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Historical Development of Feminism and Patriarchy Research Paper

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Feminism refers to a movement and a set of ideologies aiming at identifying and defending the political, economic, and social rights of women in society. In particular, the major role of feminists is to advocate for equal chances for women in education and employment.

Concerns of feminism emanated from imaginations of various people who sought to comprehend the nature of gender inequality through the understanding of social roles and various positions of individuals in society (Gwyn & Margo, n.d).

Even though there are varieties of feminists, the major aim of all feminists is to fight for the rights of women in society. These aims include the fight for the reproductive and bodily rights of women.

In this regard, feminists argue that women should be given the freedom to make decisions touching on their health without and prejudice or imposition of such decisions to them (Holland & Cortina, 2013).

In the attempt to lay a fundamental mechanism for understanding how gender roles are socially constructed within a society, feminism has created a new interpretation of gender and sex.

Consequently, this paper aims at discussing how the theoretical perspectives of feminism and patriarchy have been historically developed.

Putting into consideration the above raised issues surrounding the discussions of feminism, this paper specifically extends this debate to shed light on how theoretical paradigms of feminism are received by women and other people who subscribe to the feminist school of thought.

The paper also argues that, despite the fact that a number of women fight for gender equality, they do not support feminist objectives. Surprisingly, these women fail to consider themselves as feminists.

However, they portray male characteristics of superiority (patriarchy) in different aspects of life.

Therefore, as revealed in the paper, women should not only uphold feminist activities, but also accept their positions as women to ensure that they have equal participation in various social, political and even economic building of their countries.

Defining Feminism

The term feminism is deployed to refer to a variety of beliefs and ideologies whose main concerns are campaigning equal rights of women. Many of the issues that affect the lives of women attract some ethical and moral concerns from various people.

For instance, the question of abortion is an enormous issue that attracts both religious and political criticisms.

Feminists consider the failure to give women the rights to determine whether they want to carry on with their pregnancies or not as amounting to denial of fundamental human rights for autonomy in control of a person’s productive health and even to control one’s body (Penny & Nicola, 2001, p.360).

Consequently, scholars subscribing to feminist school of thought argue that women should be given reproductive rights such as using contraceptives and procuring an abortion at will.

A larger extension of this argument is that women should also have the ability to say when, how, and with whom she has sexual intercourse.

In the modern society, what entails reproductive health is well documented. The world agency in charge of health (WHO) notes that couples should be given the freedom to decide on the number of children they should have (Cole & Sabik, 2010).

However, people should be responsible as they make their decisions owing to the sanctity of life. Nonetheless, religious critics contend that human life is special. This means it should not be terminated at will.

Apart from deciding on the number of children, couples should always determine the spacing of their children.

This is an attempt to ensure that women have full control of their lives without the influence by external forces beyond their control (Duncan, 2010, p.499). Unfortunately, this argument has not always been the case.

Women in the United States have always encountered challenges that interfere with their individual fulfillment in society. Some have risen up to fight for their rights, but they hardly identify themselves as feminists due to the stigma associated with the term.

McCabe (2005) supports this argument by asserting further that campaigns aimed at fighting for the rights of women create an impression that women are the weaker sex. Hence, they cannot fight for their own rights by themselves without the support of various women movements.

This argument means that women have to come together and fight for their rights as a team since the voice of one woman might never be heard as opposed to that of a group of women (movement).

However, it is important to note that institutionalism of respect for all fundamental human rights requires collective action.

Globally, women are willing to challenge the existing social structures, but they are aware of the resistance they might encounter when doing so.

Through constitutional development, women have managed to advocate for the ratification of laws that protect them from inhumane conditions such as rape, violence and subjugation to the domain of the home.

Women are currently engaged in socio-political and economic activities in the United States. From this perspective, McCabe (2005) argues that, even if this engagement is paramount, it is not adequate to bring about equality.

Much has to be done to ensure that women enjoy their rights, just like men. Feminists employ the ideas of Marx to challenge the existing social structure. For instance, Gwyn and Margo (n.d) reckon that existing social structures foster patriarchy (p.25). This means that they support one gender.

According to hooks, patriarchy refers to an outstanding depiction of male superiority traits (hooks, 2000). Feminists contend that social structures that oppress people, especially women, should be rejected.

