Discuss the major contributions of feminist theory to the understanding of social And political life. Feminist theory has come to be recognised as an influential theory that has singled out the social exclusion of women. This could be seen as its main premise but it is a far broader perspective. Feminism has articulated that gender differences subjected to sex as argued have played a secondary role to men in the most influential decision making and power positions in society. This has caused the invisibility of women, which has become an indicator of inequality.
According to Flax, feminist theory seeks to understand the power differential between men and women, seeks to understand women’s oppression—how it evolved, how it changes over time, how it is related to other forms of oppression and how to overcome these oppressions. She suggests that feminist theory is intimately related to action. Feminist theory is the foundation of action and there is no pretense that theory can be neutral. Within feminist theory is a commitment to change oppressive structures and to connect abstract ideas with concrete problems for political action. There has to be a commitment to do something
Liberal feminists were so obsessed with the ‘equality’ that they oppose the protective legislation for women (based on this position they have been severely criticized, it will be discussed later in the paper). Jagger (cited in Acker, 1987) discussed liberal feminism’s opposition to protective legislation, based on its desire to overcome sex based laws and establish formal equality. Liberal feminists seek the repeal of all laws that ascribe different rights, responsibilities and opportunities to women and men. They oppose protective legislation for women, believing that the same standards of health and safety should apply to everyone. Feminists such as Marry Wollstonecraft, Johnstuart Mill, Jagger and Struhl, Eisentein and Scheman rejects the major component of tradional liberalism, and asserted that the value of women as human being is not instrumental to the welfare of men and children and that it is equal to the value of men, and demanded various forms of public and private recognition of it, including respect for women and privacy.
Catharine A. Mackinnon’s article Pornography, Civil Rights, and Speech is arguing for access to legal recourse to those who have been harmed by the pornography industry. In order to get to that conclusion though, she must first get across that porn acts upon the world and changes it to be worse off for women in ways
The thought of radical feminism usually conjures images of women burning bras, destroying make-up and being anti-men. But these theatrical gestures are only part of the radical feminism movement that emerged in the 1960s, during the second wave of feminism . At its core, radical feminism firmly believes in a patriarchy that is omnipresent and oppressive. In other words, they affirm patriarchy is the key divisor a society that all men benefit from, through the oppression of all women, regardless of class or colour. They feel that society is constructed by the patriarchy to satisfy their desires.
This comprehensive characterization popularized by the media and mainstream fragments of the movement rears problematic queries. Mostly women, belonging to lower class suffers more and do not gain anything from the society as they are repetitively reminded of their fragile position in society.The representation and characterization of women in the novel show how patriarchy was instituted and fabricated in the 20th-century Latin American society.The depiction of women characters in the novel not only renders their internalisation and illustrates to what extent they were subjugated but it also characterises their insurrection and fighting against the oppressive
In a third and final point, we’ll consider that both gender studies and feminism should be studied separately because gender studies goes further and takes into account sexual characteristics and oppression in general rather than only social oppression towards a biological sex, being women. Gender is something different from social movements. Indeed, in general, gender studies bring to a reflexion on what is being a male and what is being a female according to time and places. The main goal of these studies is to observe how a sex is supposed to reproduce a common thinking and acting according to its societal past. According to Joan Scott, one of the main and first theorists of gender studies: "In grammar, gender is understood to be a way of classifying phenomena, a socially agreed upon system of distinctions rather than an objective description of inherent traits.
Postmodern Feminism Essay Whether sexuality and gender are learned or based in nature has been, and continues to be, a highly debated question with in our society. There are individuals that believe sexuality and gender are innate, meaning that we are born into them. On the other hand, some individuals believe that our sexuality and gender are learned, that they are socially constructed. The latter belief is known as gender performativity, coined by Judith Butler, and is a widely held belief among postmodern feminists. Throughout this essay, I will be analyzing a cultural artifact to further explore the theories of postmodernist feminists, specifically gender performativity.
Queer theory was developed by Judith Butler in her post-modern feminist text, “Gender Trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity” (Horitar, 2015). She discussed the role that gender and sexual orientation play in the way in which society uses this concepts in order to place individuals in a specific category on the basis on how they behave (Guantlett, 1998; Horitar, 2015). This theory examines the diverse ways in which current beliefs serves to reintegrate societal anticipations of gender identity, appearance and sexuality, it also offers a negotiation for the fragmentation of constructed gender categories (Horitar, 2015). According to Western society, sex defines your particular gender (feminine or masculine) which in turn defines your true identity, for example a biological female is considered to be a women who is anticipated, by their society, to be more sensitive and nurturing than a man and who needs a sensual relationship with the opposite sex (Horitar, 2015). This notion was rejected by Butler because according to her gender should be regarded as a performance and not as a category (Guantlett, 1998; Horitar, 2015).
Jagger’s (1993) basic philosophy of women’s liberation and equality is followed by liberal feminism today. Liberal feminists maintain that women do not enjoy rights equally as men do that, accept the basic structure of society as it exists today. Wollstonecraft considers that since women’s inferiority is structured on her intellect and anatomy, it is unjust and incorrect. It is based on the inequalities found in the informal and formal laws as well as the inferior education women receive. Of primary concern to liberal feminists is the modification and the more of pre-existing social value.