Theories Of Radical Feminism

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The question of how feminists conceptualize power is a broad one. It assumes one overarching feminist theory in which most feminists agree on. This, of course, is not the case. Feminism is branched into many sub-categories all of which have their own ideas and definitions. There is overlap between some of these groups but often times there can be very strict opposing views. For the purpose of this essay it is impossible to explore every category of feminist and their views on power. Instead, I will focus on radical feminism, Marxist feminism, post-structural feminism and liberal feminism.
First, I think it’s important to at least abstractly define power. Power can be many things. I think one definition that most would agree on would be that
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It argues that the oppression of women is the most widespread, the oldest and the most difficult to eradicate. From these ideas of radical feminism, it can be seen that power lies in the structures built into our society, and most importantly that this power is used on behalf of patriarchal values which seek to keep women oppressed and subservient to men. The methodology of radical feminism to eradicate this power would be a complete upheaval of our political and economic institutions. Radical feminism has many contrasts and similarities to other forms of feminisms. In one regard, radical feminism and Marxist feminism resemble each other. They are both against the establishment that exist today in our society however, where Marxist feminism would argue that patriarchy stems from capitalism, radical feminism would argue that patriarchal society predates capitalism, and instead was a factor in the creation of capitalism (sociology.org.uk, 2005). This highlights how two not too dissimilar on the surface feminist theories disagree completely about the main sources of power. Liberal feminism and radical feminism, however, are quite clearly coming from two different schools of thought. Radical feminism would dispute that the means that liberal feminism uses, by trying to use legal and governmental systems, is inherently flawed due to the institutionalized inequality in these systems. Once more, these two brands of feminism have opposing ideas of the sources of negative powers in our world. In my opinion, I think that the means that radical feminism uses may be too extreme for them to be broadly accepted. This is an issue in a movement that requires the backing of a large amount of people in order to make any real, significant
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