Hence, for gender equality, the capability of an individual should be measured based on his or her strength, but not sexual qualities. The main argument raised by feminists is that women have been historically marginalized or suppressed in comparison to men.

In this context, Cole and Sabik (2010) support this assertion and further retaliates that reasons leading to the emergence of feminist theory are akin to the argument women are disadvantaged socially compared to men.

In the most simplistic terms, feminisms can be defined as “movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression (hooks, 2000, p.1).

The desire for moving from one perspective of view about the rights of people is channeled by groups of people who subscribe to the idea that women deserve to have equal treatments in all occupations just like men.

The change advocated for is that of alteration of cultural norms and beliefs that treat women as inferior compared to men. Advocating for such a change has given rise to a number of theories being advanced to explain and give historical accounts of feminism struggles.

One of the theories that important for discussion in the context of attempting to define feminism is that advanced by hooks (2000).

Hooks initiated a well-liked theory of feminists, which is anchored in a good sense and the perception of mutual understanding. The vision presented by Hooks is that of a beloved society that pleases everybody and is dedicated to equality (hooks, 2000).

The author underscores the fact that the most controversial and challenging concerns facing feminists in the contemporary world include encompassing violent behavior, ethnicity, work, and reproductive rights.

With the use of customary awareness and candor, the author calls for feminists that are free from disruptive hindrances, but endowed with thorough discourse to join hands in fighting for their rights.

Hooks reveals that feminism, instead of being perceived as an obsolete impression or one restricted to scholarly leaders, should be perceived as reality for everyone.

In his contribution on the debate touching on feminism, McCabe (2005) evaluated the relationship among various variables, including feminist self-identity, political inclinations, socio-demographics and a scope of gender-associated approaches.

The research was supported by information from the General Society Survey of 1996.

The study found out that just 20 percent of American women identify themselves as feminists while 80 per cent of women believe that both men and women ought to be socially, politically and economically equal (McCabe, 2005).

Equalitarianism is the most extensively accredited factor among women. Findings disclose that feminists can be very educated city women who are free to be liberals or Democrats.

The feminist self-identity considerably associates itself with opinions concerning the effect of the movement of women on equality.

The scholar recommends the significance of examining collections of attitudes concerning perfect gender conformities, evaluations, and distinguishing other forms of approach.

The concerns about gender segregations in the context of discussions of equal participation of men and women in various political, social and economic activities underline the fight for gender equality acerbated by feminists’ movements.

Feminist Theory

The feminist speculation refers to various efforts of broadening hypothetical perceptions of concerns of feminism into the idealistic world.

The extension involves many studies in various disciplines such as economic, literary critics, anthropology and Women Studies without negating sociology (Moradi et al., 2012: Ray, 2003).

However, most scholars see the development of theoretical perspectives on feminism as predominantly belonging to the discipline of women studies.

Women studies focus on historical experiences of women in terms of their struggles to gain independence from culturally degrading beliefs and ideologies that often lead to denial of several rights for women including determination of gender roles of women, which have no economic gains and participation in the political process through voting (Snyder-Hall, 2010).

In fact, it is until 1920s that women in America acquired suffrage rights. This gain was highly attributed to the undying efforts of women movements, which for the purpose of the discussions of this paper, are considered as belonging to the umbrella that advocates of feminism.

Feminist theory develops an incredible understanding of the issues surrounding the perception of gender inequality together with how they are propagated within a society. According to Showalter (1999), it “focuses on gender politics, power relations, and sexuality” (p.27).

The main goal is to deal proactively with the deeply seated beliefs fostering exclusion of women in these three essential aspects of socialization of people. It also aims at developing and promoting various rights of women coupled with their interests.

Key themes that are introspected in the feminism theory include Patriarchy, stereotyping of women, sexual objectification and even oppression (Showalter, 1999). In his literary criticism of feminism, Showalter argues that feminist theory is developed in three main stages.

The first stage is the feminist critique. In this stage, “the feminist leader examines the ideologies behind literary phenomena” (Showalter, 1999, p.27). In the second phase, which Showalter terms as Gynocriticism, “women act as producers of textual meaning” (Showalter, 1999, p.28).

In the last phase, gender theory is developed through exploration of philosophical writings together with their influence on sexual characteristics or gender arrangement (Showalter, 1999, p.28).

