Feminism Is Defined By The Belief That The Personal Is The Political

Topics: Feminism, Feminist theory, Radical feminism Pages: 4 (2316 words) Published: January 21, 2015
Feminism is defined by the belief that the personal is the political. Discuss Although not all strands of feminism advocate interference in the personal lives of women, feminism has proven to be unsuccessful in achieving full female emancipation by purely focusing on the public life of women. In this way, the only way for feminists to be successful in their aims is to concern themselves with the personal lives of women which subsequently means that feminism, in the modern sense, with the knowledge of the failure of both the first and second wave liberal feminists and socialist feminists to bring about female emancipation, has to be defined by the belief that the personal is the political. Until the 1960’s feminism was not considered its own ideology, but a subset of both liberalism and socialism. It wasn’t until the emergence of radical feminists in the second wave and subsequent feminists thereafter who believe that the ‘personal is the political’ that feminism was deemed its own ideology. It had simply become too complex to be accepted by any other conventional one. The first strand of feminism, which emerged during the first wave in the late eighteenth century, was liberal feminism. Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of Women published in 1792 argued that women should be entitled to the same privileges as men in the public sphere on the grounds that women are human beings too and are therefore just as rational as men which was drawn from the Enlightenment liberal belief in reason and its radical commitment to equality. She called for women’s suffrage and equality between men and women within the law but did not concern herself with the role of women within the household because she believed that once equality was achieved in the public sphere, female emancipation would be brought about. John Stuart Mill’s On the Subjection of Women published in 1869 proposed that accidents of birth including sex should be irrelevant where entitlements were concerned. He too...

Bibliography: Walter, N. (2014, June 9). Natasha Walter. Retrieved from The Guardian : http://www.theguardian.com/profile/natashawalter
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