Feminist movement

The feminist movement (also known as the women's movement, or simply feminism) refers to a series of political campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women's suffrage, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, all of which fall under the label of feminism and the feminist movement. The movement's priorities vary among nations and communities, and range from opposition to female genital mutilation in one country, to opposition to the glass ceiling in another.

Feminism in parts of the western world has gone through three waves. First-wave feminism was oriented around the station of middle- or upper-class white women and involved suffrage and political equality. Second-wave feminism attempted to further combat social and cultural inequalities. Although the first wave of feminism involved mainly middle class white women, the second wave brought in women of color and women from other developing nations that were seeking solidarity.[1] Third-wave feminism is continuing to address the financial, social and cultural inequalities and includes renewed campaigning for greater influence of women in politics and media. In reaction to political activism, feminists have also had to maintain focus on women's reproductive rights, such as the right to abortion.

Feminism in China started in the 20th century with the Chinese Revolution in 1911. In China, Feminism has a strong association with socialism and class issues.[2] Some commentators believe that this close association is damaging to Chinese feminism and argue that the interests of party are placed before those of women.[3]

We Can Do It!
The "We Can Do It!" war-propaganda poster from 1943 was re-appropriated as a symbol of the feminist movement in the 1980s.


Feminist movement in Western society

Feminism in the United States, Canada and a number of countries in western Europe has been divided into three waves by feminist scholars: first, second and third-wave feminism.[4][5] Recent (early 2010s) research suggests there may be a fourth wave characterized, in part, by new media platforms.[6][7]

The women’s movement became more popular in May 1968 when women began to read again, more widely, the book The Second Sex, written in 1949 by a defender of women’s rights, Simone de Beauvoir, (and translated into English for the first time in 1953; later translation 2009). De Beauvior's writing explained why it was difficult for talented women to become successful. The obstacles de Beauvoir enumerates include women’s inability to make as much money as men do in the same profession, women’s domestic responsibilities, society’s lack of support towards talented women, and women’s fear that success will lead to an annoyed husband or prevent them from even finding a husband at all. De Beauvoir also argues that woman lack ambition because of how they are raised. Girls are told to follow the duties of their mothers, whereas boys are told to exceed the accomplishments of their fathers. Along with other influences, Simone de Beauvoir’s work helped the feminist movement to erupt, causing the formation of Le Mouvement de Libération des Femmes (The Women’s Liberation Movement). This determined group of women wanted to turn these ideas into actions. Contributors to The Women’s Liberation Movement include Simone de Beauvoir, Christiane Rochefort, Christine Delphy and Anne Tristan. Through actions the women were able to get few equal rights for example right to education, right to work, and right to vote. One of the most important issues that The Women’s Liberation movement faced was the banning of abortion and contraception. The women saw this banning as a violation of women’s rights and were determined to fight it. Thus, the women made a declaration known as Le Manifeste de 343 which held signatures from 343 women admitting to having had an illegal abortion. The declaration got published in Le Nouvel Observateur and Le Monde, two French newspapers on 5 April 1971. The group gained support upon the publication. Women received the right to abort with the passing of the Veil Law in 1975.[8]

The Women's movement effected change in Western society, including women's suffrage, the right to initiate divorce proceedings and "no fault" divorce, the right of women to make individual decisions regarding pregnancy (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to own property.[9] It has also led to broad employment for women at more equitable wages, and access to university education.

In 1918 Crystal Eastman wrote an article published in the Birth Control Review, she contended that birth control is a fundamental right for women and must be available as an alternative if they are to participate fully in the modern world. “In short, if feminism, conscious and bold and intelligent, leads the demand, it will be supported by the secret eagerness of all women to control the size of their families, and a suffrage state should make short work of repealing these old laws that stand in the way of birth control.” She stated “I don’t believe there is one woman within the confines of this state who does not believe in birth control!”[10]

The United Nations Human Development Report 2004 estimated that when both paid employment and unpaid household tasks are accounted for, on average women work more than men. In rural areas of selected developing countries women performed an average of 20% more work than men, or 120% of men's total work, an additional 102 minutes per day. In the OECD countries surveyed, on average women performed 5% more work than men, or 105% of men's total work—an additional 20 minutes per day. However, men did up to 19 minutes more work per day than women in five out of the eighteen OECD countries surveyed: Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Israel, and The Netherlands.[11] According to UN Women, "Women perform 66 percent of the world's work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property."[12]

The feminist movement's agenda includes acting as a counter to the putatively patriarchal strands in the dominant culture. While differing during the progression of waves, it is a movement that has sought to challenge the political structure, power holders, and cultural beliefs or practices.

