Over the years, various women movements have arisen to campaign for the conferment of equal rights for both men and women. The first women movement had the chief intention of campaigning for suffrage rights. Since then, other movements came into being seeking to accord women economic, social and educational rights tantamount to those available to men.
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In this context, those people who believe in equality in human rights, both men and women are referred to as feminists. Consequently, feminism entails all the movements established with the intention of campaigning for equality in economic and social equality rights coupled with the creation of equal opportunities for both genders.
Feminists “oppose anything that is detrimental to the societal growth of women. With regard to Bart, “a feminist speaks or writes against sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence” (538). A Feminist is, therefore, in the simplest terms that person who believes in gender equality.
From this end, the writer’s personal definition of feminism may suffer some detriments perhaps following the need to include aspects such as writing and acting coupled with other issues relating to women rights including injustices and social status quo in a single definition.
Perhaps attempting to consider the a historical era and momentous events that brought into being the concepts of feminism takes people suffrage endeavors in early 1930’sAmerica. Suffrage refers to women’s rights in voting.
However, according to Krolokke and Sorensen, “the expression is also used for the economic and political reform movements aimed at extending rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax or material status” (10).
Through feminists efforts, by 1960’s, women had acquired some voting rights in Sweden, the United States, and Britain. Success in fighting for suffrage evidently marked the onset of other feminist’s movements and the emergence of feminist thinkers.
The modern feminists movements emerged depending on the existence of certain issues that tend to disfavor women. One may view modern feminism may as comprising of three waves. The first wave “refers to the movement of the nineteenth century all the way to the twentieth century, which dealt mainly with suffrage, working conditions and educational rights for women and girls” (Humm 251).
The second wave predominantly focused on issues relating to persisting inequalities in law culture, and advocating for roles of women in the society that undermine both their integrity and position in society. This movement lasted between 1960 to early 1980’s. The third wave took up soon after the end of the second wave. It sought to address perceived failures of the second wave along side with continuation of the achievements of the second wave.
Educational feminists campaign for women rights from all contexts in the society right from economic to social perspectives. Religious feminists look at religion from women perspectives. As Stone reckons, religious feminism is a “field that studies the scriptures and religious texts from a feminist perspective” (40).
Consequently, religious feminism focus on the interrelationship of scriptures massage with customs, practices, theologies and traditions from the perspectives that guarantee equality to all genders. One of the areas of focus of the religious feminism is perhaps the dominance of men clergies in various religions.
Religious feminists attempt to increase the various roles assumed by women in religious institutions. Belenky and Goldberger posit that, “feminist speaks also about the images of women in various established religious sacred texts” (80). In this regard, the functions of the religious feminists may be argued as predominantly inclined in the need to ensure equal presentation of women in all position of the religious leadership as their counterparts-men.
On the other hand, educational feminism theorists argue, “the educational structures are flawed in their overemphasis on progress as the highest value and the competition to attain it” (De Vaney 568). Additionally, educational feminists argue that overemphasis on quality, with the belief that men are more capable to deliver it as compared to women, serves to marginalize women, and minority groups.
According to Hart, the systems that are engineered with hierarchical structures need to be altered to promote “equal valuing of knowledge, human intelligence, critical thinking, and creativity” (98). Furthermore, opposed to religious feminists, educational feminists show much concern on issues of marginalization of women in work places, and even in educational institutions settings.
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Adding on this, Martin et al. argues, “Feminist pedagogies have developed, in response to feminist, claims that classrooms are patriarchal, competitive, and hierarchical” (Para.10).
Educators of feminists, consequently, emphasize that people need to gear the key concerns of education need towards fostering social activities, which predominately ensure cute integration of collaboration learning projects, as opposed to individualistic activities, which only enhance divisions and competitions in schools.
Additionally, educational feminists go to the extent of performing studies that seek to show that, given opportunities, women can perform equally or even better than men in tasks that have stereotypically perceived as districts of men. Huff and Cooper conducted one of such studies in 1987.
In this study, Huff and Cooper sought to address issues pertaining to design of software among educators that could enable students use commas without errors. When female educators were put to task to write the software, there was no difference between the software written by them and boys.
Consequently, Huff and cooper deduced that “student programs are the most game-like, boy programs are in the middle and girls programs are on the ‘learning tool’ side of the function” (529). They express concern that the educators “may have been simply using ‘male’ as the default value of ‘student’” (Huff and Cooper 529).
Arguably, this research indicates the concerns of educational feminists in campaigning for incorporation of women in information technology since they have equal chances of excelling as men. Thus, it may be substantial to make an assumption that, if educational feminists views are things to go by, perhaps the next software developer which will revolution the world’s current software market will have a woman name behind it.
According to the definition of feminism given by the author, various limitations and acts of resistance while not negating some strengths are worthwhile for consideration. According to the author, feminism infers putting women into perspectives in all societal activities including politics, economic sectors and more importantly equal rights for access of education for both girl and boy child.
Concerning the definition, society, especially modern society, that seeks to prosper in all pillars that anchor it, cannot perhaps achieve its developmental goals without proactive interplay of all genders. Additionally, a more balanced society in terms of universalism of roles allocation is perhaps only to be born only when all potentials are tapped among women and men collectively.
Adequate scholarly evidence is available showing that men and women can perform equally in all sectors of economy (Oram 5). All that people desire is the creation of opportunities for women to compete freely with men. This is the aim of the endeavors of feminism activities, as implied by the definition adopted by the author.
While this gives the definition adopted by the author some strength, some limitation may perhaps also be evident. For instance, while feminist’s endeavors to accord women equal opportunities for women and men, to some extent critics concur that not all jobs can be equally accessible to both men and women. For instance psychologically women have been found to be well talented with oratory skills as opposed men and hence well suited for jobs such receptionists and secretarial.
Conclusively, the paper finds it subtle to uphold the spirit of feminism. Feminism, as people discuss it, is a phenomenon that came into dominance in the early 1930 when women movements were seeking to secure suffrage rights.
Though initially headed by women only, the calls for these movements attracted even men. Consequently, the word feminist was coined to refer to all people (of both genders) that support equality for women. The movement seeking the suffrage rights for women formed the first wave of the feminism movements, which lasted until 1960’s.
Subsequent waves extended the fights for women rights in other areas: something that gives rise to various forms of feminisms among them religious feminism, cultural feminism, educational feminism among others. However, two of these types of feminism have been given a detailed introspection in this paper: religious and educational feminism.
Bart, Pauline. Feminism Unmodified. The American Journal of Sociology 95.2(1989): 538-539.
Belenky, Clinchy, and Tarule Goldberger. Women’s Ways of Knowing. New Jersey: Basic Books, 1986. Print.
De Vaney, Arthur. Will Educators ever unmask that determiner, technology? Educational Policy 12.5(1998): 568-585.
Hart, Martin. Working and educating for life: Feminist and international perspectives on adult education. New York: Routledge, 1992. Print.
Huff, Curtin, and John Cooper. Sex bias in educational software: The effect of designers’ stereotypes on the software they design. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 17.6 (1987): 519-532.
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