Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social
movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve
political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes.
This includes seeking to establish educational and professional
opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.
Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for
women's rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to
work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive
education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage,
and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure
access to legal abortions and social integration, and to protect women
and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.
Changes in dress and acceptable physical activity have often been part
of feminist movements.
Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be a main force behind
major historical societal changes for women's rights, particularly in
the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving
women's suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reproductive rights
for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the
right to enter into contracts and own property. Although feminist
advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women's rights, some
feminists, including bell hooks, argue for the inclusion of men's
liberation within its aims because they believe that men are also
harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged
from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender
inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; it
has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond
to issues concerning gender.
Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the
years and represent different viewpoints and aims. Some forms of
feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white,
middle class, and college-educated perspectives. This criticism led to
the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of
feminism, including black feminism and intersectional feminism.
1.1 Nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
1.2 Mid-twentieth century
1.3 Late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries
1.3.1 Third-wave feminism
1.3.2 Standpoint theory
1.3.3 Fourth-wave feminism
3 Movements and ideologies
3.1 Political movements
3.2 Materialist ideologies
3.3 Black and postcolonial ideologies
3.4 Social constructionist ideologies
3.5 Cultural movements
5.1 Sex industry
5.2 Affirming female sexual autonomy
6.1 Biology and gender
6.2 Feminist psychology
7.3 Visual arts
Civil rights movement and anti-racism
9 Societal impact
9.1 Civil rights
9.6 Men and masculinity
10.2 Anti-feminism and criticism of feminism
11 See also
13 Further reading
14 External links
14.4 Multimedia and documents
Suffrage Parade in New York City, 6 May 1912
Main article: History of feminism
See also: Protofeminism
Charles Fourier, a Utopian Socialist and French philosopher, is
credited with having coined the word "féminisme" in 1837. The
words "féminisme" ("feminism") and "féminist" ("feminist") first
appeared in France and the Netherlands in 1872, Great Britain in
the 1890s, and the United States in 1910, and the Oxford
English Dictionary lists 1852 as the year of the first appearance of
"feminist" and 1895 for "feminism". Depending on the
historical moment, culture and country, feminists around the world
have had different causes and goals. Most western feminist historians
contend that all movements working to obtain women's rights should be
considered feminist movements, even when they did not (or do not)
apply the term to themselves. Other historians
assert that the term should be limited to the modern feminist movement
and its descendants. Those historians use the label "protofeminist" to
describe earlier movements.
The history of the modern western feminist movements is divided into
three "waves". Each wave dealt with different aspects of the
same feminist issues. The first wave comprised women's suffrage
movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, promoting
women's right to vote. The second wave was associated with the ideas
and actions of the women's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s.
The second wave campaigned for legal and social equality for women.
The third wave is a continuation of, and a reaction to, the perceived
failures of second-wave feminism, which began in the 1990s.
Nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Main article: First-wave feminism
After selling her home, Emmeline Pankhurst, pictured in New York City
in 1913, travelled constantly, giving speeches throughout Britain and
the United States.
In the Netherlands,
Wilhelmina Drucker (1847–1925) fought
successfully for the vote and equal rights for women through political
and feminist organizations she founded.
Simone Veil (1927–2017), former French Minister of Health
(1974–79). She made easier access to contraceptive pills and
legalized abortion (1974–75) – which was her greatest and hardest
Louise Weiss along with other Parisian suffragettes in 1935. The
newspaper headline reads "The Frenchwoman Must Vote."
First-wave feminism was a period of activity during the 19th century
and early twentieth century. In the UK and eventually the US, it
focused on the promotion of equal contract, marriage, parenting, and
property rights for women. By the end of the 19th century, a number of
important steps had been made with the passing of legislation such as
Custody of Infants Act 1839 which introduced the Tender years
doctrine for child custody arrangement and gave woman the right of
custody of their children for the first time. Other
legislation such as the Married Women's
Property Act 1870 in the UK
and extended in the 1882 Act, these became models for similar
legislation in other British territories. For example, Victoria passed
legislation in 1884,
New South Wales
New South Wales in 1889, and the remaining
Australian colonies passed similar legislation between 1890 and 1897.
Therefore, with the turn of the 19th century activism had focused
primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of
women's suffrage, though some feminists were active in campaigning for
women's sexual, reproductive, and economic rights as well.
Women's suffrage began in Britain's Australasian colonies at the close
of the 19th century, with the self-governing colonies of New Zealand
granting women the right to vote in 1893 and South Australia granting
female suffrage (the right to vote and stand for parliamentary office)
in 1895. This was followed by Australia granting female suffrage in
In Britain the Suffragettes and the Suffragists campaigned for the
women's vote, and in 1918 the Representation of the People Act was
passed granting the vote to women over the age of 30 who owned
property. In 1928 this was extended to all women over 21. Emmeline
Pankhurst was the most notable activist in England, with Time naming
her one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century stating:
"she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a
new pattern from which there could be no going back." In the U.S.,
notable leaders of this movement included Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth
Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, who each campaigned for the
abolition of slavery prior to championing women's right to vote. These
women were influenced by the
Quaker theology of spiritual equality,
which asserts that men and women are equal under God. In the
United States, first-wave feminism is considered to have ended with
the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution (1919), granting women the right to vote in all states.
The term first wave was coined retroactively to categorize these
western movements after the term second-wave feminism began to be used
to describe a newer feminist movement that focused on fighting social
and cultural inequalities, as well political
During the late Qing period and reform movements such as the Hundred
Days' Reform, Chinese feminists called for women's liberation from
traditional roles and
Neo-Confucian gender segregation.
Chinese Communist Party
Chinese Communist Party created projects aimed at
integrating women into the workforce, and claimed that the revolution
had successfully achieved women's liberation.
According to Nawar al-Hassan Golley, Arab feminism was closely
connected with Arab nationalism. In 1899, Qasim Amin, considered the
"father" of Arab feminism, wrote The Liberation of Women, which argued
for legal and social reforms for women. He drew links between
women's position in Egyptian society and nationalism, leading to the
development of Cairo University and the National Movement. In 1923
Hoda Shaarawi founded the Egyptian Feminist Union, became its
president and a symbol of the Arab women's rights movement.
Iranian Constitutional Revolution
Iranian Constitutional Revolution in 1905 triggered the Iranian
women's movement, which aimed to achieve women's equality in
education, marriage, careers, and legal rights. However, during
Iranian revolution of 1979, many of the rights that women had
gained from the women's movement were systematically abolished, such
as the Family Protection Law.
In France, women obtained the right to vote only with the Provisional
Government of the French Republic of 21 April 1944. The Consultative
Assembly of Algiers of 1944 proposed on 24 March 1944 to grant
eligibility to women but following an amendment by Fernand Grenier,
they were given full citizenship, including the right to vote.
Grenier's proposition was adopted 51 to 16. In May 1947, following the
November 1946 elections, the sociologist Robert Verdier minimized the
"gender gap", stating in
Le Populaire that women had not voted in a
consistent way, dividing themselves, as men, according to social
classes. During the baby boom period, feminism waned in importance.
Wars (both World War I and World War II) had seen the provisional
emancipation of some women, but post-war periods signalled the return
to conservative roles.
