Feminism/ Feminism term paper 12055

Feminism term papers
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There are many different types of feminists. Not all of them, however, are women. There are many male feminists as well. Even though feminists share a common goal, they don t always agree on the same approach to that goal. Likewise, they don t always share the same opinions about topics such as the inequalities between the sexes. Male feminists and female feminists sometimes agree on the causes of women s and men s inequality, and sometimes they disagree.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton played a major role during the women s movement. In her speech, Solitude of Self , Stanton said that the reason for the inequality between men and women is lack of individuality. Women are brought up dependant upon men. They learn to be supported and protected by them. Men acknowledge this dependence and are very happy with it. It gives them more power over the women because the women don t know how to depend on themselves. Stanton believes that until women stand up and are recognized as individuals, they will never be able to support themselves. Her view was that of a liberal feminist because she thought that if women were given the opportunity to be self reliant, they would exist as equals to men. She says Seeing that the responsibilities of life rest equally on man and woman, that their destiny is the same, they need the same preparation for time and eternity.

August Bebel, a male feminist agreed with Stanton. He also thought that women suffer as a result of both their social and economic dependence on the male sex. He, however, takes a radical perspective of this inequality. He says that women not only have to assert their independence, but there has to be a removal of all the barriers that make one human being dependent upon another, which includes the dependence of one sex upon the other. There has to be a change in the system. Then, and only then, will there be total equality. He says For there can be no liberation of mankind without social independence and equality of the sexes.

Another reason for the inequality between the sexes is ignorance. Ernestine Rose thought that both men and women accepted the idea that men were the superior sex. Men chose not to admit that women deserved rights because it benefited them more not to. Women were brought up thinking that they didn t deserve rights. They didn t question this idea and didn t know better. When Rose was petitioning for signatures, the responses that she got showed how close-minded people were. The women would say We have rights enough; we want no more. and the men would answer You have rights enough; nay, you have too many already. Rose, being a liberal feminist, said that the women did not know their own pain and suffering and the position that they were in. And that if they did, they would strive to gain their rights and be on an equal level with the men.

William Lloyd Garrison disagreed with Rose s opinion. He thought that the cause for the inequality was power and greed, not ignorance. He thought that the fault lay entirely on the male sex. The term that he used was intelligent wickedness . His Marxist view of the situation was that men exploited women (knowing that they were taking advantage of them), to further their own interests. He argues that the men aren t ignorant, because if they were, they would accept the fact that they had treated women wrong. But because they weren t willing to accept the truth, he said that it was guilt that the men had. Garrison says man had monopolized for generations all the rights which belong to woman, it has not been accidental, not through ignorance on his part; but I believe that man has done this through calculation, actuated by a spirit of pride, a desire for domination which has made him degrade woman in her own eyes.

A third perspective in relation to women s and men s inequality is due to the lack of political power. Susan B. Anthony argued that in order for women to be equal to men, they had to have some kind of political power.


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