Although antecedents to feminism may be found far back before the 18th century, the seeds of the modern feminist movement were planted during the late part of that century. Christine de Pizan, a late medieval writer, was possibly the earliest feminist in the western tradition. She is believed to be the first woman to make a living out of writing. Feminist thought began to take a more substantial shape during the Enlightenment with such thinkers as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Marquis de Condorcet championing women's education. The first scientific society for women was founded in Middelburg, a city in the south of the Dutch republic, in 1785. Journals for women that focused on issues like science became popular during this period as well.

The women who made the first efforts towards women's suffrage came from more stable and privileged backgrounds, and were able to dedicate time and energy into making change. Initial developments for women, therefore, mainly benefited white women in the middle and upper classes.

Feminism in China

Prior to the 20th century, women in China were considered essentially different from men.

In the patriarchal society, the struggle for women's emancipation means to enact laws that guarantee women's full equality of race, sex, property and freedom of marriage. In order to further eliminate the legacy of the class society of patriarchal women (drowning of infants, corset, footbinding, etc.), discrimination, play, mutilate women's traditional prejudice and habitual forces on the basis of the development of productive forces, it is gradually needful on achieving gender in politics, economy, social and family aspects of equality.

Before the westernization movement and the reform movement, women had set off a wave of their own strength in the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1851–1864). However, there are too many women from the bottom identities in the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. It is difficult to get rid of the fate of being used. Until the end of the Qing Dynasty, women with more knowledges took the initiative in the fight for women's rights and that is where feminism basically started.

The term 'feminism' was first transmitted to China in 1791 which was proposed by Olympe de Gouges and promoted the 'women's liberation'. The feminist movement in China was mainly kickstarted and driven by male feminists prior to female feminists.[13]

Key male feminists in China in the 19th to 20th century included Liang Qichao, Ma Junwu and Jin Tianhe. In 1897, Liang Qichao proposed banning of foot-binding and encouraged women to engage in the workforce, political environment and education. The foot-binding costume had long been established in China which was an act to display the beauty and social status of women by binding their feet into an extremely small shoe with good decorations and ornaments.[14] Liang Qichao proposed the abolishment of this act due to concern the health of female being a supportive wives and caring mothers. He also proposed to reduce the number of female dependents in family and encouraged women to receive the rights of education and enter the workforce to be economic independent from men and finally help the nation to reach higher wealth and prosperity. For feminist Ma Junwu and Jin Tianhe, they both supported the equality between husbands and wives, women enjoy legitimate and equal rights and also rights to enter the political sphere. A key assertion from Jin Tianhe was women as the mother of the nation. These views from male feminists in early feminism in China represented the image of ideal women in the imagination of men.[13]

Key female feminists in China in the 19th to 20th century included Lin Zongsu, He Zhen, Chen Xiefen and Qiu Jin. The female feminists in early China focused more on the methods or ways that women should behave and liberate themselves to achieve equal and deserved rights and independence. He Zhen expressed her opinion that women's liberation was not correlated to the interest of the nation and she analysed three reasons behind the male feminists included: following the Western trend, to alleviate their financial burdens and high quality of reproduction. Besides, Li Zongsu proposed that women should strive for their legitimate rights which includes broader aspects than the male feminists: call for their own right over men, the Qing Court and in an international extent.[13]

In the Qing Dynasty, the discussion on feminism had two dimensions including the sex differences between men and women such as maternal role and duties of women and social difference between genders; the other dimension was the aim of liberation of women. The view of the feminists were diverse: some believed feminism was benefiting the nation and some believed feminism was associated with the individual development of female in improving their rights and welfare.[13]

In the 1970s, the Marxist philosophy about female and feminism was transmitted to China and became the guiding principle of feminism movement in China by introducing class struggle theories to address gender quality. In the 1990s, more female scholars were adapted to feminism in Western countries, and they promoted feminism and equal rights for women by publishing, translating and carrying out research on global feminism and made feminism in China as one part of their study to raise more concern and awareness for gender equality issues.[13]


Feminists are sometimes, though not exclusively, proponents of using non-sexist language, such as using "Ms." to refer to both married and unmarried women. Feminists are also often proponents of using gender-inclusive language, such as "humanity" instead of "mankind", or "they" in place of "he" where the gender is unknown.[15]

Gender-neutral language is language usage which is aimed at minimizing assumptions regarding the gender of human referents. The advocacy of gender-neutral language reflects, at least, two different agendas: one aims to clarify the inclusion of both sexes or genders (gender-inclusive language); the other proposes that gender, as a category, is rarely worth marking in language (gender-neutral language). Gender-neutral language is sometimes described as non-sexist language by advocates and politically correct language by opponents.[16]

Not only has the movement come to change the language into gender neutral but the feminist movement has brought up how people use language. Emily Martin describes the concept of how metaphors are gendered and ingrained into everyday life. Metaphors are used in everyday language and have become a way that people describe the world. Martin explains that these metaphors structure how people think and in regards to science can shape what questions are being asked. If the right questions are not being asked then the answers are not going to be the right either. For example, the aggressive sperm and passive egg is a metaphor that felt 'natural' to people in history but as scientists have reexamined this phenomenon they have come up with a new answer. "The sperm tries to pull its getaway act even on the egg itself, but is held down against its struggles by molecules on the surface of the egg that hook together with counterparts on the sperm's surface, fastening the sperm until the egg can absorb it." [17] This is a goal in feminism to see these gendered metaphors and bring it to the public's attention. The outcome of looking at things in a new perspective can produce new information.

