Monday, January 28, 2008

Cyber Feminism

A. Castle

Cyber feminism was coined in 1991-1992 in different parts of the world. Nancy Paterson wrote an article names “Cyberfeminism” while at the same time in Australia four girls started the Cyber Feminist Manifesto to add females and political consciousness into electronic documents and sites on the internet. These four girls took quite a radical view of feminism and how to inject it into the internet. (I will include the VNS Matrix cyberfeminst manifesto at the end of the post) During the same time period, according to Wikipedia, Sadie Plant also used the term cyber feminism to define the “feminizing influence of technology on western society and its inhabitants.” Sadie Plant seems to think of technology as inherently female and hence the term Cyberfemism.

By 1997 cyber feminist had a conference in Germany and drafted the “100 Anti-Theses of Cyber feminism” that leaves the term cyber feminism open and without classification. The conference wanted the term not be classified and without definition so that it is without limits. Some of the quotes are quite amusing as they define what cyber feminism is by stating what it is not. For example it is “not caffeine-free” or “is not error 101” this definition allows for a very wide open and changeable definition of Cyber feminism. This same lack of wanting to avoid being limited by definition has also perhaps been the reason this movement is somewhat stalled in the opinion of Alex Galloway. Galloway writes that without a clear goal, definition and leadership cyber feminisms promising future has not unfolded.

Technology has often thought to be ruled by men for men and Cyber feminism is a way of grasping onto technology for women also. It seems some, like Rosi Braidotti, view Cyber feminism as a way to bring joy and beauty into cyberspace. A cyberspace she inferred would be cold and ugly without cyber feminism.

Cyber feminism broadly discusses feminism that is discussed, portrayed or promoted in cyberspace. Cyber feminism is a marriage of technology and feminism it embraces technology and its ability to reach so many people quickly and efficiently. It is interesting that because not one school of feminist thought prevails in Cyber Feminism it allows for a free exchange of ideas in words and art. It is interesting that Cyber feminist are more about the delivery of the message in many ways rather than the message itself.

Technology is seen as a great equalizer and a way to reach people that may have not been reached before. Woman could have meetings, self-help groups, chat groups or discussion boards to help foster the strength of the feminist movement. Technology does not see your skin color, age, disabilities, looks, size, economics or your sex therefore we all can be part of Cyber Feminism movement. Cyber Feminism also points out the fact that women are not technophobic even if that is what was thought in the past.

Cyber feminism does not want to be classified or pigeonholed and I fully agree with that concept. I like the somewhat tongue in cheek attitude of many of the readings. The movement does not seem to take it self overly seriously. It also wants to fight the notion that women are not technologically minded or even techno geeks. I am defiantly a cyber feminist in the terms of working on bringing gender equality into the technology field. I consistently work towards helping women feel comfortable in this male dominated field.
I find myself drawn to the readings and look forward to delving more into this subject. link to the VNS Matrix
VNS_Matrix, cyberfeminist manifesto for the 21st century. 1991: Adelaide.
Braidotti, Rosi. (1996). "Cyberfeminism with a difference".Women's Studies, University of

A. Castle

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Trans-Feminism (Transgender Feminism)

Trans-Feminism (Transgender Feminism)
by Gale Brooker

Tran feminism is a form of feminism that includes transgender and transsexual rights and issues, especially those of transwomen. Trans feminism has also been described as a social force working for the rights and goals of transsexual and transgender individuals.

This particular group has many struggles of their own, starting with having the heart and soul of one gender while having the genitalia of another. They also have huge economic struggles if they wish to have any medical procedures.

This type of feminism has created quite a stir among other groups. Some feminists feel they do not belong. One of the major reasons is because of how some Trans gender or transwoman behave or exaggerate their femininity. Another reason is some feel that trans genders could not possibly understand all the struggles and what it is to be a “true gender”.

Many of the ideals and goals of transfeminists are very similar to other feminist groups. One of the strongest similarities is the belief that traditional gender roles should be broken down and even abolished, creating equality between the sexes. They also believe in equality among all people.
All though I am not a trans gender, I am a woman and always have been, I agree with their plight. I do not feel it fair for people to scorn others because of their differences. We are all different. We as society are all fighting to belong.
Some sites I had found informative are:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Postcolonial Feminism

Kyle Kordan
WS 200

Postcolonial Feminism

This type of feminism came from the gendered history of colonization. From one cultures exapnsion and adoption into another's is where this movement started and was carried on. It has alot to do with integration of different cultures but based on gender. It acknowledges differences but expresses similarities in women across many cultures.

Some arguments include:

- Cultures impacted by colonialism are often vastly different and should be treated as such.
- Oppressions relating to the colonial experience, particularly racial, class, and ethnic oppressions, have marginalized women in postcolonial societies.
- While challenging gender oppression within their own culture, postcolonial feminists also fight charges of being "Western", as some within their cultures would contend.

Most notably this form of feminism criticizes Western forms such as radical feminism and liberal feminism. They are similar to transnational and third-world feminism while most notably being associated with black feminism for their struggle for recognition.

I do not agree necessarily with these different forms of feminism. To me it is just another group that has similar beliefs that associate themselves witrh the feminist movement just because they are female. I might not just grasp the different types of feminism and their role in the evolution of the movement but it just seems confusing to have so many different views all in the same category of feminism.

