The Difficulty with Defining Feminism Essay

The Difficulty with Defining Feminism Essay

Length: 797 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Difficulty with Defining Feminism

In Feminist Theory: from margin to center, bell hook states on the first page what she believes to be the problem with feminism. In her opinion the biggest problem with feminism is that there is no real definition of what feminism is. The definition many people have formulated for feminism is having the goal of making woman socially equal to men. hook’s problem with this is the fact that all men are not socially equal. If women are to be the social equals to men then another question would be which men women will be socially equal to. While many white middle and upper class women accept this definition, the lower socioeconomic classes can not because it does not take race and its disadvantages into account.

One concern of hooks is the fact that many women do not wish to be associated with feminism. With the amount of women that do not wish to be associated with the term it will be hard to make any sort of real transformation socially. She points out that the root of this is that there is no real definition for feminism. While she views it as the struggle to end sexist oppression, many women view it as a lifestyle or associate feminism with lesbianism. In addition, many women view feminism as a white women’s rights group. This excludes oppressed ethnic groups of women. She makes a good point with this issue because before any further goals can be reached, feminism must become something that women want to be a part of. If the very women that would be benefiting from the goals that the group has do not want to be associated with the term, then it makes mainstream society dismiss the group even more than it already does.

It is hard to understand how hook intends to take action as a fem...

... middle of paper ...

... solution for the oppression of women in society, hook feels like it would not make any progress in the real goal of eliminating sexist oppression. After reading the essay I find myself siding more with hook on this issue. Rich’s solution for oppression of women seems to be to create more valuable relationships between women. While this may be a good idea for part of a solution it seems as though nothing would be accomplished by this in the long run due to the fact that men are not changing behavior in this solution. Nothing seems to be done about the real problem in Rich’s ideas.

After reading a few different readings on feminism and what needs to be done about oppression I have found that I most agree with the direction hook is going. She seems to be very aware of what needs to be done in what order to make feminism strong enough to approach the issues at hand.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Feminism : Defining Radical Feminism Essay

- Introduction: As written by Bell Hooks (2000:1) “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression”, this essay contains a few on my views on feminism and a summary of radical feminism and borders or boundaries that challenge feminism as explained in the textbook in chapter 1: pages 21-25 and chapter 2: pages 48-57 respectively. Radical Feminism: Defining Radical Feminism. The author Nancy Mandell starts by trying to put a face and a form of familiarity to radical feminism as seen in a part of the first sentence which goes “Have you ever wondered when women started to ‘Take Back the Night’, Although no straight cut definition is provided by Mandell in thi...   [tags: Feminism, Feminist theory, Radical feminism]

Better Essays
1699 words (4.9 pages)

Essay Penelope: In Search of the Feminist in James Joyce's Ulysses

- Penelope: In Search of the Feminist in James Joyce Ulysses is an oeuvre in rebellion against society’s standards of race, class, and religion, against traditional images of sexuality and gender. Its final book, “Penelope,” is a reflection of this rebellion, however its true feminist character has been an issue of contention among critics. A more grounded vision of Joyce’s feminism can be found through an understanding of the two main cultural influences that shaped him: Irish-Catholic views on the feminine and Victorian morality....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Better Essays
4783 words (13.7 pages)

Essay on A Feminist Perspective of William Shakespeare

- A Feminist Perspective of Shakespeare      Although William Shakespeare reflects and at times supports the English Renaissance stereotypes of women and men and their various roles and responsibilities in society, he is also a writer who questions, challenges, and modifies those representations. His stories afford opportunities not only to understand Renaissance culture better but also to confront our own contemporary generalizations about gender, especially what it means to be female. In his own time, Shakespeare seems to have been raising questions about the standard images of males and females, about what the characteristics of each gender are, about what is defined as masculine and fem...   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Better Essays
1501 words (4.3 pages)

