Feminism, The Advocacy Of Women 's Rights On The Grounds Of The Sexes Essay

Feminism, The Advocacy Of Women 's Rights On The Grounds Of The Sexes Essay

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Feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes.” (Oxford English Dictionary) Politics has generally been seen as a mainly male dominated area, feminists have challenged this in recent years as women are stepping out of the stigmatic domestic roles and assuming roles in areas such as politics. Since the end of the 19th century, feminists have represented collective movement; liberal feminism on the other hand gears more towards the individual “rather than advocating wholesale revolutionary change.” (Browning, Gary K. 1997) Liberal feminism suggests that women should have same legal and political rights as men and participate fully in public political life. Their achievements include a reformation of existing political systems, leading to increased campaigns for equal rights. However, some of the issues associated with liberal feminism are that the economic grounds of the women are not questioned in relation to their political rights.

A well-known example of a liberal feminist is Mary Wollstonecraft, who was of the opinion that for the most part, women will still be satisfied only taking part in domestic works and that only a small minority of women would actually become successful in professional careers. This indicates that from a liberal feminist point of view, it is up to the individual to seek out equality in a male dominated work place such as politics in order to gain some form of equality, otherwise they would just fall into a stereotypical domestic role. “Struggle with any obstacles rather than go into a state of dependence.” (Wollstonecraft, Mary 1790) Liberal feminism promotes personal and political autonomy; “The primary objective of liberal feminists is to bring wome...


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...workplace. This shows further limitations of liberal feminism as the individualistic nature of this school of feminism will not change this to any great extent and so the issue of inequality between the sexes will still remain prevalent. Betty Friedan was a feminist who worried that women would give up motherhood for the sakes of their careers in order to remain similar to men (Friedan, Betty 1963), which in a sense isn’t actually creating equality between men and women, it is just causing them to become career focused. Friedan focuses on the importance of family, children and the home; it is made clear that it is difficult to separate work and family, which does not support the individualistic ideas posed by liberal feminists. Based on their ideas, if a woman chooses to have a career then they are sacrificing having a family, this in no way makes them equal to men.

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