The 20th century could be characterized by the appearance of numerous civil movements that conditioned significant shifts in peoples mentality. The evolution of a humanistic approach to the most important spheres of human activity also resulted in the reconsideration of existed value system and predetermined the increased importance of equality, democracy, tolerance, etc. In this regard, the rise of feminism could be considered the logical development of these tendencies. For centuries women have been performing a passive role and were not given the right to participate in social, political life and were prohibited to perform certain kinds of jobs. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the situation altered.
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The feminist movement could be defined as the attempt of women to obtain equal rights and proclaim their independence. It should be considered an important event in the history of society as it predetermined its further evolution. Yet, feminist theory is the logical extension of the above-mentioned movement that introduces a theoretical, fictional, or theoretical discourse (Tuana, 2016). Its main aim is the coherent analysis of the nature of gender inequality and social roles, interests, and chores peculiar to women. The feminist theory focuses on the creation of the theoretical background for the majority of crucial assumptions and tends to provide the scientific rationale for womens ability to perform the most important functions in the same amount men do.
There are several main ideas peculiar to the given philosophy. The first one implies working to increase equality which might result in the recognition of females main rights. Additionally, it is necessary to expand human choice as both men and women should have the freedom to develop their interests in the way they like.
Moreover, it is crucial to eliminate gender stratification and guarantee the provision of equal conditions both for men and women. Only under these conditions, it is possible to end sexual violence and promote sexual freedom. Feminists are sure that all women should be able to control their sexuality and reproduction. These basic principles guarantee the comprehensive evolution of womens individuality and contribute to the further rise of the given theory. At the same time, feminism includes socialist, radical, and liberal approaches that vary in the perspectives on the basic questions and ways to achieve the main goal. Analyzing the theory, it is crucial to mind that the idea of gender equality rests on numerous philosophic theories and assumptions that prove the tolerance and equality of all individuals. In this regard, the feminist theory could be characterized by the well-thought-out approach to women’s rights, and it creates the solid ground for the further evolution of this idea.
In modern society, feminism is considered one of the major concerns that impact its functioning and guarantees the provision of equal rights and opportunities both for men and women. Its rapid evolution contributed to the reconsideration of the current value system and the creation of a new approach to gender issues. For this reason, the given theory is rather influential and powerful at the moment. However, it is obvious that is has both advantages and disadvantages that impact its evolution and further spread. Speaking about the obvious strengths of the given theory, several points should be minded. The feminist theory can improve the functioning of a certain individual significantly. At the micro-level, a common woman can obtain several new opportunities for her personal and professional growth.
The recognition of these rights might contribute to the significant shifts in her personal life and career. That is why the theorys impact on the micro-level is obvious as it alters the existence of individuals greatly. Moreover, if to speak about the mezzo level, feminism also affects the life of various communities. Its basic ideas focused on continuous improvement of womens state and elimination of gender prejudices introduces significant changes to the traditional patterns accepted by a certain local community as it has to respect womens rights and act by this new idea. Moreover, the existence of the opportunity to participate in social life and make important decisions influences the well-being of a local community and introduces new ways for evolution (Sweet, 2016).
Women might become influential actors who predetermine the appearance of new tendencies. Finally, analyzing the macro level, one should admit the introduction of crucial alterations in the way the coherent society treats women. The modern age could be characterized by a respectful attitude and acceptance of their most important needs. It is obvious, that the above-mentioned points should be considered the great advantages of the feminist theory and its basic assumptions. Its focus on the alteration of the existing situation and promotion of equality contributes to the significant changes of macro, mezzo, and micro levels of any community.
However, several weaknesses come from the nature of the theory. First, several researchers state that a radical approach to feminism should be considered dangerous as it impacts all aspects of the functioning of various communities (Sweet, 2016). This approach is considered as anti-men which means that its adherers tend to emphasize the role of women and belittle mens contribution to the evolution of the modern world (Loke, Bachmann, & Harp, 2015). It could not but impact peoples living and attitude toward feminists. That is why there is the tendency to consider radical adherence to these ideas dangerous manifestations of the theory.
Moreover, another great disadvantage of this idea is its obvious negative impact on male masculinity. Proclaiming recognition of womens needs as the main aim of the movement, its adherers also deprive men of their basic rights and result in the significant deterioration of their self-recognition and image. The topicality of the given problem is evidenced by numerous researches that admit the tendency towards the feminization of males and the lack of their desire to perform tasks that are taken as traditionally mannish (Loke et al., 2015). The given problem impacts all spheres of the modern world and results in numerous problems with gender relations and sexuality. Additionally, the rise of homosexuality could also be considered one of the possible aftermath of adherence to radical feminism.
