Feminist Social and Political Thought


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Feminism. 20th century feminism, Reformist feminism, Revolutionary feminism, liberal feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism, Marxist feminism, Andria rich, Marry.....

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  • Feminist Social and Political Thought

    1. 1. <ul><li>Feminist Social and Political Thought </li></ul><ul><li>Why has Feminist Theory Split in the 20 th Century into its own Reformist and Revolutionary Wings? </li></ul><ul><li>By: Nabaz Shwany </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul>
    2. 2. Debates On the Term of Feminism <ul><li>“ I adopt a general definition of feminism as perspective that seeks to eliminate the subordination, oppression, inequalities and injustice women suffer because of their sex” (E. Porter, 1991, p.27) </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s a doctrine suggesting that women are systematically disadvantaged in modern society and advocating equal opportunities for men and women” (Penguin dictionary of sociology, 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Its an advocacy of woman’s rights based on a belief in the equality of the sexes, and in the broadest use the word refers to everyone who is aware of and seeking to end women subordination in any way and for any reason… feminism originated in the perception that there is something wrong with society treatment of women” (Encyclopedia of feminism, 1987) </li></ul>
    3. 3. A Brief History of Feminism <ul><li>Feminism emerged in 15 th century. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Simone Deauvoir, Christina De Pisan was the first woman who “take up her pen in defense of her sex” </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) </li></ul><ul><li>She is a mother of First wave of Feminism </li></ul>
    4. 4. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), England <ul><li>She urged her sister to divorce </li></ul><ul><li>She attempted to commit suicide (twice) </li></ul><ul><li>Criticized social norms </li></ul><ul><li>Women are rational creature </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrated on the moral demands of equality, particularly in education </li></ul><ul><li>Education is a source for woman freedom </li></ul>
    5. 5. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), England <ul><li>“ If women be really capable of acting like rational creature, let them not be treated like slaves; or like brutes who depended on the reason of man, when they associate with him, give them the salutary and let them attain conscious by feeling themselves only depend on God, teach them in common with man to submit necessity, instead of giving to render them more pleasing a sex to Morales” (Schneir, M. 1992, p.12) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Twentieth century Feminism <ul><li>Twentieth century feminism ends up the first wave of feminism which concerned on inequalities, collective social and political interests, self determination of woman </li></ul><ul><li>In the early years of twentieth century, first wave of feminism achieved suffrage right. In UK (1918), in USA 1920 (Humm, M, 1992, p. 11) </li></ul><ul><li>Women gained their basic rights in some countries </li></ul>
    7. 7. Twentieth century Feminism <ul><li>Second wave of feminism appeared and focused on different issues </li></ul><ul><li>They tended to analyse gender differences </li></ul><ul><li>Twentieth century feminism split into different wings which are reformist and revolutionaries </li></ul><ul><li>Reformist feminists are Liberals </li></ul><ul><li>The revolutionary feminists are Radicals and to some extend, socialists & Marxist </li></ul>
    8. 8. Liberal Feminists <ul><li>It’s a moderate or reformist form of feminist </li></ul><ul><li>Women position in society could be explained in terms of unequal right </li></ul><ul><li>There are artificial barriers on women participations of public life </li></ul><ul><li>They strive to achieve equal social, Political and legal rights </li></ul><ul><li>Public institutions must be constructed with the equal right for both genders </li></ul><ul><li>Equal access for education, health and welfare, with equal job opportunity. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Liberal Feminists <ul><li>Male & female are created equal and should not be denied equality of opportunity because of gender </li></ul><ul><li>“ emphasize upon society rather than revolutionary change” (Beasley, C. 1999, p.52) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t want to questioning what men got. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on individual freedom and women values </li></ul>
    10. 10. Liberal Feminists <ul><li>They are not challenging social institutions, but they ask redistributions of benefits and opportunities (Beasley, C. 1999, p.52) </li></ul><ul><li>Liberal Feminists make efforts to change social institutions through the construction of legislation and regulation. </li></ul><ul><li>Payment for housewives as Zillah Eisentein asked </li></ul>
    11. 11. Zillah Eisentein 1948 <ul><li>“ Capitalism did not supersede patriarchy but extend male power to further option in the family and in employment” (Humm, 1992, p.184). </li></ul><ul><li>Legal reform should be the core of feminist agenda </li></ul><ul><li>State functions outside, doesn’t regulate private life </li></ul>
    12. 12. Zillah Eisentein 1948 <ul><li>Reform in Capitalist System </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual biases of market place </li></ul><ul><li>Women take the responsibility of work, house work and children </li></ul><ul><li>Equal payment, pregnancy and disability payment, abortion right for women </li></ul><ul><li>Equality before the law </li></ul><ul><li>Without reform, capitalism can not keep its promises of equal rights and equal opportunities. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Radical Feminism <ul><li>Radical feminism are revolutionary feminism </li></ul><ul><li>Reject liberal approaches toward men </li></ul><ul><li>It gives a positive insight on womanhood, and reject any association with men. </li></ul><ul><li>Against all social structures because they are created by men </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on woman suppression as woman and its because of their sexes </li></ul><ul><li>Any woman… has more in common with any other woman, regardless of class, race, age…than any woman has with man (Johnson cited in Beasley, 1999, p.54) </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual oppression is a most significant form of women suppression </li></ul><ul><li>Differences between men and women are inevitable </li></ul>
