Women Gender Studies: Feminist Movement 1
Women Gender Studies: Feminist Movement
The early stages of the feminist movements were pushed by agendasaligned to either political, social or economic lines depending onvarying classes of women. Various vibrant women movements came up inthe late 60 into the 80s. Many of the movements were culturallyinfluenced by politics and women’s liberation fighting for equalityand a transformation of how women were portrayed by the society.These movements opened up opportunities for women in blue collar jobspreviously reserved for men and introduced an urgent need forequality in politics, religion and even sports. The feministmovements were determined to change the way we think and talk. Theyframed their agendas around inequality, oppression and politicsopening public discussions advocating that their options should be asvalued as those of men (Hobbs & Rice, 2013). However, many issueschallenged these movements as they evolved starting from the issue ofhow women from varying social, cultural and racial backgroundsdescribed feminism. The main focus in critiquing the feministmovements was that they did not encompass the whole idea of feminismin their debates and agenda.
Feminist movements in their initialization were primarily based ongender equality. This meant that the major push was on equal work andequal pay an indication that the movement was a war against maledominance. Many of the women in these movements were well offsocially and economically. This idea was patriarchal and it shapedthe meaning of feminism in many people’s minds. This led toevolution of varying feminists movements each with its own push (Mann& Patterson, 2016). For instance, the economically well-off whitewomen who fought for equal work and pay with men while the AfricanAmerican women initialized with a push for liberation, racism andcivil rights. However, the idea left out a major part of the truemeaning of feminism. Then one might have to ask themselves, what thereal meaning of feminism is. According to Bell Hooks in his article‘Where We Stand’, Feminism is a movement aimed at ending sexism,oppression and sexist exploitation. This description underpins sexismas the main focus in feminism under wish all other issues areenvisaged.
Progress is made through educating masses and this brought about manybenefits in the evolution of the feminist movement. The true meaningbehind feminist theories was left for the only highly literate of thesociety. Women never rejected the message the problem was that themessage did not get to them (Hobbs & Rice, 2013). However, withtime and education women began to understand that their war was notagainst their male counterparts but even themselves. Feminism startsfrom an individual understanding what she is and what she canachieve. This means that a woman does not have to be constrained byher cultural or social position. Understanding the main issue behindfeminism can lead to a major change in attitude and totally rewritethe course of the feminist movements. The main progress from a focusof certain groups to incorporating all oppressions begins with aproper definition of feminism.
Once we understand that feminism is applicable to all womenregardless of their political social or economic background then westart to fight along the correct path. The feminist movement shouldbe about eradicating sexism and not fight for a faction of a certainsocial or political class. As president Obama indicated in a recentpaper feminism is a war whose aim is to simply be yourself (Obama,2016). Feminism is a movement against outmoded and rigid societalnotions regardless of who one is. Feminism advocates for freedom fromoppression of any kind and the breaking of limitations.
Obama, B. (2016). Glamour Exclusive: President Barack ObamaSays, "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like". Retrieved from:http://www.glamour.com/story/glamour-exclusive-president-barack-obama-says-this-is-what-a-feminist-looks-like
In Hobbs, M., & In Rice, C. (2013). Gender and women`s studiesin Canada: Critical terrain. Toronto: Women`s Press.
Mann, S. A., & Patterson, A. S. (2016). Reading feministtheory: From modernity to postmodernity. New York: OxfordUniversity Press.