexity of building a singular feminist movement. Kristof and WuDunn’s book Half the Sky further contributes to the oppression of women because they objectify Third World women by portraying them as victims in need of outside rescue and suggest that an overarching solution...
Women’s participation in school or the workplace are negatively affected because of the fear of violence, and many long-term health consequences arise from physical and sexual abuse. Heartbreakingly, a woman in South Africa has a “greater chance of being raped than she has of learning to read” (Tracy 6). In the patriarchal society of China, infants or fetuses face death simply for being born female (Tracy 18). After reading the reported incidences of violence against women, it is nothing but frustrating to hear women not supporting feminism. They do not need feminism because they represent a victory for this movement with the freedom to work alongside men, attend school, and choose their life partners. However, as shown in International Violence Against Women, there are many women and girls begging for a change. This population is the next victory for
For this critical analysis two readings, US Third World Feminism: Differential Social Movement by Chela Sandoval and Cultural Feminism versus Poststructuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory by Linda Alcoff will be used to explore the depth of the relation between each authors thoughts an interpretations of feminism. It is obvious from the titles that these two authors clearly are focusing on different aspects of feminism and provide unique insight into the diverse branches of the feminist movement.
As Third Wave feminism is currently unfolding before us, and its aims encompass a wide array of complex issues, it is often hard to describe what Third Wave feminism is. The feminist theories, mainly associated with First and Second Wave feminism attempt to describe the power imbalances that are found in society, and while doing so expose other oppressions, such as discrimination based on race or sexual orientation. As this essay attempts to place a clear definition to Third Wave feminism, feminists are concurrently trying to deconstruct old definitions and open it up for women to determine what feminism means to them. In other words, no clear definition on what is meant to be a feminist is sufficient, as the Third Wave is about equality and freedom for all citizens, regardless of sex, class, race or sexual orientation.
Marilyn Frye, in her article Oppression, explores the pervasive presence of oppressive forces and the resultant inequality from which women suffer. She presents qualifiers and subsequent situations that outline her interpretation of the subjugation of women. Frye’s views may be seen as radical due to their extremist nature and unwillingness to conform, but undeniably present valid points and successfully rebels against the social construction she so strongly despises. Frye argues that the root cause of gender inequality derives from what she calls ‘oppressive structures’ and the inability or unwillingness of society to recognize these restrictive forces. Frye’s perspective differs from that of Charlotte Perkins Gilman in many ways but also shows
Feminist Theory is an aspect of considering feminism as having been based on socio-phenomenon issues rather than biological or scientific. It appreciates gender inequality, analyzes the societal roles played by feminists in a bid to promote the interests, issues and rights of women in the society. It is also based on the assumption that women play subsidiary roles in the society. The whole idea of feminism has however experienced hurdles in the form of stereotyping by the wider society. This paper tries to examine some of the effects of stereotypes that feminism goes through, what other philosophers say and the way forward towards ending stereotyping.
The most related terms when women’s right is brought up are feminism and feminist. A feminist, by definition, is someone the fights for feminism. The definition of feminism, one the other hand, is very complex. Throughout history, the word has continuously had bad images and connotations thrown its wa...
Being a feminist today has altered from a political position to a more general position. Contemporary feminist is shaped by the past, but now is integrated in popular culture by popular figures. The definition of feminism is the belief of social, political, and economic rights, especially with regards of equality of the sexes. There are many dimensions to being a feminist and we have a tremendous number of people supporting the feminist movement. The need for feminist movements is because gender inequality still exist. Gender inequality is very broad and complex topic. Both men and women are unequal in various ways. However, the big question is why? The purpose of this paper is to understand gender inequality in the sociological framework of
Feminism is a perspective that views gender as one of the most important bases of the structure and organization of the social world. Feminists argue that in most known societies this structure has granted women lower status and value, more limited access to valuable resources, and less autonomy and opportunity to make choices over their lives than it has granted men. (Sapiro 441)
Feminist theory looks beyond the common male based perspectives and focuses on women’s perspectives and their roles within society. The feminist theory is still relevant in today’s society. In fact, feminism and the feminist theory will be relevant for as long as there is inequality in this world. For example, according to the United States Department of Labor, women still make 78 cents for every dollar men make, on average, in every career field. Additionally, violence against women is still a prevalent problem today. For instance, one in three women are victims of physical and sexual violence often committed by intimate partners. These statistics are higher in countries where women are treated and seen as property of their husbands. Lastly, reproductive rights are an important step to creating equality. Laws need to protect the rights of women to have freedom over their bodies in the way that men have control over
Among the many subjects covered in this book are the three classes of oppression: gender, race and class in addition to the ways in which they intersect. As well as the importance of the movement being all-inclusive, advocating the idea that feminism is in fact for everybody. The author also touches upon education, parenting and violence. She begins her book with her key argument, stating that feminist theory and the movement are mainly led by high class white women who disregarded the circumstances of underprivileged non-white women.
Throughout history, women have remained subordinate to men. Subjected to the patriarchal system that favored male perspectives, women struggled against having considerably less freedom, rights, and having the burdens society placed on them that had been so ingrained the culture. This is the standpoint the feminists took, and for almost 160 years they have been challenging the “unjust distribution of power in all human relations” starting with the struggle for equality between men and women, and linking that to “struggles for social, racial, political, environmental, and economic justice”(Besel 530 and 531). Feminism, as a complex movement with many different branches, has and will continue to be incredibly influential in changing lives.
In just a few decades The Women’s Liberation Movement has changed typical gender roles that once were never challenged or questioned. As women, those of us who identified as feminist have rebelled against the status quo and redefined what it means to be a strong and powerful woman. But at...
What is within the boundaries of the feminine is always considered to have less status and power and is always subordinate and marginal—women always remain ‘other’. I perceive feminism as a part of the process of challenging the boundaries of the socially constructed role for women in our society—a process which through struggle will create for women a different notion of the normal and natural and a different tradition of being female. (Goodman, Harrop 4)