According to Goodman (2010), feminism is an ideology that refutes the cultural, political and economic practices that relegate women to inferior positions compared to their male counterparts. It discourages gender-based discrimination whereby men are privileged over women in the society. In addition, feminism opposes the historical, cross-cultural and contemporary practices that deny women the freedom to exist as free and self-governing individuals with power over their lives.
Feminism has fought for several things that are aimed at ensuring social justice in respect to the affairs of women. First, feminism has fought for gender-based equality to have women treated fairly without being exposed to male dominance. In this case, feminists have despised patriarchal systems that place men at positions of privilege and superiority while placing women at positions of inferiority and dependency (Grigsby, 2015). Secondly, it has fought for empowerment of all people to participate in collective decision making processes regardless of their gender, and rendered those who undermine this provision as being oppressive. In addition, according to Grigsby (2015), feminism has also fought for a wide range of opportunities that are unfairly taken away from women. For instance, the ideology fights for equality of; resources, political power, educational opportunities, protection from violence and respect.
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However, according to Randall (2010), there is a difference between moderate feminism and radical feminism in that the latter pushes for reordering of the society in order to eliminate male supremacy and liberate everyone from the unjust social norms and institutions. On the other hand, moderate feminism does not necessarily advocate for reordering of the society but it champions for an end to oppression and discrimination that women are often subjected to.
- Goodman, R. T. (2010). Feminist Theory in Pursuit of the Public: Women and the ‘Re-Privatization’ of Labor. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
- Grigsby, E. (2015). Analyzing Politics: An Introduction to Political Science (6th Edition). Belmont: Wadsworth Thompson.
- Randall, V. (2010). “Feminism”. In Marsh, David; Stoker, Gerry. Theory and methods in political science (3rd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.