Term Paper: Feminism Is a Philosophy Driven

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Feminism is a philosophy driven by the need to give women a more parallel standing in this world alongside men. It aims to encourage women to move outside their homes and seek employment and demands equal socio-political and economic rights for women all over the world. Also, one of the main aims of this philosophy is also to articulate and speak out against the violation and oppression that women face in different parts of the world and to configure steps, as well as, join hands with organizations, to stop this phenomenon of violence to continue

For most researchers, the ambiguity and unclear depiction of what Feminism actually represents and aims-for makes it come across as a very dangerous and fearful concept. The different views and differing aspects of this school of thought do not help the acceptance of this philosophy. If the meaning and representation of this philosophy is brought across as unclear and dangerous, the concepts and perspectives are going to be treated similarly (Offen, Page 119).

It is important that we understand the use and application of the numerous feminists perspectives to gain a lucid idea of what feminism really is and how it works. However, the downside is that not even one successful feminist perspective has been recognized in the recent years, which is one of the main reasons why this phenomenon has had to face more than its fair share of criticism in recent history. The truth is that at given times, it is only the protestors and advocates who thought of ideas of the forms of feminisms and its perspectives that are existent in a society or worldwide. It is because of this that the media plays a large part in bringing this phenomenon to the layman, making it come across as a very simple yet a widespread and intricate maze.

One of the phases where the feminist perspectives were finding strong basis was from the post WWII through to the early 1980s (Thornham, Page 29-42). The main aim of feminism during the post WWII period through to 1920 was to mainly speak out and fight against the oppression and violence that women were facing due to the constant political and economic conflicts that the world was facing. This particular form of feminism was very common throughout all the countries in the world but also had certain specific circumstances and characteristics related to every country where the gender-struggle was a constant issue. After that the main focus of the feminist activists was to gain parallel on the legal grounds alongside men specifically in the U.S. The open-minded feminists during this time tried to get the women to contribute at a higher percentage in the political and legal aspects of the administration (Sanders, Page 16-28).

During the years 1967 through to 1973, most fundamentalists supporting the feminist school of though believed that most of the discriminative behavior and oppression was driven by racial and class differences not by the gender preference. The socialist and/or Marxist feminist advocates too blamed the injustice against women on the capitalism structure of government and concentrated their efforts on wiping out the oppression and prejudice that was happening because of the racial or class differences. However these fundamentalist changed their innovative approach by the time the decade 1970 dawned. They applied a more contemporary approach to their outlook and worked on the oneness, unity and cooperation of women by forming organizations that had a female majority staff and worked on wiping out the atrocities and oppression against women (Sanders, Page 16-28; Thornham, Page 29-42). However, all of these classifications of the perspective adopted by the feminist parties still give us a very general idea without explicitly explaining the variations and patterns that existed within each of these classifications. Based on these facts, it seems a little too harsh to actually criticize this philosophy or school of thought.

Michael Levin states in his book "Feminism and Freedom" similar remarks where he criticizes the feminist school of thought without considering its overall impact or intended objectives. Professor Levin feels that both men and women are alike only when it comes to discussing reproduction, otherwise they are both very dissimilar species with different responsibilities and work formats. This belief completely contradicts the feminist belief of men and women being very similarly designed creatures. His explanation of this particular belief is one that causes riffs between the feminist activists and him. He feels that all of the feminist perspectives and aims are on surface designed to provide basic human rights while in retrospect, he feels that they in practicality either contradict or abandon this very fundamental artifact. He feels that the feminist demand for a more equal and parallel social, political and economic standing is just a way to justify the inappropriate harassments of the concept of human independence. He supports this by giving an example of a sexual harassment charge that a female student might make on a male professor if he dares to show interest in her as more then just a student (Block, Page 97, 98).

Now first things first, the example that Professor Levin has given is completely inappropriate, why? Well, because the ethics of teachers and their responsibilities toward their student were defined outside of the school of feminism and long before feminism even gained popularity or support. What the feminism school of thought has done is supply the women with a basis with the help of which they can determine when a line is being crossed and what they need to do to avoid embarrassing or violent situations again whether it is through legal or social means.

Also, the feminism school of thought on the manifest is driven to protect women and increase their opportunities to expand the horizon of their abilities, history has shown that this particular school of thought has been influential in helping men gain popularity and increased ratios of contribution in both the social and political spheres. This is why it is absolutely wrong to say that the many advantages that the application of the feminist philosophy has brought forth have been restricted to the development and growth of women while completely disregarding the human rights of men.

One of the major achievements of the feminist school of thought has been the development of the scenario for the country women to find freelance or self-employed work, as well as, develop managerial and entrepreneurial abilities through the establishment of small businesses. This was done so mainly-because most feminist activists believed that the agrarian form of work which is the main occupation of the countryside was mainly driven by male instincts and provided the women very limited opportunities to attain self-sufficiency and growth (Dagenails, Page 217-8).

The feminist school of thought has helped women all around the world to gain confidence and strength in their abilities and venture out of their homes to widen their spectrum if opportunities. It has also helped the women to tackle the situation at hand whether it is defying against an aggressive spouse, challenging racial and class prejudice, tackling the demands of a greedy landlord, pursuing higher levels of education, encouraging the employment of female politicians or lawyers or engineers, challenging chauvinism at work, initiating women's health or co-operative or financial headquarters etc. All of these acts and activities have improved in execution with time and have helped the women to contribute in the overall global market using their intellect, common sense and confidence giving the overall business world new perspectives and fresh alternatives. What could possibly be wrong with that?!

References

Huguette Dagenails and Denise Piche. Women, Feminism and Development. Macgill-Queen's University Press. Pg 217-18. 1994. The book was written after the 1988 conference of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRAIW). The main aim of this book… [END OF PREVIEW]

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