By the mid 20th century, in some European countries, women still
lacked some significant rights. Feminists in these countries continued
to fight for voting rights. In Switzerland, women gained the right to
vote in federal elections in 1971; but in the canton of Appenzell
Innerrhoden women obtained the right to vote on local issues only in
1991, when the canton was forced to do so by the Federal Supreme Court
of Switzerland. In Liechtenstein, women were given the right to
vote by the women's suffrage referendum of 1984. Three prior
referendums held in 1968, 1971 and 1973 had failed to secure women's
right to vote.
Photograph of American women replacing men fighting in Europe, 1945
Feminists continued to campaign for the reform of family laws which
gave husbands control over their wives. Although by the 20th century
coverture had been abolished in the UK and the US, in many continental
European countries married women still had very few rights. For
instance, in France married women did not receive the right to work
without their husband's permission until 1965. Feminists have
also worked to abolish the "marital exemption" in rape laws which
precluded the prosecution of husbands for the rape of their wives.
Earlier efforts by first-wave feminists such as Voltairine de Cleyre,
Victoria Woodhull and
Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy
Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy to
criminalize marital rape in the late 19th century had failed;
this was only achieved a century later in most Western countries, but
is still not achieved in many other parts of the world.
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir provided a
Marxist solution and
an existentialist view on many of the questions of feminism with the
publication of Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex) in 1949. The
book expressed feminists' sense of injustice.
Second-wave feminism is
a feminist movement beginning in the early 1960s and continuing to
the present; as such, it coexists with third-wave feminism.
Second-wave feminism is largely concerned with issues of equality
beyond suffrage, such as ending gender discrimination.
Second-wave feminists see women's cultural and political inequalities
as inextricably linked and encourage women to understand aspects of
their personal lives as deeply politicized and as reflecting sexist
power structures. The feminist activist and author Carol Hanisch
coined the slogan "The Personal is Political", which became synonymous
with the second wave.
Second- and third-wave feminism in China has been characterized by a
reexamination of women's roles during the communist revolution and
other reform movements, and new discussions about whether women's
equality has actually been fully achieved.
In 1956, President
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt initiated "state
feminism", which outlawed discrimination based on gender and granted
women's suffrage, but also blocked political activism by feminist
leaders. During Sadat's presidency, his wife, Jehan Sadat,
publicly advocated further women's rights, though Egyptian policy and
society began to move away from women's equality with the new Islamist
movement and growing conservatism. However, some activists
proposed a new feminist movement, Islamic feminism, which argues for
women's equality within an Islamic framework.
In Latin America, revolutions brought changes in women's status in
countries such as Nicaragua, where feminist ideology during the
Sandinista Revolution aided women's quality of life but fell short of
achieving a social and ideological change.
In 1963, Betty Friedan's book
The Feminine Mystique
The Feminine Mystique was published and
helped voice the discontent that American women felt. The book is
widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in
the United States. The book's success also meant that Friedan
could lecture her views while she was on tour in 1970. Within ten
years, after Friedan's successful publishing, women made up more than
half of the total percentage in the First World workforce.
Late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries
Main article: Third-wave feminism
Feminist, author and social activist bell hooks (b. 1952).
Third-wave feminism is traced to the emergence of the Riot grrrl
feminist punk subculture in Olympia, Washington, in the early
1990s, and to Anita Hill's televised testimony in 1991—to an
all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee—that Clarence Thomas,
nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States, had sexually
harassed her. The term third wave is credited to Rebecca Walker, who
responded to Thomas's appointment to the Supreme Court with an article
in Ms. magazine, "Becoming the Third Wave" (1992). She wrote:
So I write this as a plea to all women, especially women of my
generation: Let Thomas’ confirmation serve to remind you, as it did
me, that the fight is far from over. Let this dismissal of a woman's
experience move you to anger. Turn that outrage into political power.
Do not vote for them unless they work for us. Do not have sex with
them, do not break bread with them, do not nurture them if they don't
prioritize our freedom to control our bodies and our lives. I am not a
post-feminism feminist. I am the Third Wave.
Third-wave feminism also sought to challenge or avoid what it deemed
the second wave's essentialist definitions of femininity, which,
third-wave feminists argued, over-emphasized the experiences of upper
middle-class white women. Third-wave feminists often focused on
"micro-politics" and challenged the second wave's paradigm as to what
was, or was not, good for women, and tended to use a
post-structuralist interpretation of gender and
sexuality. Feminist leaders rooted in the second wave,
such as Gloria Anzaldúa, bell hooks, Chela Sandoval, Cherríe Moraga,
Audre Lorde, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many other non-white feminists,
sought to negotiate a space within feminist thought for consideration
of race-related subjectivities.
Third-wave feminism also
contained internal debates between difference feminists, who believe
that there are important psychological differences between the sexes,
and those who believe that there are no inherent psychological
differences between the sexes and contend that gender roles are due to
Standpoint theory is a feminist theoretical point of view that
believes a persons' social position influences their knowledge. This
perspective argues that research and theory treats women and the
feminist movement as insignificant and refuses to see traditional
science as unbiased. Since the 1980s, standpoint feminists have
argued that the feminist movement should address global issues (such
as rape, incest, and prostitution) and culturally specific issues
(such as female genital mutilation in some parts of Africa and the
Middle East, as well as glass ceiling practices that impede women's
advancement in developed economies) in order to understand how gender
inequality interacts with racism, homophobia, classism and
colonization in a "matrix of domination".
Main article: Fourth-wave feminism
Fourth-wave feminism refers to a resurgence of interest in feminism
that began around 2012 and is associated with the use of social
media. According to feminist scholar Prudence Chamberlain, the
focus of the fourth wave is justice for women and opposition to sexual
harassment and violence against women. Its essence, she writes, is
"incredulity that certain attitudes can still exist".
Fourth-wave feminism is "defined by technology", according to Kira
Cochrane, and is characterized particularly by the use of Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, and blogs such as
challenge misogyny and further gender equality.
Issues that fourth-wave feminists focus on include street and
workplace harassment, campus sexual assault and rape culture. Scandals
involving the harassment, abuse, and murder of women and girls have
galvanized the movement. These have included the 2012 Delhi gang rape,
2012 Jimmy Savile allegations, the Bill Cosby allegations, 2014 Isla
Vista killings, 2016 trial of Jian Ghomeshi, 2017 Harvey Weinstein
allegations and subsequent Weinstein effect, and the 2017 Westminster
Examples of fourth-wave feminist campaigns include the Everyday Sexism
Project, No More Page 3, Stop Bild Sexism, Mattress Performance, 10
Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman, #YesAllWomen, Free the Nipple, One
Billion Rising, the 2017 Women's March, the 2018 Women's March, and
the #MeToo movement. In December 2017, Time magazine chose several
prominent female activists involved in the #MeToo movement, dubbed
"the silence breakers", as Person of the Year.
The term post-feminism is used to describe a range of viewpoints
reacting to feminism since the 1980s. While not being "anti-feminist",
post-feminists believe that women have achieved second wave goals
while being critical of third wave feminist goals. The term was first
used to describe a backlash against second-wave feminism, but it is
now a label for a wide range of theories that take critical approaches
to previous feminist discourses and includes challenges to the second
wave's ideas. Other post-feminists say that feminism is no longer
relevant to today's society.