The theory of feminism continues to develop with new concerns of women with respect to areas in which people believe women are disadvantaged emerging. The goal is to ensure that Patriarchy disappears.

In fact, the argument against patriarchy forms the fundamental basis in which theoretical paradigms of feminism are anchored. Indeed, the history of feminism begins from a world of pure patriarchy.

History of Feminism and Patriarchy

Women oppression is something that was anchored in the social norms of various people in different nations but in different extents the age of patriarchy (Gwyn & Margo, n.d, p. 27). In this age, women were perceived to be assets just like land. Men principally owned them.

Thus, the society was organized by the male authoritative figure. In such as a system men take noble roles in ruling over property, children and even women. A patriarchy system is thus one, which advocates for men privileges and subordination of women (Gwyn & Margo, n.d, p. 27).

Consequently, feminists contend that a patriarchal society is unjust and essentially oppressive to women.

For instance, Hennessy and Ingraham (1997) assert that the “the patriarchal distinction “between masculinity and femininity is the political difference between freedom and subjection” (p.6).

In the theoretical perspective of feminism, a patriarchy encompasses all the mechanisms in the society, which plays the roles of exerting coupled with reproduction of dominance of male gender against the female gender.

Feminist’s theory considers patriarchy as a social manifestation, which can be counterattacked through a critical analysis of the ways in which it is manifested (Gwyn & Margo, n.d, p. 29).

One way of realizing this goal is by introspecting the areas in women are disadvantaged and then putting effort to ensure that corrective action is taken.

Such needs gave rise to the first wave of feminism in which suffrage rights took a principal focus in early 1910s in the U.S. followed by such a struggle in 1930s in France and other parts of the world.

From the paradigm of culture, nation, and/or historical moment, different feminists across the globe are driven by different goals, aims, and objectives. Different views by historians are evident on who fits in the definition of feminists precisely.

Some historians contend that any women movement that is constantly engaged in efforts to campaign for women rights should be termed as feminist movements.

Others such as Yoder, Tobias, and Snell (2011) argue that the terms feminists should apply to all modern movements for feminism coupled with their descendants. Amid these differences, history of the western nations reveals that the history of feminists can be categorized into three main waves.

The first wave involves the women movements of the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, which sought to ensure that women were given suffrage rights.

The second wave comprises various movements that were fighting for liberation of women as from 1960s. The focus of this wave was on social coupled with legal rights of women including the right to own property and get elective offices.

The third wave emerged in 1990s. It is fighting with mechanisms of dealing with various failures that are associated with the second wave of feminism.

Waves of Feminism

First Wave

In the US and the UK, the first wave of feminism fought for equal marriage rights, property rights, and parenting rights for women. As argued before, this measure sought to end the culture for patriarchy in which men owned everything including children.

Any legal suit that was filed to seek parental custody was made in favor of men (Snyder-Hall, 2010: Ray, 2003). Fights for change of this culture took noble roles of the late nineteenth century women movements.

However, later, in the early twentieth century, effort of women movements expanded to include fight for engagement in the political processes through having equal rights to vote.

Nevertheless, quite a good number of the movements also continued to fight or economic and sexual reproductive rights.

Granting of suffrage rights in response to the struggles of feminists began in 1893, when women in Zealand were allowed to vote.

In Britain, the 1918 campaigns for granting women suffrage rights yielded fruits so that on passing of the representation of people acts, all women above the age of 30 years and who owned housed were permitted to engage in voting (MacKinnon, 2007, p.147).

However, in 1928, all women under the age of 21 were also given suffrage rights. In the US, feminists such as Elizabeth Cady and Lucretia Mott among others worked tirelessly to ensure that women’s voting rights were granted.

In 1919, upon the passing of the 19th amendment to the constitution of United States, women acquired the rights to participate in political process through voting.

Indeed, campaigning for suffrage rights was a major activity of feminist movements in the first wave so that demonstration staged by women feminists in 1935 in France resulted to consideration of grating the rights to the demonstrators.

The Second Wave

In the 1960s, a new wave of feminism was in place, which was referred as the second wave of feminism. The demands of feminists were not so different from the previous demands. The works of Mary Wollstonecraft inspired the feminists in this wave.

They used them as the basis of raising new demands. Women advocated for equality in terms of social relationships whereby they demanded the existence of free love and the wearing of skirts.