Heterosexual relationships

The increased entry of women into the workplace beginning in the 20th century has affected gender roles and the division of labor within households. Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild in The Second Shift and The Time Bind presents evidence that in two-career couples, men and women, on average, spend about equal amounts of time working, but women still spend more time on housework.[18][19] Feminist writer Cathy Young responds to Hochschild's assertions by arguing that, in some cases, women may prevent the equal participation of men in housework and parenting.[20] Economists Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst calculate that the amount of time spent on housework by women since the 1960s has dropped considerably.[21] Leisure for both men and women has risen significantly and by about the same amount for both sexes. Jeremy Greenwood, Ananth Seshadri and Mehmet Yorukoglu argue that the introduction of modern appliances into the home has allowed women to enter the work force.[22][23]

Feminist criticisms of men's contributions to child care and domestic labor in the Western middle class are typically centered around the idea that it is unfair for women to be expected to perform more than half of a household's domestic work and child care when both members of the relationship perform an equal share of work outside the home. Several studies provide statistical evidence that the financial income of married men does not affect their rate of attending to household duties.[24][25]

In Dubious Conceptions, Kristin Luker discusses the effect of feminism on teenage women's choices to bear children, both in and out of wedlock. She says that as childbearing out of wedlock has become more socially acceptable, young women, especially poor young women, while not bearing children at a higher rate than in the 1950s, now see less of a reason to get married before having a child. Her explanation for this is that the economic prospects for poor men are slim, hence poor women have a low chance of finding a husband who will be able to provide reliable financial support due to the rise of unemployment from more workers on the market, from just men to women and men.[26]

Some studies have suggested that both men and women perceive feminism as being incompatible with romance. However, a recent survey of U.S. undergraduates and older adults found that feminism actually has a positive impact on relationship health for women and sexual satisfaction for men, and found no support for negative stereotypes of feminists.[27]

Virginia Satir said the need for relationship education emerged from shifting gender roles as women gained greater rights and freedoms during the 20th century:

"As we moved into the 20th century, we arrived with a very clearly prescribed way that males and females in marriage were to behave with one another ... The pattern of the relationship between husband and wife was that of the dominant male and submissive female ... A new era has since dawned ... the climate of relationships had changed, and women were no longer willing to be submissive ... The end of the dominant/submissive model in relationships was in sight. However, there was very little that had developed to replace the old pattern; couples floundered ... Retrospectively, one could have expected that there would be a lot of chaos and a lot of fall-out. The change from the dominant/submissive model to one of equality is a monumental shift. We are learning how a relationship based on genuine feelings of equality can operate practically."[28]

— Virginia Satir, Introduction to PAIRS


Feminist theology is a movement that reconsiders the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining the place of women in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts.[29]

The feminist movement has affected religion and theology in profound ways. In liberal branches of Protestant Christianity, women are now allowed to be ordained as clergy, and in Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, women are now allowed to be ordained as rabbis and cantors. In some of these groups, some women are gradually obtaining positions of power that were formerly only held by men, and their perspectives are now sought out in developing new statements of belief. These trends, however, have been resisted within most sects of Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Christianity. Within Roman Catholicism, most women understand that, through the dogma of the faith, they are to hold, within the family, a place of love and focus on the family. They also understand the need to rise above that doesn't necessarily constitute a woman to be considered less than, but in fact equal to, that of her husband who is called to be the patriarch of the family and provide love and guidance to his family as well.[30]

Christian feminism is a branch of feminist theology which seeks to reinterpret and understand Christianity in light of the equality of women and men (Feminine Genius, St. Pope John Paul II, Vatican.va). While there is no standard set of beliefs among Christian feminists, most agree that God does not discriminate on the basis of biologically determined characteristics such as sex.

Early feminists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton concentrated almost solely on "making women equal to men." However, the Christian feminist movement chose to concentrate on the language of religion because they viewed the historic gendering of God as male as a result of the pervasive influence of patriarchy. Rosemary Radford Ruether provided a systematic critique of Christian theology from a feminist and theist point of view.[31] Stanton was an agnostic and Reuther is an agnostic who was born to Catholic parents but no longer practices the faith.