Amelia Jones has written that the
post-feminist texts which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s portrayed
second-wave feminism as a monolithic entity. Dorothy Chunn notes a
"blaming narrative" under the post-feminist moniker, where feminists
are undermined for continuing to make demands for gender equality in a
"post-feminist" society, where "gender equality has (already) been
achieved." According to Chunn, "many feminists have voiced disquiet
about the ways in which rights and equality discourses are now used
Main article: Feminist theory
Gynocriticism and écriture féminine
Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical or
philosophical fields. It encompasses work in a variety of disciplines,
including anthropology, sociology, economics, women's studies,
literary criticism, art history, psychoanalysis and
Feminist theory aims to understand gender
inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations, and
sexuality. While providing a critique of these social and political
relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on the promotion of
women's rights and interests. Themes explored in feminist theory
include discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially
sexual objectification), oppression, and patriarchy. In the
field of literary criticism,
Elaine Showalter describes the
development of feminist theory as having three phases. The first she
calls "feminist critique", in which the feminist reader examines the
ideologies behind literary phenomena. The second Showalter calls
"gynocriticism", in which the "woman is producer of textual meaning".
The last phase she calls "gender theory", in which the "ideological
inscription and the literary effects of the sex/gender system are
This was paralleled in the 1970s by French feminists, who developed
the concept of écriture féminine (which translates as 'female or
Helene Cixous argues that writing and
philosophy are phallocentric and along with other French feminists
Luce Irigaray emphasize "writing from the body" as a
subversive exercise. The work of Julia Kristeva, a feminist
psychoanalyst and philosopher, and Bracha Ettinger, artist and
psychoanalyst, has influenced feminist theory in general and feminist
literary criticism in particular. However, as the scholar Elizabeth
Wright points out, "none of these French feminists align themselves
with the feminist movement as it appeared in the Anglophone
world". More recent feminist theory, such as that of Lisa
Lucile Owens, has concentrated on characterizing feminism as a
universal emancipatory movement.
Movements and ideologies
Main article: Feminist movements and ideologies
A symbol of feminism based on the Venus symbol
Many overlapping feminist movements and ideologies have developed over
Some branches of feminism closely track the political leanings of the
larger society, such as liberalism and conservatism, or focus on the
Liberal feminism seeks individualistic equality of men
and women through political and legal reform without altering the
structure of society. Catherine Rottenberg has argued that the
neoliberal shirt in
Liberal feminism has led to that form of feminism
being individualized rather than collectivized and becoming detached
from social inequality. Due to this she argues that Liberal
Feminism cannot offer any sustained analysis of the structures of male
dominance, power, or privilege.
Radical feminism considers the male-controlled capitalist hierarchy as
the defining feature of women's oppression and the total uprooting and
reconstruction of society as necessary.
Conservative feminism is
conservative relative to the society in which it resides. Libertarian
feminism conceives of people as self-owners and therefore as entitled
to freedom from coercive interference.
Separatist feminism does
not support heterosexual relationships.
Lesbian feminism is thus
closely related. Other feminists criticize separatist feminism as
sexist. Ecofeminists see men's control of land as responsible for
the oppression of women and destruction of the natural environment;
ecofeminism has been criticized for focusing too much on a mystical
connection between women and nature.
Rosemary Hennessy and Chrys Ingraham say that materialist forms of
feminism grew out of Western
Marxist thought and have inspired a
number of different (but overlapping) movements, all of which are
involved in a critique of capitalism and are focused on ideology's
relationship to women.
Marxist feminism argues that capitalism is
the root cause of women's oppression, and that discrimination against
women in domestic life and employment is an effect of capitalist
Socialist feminism distinguishes itself from Marxist
feminism by arguing that women's liberation can only be achieved by
working to end both the economic and cultural sources of women's
oppression. Anarcha-feminists believe that class struggle and
anarchy against the state require struggling against patriarchy,
which comes from involuntary hierarchy.
Black and postcolonial ideologies
Sara Ahmed argues that Black and Postcolonial feminisms pose a
challenge "to some of the organizing premises of Western feminist
thought." During much of its history, feminist movements and
theoretical developments were led predominantly by middle-class white
women from Western Europe and North America. However
women of other races have proposed alternative feminisms. This
trend accelerated in the 1960s with the civil rights movement in the
United States and the collapse of European colonialism in Africa, the
Caribbean, parts of Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Since that
time, women in developing nations and former colonies and who are of
colour or various ethnicities or living in poverty have proposed
additional feminisms. Womanism emerged after early
feminist movements were largely white and middle-class.
Postcolonial feminists argue that colonial oppression and Western
feminism marginalized postcolonial women but did not turn them passive
Third-world feminism and
Indigenous feminism are
closely related to postcolonial feminism. These ideas also
correspond with ideas in African feminism, motherism,
Stiwanism, negofeminism, femalism, transnational feminism,
and Africana womanism.
Social constructionist ideologies
Social construction of gender
In the late twentieth century various feminists began to argue that
gender roles are socially constructed, and that it is
impossible to generalize women's experiences across cultures and
Post-structural feminism draws on the philosophies of
post-structuralism and deconstruction in order to argue that the
concept of gender is created socially and culturally through
discourse. Postmodern feminists also emphasize the social
construction of gender and the discursive nature of reality;
Pamela Abbott et al. note, a postmodern approach to
feminism highlights "the existence of multiple truths (rather than
simply men and women's standpoints)".
Riot grrls took an anti-corporate stance of self-sufficiency and
self-reliance. Riot grrrl's emphasis on universal female identity
and separatism often appears more closely allied with second-wave
feminism than with the third wave. The movement encouraged and
made "adolescent girls' standpoints central", allowing them to express
Lipstick feminism is a cultural feminist
movement that attempts to respond to the backlash of second-wave
radical feminism of the 1960s and 1970s by reclaiming symbols of
"feminine" identity such as make-up, suggestive clothing and having a
sexual allure as valid and empowering personal choices.
According to 2015 poll, 18 percent of Americans consider themselves
feminists, while 85 percent reported they believe in "equality for
women". Despite the popular belief in equal rights, 52 percent did not
identify as feminist, 26 percent were unsure, and four percent
provided no response.
According to 2014
Ipsos poll covering 15 developed countries, 53
percent of respondents identified as feminists, and 87% agreed that
"women should be treated equally to men in all areas based on their
competency, not their gender". However, only 55% of women agreed that
they have "full equality with men and the freedom to reach their full
dreams and aspirations".
Among women, some of the strongest support for feminism was found in
Sweden, where one in three (36%) agreed very much that they defined
themselves as feminists. They were followed by women in Italy (31%)
and Argentina (29%). Those in the middle of the ranking were from
Great Britain (22%), Spain (22%), United States (20%), Australia
(18%), Belgium (18%), France (18%), Canada (17%), Poland (17%), and
Hungary (15%). Women least likely to agree very much were from Japan
(8%), Germany (7%) and South Korea (7%).
One quarter of men in Italy (25%) and Argentina (25%), and two in ten
of those in Poland (21%) and France (19%), agreed very much they
defined themselves as feminist. They were followed by those from
Sweden (17%), Spain (16%), the United States (16%), Canada (15%),
Great Britain (14%), Hungary (12%), Belgium (11%) and Australia (10%).
Men least likely to identify this way were from South Korea (7%),
Germany (3%) and Japan (3%).