Lesbian Feminism

Lesbian Feminism

Lesbian Feminism is a cultural movement and critical perspective, most popular in the 1970’s and early 1980’s that questions the position of women and homosexuals in society (Wikipedia). Sheila Jeffreys defined seven key themes for lesbian feminism:

· An emphasis on women’s love for one another
· Separatist organizations
· Community and ideas
· Idea that lesbianism is about choice and resistance
· Idea that the personal is the political
· A rejection of hierarchy in the from of role-playing and sadomasochism
· A critique of male supremacy which eroticises inequality

Basically, this type of feminism is the resistance to men and heterosexuality as an institution. It originated as social groups who were seeking liberation from sexist attitudes. With lesbian feminism came the term “woman-identified woman”. This is a woman who withdraws herself from a man, to connect with another woman. Lesbian feminists see sexual orientation as a choice or response to a situation. Women who started this feminism felt that in order to reach autonomy, they must not seek approval from men or men institutions. Another belief inside this feminism is the idea of “political lesbians”. These are women who are not required to engage sexually with other women, but are expected to remain celibate. They also adopted a style of short hair, jeans, work boots, plaid shirts, etc. to reject femininity.

I agree with lesbian feminists and their idea that in order to reach autonomy women must not seek approval from men. This is important to me because I feel that in order to be myself and in order to do what makes me happy, then I can’t turn to a man for his approval. I need to do what I want and need under my own approval, not a man’s. Although I agree with many beliefs lesbian feminists support, I don’t think that I could say that I would be willing to call myself a lesbian feminist. I say this because it seems that a key component of this type of feminism is the idea that sexual orientation is a choice. Being a lesbian, I would have to disagree and say that I am a lesbian because I just am, not because I chose to be.


People: Rita Mae Brown, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Sheila Jeffreys
Books: Changing Our Minds: Lesbian Feminism and Psychology by Celia Kitzinger & Rachel
Perkins; Identity Politics: Lesbian Feminism and the limits of community by Shane Phelan; and Cultural Politics & Movements (Ch. 8) by Marcy Darnovsky, Barbara Epstein, & Richard Flacks
Articles: Unpacking Queer Politics: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective by Belinda Sweeney

Shayna Gray

Islamic Feminism

Womens Studies
Jennifer McKenna

Islamic feminism is a movement which attempts to promote gender equality and women’s rights within Islam. Islamic feminism traces its roots back to the time of the Prophet himself, asserting that the Qur’an bestowed previously unheard-of rights upon women. Prior to the advent of Islam, the society that the Prophet addresses treated women poorly, burying young females alive, compelling women to perform, and regarding women as chattel. The Qur’an, in stark contrast, stresses that women and men are granted equal rights in the eyes of Allah: "And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. (2:226)" Islam also promises believers, both women and men, an equal reward for their faith: “For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)” The Qur’an likewise admonishes believing men to treat women fairly: “O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowry you have given them - except when they have become guilty of open lewdness. On the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike something and Allah will bring about through it a great deal of good. (4:19)” Islamic feminists contend that, following the death of the Prophet, many of the misogynistic cultural traditions reappeared and the Prophet’s desire for equity was left by the wayside.
Islamic feminism has recently had a resurgence in popularity when the movement experienced a revival in Egypt at the close of the nineteenth century. A liberation theology, Islamic feminism stresses a return to the Qur’an and a reexamination of its patriarchal interpretation and application, including what it terms “woman-hating hadiths.” Though among Islam’s more liberal movements, it insists on defining itself within the Islamic paradigm, often eschewing what it views as Western interference. Islamic feminism does not wish to define itself by the views of Western, particularly American, feminism, which it does not believe appreciates its unique position and views. Islamic feminists are focused on gender inequality within Muslim Personal Law, particularly those aspects which deal with marriage, divorce and testation. Islamic feminists are also addressing social mores such as the dress code, honor killings, and genital mutilation which occur in parts of the Muslim world.
I do not consider myself an Islamic feminist, but I do find their attempts to center their movement within their beliefs admirable. I believe that it is all too easy for Western feminists to visualize the Islamic woman wearing hijab as oppressed, not recognizing such views as ethnocentric. I feel, however, that any practices which result in physical harm or death should be universally condemned, irregardless of their social, political, or religious basis.

Sources and Suggested Readings:

Jennifer McKenna

Sex Postive Feminism - Carla Bertoldi (WS 200)

Sex - Postive Feminism is a type of feminism that had its rise during the sexual revolution of the 1970's but was not fully developed and studies until the 1980's. Defined it is, "feminism that deals with the belief that sexual freedom leads to women’s freedom and women should be the sole decision maker when it comes to intimate acts and everything that comes along with them" (
The start of the pro sex feminist movement started with the stance legislation was taking on pornography being sexual discrimination against women. Although some pornography can be degrading in nature it is not sexual discrimination to a consenting woman participant (viewer and actress), instead by taking pornography away it would be more of a violation of a woman's freedom of speech.
The core concepts of Sex - Postive feminism include, Sex as a form of paid work, which supports the making prositution legal. There is also a beleif that what is considered to be 'hate sex' actually may be a type of fantasy for women and should not be judged or critizied. It also emphasizes the importance of accepting all sexual orientations, homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, transsexual, or whatever a person chooses to be. It supports sexual education and giving women the complete and total right to choose with whom, how, when, and where they want to be sexually active.
Pro sex feminism Carole Vance states that, "We must draw on women's energy to create a movement that speaks as powerfully in favor of sexual pleasure as it does against sexual danger" (Vance). She goes on to say, "Feminism must insist that women are sexual subjects... and increase women's pleasure and joy, not jsut decrease our misery" (Vance). Pro -sex feminism is about being able to have the sexual freedom that men have without people passing negative judgement.
Feminists such as Ariel Levy, agrue that pro-sex feminism leads to the objectification on women and sexual activites may actually be disempowering for women (wikipedia).
I agree that pornography and prostitution should be legal as long as consent is there. However since so many people are concerned with rape and violence both of these acts are under severe public scrutiny and due to our societial norms are unfortunately looked negatively upon. I think if a woman wants to have sex and get paid for it, that is fine. I do not think married men or women should partake in acts like this but single consenting adults that may not want to try to flirt with a man or women and have to spend money on a date and purely just want sex for the sake of pleasure, should be able to pay for it. We pay for other vices such as alcohol and entertainment. However, I would never pay or be paid for sex because of my religious beliefs, not everyone has the same beliefs that I do, so if they want to feel some pleasure and make/spend money to do it, be my guest. Let the sexual revolution continue!