Islamic feminism is concerned with the role of women in Islam and aims for the full equality of all Muslims, regardless of gender, in public and private life. Although rooted in Islam, the movement's pioneers have also utilized secular and Western feminist discourses.[32] Advocates of the movement seek to highlight the deeply rooted teachings of equality in the Quran and encourage a questioning of the patriarchal interpretation of Islamic teaching through the Quran, hadith (sayings of Muhammad), and sharia (law) towards the creation of a more equal and just society.[33]

Jewish feminism seeks to improve the religious, legal, and social status of women within Judaism and to open up new opportunities for religious experience and leadership for Jewish women. In its modern form, the movement can be traced to the early 1970s in the United States. According to Judith Plaskow, who has focused on feminism in Reform Judaism, the main issues for early Jewish feminists in these movements were the exclusion from the all-male prayer group or minyan, the exemption from positive time-bound mitzvot, and women's inability to function as witnesses and to initiate divorce.[34]

Women's health

Historically there has been a need to study and contribute to the health and well-being of a woman that previously has been lacking. Londa Schiebinger suggests that the common biomedical model is no longer adequate and there is a need for a broader model to ensure that all aspects of a woman are being cared for. Schiebinger describes six contributions that must occur in order to have success: political movement, academic women studies, affirmative action, health equality act, geo-political forces, and professional women not being afraid to talk openly about women issues. Political movements come from the streets and are what the people as a whole want to see changed. An academic women study is the support from universities in order to teach a subject that most people have never encountered. Affirmative action enacted is a legal change to acknowledge and do something for the times of neglect people were subjected to. Women's Health Equity Act legally enforces the idea that medicine needs to be tested in suitable standards such as including women in research studies and is also allocates a set amount of money to research diseases that are specific towards women. Research has shown that there is a lack of research in autoimmune disease, which mainly affects women. "Despite their prevalence and morbidity, little progress has been made toward a better understanding of those conditions, identifying risk factors, or developing a cure" this article reinforces the progress that still needs to be made. Geo-political forces can improve health, when the country is not at a sense of threat in war there is more funding and resources to focus on other needs, such as women's health. Lastly, professional women not being afraid to talk about women's issues moves women from entering into these jobs and preventing them for just acting as men and instead embracing their concerns for the health of women. These six factors need to be included in order for there to be change in women's health.[35]


Feminist activists have established a range of feminist businesses, including women's bookstores, feminist credit unions, feminist presses, feminist mail-order catalogs, and feminist restaurants. These businesses flourished as part of the second and third-waves of feminism in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.[36][37]

See also

Subjects or international organisations
By continent
  • Feminism in Africa
  • Feminism in Asia
  • Feminism in Europe
  • Feminism in North America
  • Feminism in Oceania
  • Feminism in South America
Country or region specific articles


