Ever wondered what feminism is all about? Why is there a growing need for feminism in modern-day society? With growing technology and development comes the great responsibility of treating all genders equally and with mutual respect. Some of the greatest personalities in the world have spoken about feminism. In this blog, we shall discuss feminism and the different types of feminism. If you wish to know more about the types of feminism, this blog shall be of great help.
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What is Feminism?
Before we discuss the types of feminism in length, let’s discuss what feminism is about and what exactly brought this movement into place. The term “Feminism” originates from the Latin word “Femina” meaning “woman”, thereby referring to the advocacy of women’s rights seeking to remove restrictions that discriminate against women. It essentially relates to the belief that women are equal power holders, and therefore it stands against any form of discrimination or subjugation that women face.
Birth of Feminism
There are several types of feminism, but before that, let’s find out what led to this movement’s emergence. Around fifty years ago, a liberation movement for equality and freedom was launched by American women. They achieved a revolution in the western world and created a vision for women and young girls worldwide. Today, for a country to be called ‘democratically developed’, there has to be equal participation of both men and women in the economic and social spheres of the society. However, with the changing trends in society, the new challenges and the new potential allies that didn’t exist back in the 20th century, the need of the hour is to rethink ‘feminism’ in the 21st century. Feminism is multicultural and diasporic. The needs of women who live in different countries are dissimilar, and they are conditioned by several factors governing their lifestyles. In such a diverse context, it would be far from wrong to associate Indian feminism with the western, marked by radical norms. Spaces around us are gendered too. Femininity is associated with enclosed spaces and interiority. Their world outside of the home is devoid of their control and authority.
Today, as we talk about feminism, there is still a large section of society that questions its importance and its need in the 21st Century. Different types of feminism have emerged with time, but we keep forgetting that despite the progress made so far, the road to complete parity still has many unexplored. For a country like ours, feminism is important for women to realize their true potential and break free from society’s existing norms and shackles. Gender bias is highly prevalent in most western societies to date. Women are often shunned for their choice of clothing and career. We need to understand that our society’s change can only come about if our society changes its perception. We must understand the acceptance must come from our society at large. The laws shall be rendered useless if societal acceptance is absent. We may enforce any number of laws, but as long as the people don’t change their outlook, it shall be of no use. It’s high time we recognize that feminism is no more about making women strong. It is more importantly about changing the way the world perceives this strength. One should not perceive feminism as hostility against men because women asking for their rights will certainly not deprive men of theirs.
Types of Feminism
Now let’s move on to discuss the major types of feminism. Over the past few decades, many scholars have tried to categorize feminism into various types. Feminism can be broadly grouped into five types. Let’s discuss each of the type now:
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The roots of liberal feminism can be traced back to the Social Contract Theory. It is the first of the many types of feminism. The purpose of this feminism was to integrate women into the mainstream structure of society. It primarily focused on achieving gender parity by ensuring political and legal equality. The proponents of this category of feminism were Abigail Adams and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Next on our list of types of feminism is radical feminism. As the name suggests, radical feminism is a branch of feminism that emphasizes on radical reordering of society. It calls for a society where no prejudices exist, and male supremacy is eliminated in the socio-economic context. However, it also recognizes that women’s experience might vary depending upon social divisions like race, caste etc.
Moving further in the types of feminism, we have Marxist feminism. It is based on Marx’s view of capitalist society. Marx says the only way to ensure gender parity would be by dismantling the capitalist society. As he believes, women are exploited in the capitalist system as their labour goes uncompensated.
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Next on our list of types of feminism is cultural feminism. Cultural feminism was a consequent product of radical feminism. Cultural feminism is more of a pejorative label. Cultural feminism was an attempt to redefine the values ascribed to the stereotypical “femaleness”. It also attempts to describe the theories that essentially talk about the innate differences between men and women.
Last but not least, we have ecofeminism. This form of feminism is a part of Green politics. It attempts to draw parallels between women and nature through culture, religion and literature and also seeks to establish the connection between the two. The scope of this form of feminism is broad and dynamic and emphasizes the fact that both women and nature must be protected at all costs.
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So, when we talk about feminism, these are the basics we must know always. This was all about the types of feminism that emerged in phases as society progressively developed. For more such informative content, stay connected to Leverage Edu!