For more information on Pro Sex Feminism please refer to the following resources:

Feminism for Sale: Case Study of Pro -Sex Feminist Business by Meika Loe

Chicana Feminism

Willie Gibson
Womens Studies 200

Chicana Feminism is also known as Xicanisma and is a movement that covers many areas of the fight against the socio-economic oppression of Mexican-American women in the United States. It’s foundation comes from the Chicano movement of the 1960’s and 70’s where Mexican-American men talked about maintaining “La Familia” and the Mexican cultural values while here in the United States.
The movement addresses and fights for change against the oppressive traditions of discrimination and mistreatment Mexican-American women in the home and society.
While there are many types of other Feminism, Chicana Feminism focuses more on the socio-economic place Chicanas hold in society. Chicana Feminists find themselves in a struggle, not only against the oppressive social injustices against women but also against upper-middle class Anglo women and the struggle for cultural and racial equality. Many brown skin Chicanas find the only commonality they have with their Anglo sisters is just being a woman.
I find Chicana Feminism interesting because of the culturalistic aspect of the movement. The United States is made up of many races and cultural backrounds including many different languages. Keeping that in mind, I think it is critical that we as a society incorporate that and challenge ourselves to view feminism as a whole rather than from the narrowed viewpoint of White America.
As a bi-racial(African American/White) male I can identify with the racial portion of Chicana Feminism, however I cannot truly call myself a Chicana Feminist.

For more information on Chicana Feminism you can find works by renown Chicana Feminist Gloria Anzaldua

New Feminism - Blog #1 by Stevie Bowling

Stevie Bowling
January 25, 2008
Joelle Ryan
WS 200 – Online
Blog #1

New feminism, which is a philosophy of those who are mostly Catholic, but one of the Judaism and Protestant faiths as well, is a philosophy where emphasis is placed on the fact that there should be no superiority that men hold over women or women hold over men. Instead, new feminism believes one should recognize and take into consideration others ideas about women and the role they play as well as their strengths and outlooks while considering the equal worth that both genders share. New feminism is also a form of difference feminism which stresses the fact that men and women are just different versions of the human being. Other controversial issues of new feminism include the protection of life. Since women are meant to be caregivers and protect all of those in need including the poor, sick and the weak, they found it simply unacceptable to even consider such things like abortion, stem cell research, infanticide and in-vitro fertilization.

The term new feminism was first used in the 1920’s as a way to distinguish this new type of feminism from the suffrage feminists that mainstreamed society. Pope John Paul II was the one in the Catholic community who preached that men and women out there were created by God to show their strengths and weaknesses as a reflection of their physical makeup. He supported the fact that women had a “feminine genius” as a mother and a primary caregiver.

New feminists believe that the human being is one who is made in the image and likeness of God, the father for union and communion purposes. (Wikipedia 1) They support the fact that there are very unique different ways that both men and women give themselves as God’s gifts through the breeding of their bodies. By doing so, these men and women are offering gifts like their missions and dignity and portraying the mysteries of God.

Other core beliefs of new feminism are that the different body structures that men and women have make way to the different experiences that they have had over their years. Also, with those physical features they believe that it makes way to the emotional, spiritual and intellectual aspects that they have to offer in life.

Becoming a mother also is a core belief that new feminists support. They feel that all women, regardless if they ever give birth or not have maternal love like no other no matter if they are the best mother or the worst mother out there. Supporters say that being a mother is what a woman is physically fit to develop life within their womb. This physical capacity to do so leads to the psychological as well as emotional and spiritual characteristics those women must have to be mothers.

Unlike other forms of feminism, new feminism supported protective legislation which was a controversial issue with other feminist groups at the time because they believed with protective legislation in place, women were not given the opportunity to get the higher paying jobs and better benefits. Instead, new feminists liked the idea of keeping the woman out of the workplace because her calling from God was to be a mother and act upon all of her care giving qualities to the best of her ability. New feminism was opposed by younger women like Winifred Holtby and Dorothy Evans who believed new feminism was creating separatism between men and women.

As a Catholic myself, I am very familiar with the issues that new feminists support. Take for example the belief that men and women were created by God as just simply different form of the human being by their physical characteristics that display their strengths, weaknesses and past experiences. I cannot say that I am a supporter of protective legislation in an effort to keep women out the running for higher paying jobs and the opportunity to work and have equal rights just like men, but I do believe that women were created to be the caregivers of the world. New feminism supports that even if a woman does not have a child she still has the characteristics to care for those who need it most like children, poor and the weak. Whether a woman decides to have a child or not I believe is her own opinion, but I also take a stand that she should display the characteristics that God has determined for her to be the best caregiver that she can.

I could say that I label myself as somewhat of a new feminist because I do frown upon abortion, stem cell research and other medical procedures that take away and tamper with the lives of those who deserve to be living. As a woman, I am meant to take care of those children and in no way would I ever see a positive in taking away an innocent life. I also believe that men and women do have their own physical ability to take on different roles and tasks to live the life that God wants for them. At the same time though, I do not know if I could be considered a new feminist because I am not a supporter of protective legislation. It is obvious that I believe women were made to be the primary caregivers, have children if they decide to and take of the role of being the maternal figure for those who need it most. But, I support the fact that the women can still be the best caregiver she could be and be given the opportunity to work and receive equal pay and benefits as men at the same time no matter if they are male or female and looked down upon because of their physical features or ability/strength to do something. In no way do I support the fact that with protective legislation, women are to stay at home or on premises with those who she must care for and never leave their sight. To me, women should be given the opportunity to work if they want and still be the best mother out there.

