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“Our Journey to Repowered Feminism” by Sonja K. Foss Essay

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Updated: Dec 23rd, 2021

Introduction

Sonja K. Foss and Karen A. Foss united their forces in order to revise the definition of feminism. They worked out a new conception of repowered feminism in the article “Our Journey to Repowered Feminism: Expanding the Feminist Toolbox”, which is valuable and interesting to read. Full of vivid examples, successfully composing historical data with personal impressions and specific terms with emotionally colored words, this article is useful both for students and for the authors’ colleagues, starting from the bright introduction into the theory of feminism movement, getting to significant scientific materials.

Waves in the feminism movement development

Stating at the very beginning of the article that feminism has never been a static phenomenon, Sonja and Karen Foss viewed the three waves in the feminism movement development. Using the cause and effect approach, the authors explain us why the feministic ideas were born in the women’s minds and how and to what degree those ideas evolved in the present-day intention to build the society of equals instead of attacks at men, in the so-called do-it-yourself feminism, I feminism, new feminism, free market feminism- whatever we name it.

Foss agree with the power feminism ends – the meetings of women’s needs, but find the suggested means for attaining those ends limited, that is why they recommended to pay more attention to symbolic interpretation, regarding it the most powerful tool in their expanded feminist toolbox.

The strong points of the article are in its language and the whole structure: building the article on contrasts, Foss managed to concentrate the readers’ attention up to the end. Regardless the strong theoretical basis used in the work no one gets bored with it as after the block of terms and theoretical information a vivid example from personal experience or a shocking expression comes. Having chosen a form of journey, Foss use the pronouns we, our to describe the life situations, in which the feminism was born and it not only makes us believe that these are the true authors’ feelings but even unites the reader with the author in their imaginary journey, claiming at the reader’s emotions.

We read about poor oppressed women of 1960-s, wearing dresses and hair nets standing throughout their shifts and then we get to know about the men, sitting, doing easier job, which is 50 cent more paid and it brings an immediate protest in the reader’s soul. Foss use euphemisms and even dared to use swear words in order to shock the potential reader and to create the effect of contrast with the scientific terms, standing one paragraph earlier. “I can’t rise to the most optimistic viewpoint, because I’m feeling too damn sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook” (Foss, 2009, p. 47)

A good idea was to use those words in brackets, this creates the impression of the author speaking to herself or to another author, not the reader, expressing true emotions that she would rather hide and not to demonstrate so frankly, but did not manage. At the same time Foss in brackets leave the space for the reader’s own interpretation and are inclined to lead to a discussion. “We suspect our readers can complete the list (Foss, 2009, p. 37)

Weak point

An only remark as to the weak points of the article structure could be a too long description of the problem, the theory that they are trying to expand and only several sentences as to their own suggestions at the end. The feminist toolbox was not expanded greatly. However, on the other hand, this climax on the last page, short and concise conclusion may seem useful as do not bore or overload the reader. Saying that the power feminism lost its life energy leads to misconception as the authors themselves said that every theory might be a self-consistent fragment of the whole.

Conclusion

Sonja K. Foss and Karen A. Foss tried to work out a new conception of repowered feminism in the article “Our Journey to Repowered Feminism: Expanding the Feminist Toolbox”. The journey was exciting, that was reached by means of contrasts and expressive means used and really led to an unexpected place, as the authors themselves meant it.

Reference list

Sonja, K. Foss, Karen A. Foss. (2009). Our Journey to Repowered Feminism: Expanding the Feminist Toolbox. Women’s Studies in Communication , Volume 32, 61.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "“Our Journey to Repowered Feminism” by Sonja K. Foss." December 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/our-journey-to-repowered-feminism-by-sonja-k-foss/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) '“Our Journey to Repowered Feminism” by Sonja K. Foss'. 23 December.

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