  1. ^ Rampton, Martha (October 25, 2015). "Four Waves of Feminism". www.pacificu.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-11-19.
  2. ^ 1952-, Lin, Chun (2006-01-01). The transformation of Chinese socialism. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0822337980. OCLC 938114028.
  3. ^ 1945-, Walter, Lynn (2001-01-01). Women's rights : a global view. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313308901. OCLC 654714694.
  4. ^ Humm, Maggie (1990), "wave (definition)", in Humm, Maggie, The dictionary of feminist theory, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, p. 251, ISBN 9780814205075.
  5. ^ Rebecca, Walker (January 1992). "Becoming the Third Wave". Ms.: 39–41. ISSN 0047-8318. OCLC 194419734.
  6. ^ Baumgardner, Jennifer (2011), "Is there a fourth wave? If so, does it matter?", in Baumgardner, Jennifer, F'em!: goo goo, gaga, and some thoughts on balls, Berkeley, California: Seal Press, p. 250, ISBN 9781580053600.
  7. ^ Phillips, Ruth; Cree, Viviene E. (October 2014). "What does the 'Fourth Wave' mean for teaching feminism in twenty-first century social work?". Social Work Education: The International Journal. 33 (7): 930–943. doi:10.1080/02615479.2014.885007.
  8. ^ Kuhlman, Olivia. "Inequalities of Contemporary French Women". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  9. ^ Messer-Davidow, Ellen (2002). Disciplining feminism: from social activism to academic discourse. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822328438.
  10. ^ Eastman, Crystal (author); Cook, Blanche Wiesen (editor) (1978), "Feminist theory and program: birth control in the feminist program", in Eastman, Crystal (author); Cook, Blanche Wiesen (editor), Crystal Eastman on women and revolution, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 46–49, ISBN 9780195024463.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "Section 28: Gender, Work Burden, and Time Allocation", United Nations Human Development Report 2004 (PDF), p. 233.
  12. ^ "Facts & figures on women, poverty & economics". unifem.org. UN Women. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d e Dr Shen, Yifei. "Feminism in China An Analysis of Advocates, Debates, and Strategies" (PDF).
  14. ^ Xu, Rui; Bae, Soojeong (2015). "A Formative Beauty of Chinese Foot-Binding Shoes and the Meaning of Chinese Costume History". Fashion Business. 19 (4): 57–74. doi:10.12940/jfb.2015.19.4.57.
  15. ^ Lia, Litosseliti (2014-02-04). Gender and language : theory and practice. ISBN 978-1134121731. OCLC 872743087.
  16. ^ "University of Saskatchewan Policies 2001: Gender Neutral Language". University of Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on October 28, 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  17. ^ Freedman, David H. (June 1992). "New theory on how the aggressive egg attracts sperm". Discover Magazine. 6 (13): 55.
  18. ^ Russell Hochschild, Arlie; Machung, Anne (2003). The second shift: working families and the revolution at home. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780142002926
  19. ^ Russell Hochschild, Arlie (2001). The time bind: when work becomes home and home becomes work. New York: Henry Holt & Co. ISBN 9780805066432
  20. ^ Young, Cathy (June 12, 2000). "The Mama Lion at the Gate". Salon.com. Salon. Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  21. ^ Aguiar, Mark; Hurst, Erik (August 2007). "Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 122 (3): 969–1006. doi:10.1162/qjec.122.3.969. Pdf.
  22. ^ Greenwood, Jeremy; Seshadri, Ananth; Yorukoglu, Mehmet (January 2005). "Engines of liberation". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 72 (1): 109–133. doi:10.1111/0034-6527.00326. Pdf.
  23. ^ For a short video on the subject see:Greenwood, Jeremy (Lecturer) (September 16, 2015). 60-Second Lecture: Women's liberation: an economic perspective (Video). Penn Arts & Sciences via Vimeo.
  24. ^ South, Scott J.; Spitze, Gelnna (June 1994). "Housework in marital and nonmarital households". American Sociological Review. 59 (3): 327–348. doi:10.2307/2095937. JSTOR 2095937.
  25. ^ Fenstermaker Berk, Sarah; Shih, Anthony (1980), "Contributions to household labour: comparing wives' and husbands' reports", in Fenstermaker Berk, Sarah, Women and household labour, SAGE Yearbooks on Women and Politics Series, Beverly Hills, California: Sage, ISBN 9780803912113
  26. ^ Luker, Kristin (1996). Dubious conceptions: the politics of teenage pregnancy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674217034.
  27. ^ Rudman, Laurie A.; Phelan, Julie E. (December 2007). "The interpersonal power of feminism: is feminism good for romantic relationships?". Sex Roles. 57 (11): 787–799. doi:10.1007/s11199-007-9319-9. Pdf.
  28. ^ Satir, Virginia, "Introduction to for our future, for our family", in PAIRS Foundation, For our future, for our family: participant handbook, Broward County, Florida: PAIRS Foundation, p. 6, archived from the original on 2016-03-05 (Participant handbook for PAIRS 30-hour curriculum for Supporting Healthy Marriages.) Cited with permission. (2012112710011715). Preview on ISSUU.
  29. ^ Bundesen, Lynne (2007). The feminine spirit: recapturing the heart of Scripture: the woman's guide to the Bible. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 9780787984953.
  30. ^ John Paul II, Pope. "Letter of Pope John Paul II to women". vatican.va. Libreria Editrice Vaticana (Vatican Publishing House). Archived from the original on 20 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015. See also: Letter to Women.
  31. ^ Ochs, Carol (1977). Behind the sex of God: toward a new consciousness - transcending matriarchy and patriarchy. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 9780807011126.
  32. ^ Catalan Islamic Board (24–27 October 2008). "II International Congress on Islamic Feminism". feminismeislamic.org. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  33. ^ Badran, Margot (17–23 January 2002). "Al-Ahram Weekly: Islamic Feminism: What's in a Name?". Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  34. ^ Plaskow, Judith (2003), "Jewish feminist thought", in Frank, Daniel H.; Leaman, Oliver, History of Jewish philosophy, London: Routledge, ISBN 9780415324694.
  35. ^ Schiebinger, Londa (1999), "Medicine", in Schiebinger, Londa, Has feminism changed science?, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, ISBN 9780674381131.
  36. ^ Echols, Alice. Daring to be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 269–278.
  37. ^ Hogan, Kristen (2016). The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press.