Where I stand with new feminism is still up in the air I could say, but I do recognize the issues I support and the issues I do not support. In the end, I guess I could call myself a “somewhat new feminist” because I do agree with some issues, but disagree with others as well.

Resources that I found the most helpful during my research were Wikipedia. ( This website offered a great background to new feminism and also outlined some of the major beliefs of the group. Also, while researching new feminism, I came across a leaflet to Pope John Paul II’s beliefs of new feminism at ( Articles on new feminism written by authors like Helen Alvaré and Justine Nicholas also offered some insight to where they stand with new feminism beliefs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Postmodern Feminism

Aaron Ashba

WS 200

"Postmodern Feminism"

The term postmodern feminism is believed to have begun and widely used in the 1980's. Postmodern feminism is used to refer to the many different theories within the feminism movement. Generally, people that use this term are individuals that may be against feminism overall, as they feel it doesn't relate to today's society. These individuals agree that feminism was positive, as it was first established to help women receive the rights they deserved. In today's society, it is viewed by some that women's rights are as they should be and feminism is no longer needed, hence we are now in the postmodern feminism age. The overall view by these individuals basically generalize that problems in society today effects everyone as a whole, not just women. The term is viewed as a new era for women and the thought that they are completely equal in today's society, moving on from the "old" views of traditional feminism. The radicalised view of postmodern feminism truly feel it's time to move on from traditional feminism. This generally consists of white males, as they feel most effected by feminism as a whole as a direct impact to their individual rights in our society. This differs from anti-feminist views, as feminism is still viewed positively toward women and it's historic value for shaping the structure of gender equality today. This view doesn't necessarily condone the slide back to a patriarchal dominated society again, but that the staunch feminist may actually contribute to the negative views of women by over-stepping their bounds from their stances with general societal "issues".

My personal assessment of this view toward feminism does make sense to me now that women have cemented themselves as leaders in our society. As we move further into the 21st century, we now have a woman who has a legitimate chance to be a presidential candidate. This is a movement of grand proportions for all women and should be considered as proof of equality within our country. I don't believe I would label myself as a "postmodern feminist"; it would be too easy as a white male to fall into that trap. The theory of feminism shouldn't necessarily go away, but the ideas that existed 50 years ago need to be re-evaluated by the even the most beloved feminist.

From much of the information listed concerning this topic, Judith Butler's seems to be a name brought up the most from her 1990 book, "Gender Trouble" and other publications over the last three decades. As people have claimed that postmodern feminism for offering no clear path to action, Butler does claim "the term postmodernism as too vague to be meaningful" as it encompasses so many facets of feminism. For more information on Judith Butler, please use the provided link:

Other References:

Asian American Feminism

Historically, Asian American Feminism was first evident in the 1960's along side the civil rights movement. Asian American activists believed that women's issues were the same as men, however Asian American men did not feel the same way. Based on Confucian beliefs in Asian communities, the familial heirarchy (in which females are inferior to males) has been very important and considered status quo. Simply put, Asian Feminists were interested in social justice, equality and human rights; however, for many of the Asian American women, there was money to be made.

The more advantaged Asian immigrants who came to the U.S. were excited to be part of the American economy and commericialism. Most of these women devoted their time to education rather than to fight social injustices. These 'model minorities' were considered good compared to the other minorities of African Americans and Latinos who were considered by the U.S. citizens (not all of course) to be bad. Clearly, the Asian American women were able to assimilate into the American academia arena and excelled and put their hard earned efforts into mainstream American life. This was and still is problematic due to white feminists who advanced this 'feel-good' fantasy of Asian American people and their culture. That direct and indirect correlation put extra pressure on Asian women to conform to the typical stereotype that liberals and conservative and their own community members all wanted to promote and inspire to be.

The new and/or most recent Asian American activism holds tight to the hope of improving the non-educated and working poor. Many Asian American women hold service jobs, are prostitutes and work in the worst-paying jobs in many industries, especially in the garment business. The Asian American activists are organizing for health and battered women groups along side Asian Immigrant Women Advocates groups to fight poor working conditions and low wages.

I certainly agree with both of these Asian American movements, however the most recent efforts to fight low paying jobs and combat male and/or female batterers of women certainly seems to be the most that I identify with. I think without question that there should be equal pay for equal day's work and men who abuse women through physical violence or mental anguish should be caught and punished as they use their physical strength to dominate women and/or other weaker men.

I cannot consider myself an Asian American feminist because I am not Asian in any way that I know of except my name is 'Kim.' However, I feel for their struggles just because I am a woman and we are centralized with many of our issues. The common idea that Asian women are more docile and submissive makes it harder for them to pursue and conquer the patriarchal society in which they and myself live. It's a fight to continue and I support them all the way.

The following resources were used to get the above information:
Asian Nation: Asian American History, Demographics and Issues (
Asian American Empowerment - Race and Gender: The Co-Option of Asian Americans (
Main Street: APIA Women and Domestic Violence (
The following activists can be researched in libaries or online: May Chen, Miya Iwataki, Alan Nishio and Evelyn Yoshimura or by visiting the Asian American Women's Movement Activists VOAHA (The Virtual Oral/Aural History Archive)

Kim Seder
Women's Studies 200 class

Separatist Feminism

By: Caroline

Separatist feminism is a very controversial issue that is constantly a disputed subject even within the feminist movement. Separatist feminism is a stream of feminism that is against heterosexual relationships of any kind. They believe that the political and sexual inequalities between men and women cannot be resolved. Separatist feminists basically feel that males do not make any positive contributions to the feminist movement and even men that mean well, still replicate the dynamics of patriarchy. These women focus on directing their energies and allegiances towards other women. Such activites include working with other women towards political and social goals, choosing living and family arrangements that are female-only, and avoiding hiring or working for and with men. In order to escape, what they see the world as, a patriarchal society, these women choose to live in celibacy or lesbian relationships. Some women believe in a permament separation from the male species, while others use it as a "first step" personal growth period. They believe separtating from men allows women to see themselves in a different context. Although, not all separatist feminists believe in a complete avoidance of men, they still refuse to be a part of all male-dominated institutions.