Opposed to the first wave, the second wave did not deal with issues of suffrage rights. Rather, its main concern is on how discrimination of women could be ended.

According to MacKinnon (2007), “second-wave feminists sew women’s cultural and political inequalities as inextricably linked besides encouraging them to understand the aspects of their personal lives as deeply politicized…reflecting sexist power structures” (p.149).

In China, the second wave of feminism is linked with issues such as evaluation of the extent to which respect for women rights has been realized. Elsewhere, across the globe, there are myriad discussions on whether equality for women is fully achieved.

In some nations such as Nicaragua, although feminism movements of the second wave managed to ensure that women acquired quality life, they failed in pushing for ideological changes coupled with social changes.

Third Wave

The third wave aims at altering the perspectives of femininity adopted by the second wave essentialists.

The third wave feminists’ approaches to feminism essentially functioned to place emphasis on the experiences of women belonging to the upper class while negating the experiences of women in the lower class (Snyder-Hall, 2010).

While the second wave was concentrating on ensuring that women acquired rights, which were equal to those of their male counterparts, the third wave isolates some of the things that may considered not appropriate for women.

According to Showalter (1999), the third wave used the “post-culturalist interpretation of gender and sexuality” (p.31).

Some of the feminists in the third wave such as Cherrie Moraga and Maxine Kingston coupled with other black feminists are also interested in consideration of race subjects in the theoretical paradigms of feminism.

In fact, the US has immense concerns for engagement of women of color in political processes. Although more struggles for incorporation of women of color in politics and running of political office are still ongoing, by 2010, incredible success had been realized.

The history of women of color in terms of participation in politics has not been encouraging, especially by considering that they have evolved from a society, which was not only gender discriminating but also racially discriminating.

The United State’s population that is eligible for voting, based on 2010 statistics, is composed over 33 percent of non-white persons (Wendy, 2010, p. 166).

The percent of the persons voted for various political offices is also changing incredibly since women of color are increasingly getting positions at the elective offices.

Center for American Women and Politics attribute this achievement to “recent gains in women’s office holding due to achievements of women of color candidates” (2012, p.12).

In fact, right from a society that depicted unequal representation of women in general in politics, in America, in every three legislators derived from women population, a minimum of one legislator is from women of color in the case of democrats.

In case of republicans, two in every four women legislators are from women of color (Center for American Women and Politics 2012, p.13).

This development is magnificent in terms of feminists’ efforts for ensuring that women have equal rights to men and other women irrespective of their skin pigmentation.

Women and Feminism

In many parts of the world, before the advent of feminism, the living conditions of women were very poor since they were perpetually pushed to the periphery, even on matters touching on their own health. Women existed to be seen, but not to be heard since they were the properties of men.

Just as men owned other properties, such as land, women were also owned in the same way (Center for American Women and Politics, 2012). Traditional practices could not allow women to participate in some activities such as policy formulation and wealth accumulation.

Feminism shed light on the debate since it advocated for the rights of women, particularly reproductive health. Before feminism, a woman would simply be used as a sex object since she did not have any right.

Currently, most people consider sex a love affair whereby two people can only do it through consent. However, many instances of sex are evident where consent is not sought hence implying that sex is not always associated with love.

Such cases include date rape, marital rape, as well as the hook up culture that goes beyond sex to include other aspects such as kissing by uncommitted people.

Feminism advocated for the provision of free abortion, provision of free family planning contraceptives and methods, abolition of female genital mutilation, and forced marriage. Through legal ratifications, a woman in the modern society has full control of her reproductive health.

She can decide when to have a child and when to terminate a pregnancy. This freedom is attributed to the works of feminists who have achieved a lot regarding reproductive rights of women. However, this case does not apply in the US where such rights are severely limited.

In fact, as evidenced by the US law, the fetus has the freedom of living a significant life after it is born. Therefore, women will not just decide anyhow when to terminate a pregnancy.

Before the advent of the feminism, in the making of major decisions touching on reproduction, men took the most plausible role even though they are minor shareholders in the aspects of making reproduction decisions (Zucker & Bay‐Cheng, 2010).

Women have been subjected to violence and intimidation since they are perceived as weak and helpless especially when they threaten patriarchal structures of power.

