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“Discussion about the limitations of liberal feminism with particular reference to the construction of gender and across class, race, ethnicity and religious belief

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Liberal feminism: History, characteristics and definition.
  3. What are the limitations and criticisms of liberal feminism?
  4. The feminist theories which try to go beyond the liberal one.
  5. Does multicultural and global feminism have the potential to represent all women?
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

Feminist ideas and feminist politics have emerged because of the fact that in nearly all societies which divide the sexes into differing cultural, economic or political spheres, women are less valued than men (Robert Shoemaker and Mary Vincent 1998, 36-8). The current study will focus not on the historical aspect of feminism but the theoretical one, by discussing Tong's claim that: `One way to react to the limitations of liberal feminism is to dismiss it as a bourgeois white movement. Discuss the limitations of liberal feminism with particular reference to the construction of gender and across class, race, ethnicity and religious belief ' (1989, 37). Of course, it is not possible to discuss all feminist thinkers, movements and organizations, which is why I have decided to concentrate only on particular ones: Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Taylor, John Stuart Mill, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Elizabeth Holtzman, Eleanor Smeal, Alison Jagger, Jane Roland Martin, Zillah Eisenstein and Jean Bethke Elshtain.
1. Introduction, where the issues are defined
2. Main discussion, subdivided thus:
(i) the concept, characteristics and history of liberal feminism (ii) the limitations and criticisms of liberal feminism (iii) forms of feminism other than liberal feminism (which has been attacked for concerning itself too exclusively with white and bourgeois women); these include Marxist, socialist and radical feminism, black feminism, and lesbian feminism. 3. Conclusion, in which I examine the construction of gender in terms of class, race, ethnicity and religious belief.

[...] ?Feminism, Marxism, method and the state: an agenda for theory' in Humm, Magie Feminisms: A reader. London: Harvester, Wheatesheaf, pp.116-120 - Moraga, Cherrie and Anzaldúa, Gloria This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women. Watertown: Persephone Press - Rich, Adrienne. ?Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence' in Humm, Magie Feminisms: A reader. London: Harvester, Wheatesheaf, pp.176-179 - Spargue, Joey Feminist methodologies for critical researches: Bridgin differences. Oxford: Altamir press - Scott, Joan. ?Gender: a useful category of historical analysis' in Shoemaker, Robert and Vincent, Mary [...]


[...] The unhappy marriage of Marxism and Feminism': Towards a more progressive Union' in Humm, Magie Feminisms: A reader. London: Harvester, Wheatesheaf, pp.99-110 - Haslanger, Sally. ?Gender and social construction: Who? What? When? Where? How?' in Hackett, Elizabeth and Haslanger Sally Theorizing feminism: a reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.16- 22 - Hobson, Barbara et all Contested concepts in gender and social politics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar - Ignasse, Gerard and Welzer-Lang, Daniel Genres et sexualités. Paris: L'Harmattan - Jackson, Stevi and Jones, Jackie. [...]


[...] III) What are the feminist theories which try to go beyond the liberal one by recognizing different categories of gender in terms of class, race, ethnicity and religious belief? The perceived preoccupation of liberal feminism with the experience and perspectives of white, bourgeois women has encouraged the development of other feminisms, among which are the following Marxist and socialist feminism Contents of the theory: It is very hard to distinguish these two movements within feminism, and they are generally bracketed together because of this. [...]

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