What Is Feminism? Essay Example

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What is Feminism


Feminism has a long history and there are different goals that kept the feminist movement going in various parts of the world. The purpose and goals of feminism have changed over time from the 19th Century to the in the 21st Century. Feminism faces different challenges today. Feminism has seen the space and opportunity given to women grow in the society and the workplace. This essay discusses important issues concerning feminism beginning with its definition, types and feminism theory, feminism movements and waves, everyday feminisms, and issues facing feminism today.

Feminism is advocating for women rights and equality in the society. Feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities in employment and education for women. Feminism is engraved in the belief that men and women must have equal opportunities and rights. For instance, women must have equal opportunity of being promoted and holding importance positions in organizations. Feminism theory aims at understanding disparity in treatment of men and women in society as well as it emphasizes on gender politics, sexuality and power relations. It focuses on the promotion of the interests and rights of women. There are various types of feminism. Radical feminism is the belief that segregation of women on the basis of their sex is deeply rooted within the society that the only solution is the complete removal of the concept of gender. Radical feminists provide suggestions like finding some sort of technology that can allow babies to be grown outside the body of a woman in order to promote equality among women and men in the place of work. Women will not miss work owing to maternity leave hence making them to be at the same level as men. Women have to be absent from work when they deliver hence reducing their chance of promotion. Feminism aims at putting women and men at the same level of competitiveness and responsibility in the society.

Social feminists are of the view that women are not able to be free owing to their financial dependence on men in society. There will justice if women can find their own source of living instead of being controlled by men who have resources. Men use wealth and their cultural positions to oppress women and suppress their ambitions. Cultural feminism focuses on how the modern society is disrupted through encouraging masculine behavior but observe that society gains more through the encouragement of feminism behavior. Liberal feminists are of the view that all people were created equal by God and hence they deserve equal rights. Any woman should not be mistreated or denied a chance in society on the basis of her gender.

There are various waves or movements of feminism. The First-wave feminist is an era that describes the first phase of feminist activity in the course of 19th Century and the beginning of twentieth century within the United States and the United Kingdom. Activities during this era centered on advocating for improved equal contract and property rights for women as well as opposing ownership of married women by their husbands. At the end of 19th Century activism shifted to focusing on gaining political power especially voting rights for women. Second wave feminism is the period in the early 1960s and lasted through 1980s. The second wave was an extension of the earlier phase of feminism. Second wave feminism co-existed with third-wave feminism. Third-wave feminism commenced in the early 1990s due to the failures of the second wave as well as response to the criticism of movements and initiatives created by the second wave. Feminists in the third-wave most emphasize on micro-politics as well as challenging the paradigm of the second wave.

Sex-positive movement was developed for the purpose of addressing issues of women regarding sexual pleasure, sex work, and freedom of expression as well as inclusive gender identities. Everyday feminism refers to intersectional feminist online educational platform featuring articles regarding race, gender, sex, religion, and class. The mission is to dismantle discrimination, violence, and marginalization. Main issues that are facing feminism today include reproductive rights, intersectionality and terroristic online harassment. Intersectionality recognizes the differences in gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and race that cause or make outcomes for some women worse as compared to others. Some mistreatment online for women by men is meant to silence their voices and demean them. Workplace bullying has been widely condemned.


Feminism movement advocates for the rights of women and opportunities in the place of work and the society at large. Feminism waves define the phases that feminism has gone through since in the 19th Century. There are different perceptions of feminisms that define the various types of feminisms that have been discussed. In general feminism has consistently advanced the rights and women and gender equality, economical emancipation and equal playing field in society. Feminism try to breach the gap between women and men in society.