Other people subscribing to male chauvinism and the male domineering school of thought view women as people who should depend on men for major decisions since they do not have the moral authority to participate in societal development (Ramsey et al., 2007).

World Health Organization demands that women should be given specific rights, including the right to procure an abortion, the right to use family planning methods in order to control births, the right to access quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to access free reproductive education, which would inform their decisions (Zucker & Bay‐Cheng, 2010).

Feminists insist that government should offer free education on contraceptives in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Any women should be protected from practices that would interfere with reproduction such as gender-based violence, forced sterilization, and female genital mutilation.

Traditional practices that interfered with female reproduction are on the decline. For instance, female inheritance or inheriting a relative’s wife once the husband dies in some societies is no longer accepted. Across the globe, constitutions of different nations prohibit forced marriage.

Merging the Three Waves of Feminism

In the second-wave, feminists were on opposite sides of a sequence of controversial discussions concerning issues such as pornography, prostitution, and heterosexuality, with some women supporting gender oppression and others backing sexual satisfaction and empowerment.

The third-wave sought to join the principles of gender equality and sexual liberty by respecting the decisions of women on the aforementioned principles (Snyder-Hall, 2010, p.258).

Whereas this perspective is often seen as insignificantly approving all that a woman decides to do as a feminist, Snyder-Hall (2010) affirms that the third-wave does not present an unreflective approval of selection, but a great reverence for pluralism and self-fortitude.

In the United States, several meetings were held to spearhead talks on the ratification of laws relating on the rights of women.

Apart from previous demands, women needed an equal pay in the labor industry, provision of equal education, job opportunities, free childcare services, financial empowerment, prevention of gender-based discrimination, and illegalization of inhumane actions such as rape and violence against women (Showalter, 1999).

Even though not all feminists’ movements had similar demands in the first and the second wave, a consensus between the two waves of feminists is evident that male chauvinism and discrimination are the two major problems affecting women in any society.

Consequently, the two waves aimed at ensuring that women became independent.

Although much has been achieved in terms of overcoming the culture that seeks to determine certain cultural artifacts that specify how different genders should behave within the societies such as dressing codes through the development of unisexual clothing, it is still evident that some roles are perceived as best suited to one gender as opposed to the other (Duncan, 2010).

The management of a hiring firm might also get tempted to lay off a well performing individual because, with the preferred gender occupying the position, the output would be better.

The argument here is that the differences between men and women in terms of their capability are not inherent in their sex but are acted out through social construction of gender.

Through the realization of these concerns, feminism objects to ensure that hiring of persons within all employment sectors is done from the basis of academic qualification and experiences as opposed to the gender of an individual (Wendy, 2010).

In this context, it is important to note that the concerns of different feminists are different depending on the dimension from which one is visualizing theoretical construct of feminism.

Marxist feminism has a different interpretation of the relationship between men and women. It views the relationship between women and men as characterized by subordination and exploitation, which is a typical feature of the capitalistic society (Moradi, Martin & Brewster, 2012).

Ever since the advent of private property, women have always been viewed as the property of men. In the same way, the rich owns the working class, men also own women. Women are against this type of relationship in the modern society.

They are compared to the working class (proletariat) while men are the bourgeoisie since they own everything in society. Consequently, women are unable to make their own decisions independent from their owners (men).

Their level of engagement in various societal organizations including religion and politics is also limited to the degree of their ability to control and lead their superiors (men).

The argument that femininity results in the unsuitability of women to engage in political activities has its origin in the feminist theory. In this context, the perception of feminism seeks to dig into the differences between men and women, which may hinder their success in various societal duties.

For instance, Cole and Sabik (2010) were incredibly interested to determine whether the differences in physical appearance of women and men influenced their performance in societal duties such as engagement in politics.

To achieve this goal, researchers assessed if the attractive and unattractive aspects of femininity, which match the Feminine Interpersonal Relations (interpersonal charm) and Feminine Self-Doubt (submissiveness and passivity), have impacts on the successful involvement of women in politics (Cole, &Sabik, 2010).

Traditionally, Feminine Interpersonal Relations were linked with higher political involvement and effectiveness when compared to Feminine Self-Doubt. The upshots are conferred with consideration to the midlife advancement of women and the femininity socialization of black women.

