Defining feminism


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  • “ The other F-word”
  • A definition of feminism is really broad. You have to look at the socio-religious-historical climate for the particular group you are looking at in order to do so. Feminists in 1850 would define themselves differently than a feminist today.
  • The cartoon suggests that god (a women here) made women but the knitting of her implies a gender. Knitting associated with women might be ascribing a gender role to women from creation. What might those role be? Does that role go beyond childbirth?
  • Suffragette may need defining. The cartoon suggests that if women vote, work, protest for the right to vote the homes will be neglected – see the mess and motherless kids and man thinking “what do I do, surely I can’t be expected to do some work around the house?”
  • Women could only vote in local elections and local elections cannot legislate on issue important to women. The “match girls strike” was a strike at factories that made matches with sulphur . All the workers were women and the fumes destroyed their bodies. They struck (get it) to improve working conditions. It showed that women could enact change if they worked together. But they had to work at it because no one was going to give it to them.
  • Suffragists and Suffragettes sound similar but have totally different approaches to reach their goal.
  • The paper suggests that women were as capable of doing anything men could do such a go to the North Pole like Peary. She is wearing a fur coat for warmth. Nothing else is implied there it is just what people wore in severe cold back then. The suffragists are peaceful protesters.
  • The Suffragettes are much more aggressive. They can be violent protesters. See how they are treating the police officer.
  • The calm one is the suffragist, the angry one is the suffragette. The suffragist titled The Sensible Woman is saying “YOU help our cause? You’re its worst enemy!” The suffragette is called The Shrieking Sister.
  • Defining feminism

    1. 1. Feminism <ul><li>The Other F-word </li></ul>
    2. 2. Definition of Feminism <ul><li>Broadly feminism refers to the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes when spelt with a capital ‘F” feminism refers to an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women. </li></ul><ul><li>However we need to look at the context of feminist movements to gain a more precise definition of the term. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Context <ul><li>Feminism describes not only a philosophy but a cultural, societal and political movement. </li></ul><ul><li>In its narrow political sense, feminism is the struggle to achieve institutional and economic equality between men and women. </li></ul><ul><li>But understanding that equality is influenced by both the cultural and the sociological context. </li></ul><ul><li>Perkins. A., Politics . ABC Books. </li></ul>
    4. 4. The position of women <ul><li>Modern scholars argue that the position of women has been questioned ever since political theory was taken away from the patriarchal Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Others would argue that the position of women has been questioned for much longer </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT DOES THIS CARTOON SUGGEST ABOUT THE ISSUE? </li></ul>Patriarchal refers to an organisation in which males are in charge. In this case it refers to the male dominated church.
    5. 5. Some background... <ul><li>In 1850 women were thought of as second class citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>People believed women were inferior to men – physically and mentally. </li></ul><ul><li>Women were paid less than men, and tended to do less skilled work. They were excluded from many professions and it was thought that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’. Those professions in which they were welcome were those that reflected home duties such as primary education and nursing </li></ul><ul><li>Women were not allowed to vote in general elections. Reasons for this included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women would lose their femininity in politics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women weren’t well educated enough to vote. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If women became involved in politics the home would suffer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women were too emotional to handle the responsibility of the vote. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WHAT DOES THIS CARTOON SUGGEST ABOUT THE ISSUE? Are there any terms that need defining? </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Progress was made from 1850 onwards as women gained educational, civil and some political equality <ul><li>Politically </li></ul><ul><li>1869 – Municipal Franchise Act gave single women the right to vote in local elections. </li></ul><ul><li>1870-1894 – women are allowed to be elected to school boards, poor law guardianship, parish and district councils. </li></ul><ul><li>1870 - Married Women’s Property Acts meant husbands no longer owned their property. Women were able to sue for desertion without going to the workhouse. </li></ul><ul><li>Education and Work </li></ul><ul><li>1870 Education Act ( 1872 Scotland) assured girls the same basic education as boys. </li></ul><ul><li>1876 Medical schools opened their doors to women and in 1878 London university opened all its degrees to women. </li></ul><ul><li>Better education gave women more employment opportunities in civil service, post office and private business. </li></ul><ul><li>1860 Nightingale School of Nursing helped make nursing a proper profession. </li></ul><ul><li>1888 Match Girls Strike – women won better working conditions. </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Vote? Surely women would get the vote in all elections soon? NO. With a vastly improved education and some relaxation on access to work came the realisation that it was the right to vote, or suffrage, in all elections which was the key to universal equality. It was also this right that institutions and governments were least willing to give up. A struggle would result in which women would die. Universal Suffrage is another term for this right in all elections Those who would take part in the struggle would be known as either Suffragists or Suffragettes
    8. 8. BUT FIRST!!! Are you a Suffragist or a Suffragette? Complete this questionnaire and find out
    9. 9. Read these descriptions of the main suffrage groups of the period. Look back to the questionnaire and work out which options match this group. <ul><li>Suffragists - National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. </li></ul><ul><li>Established 1897 by Millicent Fawcett. </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Peaceful protest. </li></ul><ul><li>Petitions to parliament </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. 1910 presented petition with 250,000 signatures in favour of female suffrage. </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda: </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper ‘The Suffragist’. Leaflets etc. In 1913 spend £45,000 on publicity. </li></ul>WHAT ARE SUFFRAGISTS SAYING ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THEIR TACTICS ON THE FRONT PAGE ON THIS EDITION OF THEIR NEWSPAPER? Hint: the first person (Robert Peary) to reach the North Pole did so on 6/4/1909.
    10. 10. <ul><li>The Suffragettes – Women’s Social and Political Union – 1903 </li></ul><ul><li>Founded by Emmeline Pankhurst </li></ul><ul><li>Motto ‘deeds not words’. </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Believed in using militancy to gain the vote. </li></ul><ul><li>Gained publicity through propaganda, leaflets, newspapers, marches and demonstrations. </li></ul><ul><li>Series of 6 meetings in 1908 attracted more than 25,000 women to attend. </li></ul><ul><li>1908 Demonstration Hyde Park – £1,000 spent on publicity. </li></ul>BEFORE LOOKING AT THE DESCRIPTION WHAT IS THIS CARTOON SAYING ABOUT SUFFRAGETTES THEIR TACTICS? SO!!! Which are you? Suffragist or Suffragette?
    11. 11. TROUBLE IN THE RANKS <ul><li>There was tension between the two groups. Both saw the other as ineffective. See how this cartoon of the time reflects the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you identify the two suffrage groups? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the government doing? </li></ul><ul><li>In short... Nothing. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1905 when the issue was at crisis point it was finally put on the agenda in Parliament. </li></ul><ul><li>On the day of the debate Parliament spent hours discussing the issue of car tail lights. It was a ploy designed so they wouldn’t have time discuss the next issue on the agenda – votes for women. </li></ul>