The term “feminism” comes from the Latin word “femina,” which means “woman,” and refers to the promotion of women’s rights that seeks to abolish laws that discriminate against women. It essentially refers to the concept that women have equal authority, and hence it opposes any form of discrimination or subjection that women encounter.
It’s basically a socio – cultural movement that seeks to examine and change the economic, civic, and ideological inequities that exist between men, women, and individuals who identify as non-binary. The feminist movement also aims to change the way culture views sex and gender in general.
There is no specific definition of feminism because it is continually growing to accommodate the unique realities of individuals in many societies. There are also other schools of feminist philosophy that focus on various ideas, identities, and experiences. Feminism, on the other hand, has historically focused on women gaining the same fully equal rights and freedoms as men under a patriarchal society and capitalist system.
In this Article
Birth of Feminism
American women initiated a liberation movement for equality and freedom over fifty years ago. They brought about a revolution in the Western world and established a vision for women and young girls all across the world. Today, in order for a country to be labelled “democratically developed,” both men and women must participate equally in the economic and social realms of society. However, with changing societal patterns, new difficulties, and new potential allies that did not exist in the twentieth century, the need of the hour is to rethink ‘feminist’ in the twenty-first century.
Feminism in 21st century
Different varieties of feminism have arisen over time, but we must not lose sight of the fact that, despite the progress accomplished thus far, the route to perfect parity remains mostly undiscovered. Feminism is critical in a country like ours for women to fulfil their actual potential and break free from society’s existing norms and restraints. Gender bias is still pervasive in the majority of Western societies today. Women are frequently ostracised because of their clothes and occupation. We must comprehend that our society’s change can only occur if our society’s perception changes. We must recognise that acceptance must come from our culture as a whole. If societal approval is lacking, the laws will be rendered ineffective. It is more vital to change how the rest of the world views this power. Feminism should not be interpreted as anti-male because women demanding their rights will not deprive men of theirs.
Types of Feminism
The Social Contract Theory can be traced back to the origins of liberal feminism. It is the earliest of several kinds of feminism. The goal of this feminism was to integrate women into society’s mainstream structure. Its primary goal was to achieve gender equality by securing political and legal equality. Abigail Adams and Mary Wollstonecraft were proponents of this type of feminism.
As the name implies, radical feminism is a subset of feminism that focuses on the radical reorganisation of society. It advocates for a society free of prejudices and the abolition of masculine supremacy in the socioeconomic context. It also acknowledges that women’s experiences may differ depending on societal divisions such as race, caste, and so on.
It is based on Marx’s interpretation of capitalist society. According to Marx, the only way to achieve gender equality is to demolish capitalist society. Women, he says, are exploited in the capitalist system since their labour goes unpaid.
Cultural feminism arose as a result of radical feminism. Cultural feminism is a derogatory term. Cultural feminism was an attempt to rethink the values associated with traditional “femininity.” It also makes an attempt to describe beliefs that fundamentally discuss the innate distinctions between men and women.
This type of feminism is associated with Green politics. It strives to develop a connection between women and nature by drawing analogies between the two through culture, religion, and literature. The breadth of this type of feminism is broad and dynamic, emphasising the importance of protecting both women and nature at all costs.
Racism and gender inequality, according to black feminism, are two sides of the same coin. According to Black Feminists, sometimes known as ‘Womanists,’ the liberation and freedom from oppression of black women will ensure equality for all. Black feminism believes that if the emancipation of black women is successful, it will result in the liberation of all women, the abolition of racial discrimination, and the abolition of economic discrimination.
Separatist feminism opposes the concept of heterosexual relationships, claiming that it is impossible to reconcile a man and a woman’s sexual differences. Separatist feminists think that no man can positively contribute to the feminist movement and that it is therefore best to avoid interactions with men, as even the most radical of men exhibit signs of patriarchy in some way.
I-feminism is a newer branch of feminism that emphasises women’s individuality as well as their individual choices. Individual choices account for freedom, peace, and harmony in society, and I-feminists support all personal choices, from heterosexual relationships to homosexual relationships to pornography. I-feminism activists believe that every woman is accountable for her own life, status, and choices. They do not expect the government to specifically assist them in meeting these goals; instead, they believe that each woman can meet her own goals and take personal responsibility for them.