External links

Black feminism

Black feminism is a school of thought stating that sexism, class oppression, gender identity and racism are inextricably bound together. The way these concepts relate to each other is called intersectionality, a term first coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. In her work, Crenshaw discussed Black feminism, which argues that the experience of being a black woman cannot be understood in terms of being black or of being a woman. Instead, Crenshaw argued that each concept should be considered independently while including how interacting identities frequently compound upon and reinforce one another.A black feminist lens in the United States of America was first employed by black women as a means to make sense of the ways white supremacy and patriarchy interacted to inform the particular experiences of enslaved black women. The black feminist movement continued to expand and build support post-slavery as black activists and intellectuals formed organizations such as the National Association of Coloured Women (NACW) and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). Black feminism rose to further prominence in the 1960s, as the Civil Rights Movement excluded women from leadership positions, and the mainstream feminist movement largely focused its agenda on issues that predominately impacted middle-class, white women. From the 1970s to 1980s, black feminists formed various groups which addressed the role of black women in black nationalism, gay liberation, and second-wave feminism. In the 1990s, the Anita Hill controversy placed black feminism in a mainstream light. Black feminist theories reached a wider audience in the 2010s, as a result of social media advocacy.Proponents of black feminism argue that black women are positioned within structures of power in fundamentally different ways from white women. In recent years, the distinction of black feminism has birthed the tag "white feminist", used to criticize feminists who do not acknowledge issues of intersectionality. Critics of black feminism argue that divisions along the lines of race or gender weaken the strength of the overall feminist movement or anti-racist movements.Among the notions that evolved out of the black feminist movement are Alice Walker's womanism, and historical revisionism with an increased focus on black women. Angela Davis, bell hooks, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and Patricia Hill Collins have emerged as leading academics on black feminism, whereas black celebrities, notably Beyoncé, have encouraged mainstream discussion of black feminism.

Conjunction fallacy

The conjunction fallacy (also known as the Linda problem) is a formal fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one.

Feminism in Bangladesh

Feminism in Bangladesh seeks equal rights of women in Bangladesh through social and political change. Article 28 of Bangladesh constitution states that "Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life".

Feminism in Latin America

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.The emergence of Latin American feminism movement is contributed to five key factors. It has been said that the beginning of the revolution for Latin American feminism started in the 1800s with two women, one in Ecuador and one in Argentina. Then in the 1920s, feminism was reignited and moved towards the political and educational changes for women's rights. In the 1930-50s a Puerto Rican group of ladies founded what is now considered the current movement for Latin American women. Then in the 1960s, the movement changed to advocate for bodily and economic rights of women. The 1970s had a downfall in the movement due to a laissez - faire liberalism combined with free market capitalism. After the fall of neoliberalism, the 1980s brought a resurge of the feminism movement towards political rights. The 1980s also began to shed a light on the topic of domestic violence. The 1990s made strides towards legal equality of women. In today's society, Latin American feminism has been broken down into multiple subcategories by either ethnicity or by topic awareness. This article also includes famous Latina suffragists, description about indigenous women in Latin America, naming history of revolutionary/feminist mobilization, equalities still present in today's society and plans to change, and the Latin American feminist movement.

Feminism in Malaysia

The feminist movement in Malaysia is a multicultural coalition of women's organisations committed to the end of gender-based discrimination, harassment and violence against women. Having first emerged as women's shelters in the mid 1980s, feminist women's organisations in Malaysia later developed alliances with other social justice movements. Today, the feminist movement in Malaysia is one of the most active actors in the country's civil society.

Feminism in the United States

Feminism in the United States refers to the collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending a state of equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women in the United States. Feminism has had a massive influence on American politics. Feminism in the United States is often divided chronologically into first-wave, second-wave, third-wave, and fourth-wave feminism.As of the most recent Gender Gap Index measurement of countries by the World Economic Forum in 2017, the United States is ranked 49th on gender equality.

Feminist activism in hip hop

Feminist activism in hip hop is a feminist movement based by hip hop artists. It grounds in graffiti, break dancing, hip hop music such as rap. Hip hop has a history of being a genre that sexually objectifies women, ranging from the usage of video vixens to explicit rap lyrics. Within subcultures, such as graffiti and breakdancing, sexism is more evident through the lack of representation of women participants. In a genre notorious for its sexualization of women, feminist groups and individual artists who identify as feminists have sought to change the perception and commodification of women in hip hop. This is also rooted in cultural implications of misogyny in rap music.

