Feminism & Patriarchy

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Feminism & Patriarchy

By | November 2006
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Feminism is an entire world view or gestalt, not just a laundry list of women¡¦s issues. - Charlotte Bunch

Feminism is a body of social theory and political movement primarily based on and motivated by the experiences of women. It includes an opposition to male domination, the notion that the sexes are culturally and not biologically formed, and the belief that women were a social group shaped to fit male notions about a defective sex . These arguments have over the years taken different forms, and have held varying degrees of significance in their respective societies. In the late 1960s, the post-war era of civil rights activism and anti-racist movements, feminist criticism was renewed, becoming more defined as the second wave of feminist criticism. Some feminist writers associated with this period are former U.S. first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Friedan . More recently, some younger feminists have identified themselves as third-wave feminists while some second-wave feminists are still active. Throughout history, societies have been in awe of manly virtues: The indomitable strength of Hercules, the conquest of Alexander the Great and the salvation of Jesus. It is therefore to an extent understandable that several cultures have consciously or otherwise placed men at the helm of affairs. Somehow, this has also led to the progressive subjugation of women. Societies in which this way of life is the accepted norm are called Patriarchal Societies. The women¡¦s rights movement brought with it new ideas about patriarchy. Feminist thinkers believed that patriarchy signified the cultural and social domination of women by men. Feminist thinkers in the United States questioned why sexual inequality persisted even after women had won the right to vote and had achieved legal equity. They also debated whether or not patriarchy is universal to all societies throughout history . Even in present-day leadership, women more or less play second fiddle to their male...

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