Feminist theory dealt with the issues of women specifically and it flourished as a socio-political movement in the US and Europe in modern era.
WAVES OF FEMINISM
• Feminism evolved by putting forward a
demand that there are special issues faced by
women in a society, and that has to be
• Feminist theory dealt with the issues of
women specifically and it flourished as a
socio-political movement in the US and
Europe in modern era.
• Feminism as a theory, ideology and politics
evolved in the West during 19th century. It
demands the freedom and equality for
women. It is theorized with the concept that
women are subordinated in social and
• Feminist movement has ideological roots in
• In 1610,a french noble women started the first
salon(a gathering for intellectual discussion or
exchange of ideas)outside of the royal court
• Salon participation was reserved for members
of the upper class, this cultural institution
offered the first secular outlet for educated
women to engage in such with men.
• The scholars have referred it as an example of
the earliest feminist thought.
• The revolutionary war in 1774 and the French
revolution in 1789 also advanced the concept
of women freedom.
• Both revolutionary themes focused on the
theme, mankind's equality, it act as aground
work for early feminism.
What feminism is NOT
• Feminism is not the belief that women are
• Feminism is not hating men
• Feminism is not male oppression
WAVES OF FEMINISM
• The history of feminist movementis divided in
to three “waves”.
• The first wave refers to the movement of the
19th through early 20th centuries,which dealt
with mainly suffrage,working conditions and
educational rights for women and girl.
• The second wave(1960-1980)dealt with the
inequality of laws,as well as cultural
inequalities and the role of women in society.
• The third wave(1090-2000) of feminism is
seen as both a continuation of the second
wave and a response to the perceived failure
• It evolved in a period of feminist activity during
the 19th and early 20th centuries,especially in
europe and in th eunited states.
• Was mainly concerned with womens right to
• It promoted equal contract and property right for
women ,opposing ownership of married women
by their husdands.
• by the end of 19th century ,activism focused
primarily on gaining political power, particularly
the rights of women’s suffrage.
• American first wave feminism end with the
passage of the 19th amendment to the US
constitution in 1919 granting women voting right.
• women's suffrage (the right to vote)
• the right to education
• better working conditions
• marriage and property laws
• reproductive rights
• Second-wave feminism is a period of feminist activity
and thought that first began in the early 1960s in USA
and spread all over the western world and beyond.
• Key concerns:
• raising consciousness about sexism and patriarchy
• raising consciousness about gender based violence,
domestic abuse and marital rape
• inequalities in the workplace
• legalizing abortion and birth control
• sexual liberation of women
• The third wave of feminism (1990s-2000s?) arose
partially as a response to the perceived failures of
• The diversity of "women" is recognized and emphasis
is placed on identity, gender, race, nation, social
order and sexual preference
• Changes on stereotypes, media portrayals and
language used to define women.
• Sexual identities
• The feminist theory after third wave , insisted
that the intersectionality of caste , class and
• be taken into account. That is , the women’s
issues would be different for different women
• their religion, caste, class and ethnicity. For eg. in
the West if there are race based discrimination, in
• there is caste based discrimination.
• Radical Feminism arose within the second wave
in the 1960s.
Radical feminism is a perspective within
feminism that calls for a radical reordering of
society in which male supremacy is eliminated in
all social and economic contexts.
• Radical feminists seek to abolish patriarchy by
challenging existing social norms and institutions,
rather than through a purely political process.
• Kate millet, Shulamith Firestone, Robin Morgan,
Catherine Mac Kinnon are some Radical
• Radical feminists theory put forward the issue of
power exercised in the society that discriminates
women as basically of patriarchy. They demanded
a radical reordering of society by opposing the
existing hierarchical standard gender roles
designed by patriarchy.
• Mary Wollstenecraft, Betty Frieden, Naomi
Wolf, Elizabath Cady Stanton are some Liberal
• Liberal feminism aims to achieve equal legal,
political, and social rights for women. It
wishes to bring women equality into all public
institution and to extend the creation of
knowledge so that women's issues can no
longer be ignored.
• Liberal feminist theory held that womens
issues would be solved by legal equality. They
campaigned forequal rights for women within
the framework of liberal state, by getting
• They believed female subordination is due to
the set of customary and legal constraints that
block women’s entrance to the public world.
Marxist and Socialist Feminism
• Marxism recognizes that women are
oppressed, and attributes the oppression to
the capitalist/private property system. Thus
they insist that the only way to end the
oppression of women is to overthrow the
capitalist system. Socialist feminism is the
result of Marxism meeting radical feminism
• Marxist/socialist feminist theory held that
women’s issues would be mitigated by
• They viewed it within the capitalist system of
production and division of labour. But there
are critique added , that the Marxist theory
didn’t address the ‘double labour’/ ‘unpaid
labour’ done by women( i.e. athome).
• Some feminist theorists even held it as ‘triple
labor’ what women are doing . If the
household work is a job , the reproduction
and childcare is another work done by
women. Rearing and caring a child for long
years is a job that is done by a woman only
and it is to be taken as a job accordingly.
• Alexandra Kollontai, Rosa Luxumburg are