What is Feminism?
Feminism according to Luglio, 1970 is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal, political, economic and social rights of women. In addition, feminism seeks to establish opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminism according to different authors stand as a domain to achieve a stand against patriarchy and domination by the male figure in certain aspects of life. Feminism looks at providing an equilibrium and equality between the genders whatever way they appear either as a woman, lesbian or Tran-sexual, it aims at bringing equal rights to equal positions between both sexes and to avoid discrimination. There are five types of feminism which will be discussed in this write-up;
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- Radical feminism
- Marxist/socialist feminism
- Cultural feminism
- Liberal feminism
- Eco feminism
Radical feminism can be suggested to be the oldest form of feminism which sprung out of civil rights and peace movements in 1967. Radical feminists are strictly against the formats of a traditional family where the man has to go out to work while the woman stays home and care for the children. They argue against traditional family as a means of domination by the men socially to want them to be the home care takers. They argue for the complete elimination of gender-based roles and roles to be performed in a traditional family by a man and a woman. They suggest the building of technology to nurture their babies while they continue to work rather than being forced to take a break due to maternity leave. They suggest male dominant behavior as a major means of oppression and nothing else.
Marxist /Socialist feminism
Socialist feminism or Marxist feminism links feminism to the doctrine of Marxist which calls for inequality in economy, exploitation, and oppression. It is spearheaded by Allison Jaggar. It calls for the complete elimination of the system of gender and equality in terms of work done and paid. Just as Marxism denotes the inexplicability of capitalism, it’s false messages and down turns, so also does feminism likens this to the world relation between men and women and how men control the economy and choose to favor other men before even considering the women in the same economy. It roots for the revolution to overthrow the Economic system of the “Man’s” world and seek equality in gender just as Marxism seeks to overthrow the capitalist world to achieve socialism which is based on equality.
Cultural feminism options for the fact that modern society is hurt by patriarchy and feminism is opposed to it. It is propounded or fostered by Carol Gilligan. It suggest the differences between male and female behavior and suggest that the female nature is more kind and subtle and if women led world politics, there will be less or no wars and violence but the behavior which the modern society praises is being fostered by competition, aggression and domination which leads to violence and in vast events, wars. Cultural feminism suggest that it is unfortunate that modern society praises and supports male behavior rather than that of the female.
Liberal feminism was fostered by Betty Friedan. It was popular during the 50’s and 60’s due to the civil rights movements that was popular at that time. It takes its theme from the social contract theory and suggest that God created all humans equal and no one should be subjected to be less than the other because of their sex therefore women should also be given equal rights in all aspects of life as they should not be told what to do and how to behave by men. It connotes patriarchy as a means of oppression with its solution being to concentrate on the legislature aspect and fight for reforms against all sorts of patriarchal ideologies.
Eco-feminism has its proponent, Vandana Shiva. Its main thrust is the likening of women to nature hence the saying Mother-nature or Mother-earth. It suggests that patriarchy seek to harm both women and the earth as a whole and there should be an insight by all women to see that they are one with the earth and they provide the harmony required for survival of all humans and the earth at large. The use of the term “Eco” depicts the eco-system, the earth in which we live in and Eco-feminism projects that through the main feature of mother-hood which is perceived to be so natural and life bringing just as the earth brings life to its habitants so then there is need for the upliftment of women in all areas of life as they not just bring a new color of sustenance but also create harmony between the earth and humans.