Women were more likely to self-identify as being feminists than men in
every country except Poland, where men (21%) were four points more
likely than women (17%) to agree very much with the statement. In
South Korea, there was no difference between men and women (7%) on
Main article: Feminist views on sexuality
Feminist views on sexuality
Feminist views on sexuality vary, and have differed by historical
period and by cultural context. Feminist attitudes to female sexuality
have taken a few different directions. Matters such as the sex
industry, sexual representation in the media, and issues regarding
consent to sex under conditions of male dominance have been
particularly controversial among feminists. This debate has culminated
in the late 1970s and the 1980s, in what came to be known as the
feminist sex wars, which pitted anti-pornography feminism against
sex-positive feminism, and parts of the feminist movement were deeply
divided by these debates. Feminists have
taken a variety of positions on different aspects of the sexual
revolution from the 1960s and 70s. Over the course of the 1970s, a
large number of influential women accepted lesbian and bisexual women
as part of feminism.
Main articles: Sex industry, Feminist views on pornography, Feminist
views on prostitution, and Feminist sex wars
Opinions on the sex industry are diverse. Feminists critical of the
sex industry generally see it as the exploitative result of
patriarchal social structures which reinforce sexual and cultural
attitudes complicit in rape and sexual harassment. Alternately,
feminists who support at least part of the sex industry argue that it
can be a medium of feminist expression and a means for women to take
control of their sexuality.
Feminist views of pornography range from condemnation of pornography
as a form of violence against women, to an embracing of some forms of
pornography as a medium of feminist
expression. Feminists' views on prostitution
vary, but many of these perspectives can be loosely arranged into an
overarching standpoint that is generally either critical or supportive
of prostitution and sex work.
Affirming female sexual autonomy
For feminists, a woman's right to control her own sexuality is a key
issue. Feminists such as
Catharine MacKinnon argue that women have
very little control over their own bodies, with female sexuality being
largely controlled and defined by men in patriarchal societies.
Feminists argue that sexual violence committed by men is often rooted
in ideologies of male sexual entitlement, and that these systems grant
women very few legitimate options to refuse sexual advances.
In many cultures, men do not believe that a woman has the right to
reject a man's sexual advances or to make an autonomous decision about
participating in sex. Feminists argue that all cultures are, in one
way or another, dominated by ideologies that largely deny women the
right to decide how to express their sexuality, because men under
patriarchy feel entitled to define sex on their own terms. This
entitlement can take different forms, depending on the culture. In
many parts of the world, especially in conservative and religious
cultures, marriage is regarded as an institution which requires a wife
to be sexually available at all times, virtually without limit; thus,
forcing or coercing sex on a wife is not considered a crime or even an
abusive behaviour. In more liberal cultures, this
entitlement takes the form of a general sexualization of the whole
culture. This is played out in the sexual objectification of women,
with pornography and other forms of sexual entertainment creating the
fantasy that all women exist solely for men's sexual pleasure, and
that women are readily available and desiring to engage in sex at any
time, with any man, on a man's terms.
Further information: Feminist epistemology
Sandra Harding says that the "moral and political insights of the
women's movement have inspired social scientists and biologists to
raise critical questions about the ways traditional researchers have
explained gender, sex and relations within and between the social and
natural worlds." Some feminists, such as
Ruth Hubbard and Evelyn
Fox Keller, criticize traditional scientific discourse as being
historically biased towards a male perspective. A part of the
feminist research agenda is the examination of the ways in which power
inequities are created or reinforced in scientific and academic
institutions. Physicist Lisa Randall, appointed to a task force
at Harvard by then-president
Lawrence Summers after his controversial
discussion of why women may be underrepresented in science and
engineering, said, "I just want to see a whole bunch more women enter
the field so these issues don't have to come up anymore."
Lynn Hankinson Nelson notes that feminist empiricists find fundamental
differences between the experiences of men and women. Thus, they seek
to obtain knowledge through the examination of the experiences of
women, and to "uncover the consequences of omitting, misdescribing, or
devaluing them" to account for a range of human experience.
Another part of the feminist research agenda is the uncovering of ways
in which power inequities are created or reinforced in society and in
scientific and academic institutions. Furthermore, despite calls
for greater attention to be paid to structures of gender inequity in
the academic literature, structural analyses of gender bias rarely
appear in highly cited psychological journals, especially in the
commonly studied areas of psychology and personality.
One criticism of feminist epistemology is that it allows social and
political values to influence its findings.
Susan Haack also
points out that feminist epistemology reinforces traditional
stereotypes about women's thinking (as intuitive and emotional, etc.);
Meera Nanda further cautions that this may in fact trap women within
"traditional gender roles and help justify patriarchy".
Biology and gender
Gender essentialism and Sexual differentiation
Modern feminism challenges the essentialist view of gender as
biologically intrinsic. For example, Anne Fausto-Sterling's
book, Myths of Gender, explores the assumptions embodied in scientific
research that support a biologically essentialist view of gender.
In Delusions of Gender,
Cordelia Fine disputes scientific evidence
that suggests that there is an innate biological difference between
men's and women's minds, asserting instead that cultural and societal
beliefs are the reason for differences between individuals that are
commonly perceived as sex differences.
Main article: Feminist psychology
Feminism in psychology emerged as a critique of the dominant male
outlook on psychological research where only male perspectives were
studied with all male subjects. As women earned doctorates in
psychology, females and their issues were introduced as legitimate
topics of study.
Feminist psychology emphasizes social context, lived
experience, and qualitative analysis. Projects such as
Psychology's Feminist Voices
Psychology's Feminist Voices have emerged to catalogue the influence
of feminist psychologists on the discipline.
Feminism in culture
Gender-based inquiries into and conceptualization of architecture have
also come about, leading to feminism in modern architecture. Piyush
Mathur coined the term "archigenderic". Claiming that "architectural
planning has an inextricable link with the defining and regulation of
gender roles, responsibilities, rights, and limitations", Mathur came
up with that term "to explore ... the meaning of 'architecture'
in terms of gender" and "to explore the meaning of 'gender' in terms
Feminist activists have established a range of feminist businesses,
including women's bookstores, feminist credit unions, feminist
presses, feminist mail-order catalogs, and feminist restaurants. These
businesses flourished as part of the second and third-waves of
feminism in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Feminist art movement
Corresponding with general developments within feminism, and often
including such self-organizing tactics as the consciousness-raising
group, the movement began in the 1960s and flourished throughout the
1970s. Jeremy Strick, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art
in Los Angeles, described the feminist art movement as "the most
influential international movement of any during the postwar period",
Peggy Phelan says that it "brought about the most far-reaching
transformations in both artmaking and art writing over the past four
decades". Feminist artist Judy Chicago, who created The Dinner
Party, a set of vulva-themed ceramic plates in the 1970s, said in 2009
to ARTnews, "There is still an institutional lag and an insistence on
a male Eurocentric narrative. We are trying to change the future: to
get girls and boys to realize that women's art is not an
exception—it's a normal part of art history." A feminist
approach to the visual arts has most recently developed through
Cyberfeminism and the posthuman turn, giving voice to the ways
"contemporary female artists are dealing with gender, social media and
the notion of embodiment".
Octavia Butler, award-winning feminist science fiction author
See also: Écriture féminine, List of American feminist literature,
List of feminist literature, and List of feminist poets
The feminist movement produced both feminist fiction and non-fiction,
and created new interest in women's writing. It also prompted a
general reevaluation of women's historical and academic contributions
in response to the belief that women's lives and contributions have
been underrepresented as areas of scholarly interest. Much of the
early period of feminist literary scholarship was given over to the
rediscovery and reclamation of texts written by women. Studies like
Dale Spender's Mothers of the Novel (1986) and Jane Spencer's The Rise
Woman Novelist (1986) were ground-breaking in their insistence
that women have always been writing. Commensurate with this growth in
scholarly interest, various presses began the task of reissuing
Virago Press began to publish its large list
of 19th and early-20th-century novels in 1975 and became one of the
first commercial presses to join in the project of reclamation. In the
1980s Pandora Press, responsible for publishing Spender's study,
issued a companion line of 18th-century novels written by women.