Identification of the function of feminine attributes, such as nurturance and compassion in political endeavors (as found in Feminine Interpersonal Relations), may promote women approving feminist convictions to engage in politics.

Duncan (2010) surveyed the relative significance of feminism generation and the feminist label to a group of 667 women that were marching in the demand for reproductive rights.

Weak feminists were seen to identify themselves with the feminist label, approving several attitudes and viewpoints of strong feminists with less dedication to equalitarianism.

In his analysis, the feminist label was significant in elucidating the relationship of women to feminism as opposed to the generation. This aspect designates that disclosure to a group ideology could connect persons across generations.

Feminists had a feeling of inferiority when they judged themselves against their male counterparts besides possessing similar attitudes such as strong qualities (Duncan, 2010).

Education concerning feminism could make feminists have a dedication to equality. Duncan evaluates the manner in which feminism associates itself with the sexual harassment, which is a great challenge facing women.

Two pointers of feminism were evaluated in the study including self-recognition and involvement in feminist activism. Two kinds of sexual molestation were gauged, which included sexual advances and gender molestation.

Gender molestation means wrong interpretation of the capacity of one gender in comparison to another (Duncan, 2010). Such misconceptions amount to setting corridors to the excellence of a given gender, especially women, professionally and in socialization processes.

Duncan (2010) research identifies different types of gender molestation. They include gender identification and sexual advances according to the researcher. Feminist identification signified lesser gender molestation encounters (Duncan, 2010).

This finding contrasts with the Holland and Cortina (2013) argues that feminist-identified women account for the highest reduction in job gratification. Arguably, feminist activism is connected to greater experiences of both types of molestation.

For instance according to MacKinnon (2007), during conversations, higher chances exist in which when referring to a given character, the word woman is used than the word man.

Such a constant usage of the term woman places emphasis on the gender of the subject under discussion, especially when some negative attributes about the subject is involved. The capacity of women to deal with instances of gender molestation also attracts the attention of Duncan (2010).

The scholar argues that, irrespective of feminist activism or identification, women who have experienced sexual molestation are highly likely to fix the sexual molestation tag to their encounters than women who have faced gender molestation alone (Duncan, 2010).

This finding gives rise to the need to develop various theories explaining the manner in which women can deal with challenges associated with negative gender profiling such as gender discrimination.

It is unfortunate that most women in society approve feminist values, but do not identify themselves as feminists. Moradi, Martin, and Brewste analyzed the initiative of women founded on the presumption of personality as a probable feature in feminist non-identification.

The first study conducted by the above scholars introduced the theoretically positioned Feminist Threat Index and assesses its psychometric qualities with statistics from 91 students.

The second study examined a theoretically founded intervention set to decrease the scale of feminist threat and enhance the extent of feminist identification by permitting students to interrelate with a diverse group of feminists (Moradi, Martin, & Brewster, 2012).

The intervention decreased the scale of threat and raised the extent of feminist identification considerably in the group, but there was no change in the comparison set.

Several groups of individuals have reacted to feminism and both men and women either support or oppose it, with support for feminist perceptions being more common as compared to self-identification as a feminist.

The involvement of male and generally everyone is encouraged by feminists. This plan aims at attaining the dedication of the entire society to gender equality.

The findings of the above scholars present researchers and other stakeholders with adequate information that would be used in evaluating and decreasing the threat to feminist identification.

Previous studies have shown that the majority of women in the US support feminist objectives, but they do not consider themselves feminists. Consideration concerning the opinions of people as regards to feminism could foretell rejection of the feminist identity.

Different from this hypothesis, every woman who participated in such studies, irrespective of feminist recognition, had a conviction that other people had a negative perception towards feminists (McCabe, 2005).

Feminists were believed to be homosexuals as compared to being heterosexual in that their fights for gender equality created the impression that feminists were over concerned about issue touching on only one gender.

It is from this line of thought that prompted Ramsey et al. (2007) to research about the connection between the perceptions of feminists and the conviction they possess as to the way other people see them.

The scholars discussed the disagreement between the search for gender equality and the yearning for sexual gratification, which is a great challenge to feminists.

Significance of Topic based on Worldview and Social Background

My social background has played a key role towards my choice of the topic for my presentation. It is a burden for parents to have three daughters in the Indian culture especially when it comes to addressing their reproductive and bodily rights and needs.

