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Everyone Is A Feminist, Where Do You Lie?

Everyone is a feminist! Here is why. First, Feminism is a movement that began in Europe, in the 18th Century. Over the centuries, feminism has spread and evolved.

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Photo: Credits/ Human Rights Careers

Its growth has birthed more than five other types of its kind. However, this article’s focus is on the Big Three types of feminism.

Secondly, the feminist movement was initially initiated to advocate for women’s rights. This, was on the basis of the equality of the sexes, through socio-political movements. These movements had ideologies that proved that societies had prioritized the male point of view. Their fight was against gender stereotypes.

However, they also campaigned towards improving the educational, professional and interpersonal opportunities and outcomes for women.

Thirdly, since its genesis till date, these are some of the demands brought forth by feminists. Right to vote, work, run for public office and earn equal pay. Right to own property and also receive education.

Feminists have also demanded to have equal rights within marriage and right to maternity leave, contraception and legal abortion. Lastly, they have demanded for social integration and protection of women from rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

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  1. Liberal Feminism

From the word ‘Liberty’. Clearly, the first feminists wanted freedom. They wanted to be free of a society that was riddled with gender stereotypes. Liberal feminism sought political and legal equality through reforms, within a liberal democratic framework.

This first wave of feminism was a success. Evidently true because, in most parts of the world, the inclusion of women and their rights in legal and democratic set-ups has been witnessed. Nonetheless, there are men who also supported this type of feminism. It is safe to say that, these women and women wanted women to be heard.

Photo Credits: K. K.

2. Socialist and Marxist Feminism

From the look of things, this second wave of feminists wanted responsibility. After the Second World War, socialist feminists were awoken. More so, by the rise of capitalism in the West, mixed with an already patriarchal society. They wanted to overcome the patriarchy by arguing that economic dependence drove women to men.

Social feminists also challenged the liberal feminists. They argued that liberation of women could only be realized through working to end both the economic and cultural sources of their oppression. In this case, the source being the patriarchy.

Thus, within the socialist feminists was born a mini-radical group. The Marxist feminists. Marxist feminism is a movement that expanded on the Marxist Theory on Capitalism. Their ideologies being that, women were exploited through capitalism and property ownership. They wanted women’s contribution and labor toward property accumulation to be compensated for. Including, domestic labor and sex relations.

Moreover, they were against other oppressive systems. Systems that discriminated upon women on the grounds of race, sexual orientation, social class and economic status. It is safe to say that these women wanted to be seen.  

3. Radical Feminism

As the name suggests. With this type of feminism, everything took a turn for the extreme. These feminists wanted control. Not only were they after re-ordering the society, in order to abolish patriarchy, but were also after eliminating male supremacy.

Radical feminists’ main and only claim was that, patriarchy is the primary and only source of women’s oppression. First, they challenged the existing social norms and institutions. Later, they challenged the concept of gender roles. All these, they did in the good name of ending sexual objectification and raising public awareness on rape and gender based violence.

Photo Credits: Philosophy Talk

Radical feminists claimed that gender roles were oppressive, inaccurate and sexist. Hence, they believed that difference in genitalia should not matter at all. However, they still wanted women’s special role in reproduction to come with no penalties, heavy compensation and special treatment. Quite paradoxical, given that gender refers to the social roles assigned to one. Not only based on their sex but also on their personal identification, which is a case of internal awareness. It is safe to say that these women wanted to be dominant.

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It is interesting how each and every one of us falls in either one of the Big Three. However, it is ironical how being a supporter of one type of movement makes you an enemy of the others. It is even funnier how being a supporter of all movements, makes one an enemy of all. Those that only support liberal feminism are marked as friends of the patriarchy, whereas those that solely support social and Marxist feminism are marked as sympathizers. Toxic are those that support radical feminism and woe unto the narcissists, who support all three.

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All in all, it is argued that the end goal of feminism is the elimination of the sex distinction itself and not just the male privilege. Now that it is successfully established that there’s a feminist in all of us. The main question is, where do you lie? Which of the Big Three do you think is the upright form of feminism? Lastly, do you think that feminism has succeeded in its end goal or are we going back to the days of patriarchy?    

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