Feminist Theory Research Paper

Feminist theory studies feminism in a wide variety of disciplines, including the sociology, anthropology, economics, psychoanalysis, gender, philosophy, and literary criticism. It also analyzes gender inequality and the rights, interests, and concerns of women. Feminism explores such topics as the history of art, and aesthetics, contemporary art, stereotyping, discrimination, oppression, objectification (especially sexual objectification), and patriarchy.

There is traditional feminism and its numerous modern varieties.

The most famous of these was radical feminism (so-called “the feminism of the second wave”), the history of which dates back to the 1960s. Radical feminism is sometimes compared with the Marxist feminism, which is based on the work by Friedrich Engels “The origins of women’s oppression,” which is a part of his larger work “The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State.” Their similarity is that both view the world as a confrontation between two classes: men and women, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, respectively. Radical feminism considers patriarchy a form of oppression of women by men.

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By the beginning of the XXI century, “the feminism of second wave” had lost its former popularity.

His supporters gradually come to the conclusion that the patriarchal attitudes lead to the oppression not only of women but also of men who were forced to conform to the roles imposed on them by patriarchal society, and a forced compliance harms the development of an individual as a person, regardless of his (her) sex.

Feminism as a social theory and political movement was influenced by life situations, typical for women. Proponents of feminism criticized the societal relations, focusing on the gender inequality and protection of the rights and interests of women.

Feminist theory aims to understand the nature of gender inequality and focuses on issues of politics, power, and sexuality. Feminist political activity is focused on such issues as the rights of reproduction, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and sexual violence. The basis of feminist ideology is the rights, privileges and status in society should not be determined by gender.

The modern theory of feminism is constantly criticized as a theory, which is predominantly (but not universally) associated with intellectuals and the middle class in the West.

Nevertheless, the feminist movement has no class and racial restrictions. It is specific to each culture, as focuses on the problems of women in the society, for example, the procedure of female circumcision in the Sudan or the so-called “Glass ceiling” in North America. Some problems and issues – such as rape, incest, and motherhood – are universal for all countries and cultures.

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