Feminism is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as the belief that women should have the same economic, social, and political rights as men . However, there is not a single definition for feminism. This notion is rather complex and controversial, and it cannot be fully comprehended in a few lines. This essay will deal with feminism and in the United States and in France. These countries are two of the most important in the history of feminism. However, they have rather different approaches of feminism. There is not just a single type of feminism but a number of different types of feminism, as implied by the titles of many books about feminism(s) such as New French Feminisms: an Anthology, edited by Elaine Marks in 1981. Feminism comprises of a range of social, political and cultural theories, movements, and moral philosophies in relation with gender inequalities and with equal rights for women.
[...] During the 1980's, feminists experienced disillusionment and increasing pessimism, concerning the right to abort for instance. Third-wave feminism In 1991 at the Supreme Court, Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Thomas denied the accusations and, after long debates, the Senate finally voted 52-48 in favor of Thomas. In response to this, Rebecca Walker stated in an article published in Ms. and entitled 'Becoming the Third Wave': am not a post-feminism feminist. I am the third- wave." The third-wave of feminism thus started in the early 1990's. [...]
[...] II Recent history of feminism in the United States: an overview According to some specialists, the recent history of feminism in the United States can be divided into three waves. The first wave refers to the movement of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. The second wave occurred in the 1960's and in the 1970's. The third wave extends from the 1990's to these days. First-wave feminism In 1840, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, two young American women, decided to go to the World's Anti-Slavery convention in London. [...]
[...] If first-wave feminism concentrated on absolute rights such as the right to vote, second-wave feminism was mainly concerned with issues of equality end to discrimination for example. Betty Friedan, with the publication of The Feminine Mystique in 1963 and the creation of the National Organization for Women in 1966, was one of the main feminist of the second-wave. Second-wave feminism led to many successes. The decades of the 1960's and the 1970's were characterized by enormous change concerning choices and behavior opened to women in the society. [...]
[...] III- Recent history of feminism in France: an overview Le Deuxième Sexe, published by Simone de Beauvoir in France in 1948, is a central reference of modern French feminism in particular and of contemporary feminism in general. This treatise is a detailed analysis of women's oppression. It introduces a feminist existentialism which dictates a moral revolution, as attested by the famous sentence "on ne naît pas femme, on le devient". Her analysis focuses on the concept of The Other. Simone de Beauvoir identifies the social construction of woman as fundamental to women's oppression. [...]
[...] IV Differences between feminism in the United States and in France French feminism is different from American feminism. Indeed, feminism in France is distinguished from Anglophone feminism and especially American feminism by an approach which is more philosophical and more literary. Its writings are often considered as being more metaphorical and effusive, rather than pragmatic. French feminism is less concerned with immediate political doctrine, pragmatism or materialism than feminism in the United States. Besides, French feminism generally focuses on theories related to the body. [...]
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