Lesbian Separatism is a form separatist feminism that may include queer nationalism and political lesbianism. However there is also Lesbian feminism which simply emphasizes the bonding with other women while separatist feminism works to remove all bonds with men. It is not accurate to consider all lesbians as separatists simply because they do no interact with men on a sexual level. And vice versa, it is not correct to call all separatists, lesbians. Also, separatist feminism is sometimes overlapped with cultural feminism because they see women as superior to men and better than them; however, they still work to improve relationships between men and women.

Only a small number of women inside the movement even defend separatism. Bell Hooks agrues that "the beliefs of separatists run counter to the many of the original goals of feminism, and instead of seeking to create equality, they attempt to establish a female-centric and female-dominated society in which men are subjugated and misandry is brought into the mainstream." Other feminists, along with Hooks, feel that separatist feminism goes against the whole point of the feminist movement which works to create equality and end sexism. On the other end of the spectrum, extremist separatist feminists desire the total destruction of the male species through murder and abortion. Valerie Solanas started the SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men) in hopes to create a complete all-female society. She was also indicted for attempted murder of three men and spent time in a mental institution. Men's rights activists have compared extreme separatist attitudes and their hate speech towards men to those taken by Nazis towards the Jews.

This type of feminism sort of shocks me and it is hard for me to understand how women, who usually consider themselves kinder and gentler humans, can have such a deep hate for other people. Especially when it is impossible to produce more females without the assistance of a male. I completely disagree with all aspects of separatist feminism. I do not consider myself a feminist but I do agree with some ideas of the feminist movement and separatist feminism goes against many of those. Equality is very important; if women are trying to rid of a male-dominated society, then attempting to create a female-dominated society would be unfair.
Contested Countryside Cultures: Otherness, Marginalisation, and Rurality by: Paul Cloke and Jo Little. Pg 109-112

By: Caroline

Separatist Feminism

B. Michels
Post #1- 1/24/08

Separatist feminism is a form of feminism that does not support heterosexual relationships. This belief is because they feel that sexual adversities between the two sexes are insolvable. Generally, separatist feminists do not feel that that men can be successful in helping with the feminist movement and will work only with other women to gain political and social feminist strides. These women try to live and work with and for only other women.

Author Marilyn Frye describes separatist feminism as "separation of various sorts or modes from men and from institutions, relationships, roles and activities that are male-defined, male-dominated, and operating for the benefit of males and the maintenance of male privilege — this separation being initiated or maintained, at will, by women."

There are only a few advocates of this feminist movement. Of these women, most are usually celibate or lesbian.

This type of feminism differs from other types by not allowing male support in the movement. While other types open their arms to men so that they can influence others from a different perspective, separatist feminists do not.

Disparities between the two sexes being insolvable and not having men be a part of the feminist movement are two values of this type of feminism that I do not believe in. To me, there is no "equality" goal to this type of feminism. You can not fight for equality by eliminating a group from the finding of it. In order to truly equality in the world, all groups, genders, nationalities, religions, etc. must be involved. Without this, there will never be complete success in the movement. Also, it would be a plus to work and live with men in order to show them our abilities. If you shun them, they will continue to think that we are not worthy to work and live side-by-side with them without domination.


B. Michels

Jewish Feminism

A. Kelley

Assignment for January 25, 2008

Jewish Feminism is a branch of feminism that deals primarily with reforming various traditional Jewish religious practices in a manner that maximizes women’s equal participation while remaining within what is permissible by Jewish law. The core tenet of Jewish feminism is that women have, by tradition, been deprived of many of the same legal and religious rights that men within Judaism have, and, therefore, reform is necessary. Because not all Jewish religious practices come from what is believed to be divine edict, such religious practices as, for example, the mechitza, a partition between men and women used in some Orthodox synagogues and other specific religious gatherings, should be abandoned due to its origin being not in divine scripture but in tradition, or what Jewish feminists believe is an ancient rabbinical mis-translation of a prophetical verse stating that men and women shall mourn separately at the death of the Messiah. Another practice that Jewish Feminists wish to see ended due to their position that it is not demanded by divine law is the male-only minyan, traditionally a group of men who lead prayer and service at synagogue. As the verse in the Talmud that the male-only stipulation was based upon is believed by Feminist and other non-Orthodox Jews to state that women were not permitted to participate in a minyan to preserve the dignity of the service rather than for a divinely-stated reason, they support the concept of the partnership minyan, a minyan lead by ten men and ten women rather than ten men only. Recently, feminist-oriented Jewish services focused on revision in the law of the mechitza and the partnership minyan have appeared in Jerusalem under the banner of Shira Hadasha and are slowly spreading globally. Outside of Jewish service, Jewish Feminists seek equality for men and women under Jewish law. Jewish Feminists wish to be subject to all 613 mitzvot, or commandments, as under current Jewish law/tradition there are various such mitzvot that they are exempt from. Along these lines, Jewish feminists wish to reform Jewish conceptions regarding the rights of women in the Jewish divorce process, as in the most traditional denominations the rights of men generally outweigh the rights of women in such matters. Jewish feminists may or may not be feminists by modern feminist definition, differing from this standard given their religious devotion and specific, narrow reform goals; likewise, feminists of a Jewish ethnicity may or may not be involved in the Jewish Feminism movement.

