Liberalism, And Liberal Feminism: An Argument

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Feminism as an ideology should be understood and appreciated as a pioneering movement that has pushed the boundaries of what should and should not be discussed in the political arena. All Feminist traditions are united in their fight towards the equality of the sexes but differ on what they believe needs to change within society. Some areas focus more on legal matters, namely: Liberal feminists, whereas other areas of feminism place a larger focus on social inequalities. This essay will discuss whether feminism is defined by 'the personal is the political ' or not. Liberal Feminism developed as a subculture of Liberalism that was particularly prominent in the late 1800s and early 1900s when women were campaigning for the right to vote. It is known for being focused on legal equality and this can be traced back to the early influential texts of Liberal Feminism. Mary Wollstonecraft’s ‘A vindication of the rights of women’, encouraged women to make their own decisions, rather than accept the decisions previously made for them. This implies that women should not accept the decisions made in parliament on behalf of them and have a say in who gets to make those decisions themselves. Which of course encourages women’s suffrage. Another influential book in liberal feminism was John Stuart Mill’s ‘On the subjection of women’ which, was written alongside Harriet Taylor and advocated legal equality between men and women. Mill highlighted the three areas in which women have been
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