Out of the three types of feminisms namely, social, radical, and liberal feminism, I am of the opinion that social feminism would be the most effective in terms of eliminating gender discrimination, improving women’s economic and political position in society and helping to bring equality between men and women.
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Social feminism is the perhaps the best approach to ending the struggle of women against economic exploitation, oppression, lack of autonomy or power over one’s work, socio-economic marginalization, systematic violence, and cultural imperialism. From a Marxist point of view, domination and power has previously been constantly linked to masculinity.
Since power has always been understood from the point of view of men and the ruling class (in other words, the socially dominant), the task of feminists is therefore to try and reconceptualize power from the point of view of a feminist. In this case, the method of choice should be one that recognizes the life experiences of women and to be precise, the role played by women in reproduction.
Social feminism holds that the liberation of women’s life can only be achieved when a concerted effort is made to both the cultural as well as economic sources of women’s oppression. Social feminisms endeavor to address head-on the common root of sexism, classism, and racialism.
These issues condemn one to either a privileged life or one of oppression, on the basis of circumstances or on accidents of birth. Accordingly, social feminism can be viewed the creation of social change in an exclusive way. As opposed to competition and conflict, socialist feminist values cooperation and synthesis, and these are noble ways of bringing equality between men and women, and ensuring that the political and economic positions of women in the society improve.
Socialist feminist endeavors to address the issues of class and capitalism. These are two important issues that Marxism failed to address on grounds of being gender blind.
The choice of social feminism is also quite in order since it does not only speak of the oppressions that women have to encounter, but it also attempts to address the issue of capitalism, albeit calmly. This is unlike radical feminists that attempts to overthrown and even challenge patriarchy by opposing women’s oppression and gender roles by campaigning for the embracing of a radical social order.
Liberal feminists also fail to recognize man as the enemy that needs to be defeated. The intention of the pioneer liberal feminists was to team up with women, men, the white, blacks, the rich and the poor and unite as one. A divided society cannot be able to overcome gender discrimination.
When we view man as the enemy, we fail to focus on the underlying problem, which is the need to ensure equality in the society. Therefore, we need to first create a cordial relationship between the various members of the society regardless of their gender, social, and economic differences.
Socialists, along with the radical feminists disapproved of the social order that existed at the time. For this reason, they felt the need to initiate a revolution that would incorporate men as potential allies. In this case, the ultimate goal was to completely abolish gender, class, and racial hierarchies. In this regard, social feminists did not approach the issue from the point of view of the woman.
If at all we would want to experience change in the society, the goal should be to ensure that all of us are equal and not just one race or gender. When we approach the issue of race, class and gender with an open mind, this gives women a better chance to assume higher responsibilities in the society. This is because we have managed to break the existing barriers the men are not likely to oppose women in pursuing positions of power. Instead, all have an equal chance of assuming positions of power and responsibility in the society.