Feminism Research Paper
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On this certain stage of the development of the contemporary society, such phenomenon as “feminism” can be followed by a very mixed namely ambiguous reaction and attitude towards it. Nevertheless, feminism becomes more meaningful and important with each year thus attracting many people’s attention, playing an important role in the society and consequently somehow influencing the course of the historical events. Taking into consideration that over time the number of women who consciously think over the fact of which social position and political position they occupy, the population that supports diverse acts and events of the feminist movements gradually increases. Turning to the basic definition of feminism, it becomes quite clear which rights exactly the representatives of all these movements defend and struggle for. Thinking of feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities as well as the theory of political, economic and social equality, the vast majority of the population imagine feminists as those who are radically concerned and ardently believe in the gender inequality of the human rights.
Ritzer’s book, in fact, fully reflects the main ideas of feminist theory at the macro and micro levels, which form the worldview of the people and the vision of a problem, also focuses on the main objectives that guide the representatives of various feminist movements thus creating a modern feminist theorists debate, including but not limited to issues of gender equality, gender stereotypes and freedom of women. Turning to the feminism itself, it is possible to claim that its ideas focus on the context of the system of domination relationship with sexual, racial and class oppression of women, which makes it possible to identify the problem.
The emergence of the significant feminist ideas is the result of certain social needs and expectations. Once established, these ideas are implemented in the activities of people - in this case, in one or another variety of women’s movements. This, in turn, gives rise and pushes to a meaningful development of the theory and ideology of feminism.
The appearance of the term feminism was associated with the need to distinguish those people who are for the increasing of the woman’s social role as well as for the right of women to define themselves as independent human beings. However, due to the fact that in the last century, both private and public roles of women have changed and expanded, the definition of feminism also expanded to include political, cultural, economic, sexual, racial and ethnic components. Thus, strong divergence of views on feminism in its various manifestations seems to be noticeable. But still, there is one thing in common namely the desire to change the existing unequal society and create new egalitarian relations. Therefore, a summary of the various most popular ideas of feminism helps to more efficiently use these ideas in practicing women’s movement, contribute to the development of effective strategies.
In order to study the phenomenon of feminism more thoroughly, it is necessary to turn to the roots of the feminist theory and the reasons which determined the existing of the feminist socio-political movements in their diversity. The following classification, in my opinion, accurately reflects the relationship that exists between the two gender groups and requirements / objectives of the representatives of this or that movement that could help to form certain criteria classifiers which delineate the whole phenomenon of feminism. Accordingly, the issues that can be listed are the following and they play a crucial role in understanding each approach, especially feminist theorists’ requirements.
What about women?
What is the status of women is what it is?
What differences exist among women?
Before moving directly to the theories that made me interested, I want to distinguish the theories themselves. The first theory of gender differences is directed specifically to determine the place of women in society, drawing attention to experiences that are dissimilar between the two genders. Some of them, of course, can be combined with other theories, namely women are viewed as objects that are deprived of opportunities for self-realization. From another perspective of view, the experience of women varies not only with the experience of men, but in fact these experiences are considered are unequal according to men. At this stage, patriarchy and gender discrimination in the division of labor can be considered as key points dissatisfaction representatives of feminist movements.
The last two theories are characterized by more radical direction. Accordingly, women on the theory of gender oppression not only differ with men in their rights, but subordinate, and are victims of all kinds of violence by men. So with this theory, the main instrument and variable that makes discontent feminist movements in the relevant requirements of this force as a means of oppression. Proponents of the latter theory, namely the theory of structural oppression claim that the basis of oppression and inequality is patriarchy as a structure of domination. According to this theory, oppression and inequality explained based on a number of variables, including class, gender, race and age. However, it is interesting that the representatives of this feminist theory make an important observation that not all women experience depression at all. White women and black women, for example, face different forms of discrimination in the workplace.
These four theories, in my opinion, lead to a logical transition from one theory to another, ie representatives of the theory of structural oppression both should be considered by the theory of gender inequality and gender oppression theory. The latest theory of structural oppression, I perceive as a snowball which contains a similar requirements for reforms and changes, and despite the fact that the causes of a theory differ, the basic ways of overcoming inequality at different levels of the relationship between gender groups are similar.
The theory of modern feminism is intended not only to achieve political and legal equality of women, but also reassess priorities of Western culture itself. This transformation is due to rethinking views on the nature of society in general and the person in particular. Therefore, especially feminist thinking, if I may call it so conditionally, defined not just the attitude towards the question of a woman’s position in society and changing outlook on social aspects of women.
I also want to note the impact of postmodernism on feminism. I believe that there are many points of intersection between space and expression in postmodern position, which for a certain time were occupied by representatives of feminist theories. So, the "openness" of postmodern feminism, susceptibility to a total rethinking and feminine gender roles, formed the basis of a positive interpretation of women in postmodern feminist discourse. Therefore, I believe that the requirements of the representatives of the feminist movements and feminist theorists eventually turned from the distorted reflection of today’s life into the connected discourse with “conscious” articulation, although I still do not support the requirements for revaluation of the role of women and changes in gender relations some theories because they are not founded. Despite the fact that in the field of gender there are still many unresolved and arguable issues and the development of feminist movements and the development of new feminist theories increases, which increases the likelihood of impact of movements for social and political development of the world's countries and under different societies.
Harding, S. (2004). The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader. New York and London: Routledge.
Hartsock, N. (2004). The Feminist Standpoint: Developing the Ground for a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism. Harding.
Smith, D. (2004). Women’s Perspective as a Radical Critique of Sociology. Harding
Allen, A. (1999). The Power of Feminist Theory: Domination, Resistance, Solidarity. Westview Press
Marshall, B., Witz, A. (2004). Engendering the Social: Feminist Encounters with Sociological Theory. Open University Press.
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