Broadview Press continues to issue 18th- and
19th-century novels, many hitherto out of print, and the University of
Kentucky has a series of republications of early women's novels. A
Vindication of the Rights of
Woman (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft, is
one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. A Room of One's Own
(1929) by Virginia Woolf, is noted in its argument for both a literal
and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition
dominated by patriarchy.
The widespread interest in women's writing is related to a general
reassessment and expansion of the literary canon. Interest in
post-colonial literatures, gay and lesbian literature, writing by
people of colour, working people's writing, and the cultural
productions of other historically marginalized groups has resulted in
a whole scale expansion of what is considered "literature", and genres
hitherto not regarded as "literary", such as children's writing,
journals, letters, travel writing, and many others are now the
subjects of scholarly interest. Most genres and
subgenres have undergone a similar analysis, so that one now sees work
on the "female gothic" or women's science fiction.
According to Elyce Rae Helford, "Science fiction and fantasy serve as
important vehicles for feminist thought, particularly as bridges
between theory and practice."
Feminist science fiction
Feminist science fiction is
sometimes taught at the university level to explore the role of social
constructs in understanding gender. Notable texts of this kind
are Ursula K. Le Guin's
The Left Hand of Darkness
The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), Joanna Russ'
The Female Man
The Female Man (1970), Octavia Butler's Kindred (1979) and Margaret
Handmaid's Tale (1985).
Women's music and Women in music
American jazz singer and songwriter
Billie Holiday in New York City in
Women's music (or womyn's music or wimmin's music) is the music by
women, for women, and about women. The genre emerged as a musical
expression of the second-wave feminist movement as well as the
labour, civil rights, and peace movements. The movement was
started by lesbians such as Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, and Margie
Adam, African-American women activists such as Bernice Johnson Reagon
and her group Sweet Honey in the Rock, and peace activist Holly
Women's music also refers to the wider industry of women's
music that goes beyond the performing artists to include studio
musicians, producers, sound engineers, technicians, cover artists,
distributors, promoters, and festival organizers who are also
Riot grrrl is an underground feminist hardcore punk
movement described in the cultural movements section of this article.
Feminism became a principal concern of musicologists in the 1980s
as part of the New Musicology. Prior to this, in the 1970s,
musicologists were beginning to discover women composers and
performers, and had begun to review concepts of canon, genius, genre
and periodization from a feminist perspective. In other words, the
question of how women musicians fit into traditional music history was
now being asked. Through the 1980s and 1990s, this trend
continued as musicologists like Susan McClary,
Marcia Citron and Ruth
Solie began to consider the cultural reasons for the marginalizing of
women from the received body of work. Concepts such as music as
gendered discourse; professionalism; reception of women's music;
examination of the sites of music production; relative wealth and
education of women; popular music studies in relation to women's
identity; patriarchal ideas in music analysis; and notions of gender
and difference are among the themes examined during this time.
While the music industry has long been open to having women in
performance or entertainment roles, women are much less likely to have
positions of authority, such as being the leader of an orchestra.
In popular music, while there are many women singers recording songs,
there are very few women behind the audio console acting as music
producers, the individuals who direct and manage the recording
Main article: Feminist film theory
See also: Women's cinema
Feminist cinema, advocating or illustrating feminist perspectives,
arose largely with the development of feminist film theory in the late
'60s and early '70s. Women who were radicalized during the 1960s by
political debate and sexual liberation; but the failure of radicalism
to produce substantive change for women galvanized them to form
consciousness-raising groups and set about analysing, from different
perspectives, dominant cinema's construction of women.
Differences were particularly marked between feminists on either side
of the Atlantic. 1972 saw the first feminist film festivals in the
U.S. and U.K. as well as the first feminist film journal, Women and
Film. Trailblazers from this period included
Claire Johnston and Laura
Mulvey, who also organized the Women's Event at the Edinburgh Film
Festival. Other theorists making a powerful impact on feminist
film include Teresa de Lauretis, Anneke Smelik and Kaja Silverman.
Approaches in philosophy and psychoanalysis fuelled feminist film
criticism, feminist independent film and feminist distribution.
It has been argued that there are two distinct approaches to
independent, theoretically inspired feminist filmmaking.
'Deconstruction' concerns itself with analysing and breaking down
codes of mainstream cinema, aiming to create a different relationship
between the spectator and dominant cinema. The second approach, a
feminist counterculture, embodies feminine writing to investigate a
specifically feminine cinematic language. Some recent
criticism of "feminist film" approaches has centred around a
Swedish rating system called the Bechdel test.
During the 1930s–1950s heyday of the big Hollywood studios, the
status of women in the industry was abysmal and, while much has
improved, many would argue that there is still much to be done. From
art films by Sally Potter, Catherine Breillat,
Claire Denis and Jane
Campion to action movies by Kathryn Bigelow, women now have a stronger
voice, but are only too aware of the still lingering gender gap.
British-born suffragist Rose Cohen became victim of Stalin's great
terror, executed in November 1937, two months after the execution of
her Soviet husband.
Feminism had complex interactions with the major political movements
of the twentieth century.
Main article: Social
Progressivism and Counterculture
Since the late nineteenth century some feminists have allied with
socialism, whereas others have criticized socialist ideology for being
insufficiently concerned about women's rights. August Bebel, an early
activist of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), published his
work Die Frau und der Sozialismus, juxtaposing the struggle for equal
rights between sexes with social equality in general. In 1907 there
was an International Conference of Socialist Women in
suffrage was described as a tool of class struggle.
Clara Zetkin of
the SPD called for women's suffrage to build a "socialist order, the
only one that allows for a radical solution to the women's
In Britain, the women's movement was allied with the Labour party. In
Betty Friedan emerged from a radical background to take
Radical Women is the oldest socialist feminist
organization in the U.S. and is still active. During the Spanish
Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria) led the Communist Party
of Spain. Although she supported equal rights for women, she opposed
women fighting on the front and clashed with the anarcha-feminist
Feminists in Ireland in the early 20th century included the
revolutionary Irish Republican, suffragette and socialist Constance
Markievicz who in 1918 was the first woman elected to the British
House of Commons. However, in line with Sinn Féin abstentionist
policy, she would not take her seat in the House of Commons. She
was re-elected to the
Second Dáil in the elections of 1921. She
was also a commander of the
Irish Citizens Army
Irish Citizens Army which was led by the
socialist & self-described feminist, Irish leader James Connolly
during the 1916 Easter Rising.
Fascism and ideology
Fascism and ideology and Women in
Chilean feminists protest against the regime of Augusto Pinochet
Fascism has been prescribed dubious stances on feminism by its
practitioners and by women's groups. Amongst other demands concerning
social reform presented in the
Fascist manifesto in 1919 was expanding
the suffrage to all Italian citizens of age 18 and above, including
women (accomplished only in 1946, after the defeat of fascism) and
eligibility for all to stand for office from age 25. This demand was
particularly championed by special Fascist women's auxiliary groups
such as the fasci femminilli and only partly realized in 1925, under
pressure from Prime Minister Benito Mussolini's more conservative
Cyprian Blamires states that although feminists were among those who
opposed the rise of Adolf Hitler, feminism has a complicated
relationship with the
Nazi movement as well. While Nazis glorified
traditional notions of patriarchal society and its role for women,
they claimed to recognize women's equality in employment.