Feminist aesthetics

Feminist aesthetics first emerged in the 1970's and refers not to a particular aesthetic or style but to perspectives that question assumptions in art and aesthetics concerning sex-role stereotypes, or gender. In particular, feminists argue that despite seeming neutral or inclusive, the way people think about art and aesthetics is influenced by sex roles. Feminist aesthetics is a tool for analyzing how art is understood using gendered issues. A person's gender identity affects the ways in which they perceive art and aesthetics because of their subject position and the fact that perception is influenced by power. The ways in which people see art is also influenced by social values such as class and race. One's subject position in life changes the way art is perceived because of people's different knowledge's about life and experiences. In the way that feminist history unsettles traditional history, feminist aesthetics challenge philosophies of beauty, the arts and sensory experience.Starting in the 18th century, ideas of aesthetic pleasure have tried to define "taste". Kant and Hume both argued that there was universal good taste, which made aesthetic pleasure. A feminist line of logic about these attempts is that, because fine art was a leisure activity at this time, those who could afford to make art or produce supposed universal truths about how it is enjoyed would do so in a way that creates class and sex division. Even when those universal aesthetes did address gender, they categorized aesthetics into two categories: beauty and sublimity; with beauty being small and delicate (feminine) and sublimity being large and awe-inspiring (masculine). Feminist aesthetics analyzes why "feminine" traits are subservient compared to "masculine" traits in art and aesthetics.Another explanation for the male-domination of forming aesthetic theory is that feminists express their aesthetic pleasure differently than non-feminist aesthetes for "whom the pleasure of theorizing [...] is a form of jouissance". Instead, a feminist is less likely to view the object as a disinterested interpreter, and intellectualize the sensation (Hilde Hein). Critics of feminist art argue that politics have no place in art, however, many art forms contain politics, but because of their subject position, the critics are unable to perceive it. The idea of the creative genius is inspected in feminist aesthetics. In particular, women artists are often excluded from being creative or artistic geniuses. This exclusion in part stems from the traditional masculine definitions of genius. Christine Battersby has critiqued the fact that women are excluded from being known as geniuses because female artists will be separated from their art, and instead their art will be called genius, instead of the artist. However, women were also excluded because they lacked the opportunities for artistic education required to be recognized as artists and geniuses. In addition, the idea of the creative genius itself celebrates individualism – which Christine Battersby calls "a kind of masculine heroism" – and overlooks the work of joint collaborations.Aesthetic theories that make a distinction between "arts" and "crafts" can be viewed as anti-feminist. Here, art usually refers to fine art and crafts refers to everything else which has everyday aesthetics. Art forms traditionally used by women, such as embroidery or sewing, are perceived as crafts and not art, because of their domestic uses. Feminist aesthetics focuses on all objects created by women, whether or not they are seen as "art". Since those craft practices occur in the home where many women continue to work, their creativity is overlooked by the perception of "art", because their domain is marginalized.

Feminist art

Feminist art is a category of art associated with the late 1960s and 1970s feminist movement. Feminist art highlights the societal and political differences women and those of other gender identity experience within their lives. The hopeful gain from this form of art is to bring a positive and understanding change to the world, in hope to lead to equality. Media used range from traditional art forms such as painting to more unorthodox methods such as performance art, conceptual art, body art, craftivism, video, film, and fiber art. Feminist art has served as an innovative driving force towards expanding the definition of art through the incorporation of new media and a new perspective.

Feminist art criticism

Feminist art criticism emerged in the 1970s from the wider feminist movement as the critical examination of both visual representations of women in art and art produced by women. It continues to be a major field of art criticism.

Feminist ethics

Feminist ethics is an approach to ethics that builds on the belief that traditionally ethical theorizing has under-valued and/or under-appreciated women's moral experience, which is largely male dominated, and it therefore chooses to re imagine ethics through a holistic feminist approach to transform it.

Feminist sex wars

The feminist sex wars, also known as the lesbian sex wars, or simply the sex wars or porn wars, are terms used to refer to collective debates amongst feminists regarding a number of issues broadly relating to sexuality and sexual activity. Differences of opinion on matters of sexuality deeply polarized the feminist movement, particularly leading feminist thinkers, in the late 1970s and early 1980s and continue to influence debate amongst feminists to this day.The sides were characterized by anti-porn feminist and sex-positive feminist groups with disagreements regarding sexuality, including pornography, erotica, prostitution, lesbian sexual practices, the role of trans women in the lesbian community, sadomasochism and other sexual issues. The feminist movement was deeply divided as a result of these debates. Many historians view the feminist sex wars as having been the end of the second-wave feminist era (which began c. 1963) as well as the herald of the third wave (which began in the early 1990s).

Kathleen Byerly

Kathleen M. Byerly (born ca. 1944) is known for being one of the 12 women named by Time magazine Time Person of the Year in 1975, representing American women (at the height of the feminist movement). In May 1975, she became the first female officer in the United States Navy to serve as the flag secretary to an admiral commanding an operational staff.Byerly graduated from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1966. Following graduation, she joined the U.S. Navy. In 1975 she held the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was a Navy executive and aide to Rear Admiral Allen Hill.

List of feminist poets

This is a list of feminist poets. Historically, literature has been a male-dominated sphere, and any poetry written by a woman could be seen as feminist. Often, feminist poetry refers to that which was composed after the 1960s and the second-wave of the feminist movement.

