Postmodernism and Feminism

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Ailene Brukman-Stivi
Professor: Haim Deuel Lusky

Postmodernism and Feminism
The question of what happened to feminism during the postmodern times is not easily encapsulated in one phrase or idea as it is actually an amalgam of often purposely ambiguous and fluid ideas. One would have to start researching about postmodernism and what it means, let alone search about the history of feminism and its development. After one would research a little bit about postmodernism he or she would realize the knowledge about modernism is also extremely crucial to understand fully about postmodernism and feminism. Therefore this writing will conclude a few words about modernism. How did we as a culture develop into a postmodernist era? And of course how does this era have to do with feminism? This research paper will include different critiques about the subject of postmodernism and feminism as well. Before starting the writing on reviews, critiques and more in depth research of our subject I would like to give a general description, and background research, I would like to start with the two main terms: Feminism and postmodernism. Feminism

Rozen Tali, the writer of the book, What Is Feminism Anyways. Opens her book saying that she never really understood what feminism is exactly. She says people just call her a feminist every time she speaks her opinion about “differentiating her and a floor rag.” She writes about a sentence that was said in 1913 by a woman, was a British reporter, by the name Rebecca West, saying that if you are waiting for a current and modern definition of feminism, you have nothing to wait for. There is no definition. It is not that a definition does not exist, it exists and that is a for sure thing. It’s just that, there are so many definitions that there is no specific one. (Rozen)

Rozen writes that the word ‘feminism’ actually was born about one hundred years ago. In the beginning this word was used as a medical term for a man that has female characteristics. As time passed the word feminism turned in to a term in the psychological world; also got a negative connotation to it, but this time not a male with female characteristics, but as a description of a woman with male character. Examples of a diagnosis for “feminism” would be like desire to study, courageous, and ambition. Tali Rozen gives a great example of this psychological diagnosis; thirty years ago, people said about the governor of the state of Israel, Golda Meir, that she is “the only man in the government” and until today the best way to describe a great woman in business is to say “she got balls.” The reincarnation of the term feminism indicates and highlights the problem of the actual term itself. Not only it was used in negative connotation but also millions in the past and even today have a hard time to define feminism. In the dictionary feminism is written to be the ideology of the emancipation of women. According to this definition, there is something in common to all the definitions and ideas that is, the one important belief that women suffer from injustice because of their sex. Rozen Suggests that instead of getting confused with the actual meaning of the word we can agree on the definition: Feminism is a theory that is based on the point of view of a woman, and that point of view give new light to knowledge that already exist. This knowledge could come from anywhere, film, literature, history, everything. But that does not mean that every woman that analyzes a specific subject, is doing a feministic act. To look and analyze something from a woman’s perspective means to put a woman in the center of the discussion. Bottom line is that, the question of what is feminism is not one answer. Rozen asks and answers: is feminism a woman who stands and fight for their right, yes. And is feminism a movement of freedom? Yes! Is it the history of half humanity? Also yes. And there is much more to what is feminism....
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