However, Hitler and Mussolini declared themselves as opposed to
feminism, and after the rise of
Nazism in Germany in 1933, there
was a rapid dissolution of the political rights and economic
opportunities that feminists had fought for during the pre-war period
and to some extent during the 1920s. Georges Duby et al. note
that in practice fascist society was hierarchical and emphasized male
virility, with women maintaining a largely subordinate position.
Blamires also notes that Neofascism has since the 1960s been hostile
towards feminism and advocates that women accept "their traditional
Civil rights movement and anti-racism
The civil rights movement has influenced and informed the feminist
movement and vice versa. Many Western feminists adapted the language
and theories of black equality activism and drew parallels between
women's rights and the rights of non-white people. Despite the
connections between the women's and civil rights movements, some
tension arose during the late 1960s and early 1970s as non-white women
argued that feminism was predominantly white and middle class, and did
not understand and was not concerned with race issues. Similarly,
some women argued that the civil rights movement had sexist elements
and did not adequately address minority women's concerns. These
criticisms created new feminist social theories about the
intersections of racism, classism, and sexism, and new feminisms, such
as black feminism and Chicana feminism.
Neoliberalism has been criticized by feminist theory for having a
negative effect on the female workforce population across the globe,
especially in the global south. Masculinist assumptions and objectives
continue to dominate economic and geopolitical thinking.:177
Women's experiences in non-industrialized countries reveal often
deleterious effects of modernization policies and undercut orthodox
claims that development benefits everyone.:175
Proponents of neoliberalism have theorized that by increasing women's
participation in the workforce, there will be heightened economic
progress, but feminist critics have noted that this participation
alone does not further equality in gender relations.:186–98
Neoliberalism has failed to address significant problems such as the
devaluation of feminized labour, the structural privileging of men and
masculinity, and the politicization of women's subordination in the
family and the workplace.:176 The "feminization of employment"
refers to a conceptual characterization of deteriorated and
devalorized labour conditions that are less desirable, meaningful,
safe and secure.:179 Employers in the global south have
perceptions about feminine labour and seek workers who are perceived
to be undemanding, docile and willing to accept low wages.:180
Social constructs about feminized labour have played a big part in
this, for instance, employers often perpetuate ideas about women as
'secondary income earners to justify their lower rates of pay and not
deserving of training or promotion.:189
Main article: Feminist effects on society
The feminist movement has effected change in Western society,
including women's suffrage; greater access to education; more nearly
equitable pay with men; the right to initiate divorce proceedings; the
right of women to make individual decisions regarding pregnancy
(including access to contraceptives and abortion); and the right to
Participation in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women.
Signed and ratified
Acceded or succeeded
Unrecognized state, abiding by treaty
From the 1960s on, the campaign for women's rights was met with
mixed results in the U.S. and the U.K. Other countries of the EEC
agreed to ensure that discriminatory laws would be phased out across
the European Community.
Some feminist campaigning also helped reform attitudes to child sexual
abuse. The view that young girls cause men to have sexual intercourse
with them was replaced by that of men's responsibility for their own
conduct, the men being adults.
In the U.S., the
National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women (NOW) began in 1966
to seek women's equality, including through the Equal Rights Amendment
(ERA), which did not pass, although some states enacted their
Reproductive rights in the U.S. centred on the court decision in
Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade enunciating a woman's right to choose whether to carry a
pregnancy to term. Western women gained more reliable birth control,
allowing family planning and careers. The movement started in the
1910s in the U.S. under
Margaret Sanger and elsewhere under Marie
Stopes. In the final three decades of the 20th century, Western women
knew a new freedom through birth control, which enabled women to plan
their adult lives, often making way for both career and family.
The division of labour within households was affected by the increased
entry of women into workplaces in the 20th century. Sociologist Arlie
Russell Hochschild found that, in two-career couples, men and women,
on average, spend about equal amounts of time working, but women still
spend more time on housework, although
Cathy Young responded
by arguing that women may prevent equal participation by men in
housework and parenting. Judith K. Brown writes, "Women are most
likely to make a substantial contribution when subsistence activities
have the following characteristics: the participant is not obliged to
be far from home; the tasks are relatively monotonous and do not
require rapt concentration; and the work is not dangerous, can be
performed in spite of interruptions, and is easily resumed once
In international law, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international convention
adopted by the
United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly and described as an
international bill of rights for women. It came into force in those
nations ratifying it.
Main article: Feminist legal theory
Feminist jurisprudence is a branch of jurisprudence that examines the
relationship between women and law. It addresses questions about the
history of legal and social biases against women and about the
enhancement of their legal rights.
Feminist jurisprudence signifies a reaction to the philosophical
approach of modern legal scholars, who typically see law as a process
for interpreting and perpetuating a society's universal,
gender-neutral ideals. Feminist legal scholars claim that this fails
to acknowledge women's values or legal interests or the harms that
they may anticipate or experience.
Further information: Gender-neutral language in English
Proponents of gender-neutral language argue that the use of
gender-specific language often implies male superiority or reflects an
unequal state of society. According to The Handbook of English
Linguistics, generic masculine pronouns and gender-specific job titles
are instances "where English linguistic convention has historically
treated men as prototypical of the human species."
Merriam-Webster chose "feminism" as its 2017 Word of the Year, noting
that "Word of the Year is a quantitative measure of interest in a
Feminist theology and
Gender of God
Cmdr. Adrienne Simmons speaking at the 2008 ceremony for the only
women's mosque in
Khost City, a symbol of progress for growing women's
rights in the Pashtun belt.
Feminist theology is a movement that reconsiders the traditions,
practices, scriptures, and theologies of religions from a feminist
perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing
the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities,
reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God,
determining women's place in relation to career and motherhood, and
studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts.
Christian feminism is a branch of feminist theology which seeks to
interpret and understand Christianity in light of the equality of
women and men, and that this interpretation is necessary for a
complete understanding of Christianity. While there is no standard set
of beliefs among Christian feminists, most agree that God does not
discriminate on the basis of sex, and are involved in issues such as
the ordination of women, male dominance and the balance of parenting
in Christian marriage, claims of moral deficiency and inferiority of
women compared to men, and the overall treatment of women in the
church. The Christian Bible refers to women in positions of
authority in Judges 4:4 and Kings 22:14.[non-primary source
Islamic feminists advocate women's rights, gender equality, and social
justice grounded within an Islamic framework. Advocates seek to
highlight the deeply rooted teachings of equality in the Quran and
encourage a questioning of the patriarchal interpretation of Islamic
teaching through the Quran, hadith (sayings of Muhammad), and sharia
(law) towards the creation of a more equal and just society.
Although rooted in Islam, the movement's pioneers have also utilized
secular and Western feminist discourses and recognize the role of
Islamic feminism as part of an integrated global feminist
Buddhist feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious,
legal, and social status of women within Buddhism. It is an aspect of
feminist theology which seeks to advance and understand the equality
of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership
from a Buddhist perspective. The Buddhist feminist Rita Gross
Buddhist feminism as "the radical practice of the
co-humanity of women and men."