Given the religious nature of many of the issues Jewish Feminism addresses, it’s difficult to state whether or not I can agree with these core values given my very limited knowledge of Jewish scripture. For any of their goals, I would say that I fully endorse any change that can be made safely within the bounds of Jewish religious doctrine, as I understand the need of the Jewish Feminist to balance their aspiration with change for their need to adhere to their faith. Whatever is rooted in tradition and not in divine edict appears to be perfectly acceptable to revise for greater female inclusion; in these cases it is only a matter of changing the minds of those in their religious community who are wary of such changes on the premises of their being merely new as opposed to a more serious form of opposition, such as charges of sacrilege. As for specific tenets of Jewish Feminism that I would endorse given sufficient theological knowledge to know whether or not they are acceptable, the revision or removal of the mechitza seems a worthy cause given that, at least from this outsider’s point of view, it seems to be a barrier to female religious experience within Judaism, and, as for another tenet I would feel comfortable advocating, equality under the 613 mitzvot comes to mind, as it indicates a willingness on the part of Jewish Feminists to accept responsibilities along with whatever newfound freedoms they may receive. In the end, therefore, I must say that, as long as what these women are striving for is scripturally compatible, I would see nothing wrong with calling myself a proponent of Jewish Feminism. Freedom can be found within worship, not just in the absence of worship, and I commend these women for accepting this and seeking to achieve a balance between two ideals.


On the web:


The links to various websites above have a substantial amount of information on books relating to the Jewish feminist movement. Being a distance learner, my small local library had no books relating to the subject, so I leave recommendations on this subject to those with firsthand knowledge of the literature.


There are few high-profile Jewish Feminists, nor is there a single leader to the movement, however, the two most prominent are likely Rachel Adler and Trude Weiss-Rosmarin, the founders of the modern form of the movement as stated by

Liberal Feminism

Nora Hovanic
WS 200
Joelle Ryan
2 January 2008

Liberal Feminism

Liberal Feminism is a form of feminism that works towards the equality of men and women. It generally works in the form of politics and legal constitution. It works for gender equality and the assertion that women can have the ability to achieve equality. Issues Liberal Feminists mainly focus on include reproductive and abortion rights, sexual harassment, voting, education, "equal pay for equal work," affordable childcare, affordable health care, and bringing to light the frequency of sexual and domestic violence against women. Liberal Feminism differs from other types of feminism because it works to politically change legal standings. Many feminist groups work toward similar goals, but Liberal Feminists are groups of women that act to change women’ standings legally.

I do believe I see myself as a Liberal Feminist, although I would not say I am an extreme. I can’t envision myself taking my beliefs and values to congress or lobbying to create better equality between men and women, although I do believe in some of the core contents. I am politically liberal, but a lot of that I believe has to do with the environment that I was raised in. Being a native Bay Area California resident, surrounded by some of the most liberal democratic people in the United States, I feel some of my beliefs are altered. I believe in equal rights for men and women across the board, but I mainly am for reproductive and abortion rights, and being a single mother, affordable childcare and healthcare. I would call myself a Liberal Feminist, although I am tentative to ever associate my name with any type of feminist group, or title that encloses feminism. That is only a personal choice, and I think everyone, man or woman, has an understanding for what they want their name associated with.

If you are interested in learning more about Liberal Feminist you can look into readings by Mary Wollstonecraft (18th century), John Stuart Mill (19th century), or Naomi Wolf and Rebecca Walker (present day). You can also research the number one Liberal Feminism organization, National Organization for Women (NOW). Google the words liberal feminism and it too can take you to multiple websites and offer thousands of resources into the world of liberal feminism.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Womanism/ Black Feminism


The word womanism was adapted from Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alice Walker. In her book In Search of Our Mother’s Garden: Womanist Prose, Walker used the word to describe the perspective and experiences of "women of color." Although most Womanism scholarship centers on the African American woman's experience, other non-white theologians identify themselves with this term.
The need for this term arose from the early feminist movements that were led specifically by white women who advocated social changes such as woman’s suffrage. The feminist movement focused largely on oppressions based on sexism. But this movement, largely a white middle-class movement, ignored oppression based on racism and classism. It was at this point that Womanists pointed out that black women experienced a different and more intense kind of oppression than did white women.
The roots of theological womanism grew out of the theology of James Hal Cone, Jacquelyn Grant, and Delores Williams. Cone developed black theology which sought to make sense out of theology from black experience in America. In his book A Black Theology of Liberation, Cone argued that “God is black” in an effort to demonstrate that God identifies with oppressed people. Grant, a first generation womanist theologian, argued that Cone did not attend to the fullness of black experience — specifically that of black women. She argued that the oppression of black women is different than that of black men. Grant pointed out that black women must navigate between the three-fold oppression of racism, sexism, and classism in her books Womanist Theology and White Woman's Christ Black Women's Jesus. For her, Jesus is a “divine co-sufferer” who suffered in his time like black women today. Therefore, black women are more oppressed and in need of further liberation than black men and especially white women. Delores Williams took the work of theologians such as Cone and Grant and expanded upon them. She suggested that womanist theologians need to “search for the voices, actions, opinions, experience, and faith” of black women in order to experience the God who “makes a way out of no way.” In her book Sisters in the Wilderness, she defines womanism in the following way:
“Womanism theology is a prophetic voice concerned about the well-being of the entire African American community, male and female, adults and children. Womanism theology attempts to help black women see, affirm, and have confidence in the importance of their experience and faith for determining the character of the Christian religion in the African American community. Womanist theology challenges all oppressive forces impeding black women’s struggle for survival and for the development of a positive, productive quality of life conducive to women’s and the family’s freedom and well-being. Womanism theology opposes all oppression based on race, sex, class, sexual preference, physical ability, and caste” (67).
Professionals such as historians are regarded as "womanism" historians if they have incorporated the views and experiences of African American women in their accounts of history.