Being a rather popular theory, feminism affects several people who tend to analyze it and recognize the main assumptions. However, sometimes the inability to understand the essence of several crucial aspects and lack of competence might result in numerous fallacies related to the issue. In this regard, it is possible to use Gambrill and Gibbs (2009) exercises to evaluate the theory and distinguish the most common fallacies. First, the most common fallacy is related to the nature of feminism and its basic ideas and could be considered a fundamental attribution error. There is a tendency to assume that feminists tend to decrease the importance of males and understate their contribution to the evolution of society. The given fallacy is rather common and comes mainly from the lack of understanding and inability to trace the roots of certain ideas. However, it might be rather dangerous for the further evolution of the theory as it contributes to the creation of the corrupted image of feminism.
Therefore, another fallacy is related to the character of the effect this very movement has on society and peoples mentality (Mendes, 2012). There is the tendency to believe that the further spread of feminism and its overwhelming influence might be dangerous for society as it will result in the increased importance of women. They will not be able to work in a stressful environment and contribute to the deterioration of the most important activities. This framing effect is extremely dangerous as it creates a false image of a certain issue. However, the given assumptions are refuted by modern researches. Scientists are sure that women can perform all functions that are needed to help assure the stable evolution of society and its main aspects. At the same time, the above-mentioned fallacies should be considered dangerous as they undermine the image of feminism and result in the appearance of numerous opponents all over the world. For this reason, it is crucial to explain its basic assumptions to people.
When speaking about feminism, it is possible to state that it mainly deals with differences in people and their mentalities. Men and women have opposite perspectives on the way society should evolve and behavioral patterns accepted in a certain community. For this reason, the feminist theory addresses different groups of people characterized by opposite interests. The adherers of the idea are sure that the recognition of the main womens needs and reorganization of society by this pattern is crucial for its further evolution. At the same time, opponents proclaim that radical changes in societys functioning conditioned by these new views could not but result in its collapse (Eichhorn, 2015). Nevertheless, the feminist theory influences different population groups as its main ideas are rather controversial.
For example, the focus on tolerance and equal rights means that women should be provided with opportunities that previously belonged to men. At the moment, women can hold senior positions and perform managerial functions. It is obvious, that it could not but influence males mentality and their attitude to feminism. In this regard, the movement is perceived as a controversial issue that should be analyzed from all existing points of view. The existence of the opposite opinions is preconditioned by crucial differences in the mentalities of the main groups affected by the theory. It is extremely vital to recognize the fact that males are not ready to share authority with females and accept the pattern according to which they will be equal to women. That is why adherers of the theory should be ready to face numerous challenges that come from the disputable character of the suggested solutions and actions.
Altogether, speaking about the feminist theory it is possible to outline its main assumptions. As stated above, it is the movement aimed at the significant alteration of the existing approach to the distribution of authority, power, etc. It states that women should be provided with equal rights with men for them to be able to evolve and build a career. The evolution of the humanistic approach conditioned the rise of a civil movement aimed at the destruction of gender prejudices and the further evolution of democracy. There are several approaches to feminism which are radical, liberal, and socialist ones. They are characterized by the differences in the methods and final aims.
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Several researchers tend to underline the pernicious impact the radical movement might have on the image of the whole theory (Calkin, 2015). It is considered as anti-male and should be taken as the great weakness of the feminist theory. However, its great impact on modern society could hardly be overestimated. The precise analysis shows that all levels, micro, mezzo, and macro are affected by its basic ideas. This statement is evidenced by the fact that women can hold senior positions. Yet, there are several fallacies related to the theory. In general, there is a tendency to assume that feminism tends to humiliate men and attain dominant positions for women.
Additionally, there is also a belief which states that the feminist theory might be dangerous for the further evolution of society as females could hardly perform certain managerial or senior functions properly. However, these statements could not be proven by real evidence. Researchers admit the great positive effect feminism has already made on society (Sweet, 2016) and are sure that its further evolution is needed to guarantee the further development of tolerance and democracy. In conclusion, feminism is one of the main trends of modern society and should be given great attention as it guarantees the significant improvement in the life of women and numerous local communities.
Calkin, S. (2015). Feminism, interrupted? Gender and development in the era of ‘Smart Economics’. Progress in development studies, 15(4), 295-307. Web.
Eichhorn, K. (2015). Feminism’s there: On postness and nostalgia. Feminist theory, 16(3), 251-264. Web.
Gambrill, E., & Gibbs, L. (2009). Critical thinking for helping professionals. New York: Oxford University Press.
Loke, J., Bachmann, I., & Harp, D. (2015). Co-opting feminism: media discourses on political women and the definition of a (new) feminist identity. Media culture society, n. pag. Web.
Mendes, K. (2012). ‘Feminism rules! Now, where’s my swimsuit?’ Re-evaluating feminist discourse in print media 1968–2008. Media Culture Society, 34(5), 554-570. Web.
Sweet, E. (2016). Carceral feminism. Linking the state, intersectional bodies, and the dichotomy of place. Dialogues in Human geography, 6(2), 202-205. Web.
Tuana, N. (2016). Approaches to feminism. The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Web.