Native American feminism

Native American feminism or Native feminism is an intersectional feminist movement rooted in the lived experiences of Native American and First Nations women. As a branch of the broader Indigenous feminism, it similarly prioritizes decolonization, indigenous sovereignty, and the empowerment of indigenous women and girls in the context of Native American and First Nations cultural values and priorities, rather than white, mainstream ones. A central and urgent issue for Native feminists is the Missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis.

Postcolonial feminism

Postcolonial feminism is a form of feminism that developed as a response to feminism focusing solely on the experiences of women in Western cultures. Postcolonial feminism seeks to account for the way that racism and the long-lasting political, economic, and cultural effects of colonialism affect non-white, non-Western women in the postcolonial world. Postcolonial feminism originated in the 1980s as a critique of feminist theorists in developed countries pointing out the universalizing tendencies of mainstream feminist ideas and argues that women living in non-Western countries are misrepresented.Postcolonial feminism argues that by using the term "woman" as a universal group, women are then only defined by their gender and not by social class, race, ethnicity, or sexual preference. Postcolonial feminists also work to incorporate the ideas of indigenous and other Third World feminist movements into mainstream Western feminism. Third World feminism stems from the idea that feminism in Third World countries is not imported from the First World, but originates from internal ideologies and socio-cultural factors.Postcolonial feminism is sometimes criticized by mainstream feminism, which argues that postcolonial feminism weakens the wider feminist movement by dividing it. It is also often criticized for its Western bias which will be discussed further below.


Pro-feminism refers to support of the cause of feminism without implying that the supporter is a member of the feminist movement. The term is most often used in reference to men ("male feminists") who actively support feminism and its efforts to bring about the political, economic, cultural, personal, and social equality of women with men. A number of pro-feminist men are involved in political activism, most often in the areas of gender equality, women's rights, and ending violence against women.

As feminist theory found support among a number of men who formed consciousness-raising groups in the 1960s, these groups were differentiated by preferences for particular feminisms and political approaches. However, the inclusion of men's voices as "feminist" presented issues for some. For a number of women and men, the word "feminism" was reserved for women, whom they viewed as the subjects who experienced the inequality and oppression that feminism sought to address. In response to this objection, various groups coined and defended other terms like antisexism and pro-feminism.There are pro-feminist men's groups in most areas of the Western world. The activities of pro-feminist men's groups include anti-violence work with boys and with young men in schools, offering sexual-harassment workshops in workplaces, running community-education campaigns, and counseling male perpetrators of violence.

Pro-feminist men also are involved in men's health, men's studies, the development of gender-equity curricula in schools, and many other areas. Pro-feminist men who support anti-pornography feminists participate in activism against pornography including anti-pornography legislation. This work is sometimes in collaboration with feminists and women's services, such as domestic violence and rape crisis centers.

The term "pro-feminist" is also sometimes used by people who hold feminist beliefs or who advocate on behalf of feminist causes, but who do not consider themselves to be feminists per se. It is also used by those who do not identify with, or wish for others to identify them with, the feminist movement. Some activists do not refer to men as "feminists" at all, and will refer to all pro-feminist men as "pro-feminists", even if the men in question refer to themselves as "feminists". Others criticise "pro-feminist" men who refuse to identify as feminist. Most major feminist groups, most notably the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation, refer to male activists as "feminists" rather than as "pro-feminists".

Second-wave feminism

Second-wave feminism, a period of feminist activity and thought that began in the United States in the early 1960s, lasted roughly two decades. It quickly spread across the Western world, with an aim to increase equality for women by gaining more than just enfranchisement.

Whereas first-wave feminism focused mainly on suffrage and overturning legal obstacles to gender equality (e.g., voting rights and property rights), second-wave feminism broadened the debate to include a wider range of issues: sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities. Second-wave feminism also drew attention to the issues of domestic violence and marital rape, engendered rape-crisis centers and women's shelters, and brought about changes in custody laws and divorce law. Feminist-owned bookstores, credit unions, and restaurants were among the key meeting spaces and economic engines of the movement.Many historians view the second-wave feminist era in America as ending in the early 1980s with the intra-feminism disputes of the feminist sex wars over issues such as sexuality and pornography, which ushered in the era of third-wave feminism in the early 1990s.

Social feminism

Social feminism is a feminist movement that advocates for social rights and special accommodations for women. It was first used to describe members of the women's suffrage movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who were concerned with social problems that affected women and children. They saw obtaining the vote mainly as a means to achieve their reform goals rather than a primary goal in itself. After women gained the right to vote, social feminism continued in the form of labor feminists who advocated for protectionist legislation and special benefits for women. The term is widely used, although some historians have questioned its validity.

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