Feminist Theory Essay

1249 Words Nov 30th, 2012 5 Pages
Feminism refers to political, cultural, and economic movements aimed at establishing greater rights, legal protection for women, and or women's liberation. It includes some of the sociological theories and philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference. Nancy Cott defines feminism as the belief in the importance of gender equality, invalidating the idea of gender hierarchy as a socially constructed concept.

Feminism has earned itself a bad reputation, but it never undermined gender differences that exist between males and females. A man can never be as good a mother as a female can. Similarly, a woman can never be as good a father as a male can. While accepting these anatomical and physiological differences between the two
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Today, feminist theory has manifested in a variety of disciplines such as feminist geography, feminist history, feminist theology, and feminist literary criticism and has changed traditional perspectives on a wide range of areas in human life, from culture to law.

Feminist activists have campaigned for women's legal rights such as rights of contract, property rights, and voting rights while also promoting women's rights to bodily integrity and autonomy, abortion rights, and reproductive rights. They have struggled to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. On economic matters, feminists have advocated for workplace rights, including maternity leave and equal pay, and against other forms of gender-specific discrimination against women.

During much of its history, feminist movements and theories were led predominantly by middle-class white women from Western Europe and North America. However, at least since Sojourner Truth's 1851 speech to American feminists, women of other races have proposed alternative feminisms. This trend accelerated in the 1960s with the civil rights movement in the United States and the collapse of European colonialism in Africa, the Caribbean, parts of Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Since that time, women in former European colonies and the Third World have proposed

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