    14. 14. Radical Feminism <ul><li>Men are the main enemy </li></ul><ul><li>“ Men collectively victimized women” (Mary Daly Cited in Humm, M. 1992, p.168) </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalist system is derived from patriarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalist system impose men supremacy over women. </li></ul><ul><li>Require to overthrow the system </li></ul><ul><li>Require revolutionary medal of social change </li></ul><ul><li>State itself is patriarchal, so they refuse its intervention </li></ul>
    15. 15. Radical Feminism <ul><li>Encourage women to stay far away from men </li></ul><ul><li>Reject heterosexual marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Lesbianism is main challenge to men superiority </li></ul><ul><li>Lesbianism is “mutual recognition between women” </li></ul><ul><li>To eliminate men dominance on social orders, women must focuses on women </li></ul><ul><li>Radical Protests against Miss America pageants in 1968-1969 </li></ul><ul><li>the way women look is more important than what they think or do. </li></ul><ul><li>Throw bras, girdles, false eyelashes, high heels, and makeup, into a trash in public </li></ul><ul><li>Carried different slogans about patriarchal oppression of women by men through using women beauty. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Adrian Rich 1929 <ul><li>She was an American lesbian radical feminist </li></ul><ul><li>Developed De Beauvoir Idea on “women are originally homosexual” </li></ul><ul><li>Lesbianism define the historical presence of woman </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lesbian continuum” is the exploration of lesbian history and culture, which every feminist should engage” (Humm, M. 1992, p.175) </li></ul><ul><li>Women desired genital sexual experience with a fellow women </li></ul><ul><li>Lesbianism is a tool to reject compulsory way of life </li></ul><ul><li>Sought heterosexuality as betrayal </li></ul><ul><li>Lesbianism liberating all women </li></ul>
    17. 17. Adrian Rich 1929 <ul><li>Women fragmented, that’s why the resistance history of women is fully understood </li></ul><ul><li>Lesbianism is attack on male dominance </li></ul><ul><li>Its an act of resistance against patriarchy </li></ul><ul><li>“ Heterosexuality is a compulsory institution designed to perpetuate the social power of men across class and race”(Rich cited in Krolokke, 2005, P. 10) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Marxist & Socialist feminism <ul><li>Developed I 1970 </li></ul><ul><li>Marxist Feminism “advocates revolutionary approach in which the overthrow of capitalism is viewed as the necessary precondition to dismantling male privilege” (Beasley, 1999, p.61) </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchal class relation is the source of oppression. </li></ul><ul><li>“ sexual oppression is seen as a dimension of class power” (Beasley, 1999, p.60) </li></ul><ul><li>Social and economic class rise male dominance </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism treat women as prosperity </li></ul><ul><li>Organization of labor and technology forms the economic structures of society </li></ul><ul><li>Inequality is the result of this economic structure not the attitudes or ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Marxist claims power have nothing with sex, but class, wages and property, however socialist feminists combine both </li></ul>
    19. 19. Marxist & Socialist feminism <ul><li>Socialist and Marxist feminists believe that family maintain patriarchal and class inequality. </li></ul><ul><li>It serves capitalist agenda and is obstacle on women struggling for equality </li></ul><ul><li>Marxist sought capitalism and modernity as the main enemy </li></ul><ul><li>Women are Like men oppressed by capitalism, and hence the “interests” of men and women are not crucially different” (Beasley, 1999, p.61). </li></ul>
    20. 20. Sheilla Rowbotham Women Consciousness and Man’s World (1973) <ul><li>She was an American socialist feminist </li></ul><ul><li>Self-consciousness is a pre-condition for women survival </li></ul><ul><li>The first step of women struggling for equal life is to connect trust each other </li></ul><ul><li>Women should break the sound of silence </li></ul><ul><li>“ the revolution must carefully listen to the language of silence, it has particular importance for women because we come from such a long silence” </li></ul><ul><li>Language is a source for male dominance </li></ul><ul><li>Male impose its domination over women during the weakness of women like pregnancy and disability </li></ul>
    21. 21. Conclusion <ul><li>In twentieth century feminism expanded </li></ul><ul><li>The feminists split to reformist and revolutionary wings </li></ul><ul><li>The feminists have different approaches on women issue, each of them advocated their own analytical viewpoint to solve those issue </li></ul><ul><li>Liberal feminists required reform in the social institutions and providing equal right and opportunities with men as a way to eliminate inequalities. </li></ul><ul><li>The revolutionary feminists that includes radicals/lesbians and Marxist/socialists advocated different approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Radicals requires women liberation and reject any relation with men. They recognized lesbianism as a way to fight men dominance. Finally, they demand to overthrow all social and hierarchal institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Marxist and socialists explained women condition within the framework of social class and private properity. Marxist advocates a revolutionary struggle to overthrow capitalist institution. Besides, socialists blame private institutions like nuclear family for maintaining class and inequalities. </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Nabaz Shwany </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>