The information shared in this entry came from the following website:

What is Womanism?
Womanism brings a radicalized and often class-located experience to the gendered experience suggested by feminism. It also reflects a link with history that includes African cultural heritage, enslavement, women's culture, and a kinship with other women, especially women of color. As Alice Walker also told the Times, "Feminism (all colors) definitely teaches women they are capable, one reason for its universal appeal. In addition to this, womanist (i.e. black feminist) tradition assumes, because of our experiences during slavery, that black women are capable."Womanist and womanism were soon adopted by, and often used in description of, African American women's struggle for self-determination and community, past and present. womanist and womanism helped give visibility to the experience of African American and other women of color who have always been on the forefront of movements to overthrow the sexual and racial caste systems, yet who have often been marginalized or rendered invisible in history texts, the media, and mainstream movements led by European American feminists or male civil rights leaders.In 1993, The American Heritage Dictionary included this new usage, and defined womanism as: "Having or expressing a belief in or respect for women and their talents and abilities beyond the boundaries of race and class; exhibiting a feminism that is inclusive esp. of Black American culture. -- n. One informed by womanism ideals. --wom an ism n." Considering the traditional definitions in such classic sources as the Oxford English Dictionary -- which illustrated womanish with the phrase, "a womanish and a whorist government," and cited womanism as a rare synonym for "womanizer,"--this recognition of change in the language was no small achievement.As Alice Walker made clear, womanist and womanism were not intended to define more narrowly or to criticize existing terms, but to shed light on women's experience by increasing the number and richness of words describing it.
Alice Malsenior Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American author and feminist. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 for her critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple

James Hal Cone (August 5, 1938 - ) is an African-American Christian theologian in the Methodist tradition. He is one of America's best known architects of Black theology, a form of Liberation theology. He is currently the Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.
In response to criticism from other black theologians (including his brother, Cecil), Cone began to make greater use of resources native to the African American Christian community for his theological work, including slave spirituals, the blues, and the writings of prominent African American thinkers like David Walker, Henry McNeal Turner, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Critiques by black women also led Cone to make consideration of gender issues more prominent in his later writings, thus paving the way for womanist theology. His theology has also been heavily influenced by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Personal Growth for Black People
." Womanist and womanism are synonyms for Black Feminist and Black Feminism. These synonyms were coined in 1983 by Alice Walker . According to Walker's New York Times interview in 1984, she stated "I don't choose womanism because it is 'better' than feminism...Since womanism means black feminism, this would be a non-sensical distinction. I choose it because I prefer the sound, the feel, the fit of it; because I cherish the spirit of the women (like Sojourner) the word calls to mind, and because I share the old ethnic-American habit of offering society a new word when the old word it is using fails to describe behavior and change that only a new word can help it more fully see ." I like the term womanist or womanism because it sounds more inclusive than black feminism/feminist. I can see how the term black feminist can make women of other races feel like they cannot be apart of these issues or take part in black feminist events. The American Heritage Dictionary defines womanist as: "Having or expressing a belief in or respect for women and their talents and abilities beyond the boundaries of race and class; exhibiting a feminism that is inclusive esp. of Black American culture ."Secondly, it is ironic that Black Feminism was born because black women felt that their issues were excluded from those two movements. Yet black feminism is exclusive. This has advantages and disadvantages. Black feminism focuses on the social, political, and educational struggle of African-American women in the U.S. It does not tackle all the global issues that face women within the African Diaspora. While many African-American women may look the same, they may face different issues depending on country, culture or religion. However, globally equality is a common thread between black women everywhere.


Black feminism essentially argues that sexism and racism are inextricable from one another. Forms of feminism that strive to overcome sexism and class oppression but ignore or minimize race can perpetuate racism and thereby contribute to the oppression of many people, including women. Black feminists argue that the liberation of black women entails freedom for all people, since it would require the end of racism, sexism, and class oppression. Black women in this category often refer to themselves as womanism. Kathleen Watkins adds that contrary to "urban lore", black feminists and womanists are loving and gentle wives who respect their male companions

The current incarnation of Black Feminism is a political/social movement that grew out of a sense of feelings of discontent with both the Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement of the 1970s. Not only did the Civil Rights Movement primarily focus only on the oppression of black men, but many black women faced severe sexism within Civil Rights groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The Feminist Movement focused on the problems faced by white women. For instance, earning the power to work outside of the home was not an accomplishment for black feminists; they had been working all along. Neither movement confronted the issues that concerned black women specifically. Because of their intersectional position, black women were being systematically disappeared by both movements. Black women began creating theory and developing a new movement which spoke to the combination of problems, sexism, racism, classism, etc., that they had been battling.

Pat Parker : Poet

Southern born and educated, Pat Parker began her life in Houston, Texas, on January 20, 1944, as the youngest of four daughters in a Black working class family. Urged by her father to take "the freedom train of education," Parker later emigrated to Oakland, California, in the early 1970s to pursue work, writing and opportunities for activism. Working from 1978 to 1987 as medical coordinator at the Oakland Feminist Women's Health Center, which grew from one clinic to six sites during her tenure, Parker also participated in political activism ranging from early involvement with the Black Panther Party and Black Women's Revolutionary Council to formation of the Women's Press Collective to wide-ranging activism in gay and lesbian organizations and positions of national leadership regarding women's health issues, especially concerning domestic and sexual violence.


Take the strength that you maywage a long battle.Take the pride that you cannever stand small.Take the rage that you cannever settle for less.

