Advocating for women's rights in a patriarchal society is the basis of what feminism is about. I myself as a man couldn't possibly say from an emotional perspective what that fight is about as I am not a woman.
However, from a theological and historical perspective, I can go over how feminist movements have changed society as well as the different ideas that have come about since the early modern feminist movements to gain voting rights for women and education, and so on.
It is possible that many of you who would like to know more about feminism, aren't really sure of the history of feminism and how we have gotten to this point, after all, while there are feminist movements, we can't deny that women have many of the same rights that men do in society.
While this is true there are many areas of society that women do not share equal footing with men, and in some feminist ideologies, women can be seen as more oppressed by certain elements of society, and in other ideologies, women may be seen as oppressed in different ways in society.
Many philosophies, cultures, races, and ideas about politics and economics have shaped feminism not only in the United States but across the globe. One method of feminism in one country such as Pakistan for example could be extremely different than in the United States or Canada.
The study of feminism due to all of these factors makes feminism that much more interesting to study as it is not only about studying women and feminism but also philosophies, cultures, and different ideologies.
Through these different ideas, different forms of feminism have been created some more "extreme" than others the goal of feminism is the same and feminists have the same mindset deep down, which is to provide equality for women everywhere.
Historical Feminists and How Feminism Got to This Point
Feminism has been around since ancient and medieval times if you want to be really technical and accurate. Even in ancient times in Ancient Rome, there is historical evidence of a rally that was done by women. Of course, women at that time and for many centuries after were not allowed many rights.
When the age of enlightenment arrived, women did start to produce more philosophical and literary works, and many of these were used as the very early influences of what would become the feminist movement that we can see around the world today.
There had been moments of feminism and protest but a large feminist movement never actually took shape.
Mary Wallstonecraft was a feminist writer in the 18th century for example that after the rise of abolitionism, used these ideas to add to a growing idea that women deserve more rights and a better place in domestic and public life.
Of course, Mary Wallstonecraft wasn't the only writer or philosopher that appeared after the age of enlightenment swept across Europe and America, even a newspaper appeared in France called "La Voix des Femmes", The Voice of Women in English.
After that, the Women's Suffrage Movement really started, above all in the United States around the middle of the 19th century. This became the basis for what we see today. Advocating for women to be able to vote was the first real feminist movement we have seen in western society.
Thanks to this movement the 19th amendment to the constitution was created, and women throughout the United States and Europe began to feel that they could begin to make real changes to how they are treated by society as well as have equality with men.
The Women's Suffrage movement also produced some of the best philosophers and advocates in U.S. history such as:
- Susan B. Anthony
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton
- Lucretia Mott
These were several of the leaders of the movement during the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. This movement really began to pave the way for the feminist movement that would take place decades later and of course still take place today.
So how has feminism grown, changed, expanded, and adapted since the women's suffrage movement started nearly two centuries ago?
What Are the Different Types of Feminism?
The Women's Suffrage Movement was a huge success and later would become a huge influence to feminists and began to motivate women decades later to start feminist movements that had different ideologies and motivations to create societies where women were equal and not oppressed by a patriarchal society.
So how did feminism break into different types of feminist ideologies?
After the Women's Suffrage Movement World War I and II happened. Women were part of the huge war effort all over the world, even in the United States.
After this feminism entered into a bit of a dark period in the 1950s, while the world war eras were obviously a couple of the worst in human history, after world war II the nuclear family became really typical, women were expected to be in the kitchen or at least it was a common idea.
In the United States, the African-American community was still being treated as inferior and being segregated in everyday life.
Throughout Western Europe, the post war era also created anti-fascist sentiments in France, England, The Netherlands.
All of this created a ticking time bomb that exploded in the late 1960s and created many different movements for civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, and of course something that is part of all feminist movements aside from equality is anti-gender violence and human trafficking.
So let's have a look at what different types of feminism had been created and how these movements are still going to this day.
In the late 1960's protesting imperialism, rock music, drug use, and marching for civil rights was the popular thing to do in society. For many, it is seen as something really undesirable as it totally went against what had been popular the previous decade, which was the nuclear family, women at home, etc.
It can be considered radical by some because of how it views the oppression of women as the most core form of oppression. The idea of radical feminism is that it isn't only about one thing but that it crosses other boundaries apart from gender, the oppression of women can also cross into race, culture, and economic standing.
Radical Feminism is also seen as the base from where other types of feminism were created.
Marxist/ Socialist Feminism
This type of feminism could be found everywhere, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Western Europe had recently suffered had the hands of fascist dictators and the U.S.A was fighting the controversial Vietnam war.
The ideology of this type of feminism is that it recognizes how women are oppressed and that it is the fault of the capitalist system.
Therefore Marxist feminists see the way to liberate women so that they can have rights is to overthrow that capitalist system.
While the first two types of feminism are all about tearing down, this is much more about building up. Cultural feminism takes the ideas of radical feminism where it wants to transform society.
The main difference is that radical feminism wants to tear down an unjust society, cultural feminism works on transforming society to help women. For example, cultural feminism looks to make sure women are protected and cared about and many different benefits have come from this, rape crisis centers and abortion centers.
This feminist ideology focuses on the idea that our planet is suffering due to the patriarchal society that we live in. According to Eco-feminists our patriarchal society that has created the capitalist system and overconsumption is what is the root cause of destroying the planet.
Changing or getting rid of this system is the way to help the planet.
Before the civil rights movement in the 1960's the United States treated black people as second-class citizens. Women in this society were of course even worse off.
Black feminism goes hand in hand with the idea of promoting African-American culture, fighting for equality between races, and of course equality between genders.
Nowadays this movement can sometimes make it seem that we are back in the 1960s.
How to Study the Different Types of Feminism
Where and how to study feminism is very easy. If you are going to enter college in the near future you can make Women's Studies a major or minor, a lot of this deals with the study of famous female activists as well as the history of feminism.
Studying with a private tutor is also a good way to learn about feminism, whether on your own or for extra help.
Using the platform Superprof you will be able to find a tutor that specializes in teaching feminism, so you can receive plenty of extra help whether through in-person classes or online.
The platform that connects tutors and students