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Women In The State

The purpose of this paper is to define the different types of feminism and describe whether there is still potential for a unified consensus among the different feminist groups. The four main types of feminism can be separated into the following categories: liberal, radical, socialist and identity. These types of feminism may be easily divided academically, but there are many aspects that people consider from all angles to form their own opinion. The following is a description and general understanding of the movements mentioned.

First, the idea of liberal feminism sees all people as equal; therefore there should be equality for all. They see sexism as dysfunctional because it deprives society of one-half of its creative work force. Oppression exists because of our socialization process with education being the primary aspect. Liberalism emphasizes “man’s” ability to be rational, setting them apart from other creatures and therefore deeming them worthy or rights. Liberal feminists recognize the importance or rights and seek a system of equal rights for men and women. A central idea of liberalism that has been “includes a belief in the equal rights of all human beings and a faith in educated human reason”. (MacIvor 40) Education, being a key to recognizing equality, is one of the prime aspects of liberal feminism. It’s believed that “women were equal to men in natural intelligence, and only appeared to be inferior because they were denied a proper education”. (40) Overall women are as intelligent as men but are deprived of equal rights and opportunities because of education and reason.
Now reason itself is a key concept within the school of liberal feminism. “Reason is a higher quality, separate from and superior to the body. Reason is also an individual quality; hence the liberal focus on the individual person”. (41) Liberal feminist strive to focus the mainstream of ideas towards the idea of accepting women’s reason as much as man giving the ultimate view of individualism and freedom without bias towards sex. Some examples of liberal feminist ideas are campaigns for equal pay, employment equity and greater female representation in politics.
The second type of feminist approach that is recognized in this paper is the radical feminist approach. In radical feminist theory, the oppression of women is seen as the root of all other power inequalities in society. There are many diverse actions and views that can be considered “radical” but one there are some common threads as well that hold together the “radical view”. First all radical feminists agree that “distinction of gender, based on sex, structure virtually every aspect of our lives and are indeed are so all-pervasive that ordinarily they go quite unrecognized”. (46) The goal of radical feminists is to ensure that women are aware of these distinctions of gender exist and that they injure women in all parts of their lives. It is important for them to know that men are the oppressors and men derive their concrete benefits from their oppression of women. Because of this, radical feminists must struggle to achieve liberation.
Another distinction within the radical feminist views is the fact that the radicals believe that women have a unique sexual and reproductive power. In other words “women’s ability to give birth is a unique power that leads to enforced powerlessness at the hands of men”. (47) On the other hand, radical feminists have argued that men weaken women and because the physical demand that men have towards childbirth. Men understand that pregnancy is formed ultimately by their power, and with this, the root of women’s oppression is established.

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One downfall of this type of thought is that with the continual growth of evolution in the economic and public sphere, it seems that most of the women are middle class educated white women. Radical view has not dealt very well with the issues of race and class and cannot differentiate between the class types that our economy holds. It cannot tell us about the economic difference or exploitations of women in the state. Overall, radical feminism is bound and contained by the biological aspects of women’s lives and fails to consider the social aspect of women oppression.
Social feminism can be considered an almost


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