Key thinkers for feminism

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  • Key thinkers for feminism
    • Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) ‘women in economics’ (1897) Liberal Feminist , First Wave
      • She believed  that there was social pressure from childhood that makes young girls wear different clothes, play different clothes  and wanted to abolish this
      • She also believed in economic independence for women and that women’s dependency on the husband for money is at the heart of their oppression
      • ‘There is no female mind the brain is not an organ of sex’
      • She campaigned for economic independence for women and advocated centralised nurseries  and cooperative kitchens to give women freedom and autonomy
    • Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) ‘The Second Sex’ (1949) Liberal Feminist, second wave
      • Society moulds women into their behaviour
      • Men are the norm and women are the ‘other’ . Women have accepted this and therefore their subordinate position in society (otherness)
      • ‘One is not born, but rather becomes a woman’
      • Gender differences are not natural but created by men.
    • Kate Millett (1934-2017) ‘Sexual Politics’(1969) Radical Feminist and second wave
      • The family and other influences work together to reinforce the patriarchal values teaching girls their role in society
        • It is to the extent that the family unit should be abolished and replaced with communal living and child rearing
      • Patriarchy has created writers and literature that degrade women. Lanaguge used to describe sex shows the subjugation of women and women are commodities silenced by the freedom of men to sexually pervade over them
      • ‘The lesbian is the archetypical  feminist’
      • Patriarchy reinforces the idea that heterosexual is superior to bisexual or homosexual relationships
      • Women are oppressed by men and should free themselves by engaging in lesbian relationships
    • Shelia Rowbotham (1943-) ‘Women’s consciousness‘ (1983) Socialist Feminist, Second Wave.
      • Oppression of women predates capitalism so it cannot have created patriarchy. However, sexism and capitalism are linked  and a ‘revolution within the revolution’ is needed to eradicate both
      • The family is where men take refuse from the alienation in a capitalism economy. Women are oppressed economically and  culturally.
      • ‘The revolutionary woman knows the world she seeks to overthrow is precisely one in which love between equal human beings is well nigh impossible’
      • Female consciousness is  socially constructed by men
    • bell hooks (1952-) ‘Ain’t I a woman? Black women in feminism’ (1981) Post Modern and Fourth Wave
      • Children are forced into unnatural gender ‘boxes’
      • Intersectionality- mainstream radical feminism ignores women’s different cultural and class experiences
      • ‘Feminism is for everybody’
      • Women have multiple identity and therefore experience multiple forms of oppression
      • White men doiminate the state at the expense of women


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