Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical discourse, it aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examines women's social roles and lived experience, and feminist politics in a variety of fields, such as anthropology and sociology, communication, psychoanalysis, economics, literary criticism, education, and philosophy. While generally providing a critique of social relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on analyzing gender inequality and the promotion of women's rights, interests, and issues. Themes explored in feminism include art history and contemporary art, aesthetics, discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification), oppression, and patriarchy. The feminist theory dates back to as early as the 18th century and to this day is still around with women trying to fight for the rights women deserve to be treated as equal as men and respected as an equal to men. From research I have found the feminist theory can be roughly broken down into three waves.
“First-wave feminism, from the 18th until the beginning of the 20th century, was a movement to liberate women legally, economically, and politically. Feminists of that period sought equal rights for women with respect to owning property, engaging in labor, protection from violence, and voting. Of special note is that first-wave feminists came from all sides of the ideological spectrum: Libertarian, Christian conservative, Socialist, Anarchist. Not all supported suffrage, and some advocated for free love and the abolition of marriage. The second wave of feminism began in the 1960s and lasted until about the 1990s. It focused on increasing economic opportunity for and ending social discrimination against women Third-wave feminism is said to begin in the early 1990s in response to a perceived backlash against the outcomes of second-wave feminism, and a concern that young women were no longer interested in...
Cited: Intellectual Takeout. (2011, May). Retrieved May 2011, from Intellectual Takeout: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/first-wave-feminism/history-feminism-feminist-thought
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Goodman, L. A. (2011). Applying Feminist Theory To Community. Reaching Out About Depression, 267.
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