For instance, it is a challenge for the Indian parents to cater for dowry expenses of the three girls. Such girls will lack proper education and/or be exposed to early marriages.

Therefore, there is the need for me to develop a set of ideologies aiming at identifying and defending the political, economic, and social rights of women in society. From my personal experience, I was always fighting for equal rights in the family but never knew the term- Feminism.

In fact, I did not know about feminism until I took the class last semester. Therefore, with such knowledge, I will strive confidently to restore the dignity of women that has been taken away not only in India but also in the world at large.

Such an effort will awaken the dreams, voice, and power of many women that could not be witnessed before.


Women bear the mindset and not the identity, which seems to be self-interested. They may only engage in less joint efforts in support of the rights of women. The negative depiction of feminism and feminists has made many women believe in equality.

However, they do not consider themselves feminists. As argued in the paper, when individuals are exposed to self-identified feminists and discourses regarding different types of feminism, their extent of self-identification as feminists rises.

In this regard, comprehension of whether the refusal of the feminist label is founded on the fear of stigma related to the identity, neoliberal convictions, or other elucidations is significant to the people campaigning for equality.

Reference List

Center for American Women and Politics. (2012). Women of Color in Elective Office. New Brunswick, NJ: Center for American Women and Politics.

Cole, R., & Sabik, J. (2010). Associations between femininity and women’s political behavior during midlife. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(4), 508-520.

Duncan, E. (2010). Women’s relationship to feminism: effects of generation and feminist self‐labeling. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(4), 498-507.

Gwyn, K., & Margo, O. (n.d). Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspective. London: Routledge.

Hennessy, R., & Ingraham, C. (1997). Materialist feminism: a reader in class, difference, and women’s lives. London: Routledge.

Holland, J., & Cortina, M. (2013). When sexism and feminism collide the sexual harassment of feminist working women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37(2), 192-208.

Hooks, B. (2000). Feminism is for everybody: Passionate politics. Brooklyn, NY: South End Press.

MacKinnon, C. (2007). Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

McCabe, J. (2005). What’s in a label? The relationship between feminist self-identification and “feminist” attitudes among US women and men. Gender & Society, 19(4), 480-505.

Moradi, B., Martin, A., & Brewster, M. (2012). Disarming the threat to feminist identification: an application of personal construct theory to measurement and intervention. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 36(2), 197-209.

Penny, F., & Nicola, F. (2001). Differential aesthetics: art practices, philosophy and feminist understandings. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate.

Ramsey, R., Haines, E., Hurt, M., Nelson, A., Turner, L., Liss, M., & Erchull, J. (2007). Thinking of others: Feminist identification and the perception of others’ beliefs. Sex Roles, 56(10), 611-616.

Ray, S. (2003). Against Earnestness: The Place in Performance in Feminist Theory. Studies in Practical Philosophy, 3(1), 22-79.

Showalter, E. (1999). Towards a Feminist Poetics. New York: Croom Helm. pp. 25–36.

Snyder-Hall, C. (2010). Third-wave feminism and the defense of “choice”. Perspectives on Politics, 8(1), 255-261.

Wendy, S. (2010). African American Women and Electoral Politics: A Challenge to the Post-Race Rhetoric of the Obama Moment. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Yoder, D., Tobias, A., & Snell, F. (2011). When declaring “I am a feminist” matters: Labeling is linked to activism. Sex Roles, 64(2), 9-18.

Zucker, N., & Bay‐Cheng, Y. (2010). Minding the Gap Between Feminist Identity and Attitudes: The Behavioral and Ideological Divide Between Feminists and Non‐Labelers. Journal of personality, 78(6), 1895-1924.

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IvyPanda. (2019, July 5). Historical Development of Feminism and Patriarchy. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-development-of-feminism-and-patriarchy/

Work Cited

"Historical Development of Feminism and Patriarchy." IvyPanda, 5 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/historical-development-of-feminism-and-patriarchy/.

1. IvyPanda. "Historical Development of Feminism and Patriarchy." July 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-development-of-feminism-and-patriarchy/.


IvyPanda. "Historical Development of Feminism and Patriarchy." July 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-development-of-feminism-and-patriarchy/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Historical Development of Feminism and Patriarchy." July 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-development-of-feminism-and-patriarchy/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Historical Development of Feminism and Patriarchy'. 5 July.

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