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Anti-Feminism and Heteropatriarchal Normativity Essay

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Updated: Aug 30th, 2020


The social contract

Is known as an agreement between people where some agree to give up some of their freedoms to assign the leaders who maintain the order in society. This agreement is characterized as implicit and did not happen as a historical event. The philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were the known supporters of this theory. For example, in modern society, the government and legislation do not allow the citizens to kill one another, and the citizens obey because this helps for the order in the state.

Scientific racism

Is the search for the standards that use some seemingly scientific parameters to define race; for example, measuring faces and bodies and stating that each race has some specific kind of measurements used to be popular in the 1770s. Also, within the concept of scientific racism, the intellectual abilities of people can be judged. For example, people of one race may be believed to be smarter than the individuals of another race. Based on this idea, people of the latter race would be discriminated against and given fewer opportunities.


Is detected when a person’s rights are limited because of his or her gender. For instance, today, sexism is mentioned a lot about women being limited in their rights or treated in a way that diminishes their capacities. However, in reality, sexism refers to people of both genders, so man can be pressured by sexist attitudes as well. Caroline Bird is associated with the initiation of the term. Many examples of sexism are found in movies and popular culture. To demonstrate a sexist dynamic in a film, one has to use the Bechdel test and find two female characters speaking to one another about a subject that is not men. It turns out that such movies are difficult to find in the contemporary world.


Is the idea that only heterosexual people have “normal” sexuality. Also, heteronormativity appears when someone says that only a relationship between a man and a woman is normal. The term was made popular by Michael Warner. A good example to illustrate heteronormativity is the belief that same-gender couples should not be given a right to adopt children because the structure of such family is “flawed” and will be likely to result in children growing up with “wrong” perceptions of life and the society with the “correct” gender dynamics.

Waves of feminism

Are the three periods in our history that are known for women fighting for their rights and equality. The wavenumber one dates back to the middle of the 1800s; the second happened in the middle of the 1900s, and the third wave is happening at the moment. Each of the waves is different. For example, compared to the feminists of the second wave who fought for equality at work but still were rather focused on the homemaking and being good housewives, the third wave showed a more radical approach to the rights and roles of women.

Differential citizenship

Is a non-traditional view of citizenship. It states that citizenship may be perceived differently based on locations and situations. For example, according to this idea, a person’s belonging to a certain state does not mean being a citizen. That way, within the framework of the differential citizenship, an individual may be judged and characterized as being a citizen (or not being one) based on the additional features that may be different depending on a situation.

Legalization of Discrimination and Heteropatriarchal Normativity

As noted by Newman, the discrimination of women has been made legal in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments (1868-1870) to the Constitution that “recognized freed male slaves as citizens and provided sanctions against states that excluded African American men from the franchise. But they had made no such provisions for the suffrage of black or white women” (3). However, the problem was that the activists fighting those Amendments came from different perspectives.

As a result, the internal divisions broke the opposition apart as the white suffragists refused to support the Amendments not because the women’s rights were limited, but because the rights were granted to the Black men before the white women.

Regardless of the internal struggles within the group of the oppositionists and their points of view, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments legalized discrimination of women making the right to vote a prerogative of males only. At the same time, the emphasis on the fact that the white women’s struggle for equal rights should stay separate from the rights of the Black citizens can be recognized as a masked desire of the white activists to support the ideas of racial division. In other words, it looks like feminist activists fought specifically for the rights of white women that were limited compared to those of white men.

Social Discrimination of Black Women

In her article, Patricia Hill Collins points out that over the time of their struggle for equality, the Black women have developed a collective standpoint that unites them under the effort of fighting for rights and freedoms (9). This collectivity provides the Black women with a voice enabling them to express their desires, dissatisfaction, and demands. The author specifies that social discrimination of Black women happens not just in a form of racism but also as sexism (Collins 10). Job discrimination of Black women may be considered as scientific racism because it is based on the belief that Black women are not as smart and capable as their white peers.

Critique of Feminism

In her article, Amber Kinser explains the differences between the second and the third waves of feminism (126). Interestingly, the author’s explanations of how feminism of the third wave is perceived in the society and what impacts and impressions it has made correlate with those of Collins, the author whose discussion of womanism and black feminism was explored in the second essay. In other words, Kinser points out that regardless of all the rallies of the young feminists of the third wave and their achievements as activists, the women of color still face discrimination (130). Based on this note, it seems likely that in contemporary society, the color of people’s skin is more influential than their gender.

Moreover, Kinser points out that the criticism of the third wave feminism is based on its hostile attitude towards men positioning them as villains and predators while women are seen as victims (130). That way, the creation of the feminist democracy driven by the moods of the third wave is unlikely to be successful because claiming to fight for the rights of women it often fails to consider those of men.

Works Cited

Collins, Patricia Hill. “What’s In a Name? Womanism, Black Feminism, and Beyond.” The Black Scholar 26.1 (2001): 9-17. Print.

Kinser, Amber E. “Negotiating Spaces for/through Third Wave Feminism.” NWSA Journal 16.3 (2004): 124-153. Print.

Newman, Louise Michelle. White Women’s Rights. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.

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