Essay about Feminist Theory

1350 Words Jul 14th, 2011 6 Pages
Feminist Theory

Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical discourse, it aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examines women's social roles and lived experience, and feminist politics in a variety of fields, such as anthropology and sociology, communication, psychoanalysis, economics, literary criticism, education, and philosophy. While generally providing a critique of social relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on analyzing gender inequality and the promotion of women's rights, interests, and issues. Themes explored in feminism include art history and contemporary art, aesthetics, discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification),
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(Intellectual Takeout, 2011).” According to liberal feminism, equality of women is asserted through political and legal reforms. For liberal feminists, the subordination of women is primarily due to women not having equal access to the political system or any direct influence on legislation and policy. Issues such as voting, reproductive rights, equal access to education, family-friendly work policies, and affordable healthcare are emphasized by liberal feminists. Socialist feminists looks at women’s subordination as a function of an oppressive capitalist economy. Socialist feminists view men as the primary players in the economic system, borrowing from Marxist theory the idea that there is gender oppression in addition to class oppression. In order to achieve full liberation, then, the economic system as a whole needs to be restructured so that it is more equitable for women. Issues such as women’s work rights and property ownership would be important to socialist feminists. Radical feminism holds the idea that patriarchy is the primary system of power which oppresses women. Equality can only be actualized if the system of patriarchy is abolished and women are able to hold equal power. Radical feminists view male supremacy as barring women from social institutions according to

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