Feminism Essay

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PO4022 Modern European Political Thought

Feminism is a term which one must use with caution as it can cause much debate when taken out of the right context. However as we move into an ever more globalised world feminism is fast becoming an accepted term within social and political discourse although this may not be seen by everyone within society. (Kerr et al, 2004, p. x) Feminism challenges and critiques the bias towards men within society, feminism stands for equality in terms of gender within society. In order to study feminism we need to take into account the theoretical background to feminism by studying past perspectives on feminism. (Kerr et al, 2004, p.4) In this essay I will discuss two different political thoughts on feminism, radical feminism and postmodern feminism and how both these perspectives can be compared and contrasted. I aim to discuss how successful each has been in relation to furthering women’s interests within society. Radical feminism gained momentum in the late sixties to the early seventies. However radical feminism has since been seen to disappear from society. Radical feminist try to highlight that within a society dominated by men that changing the oppression felt by women is a ‘political necessity’ which must involve putting women first. (Beasley, 1989, p. 54) Radical feminist are said to have first coined the term “sexism”, they saw that women were being oppressed by a society which was dominated by men. This led to a shared oppression felt by women as they felt oppressed within society due to their sex. Radical feminism is in its nature a radical movement and which is to be expected, they find that a revolutionary style approach to removing sexual oppression from society is a good method to shift the balance of power. (Beasley, 1999, pp.54-56) Radical feminist highlighted social issues such as domestic violence, divorce, single motherhood, gay rights etc. although it would be too simple to suggest that radical feminism...
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