Women have always been considered as the ‘weak sex', in opposition to the ‘strong sex' represented by men. Hence, they have always suffered from being oppressed and subordinated to men. Yet in order to be no longer discriminated against a condition which they did not chose, women managed to develop a social movement which aim is to stand up against all the inequalities they faced. Such an initiative was very challenging since society had the false belief that women were by nature less intellectually capable than men. Thus, feminism can be defined as a social movement dedicated to ending subordination of woman. However, it is a broad term which can be regarded and understood in function of different philosophies. ‘Liberal feminism' is one of the first mainstreams. Its initial aim was to liberate women from their limited housewife life. This movement focuses on rational arguments to educate the public and emphasizes the irrationality of discrimination.
[...] Tong, Liberal Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile (translated by Barbara. Foxley) (London: Dent, 1957), p.322. Bryson, Theory, 24-25. Margaret Walters, Feminism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p.32. Tong, Liberal Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (New York: Dell, 1974), p.330. Pateman, Disorder, 197-198. Pateman, Destabilizing Tong Liberal, 198-199. Ibid., 35-36. Toril Moi, Sex, Gender and the Body: the Student Edition of What is a Woman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p.4. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972), p.284. [...]
[...] But when they could be exploited, punished and repressed in a sexual way, they were locked into their exclusively female role. Similarly, we can dismiss the effects of liberal feminism by looking at its understanding of the relationship between women and religion. Liberal feminism was a movement developed by white Christian women, and therefore they did not help, or even try to understand women from other religions. Elizabeth Stanton, a liberal feminist which shifted from being liberal to radical sought to overcome this limitation in the Women's Bible. [...]
[...] Thus Friedan has been severely criticized for being ‘narrowly middle class for a simplistic argument that urges suburban women to plan their lives outside the home, while ignoring the number of less fortuned women, already desperately juggling housework with outside work, usually poorly paid.' Liberal feminist wanted to work, but above all, they wanted to have job equivalent to those of the bourgeois men. How Marxist and socialist feminist complete and dismiss the liberal theory Liberal feminists have fought for more equality. [...]
[...] To conclude, we can say that feminism is a social movement which in based on different thoughts. Thanks to liberal feminists, many Western women have now more rights and more opportunities than before. However, by focusing too much on equality, those traditionalist feminists did not realize that it was possible to oppress people by denying human difference as well as by denying human sameness. There is no one unique kind of women, but a multitude regarding their social backgrounds, races, or cultures. [...]
[...] Liberal feminism as a white and racist movement Another way to dismiss liberal feminism is to consider it as a white movement. Such a critic might sound controversial if we consider that the women's rights movement was at first, closely linked to the abolitionist movement. Thus, white women who took part in the anti-slavery movement with men, thought that they would be rewarded in the end and that they would finally be recognized as men's equals. However, this was a mistake and women had to fight separately for their rights. [...]
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