Jewish feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious,
legal, and social status of women within Judaism and to open up new
opportunities for religious experience and leadership for Jewish
women. The main issues for early Jewish feminists in these movements
were the exclusion from the all-male prayer group or minyan, the
exemption from positive time-bound mitzvot, and women's inability to
function as witnesses and to initiate divorce. Many Jewish women
have become leaders of feminist movements throughout their
Dianic Wicca is a feminist-centred thealogy.
Secular or atheist feminists have engaged in feminist criticism of
religion, arguing that many religions have oppressive rules towards
women and misogynistic themes and elements in religious
Main article: Patriarchy
"Female Muslims- The tsar, beys and khans took your rights away" –
Soviet poster issued in Azerbaijan, 1921
Patriarchy is a social system in which society is organized around
male authority figures. In this system fathers have authority over
women, children, and property. It implies the institutions of male
rule and privilege, and is dependent on female subordination.
Most forms of feminism characterize patriarchy as an unjust social
system that is oppressive to women.
Carole Pateman argues that the
patriarchal distinction "between masculinity and femininity is the
political difference between freedom and subjection." In feminist
theory the concept of patriarchy often includes all the social
mechanisms that reproduce and exert male dominance over women.
Feminist theory typically characterizes patriarchy as a social
construction, which can be overcome by revealing and critically
analyzing its manifestations. Some radical feminists have
proposed that because patriarchy is too deeply rooted in society,
separatism is the only viable solution. Other feminists have
criticized these views as being anti-men.
Men and masculinity
Main article: Men and feminism
Feminist theory has explored the social construction of masculinity
and its implications for the goal of gender equality. The social
construct of masculinity is seen by feminism as problematic because it
associates males with aggression and competition, and reinforces
patriarchal and unequal gender relations. Patriarchal
cultures are criticized for "limiting forms of masculinity" available
to men and thus narrowing their life choices. Some feminists are
engaged with men's issues activism, such as bringing attention to male
rape and spousal battery and addressing negative social expectations
Male participation in feminism is generally encouraged by feminists
and is seen as an important strategy for achieving full societal
commitment to gender equality. Many male feminists and
pro-feminists are active in both women's rights activism, feminist
theory, and masculinity studies. However, some argue that while male
engagement with feminism is necessary, it is problematic because of
the ingrained social influences of patriarchy in gender
relations. The consensus today in feminist and masculinity
theories is that both genders can and should cooperate to achieve the
larger goals of feminism. It has been proposed that, in large
part, this can be achieved through considerations of women's
Different groups of people have responded to feminism, and both men
and women have been among its supporters and critics. Among American
university students, for both men and women, support for feminist
ideas is more common than self-identification as a
feminist. The US media tends to portray feminism
negatively and feminists "are less often associated with day-to-day
work/leisure activities of regular women." However, as
recent research has demonstrated, as people are exposed to
self-identified feminists and to discussions relating to various forms
of feminism, their own self-identification with feminism
Main article: Pro-feminism
Pro-feminism is the support of feminism without implying that the
supporter is a member of the feminist movement. The term is most often
used in reference to men who are actively supportive of feminism. The
activities of pro-feminist men's groups include anti-violence work
with boys and young men in schools, offering sexual harassment
workshops in workplaces, running community education campaigns, and
counselling male perpetrators of violence. Pro-feminist men also may
be involved in men's health, activism against pornography including
anti-pornography legislation, men's studies, and the development of
gender equity curricula in schools. This work is sometimes in
collaboration with feminists and women's services, such as domestic
violence and rape crisis centres.
Anti-feminism and criticism of feminism
Main article: Antifeminism
Anti-feminism is opposition to feminism in some or all of its
In the nineteenth century, anti-feminism was mainly focused on
opposition to women's suffrage. Later, opponents of women's entry into
institutions of higher learning argued that education was too great a
physical burden on women. Other anti-feminists opposed women's entry
into the labour force, or their right to join unions, to sit on
juries, or to obtain birth control and control of their
Some people have opposed feminism on the grounds that they believe it
is contrary to traditional values or religious beliefs. These
anti-feminists argue, for example, that social acceptance of divorce
and non-married women is wrong and harmful, and that men and women are
fundamentally different and thus their different traditional roles in
society should be maintained. Other anti-feminists
oppose women's entry into the workforce, political office, and the
voting process, as well as the lessening of male authority in
Writers such as Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers, Jean Bethke
Elshtain, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Lisa Lucile Owens and Daphne
Patai oppose some forms of feminism, though they identify as
feminists. They argue, for example, that feminism often promotes
misandry and the elevation of women's interests above men's, and
criticize radical feminist positions as harmful to both men and
Daphne Patai and
Noretta Koertge argue that the term
"anti-feminist" is used to silence academic debate about
feminism. Lisa Lucile Owens argues that certain rights
extended exclusively to women are patriarchal because they relieve
women from exercising a crucial aspect of their moral agency.
Index of feminism articles
List of feminist theories
Multiracial feminist theory
Human Rights portal
^ Hawkesworth, Mary E. (2006). Globalization and Feminist Activism.
Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 25–27.
^ Beasley, Chris (1999). What is Feminism?. New York: Sage.
pp. 3–11. ISBN 9780761963356.
^ a b c Echols, Alice (1989). Daring to Be Bad: Radical
America, 1967–1975. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
^ Roberts, Jacob (2017). "Women's work". Distillations. 3 (1): 6–11.
Retrieved 22 March 2018.
^ a b Messer-Davidow, Ellen (2002). Disciplining Feminism: From Social
Activism to Academic Discourse. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
^ a b c hooks, bell (2000).
Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate
Politics. Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press.
^ a b Chodorow, Nancy (1989).
Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theory. New
Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
^ a b Gilligan, Carol (1977). "In a Different Voice: Women's
Conceptions of Self and of Morality". Harvard Educational Review. 47
(4): 481–517. doi:10.17763/haer.47.4.g6167429416hg5l0. Retrieved 8
^ a b Weedon, Chris (2002). "Key Issues in Postcolonial Feminism: A
Gender Forum (1). Archived from the original on
3 December 2013.
^ Goldstein, Leslie F. (1982). "Early Feminist Themes in French
Utopian Socialism: The St.-Simonians and Fourier". Journal of the
History of Ideas. 43 (1): 91–108. doi:10.2307/2709162.
^ Dutch feminist pioneer
Mina Kruseman in a letter to Alexandre Dumas
– in: Maria Grever, Strijd tegen de stilte. Johanna Naber
(1859–1941) en de vrouwenstem in geschiedenis (Hilversum 1994)
ISBN 90-6550-395-1, p. 31
^ Offen, Karen (1987). "Sur l'origine des mots 'féminisme' et
'féministe'". Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine (1954–). 34
(3): 492–96. JSTOR 20529317.
^ Cott, Nancy F. (1987). The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven:
Yale University Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0300042283.
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University
Press. 2012. (Subscription required (help)). An advocate or supporter
of the rights and equality of women. 1852: De Bow's Review ('Our
attention has happened to fall upon Mrs. E. O. Smith, who is, we are
informed, among the most moderate of the feminist reformers!')
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University
Press. 2012. (Subscription required (help)). Advocacy of equality of
the sexes and the establishment of the political, social, and economic
rights of the female sex; the movement associated with this.
^ Spender, Dale (1983). There's Always Been a Women's Movement this
Century. London: Pandora Press. pp. 1–200.
^ Lerner, Gerda (1993). The Creation of Feminist Consciousness From
the Middle Ages to Eighteen-seventy. Oxford University Press.