Feminism And The Feminist Movement Essay

- Imagine feeling the tension between the shoulders of a person who has to work endless hours for pennies on the dollar to support their family, only to miss their children’s lives pass by them. Imagine being a person who has a passion to better their country, but cannot run for a political office because of their gender. Imagine coming to a new land with hopes and dreams for success and a new start, but reprehended by natives due to appearance and language barriers. These images may appear to be fictitious, but without our predecessors who fought for equality, the struggles they dealt with would be our reality....   [tags: Feminism, Women's rights, Women's suffrage, Sexism]

Better Essays
1481 words (4.2 pages)

The Difficulty with Defining Emergency Essay

- The Difficulty with Defining Emergency The word "emergency" has lost its meaning where cellular phones are concerned. Instead of calling to say, "Someone here is bleeding profusely," what you get is, "Should I wear my blue shirt or my red shirt tonight?" Since when is color scheme dubbed an emergency. One of the first lessons I ever learned from my father, a veteran police officer, was what an emergency was. "If the house is on fire," he would say, "that is an emergency." "If anyone in this house requires serious medical attention for any number of idiotic reasons, that is an emergency." (For the record, there were at least eight idiotic reasons, but that's another story for another time.)...   [tags: Expository Definition Essays]

Better Essays
624 words (1.8 pages)

Feminism And The Feminist Movement Essays

- There is no denying that Feminism had been a rising topic of conversation in the past years, yet it is difficult to find a conversation about it without heavy controversy. One question from a recent poll shows that only a mere 18 percent of Americans consider themselves Feminists, yet when prompted again, 85 percent of Americans responded that they believe in equality for all women (New York Times/ Women in the World). The responses to these two questions show the confusion surrounding the term and the movement in general....   [tags: Feminism, Feminist theory, Gender, Patriarchy]

Better Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

Feminism And The Feminist Movement Essay

- ... “My head is badly organized file.” (9) The secretary demonstrated some depressed feelings; the poem was based on the body of the secretary who didn’t consider herself as a “Lady” but as a woman whose hands are like “rubber band”. Marge Piercy compared the secretary to the mindless piece of machinery. Marge Piercy influenced many young women to come forward and address the issue. One of them was, Carmen Cramer, who also supported the idea of women being neglected in the American Society, wrote secondary Source “Marge Piercy’s Fight in Woman on the Edge of Time”....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Feminism]

Better Essays
1480 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Feminism And The Feminist Movement

- ... The result of the research indicated that people behaved according to their perceived gender stereotypes and they tend to exhibit negative attitudes toward female leaders. The existence of all these stereotypes revealed that feminism is still something that needs to be fought for. Nowadays, males still dominate the top positions in both political and business fields; for instance, most of the globalized company has male CEO (Smith, Smith, and Verner 2013). On the contrary, women are more concentrated in poorly paid occupation like office worker....   [tags: Gender, Feminism, Women's rights]

Better Essays
1577 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on The Ethics of Feminism

- The Ethics of Feminism Just seeing more of life, just recognizing that there are an awful lot of things that are common among people. There are certain things that you come to learn promote a better life and better relationships and more personal fulfillment than other things that in general tend to do the opposite, and the things that promote these things, you would call them morally right.[1] The normative questions that come to fill one’s life, in this woman’s account, presume goals and methods that are inseparable from the history that creates a person as s/he is....   [tags: Ethics Morality Feminism Feminist Essays]

Better Essays
4561 words (13 pages)

Feminism Essay

- Feminism There has been a great deal of discussion over the Feminist & Gender Studies Program changing its name to Gender & Sexuality. The basis of this debate is over the exclusion of the word "feminist" from the title. It is important to question how this modification will affect the direction of the program and the feminist movement as a whole. The categorization of this area of study must be sensitive to the complex social issues it represents. Bringing the term "gender" to the fore-front, and focusing less on women, is a necessary "part of the attempt by contemporary feminists to stake claim to a certain definitional ground, to insist on the inadequacies of existing bodies of men" (Sco...   [tags: Feminism Sociology Essays]

Better Essays
1514 words (4.3 pages)