^ Walters, Margaret (2005). Feminism: A very short introduction.
Oxford University. pp. 1–176. ISBN 0-19-280510-X.
^ Kinnaird, Joan; Astell, Mary (1983). "Inspired by ideas
(1668–1731)". In Spender, Dale. There's always been a women's
movement. London: Pandora Press. pp. 29–.
^ Witt, Charlotte (2006). "Feminist History of Philosophy". Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
^ Allen, Ann Taylor (1999). "Feminism, Social Science, and the
Meanings of Modernity: The Debate on the Origin of the Family in
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ed.). Routledge. ISBN 9781134752591.
^ a b Elias, Juanita; Ferguson, Lucy (2014). "Production, Employment,
and Consumption". In Shepherd, Laura J.
Gender Matters in Global
Politics. Routledge. ISBN 9781134752591.
^ Lockwood, Bert B. (2006). Women's Rights: A Human Rights Quarterly
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^ "FROM SUFFRAGE TO WOMEN'S LIBERATION: FEMINISM IN TWENTIETH CENTURY
AMERICA by Jo Freeman".
^ Rush, Florence (1988). The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of
Children. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0070542236.
^ "The National Organization for Women's 1966 Statement of
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^ Hochschild, Arlie Russell; Machung, Anne (2003). The Second Shift.
New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-200292-6.
^ Hochschild, Arlie Russell (2001). The Time Bind: When Work Becomes
Home and Home Becomes Work. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
^ Young, Cathy. "The Mama Lion at the Gate". Salon.com. Retrieved 17
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Sex". American Anthropologist. 72 (5): 1073–78.
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^ "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
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^ Garner, Bryan, ed. (2014). Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed.). St.
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ISBN 978-0-314-61300-4. Feminist jurisprudence examines ... the
history of legal and social biases against women, the elimination of
those biases in modern law, and the enhancement of women's legal
rights and recognition [status] in society.
^ Minda, Gary (1995). Postmodern Legal Movements: Law and
Jurisprudence at Century's End. N.Y.C.: NYU Press. pp. 129–30.
ISBN 978-0814755105. Feminist legal scholars, despite their
differences, appear united in claiming that 'masculine' jurisprudence
... fails to acknowledge, let alone respond to, the interests, values,
fears, and harms experienced by women.
^ Miller, Casey; Swift, Kate (1988). The Handbook of Nonsexist
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^ Aarts, Bas; McMahon, April, eds. (2006). The Handbook of English
Linguistics. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1405113823.
^ "Word of the Year 2017".
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Scripture. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0-7879-8495-3.
^ Haddad, Mimi (2006). "Egalitarian Pioneers:
Betty Friedan or
Catherine Booth?" (PDF). Priscilla Papers. 20 (4). Archived from the
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^ Anderson, Pamela Sue; Clack, Beverley (2004).
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^ Judges 4:4
^ 2 Kings 22:14
^ Badran, Margot (17–23 January 2002). "Islamic Feminism: What's in
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^ Catalonian Islamic Board (24–27 October 2008). "II International
Congress on Islamic Feminism". feminismeislamic.org. Archived from the
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^ Plaskow, Judith (2003). "Jewish Feminist Thought". In Frank, Daniel
H. History of Jewish philosophy. Leaman, Oliver. London: Routledge.
^ Marjorie Ingall (November 18, 2005). "Why are there so many Jewish
feminists?". Forward Magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
^ Wisdom's Feast: Sophia in Study and Celebration, p. 9, Susan Cole,
Marian Ronan, Hal Taussig. 1996
^ Gaylor, Annie Laurie, Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So,
Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. (1 July 1981)
^ Ali, Ayaan Hirsi The Caged Virgin: A Muslim Woman's Cry for Reason,
Free Press 2004, ISBN 978-0-7432-8833-0
^ Miles, Rosalind, Who cooked the Last Supper?,Random House Digital,
Inc., 2001, ISBN 0-609-80695-5
^ Encyclopedia of sex and gender. Detroit, Mich.: Macmillan Reference.
^ Pateman, Carole (1988). The Sexual Contract, Stanford: Stanford
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^ Tickner, Ann J. (2001). "Patriarchy". Routledge Encyclopedia of
International Political Economy: Entries PZ. Taylor & Francis.
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^ Sarah Hoagland, Lesbian Ethics: toward new value
^ Friedan, Betty. The Second Stage: With a New Introduction.
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1981 1986 1991 1998, 1st
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^ Bullough, Vern L. Human sexuality: an encyclopedia, Taylor &
Francis, 1994, ISBN 0-8240-7972-8
^ Echols 1989, p. 78 & n. 124 ("124. Interview with
Cindy Cisler.") and see p. 119
^ Tong, Rosemarie Putnam (1998). Feminist Thought: A More
Comprehensive Introduction (2nd ed.). Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.
p. 70. ISBN 0-8133-3295-8.
^ a b Gardiner, Judith Kegan (2002). Masculinity studies and feminist
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Presumption Revisited". Harv. Women's L.J.: 107.
^ Shanley, Mary (January 1995). "Unwed fathers' rights, adoption, and
sex equality: Gender-neutrality and the perpetuation of patriarchy".
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^ Levit, Nancy (1996). "
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^ Digby, Tom (1998). Men Doing Feminism. New York: Routledge.
^ Phillips, Layli, The Womanist reader, CRC Press, 2006,
^ Jardine, Alice, Paul Smith, Men in feminism ,
^ a b Owens, Lisa Lucile (May 2014). "Coerced parenthood as family
policy: feminism, the moral agency of women, and men's 'Right to
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^ Zucker, Alyssa N. (2004). "Disavowing Social Identities: What It
Means when Women Say, 'I'm Not a Feminist, but ...'". Psychology
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^ Burn, Shawn Meghan; Aboud, Roger; Moyles, Carey (2000). "The
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^ Renzetti, Claire M. (1987). "New wave or second stage? Attitudes of
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^ Lingard, Bob; Douglas, Peter (1999). Men Engaging Feminisms:
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^ Simpson, John A.; Weiner, Edmund S.C. (1989), "Anti-feminist", in
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as a cruel trap for women, perpetuating patriarchy, and keeping women
subservient to men. They lament the roles that women and men tend to
assume in traditional marriages, believing that women get the worse
deal from the marriage contract.
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traditional gender roles and families began in earnest in the 1960s
and increasingly turned radical in the 1970s.
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confines of the women's liberationist ideology, therefore, the
abolition of this overriding inequality of women becomes the primary
goal. This goal must be achieved at any at all costs – to the woman
herself, to the baby, to the family, and to society. Women must be
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be expected to care for babies they may bring into the world.
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women, including granting women the right to vote and hold public
office, in addition to limited rights to initiate divorce. Although
many Muslim women take pride in the fact that they now perform jobs
and enter professions once reserved for men, for most Islamists female
employment and legal emancipation are dangerous trends that lead to
the dissolution of traditional gender roles associated with the
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thought and behavior. Delineating the many types of alleged
anti-feminist practices perpetrated in colleges, universities, and
publishing houses around the country, contributors to this book
propose in all seriousness that measures be taken against a new and
pervasive kind of offense: 'antifeminst intellectual
^ Danowitz Sagaria, Mary Ann (January 1999). "Review: Reviewed Work:
Antifeminism in the Academy by Vévé Clark, Shirley Nelson Garner,
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