Pat Parker

I don't think that women today are as passionate for women rights, as when the movement started. Possibly because many women run single homes, have jobs and do not depend on men to take care of them. We have many issues facing us as people that we have to fight for the right just to be people.
But I do appreciate the women who have fought before me so that I can have a little pride about being a women (a black woman). After reading these article I need to search myself to see if I have the power these women have given to make it better for me.

Melinda Scott

Radical Feminism

Radical feminism is a belief underlining the patriarchal roots of inequality between men and women or social dominance of women by men. Radical feminism views patriarchy as dividing rights, privileges and power by gender, and oppressing women and giving men the opportunities.

Radical feminists seek to get rid of this patriarchy. Radical feminists also believe that the way to deal with oppression is to attack the underlying causes of these problems and address the components of society that support them. Radical feminism resists patriarchy, not men.

Radical feminists usually disagree with the ethics of the liberal feminist, because radical feminists believe that society must be changed at its core in order to get rid of patriarchy, not just through acts of legislation. The main view of liberal feminists is that all people are created equal by God and deserve equal rights. Liberal feminists believe that oppression exists because of the way in which men and women are socialized, which supports patriarchy and keeps men in power positions.

I agree with radical feminism when it is resisting patriarchy, not men. I also agree with liberal feminists that people are created equal and deserve equal rights. I also think that radical feminists sometimes go too far with the way they criticize men. I don’t feel men should be verbally attacked for the power they achieve and/or have, but I also don’t appreciate chauvinist men either. I would not call myself a radical feminist because I think they are too extreme with their ideas and beliefs.

Below are some quotes from radical feminists.

"Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession... The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family- maker is a choice that shouldn't be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that." -- Vivian Gornick, feminist author, University of Illinois, The Daily Illini, April 25, 1981.

In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them" -- Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and assistant professor of education at Wellesley College, and associate director of the school's Center for Research on Woman.

"Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole...patriarch!" -- Gloria Steinem, radical feminist leader, editor of Ms. Magazine

I feel that 'man-hating' is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them." -- Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor.

The two women I found who best represent radical feminism are Mary Daly and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Mary Wollstonecraft: The Making of a Radical Feminist. by Jennifer Lorch

Michele Schwamberger

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pro-life Feminists

Pro-life feminism is an idea that abortion is wrong and that it hurts women more than it helps them. Abortion is also said to make a woman look bad in society and can seeminly cause her to look violent. It is argued that abortion is not really a choice for women, but an easier solution for men. It takes away the right of motherhood from women, and also lets the men, that also helped concieve the child, off the hook. Also, in society many women are encouraged to have abortions if they know they cannot properly accomodate to a child's needs because of monetary issues.
Pro-life feminism actually differs from other types of feminism because it is viewed as the opposite of feminism. Many people think that pro-life would not be the choice of a feminist because it is taking away the woman's right. However, many feminists beg to differ. Feminism of any type calls for some type of reform and pro-choice does not seem to be the correct answer. It is giving men and society an easy way out of helping support the women that are dramatically affected by the act of an abortion. Therefore, for one to be a true feminist and want to change and help women rise up in society, a true feminist would have to say that she is pro-life.
I completely agree with the idea of pro-life feminism. Mainly, because I am pro-life. However, I can see how some of the reasonings behind pro-life feminism can be justified. I think it does give men an easy out if their partners get pregnant. It also becomes such an easy choice in society for those women who do not have money to support a child. Instead of being helped out they are forced to terminate their pregnancy and may suffer years of psycholigical damage because of that choice. I would be willing to consider myself a pro-life feminist, but I think that that is mostly because I am choosing it because of the pro-life aspect of the idea, not because of the feminist part.

Lauren Suehrstedt

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pro-Life Feminism-Blog #1

The primary goal of all feminism is fairness. Pro-Life Feminism is the opposition to abortion. The pro-life feminists say it hurts women more than it benefits them. They say it is not a necessary right. Pro-life feminists support fetal rights, arguing that fetuses and embryos are human beings and therefore have a right to life. They also are against the abortion-inducing drug, RU-486 and specific abortion procedures. Some also focus not so much on changing the legal status, but making it obsolete by relieving it's root causes at every level of society, for example, providing direct aid to pregnant women. There have been some pro-life feminist groups that have used force, violence, and protests. from 1977 to 1997, there were 33,801 arrests made for violence, disruption, and clinic blockades.
Susan B. Anthony was one of the women in this movement. She founded the American Feminism and was part of the Political Action Committee, which works to elect pro-life women to congress.
I came upon many quotes from pro-life feminists from around the world. Some are:

1.) "One of my most important activities is . . . . to work for the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision. . . . The approach we are taking is to show that the lives and rights of women have not been advanced or enhanced, but rather destroyed, by abortion-on-demand. We are collecting affidavits from women who have been harmed by abortion, from women who are convinced that authentic feminism is pro-life, and from professionals who know that Roe has weakened the moral fabric of the legal and medical professions."In summary, pro-life feminists feel that the "right" to destroy their own offspring is not a "right" - no one has the right to destroy another human being. True feminism, as I believe, condemns those who support oppression - whether the oppression be against women, men, minorities, or the unborn. Modern feminism has lost sight of the true meaning of feminism in the regards that modern feminism does not acknowledge the value of women who choose to stay home rather than work in the "business" world, or the value of a child if it is in the mother's womb.-Carolyn C. Gargaro
2.)"If women must submit to abortion to preserve their lifestyle or career, their economic social status, they are pandering to a system devised and run by men for male convenience.-Daphne de Jong
3.)Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.-Alice Paul

Many members on one website, http:/ stated that, "Abortion contradicts the whole concept of individual rights, that a mother should not be able to end her embryos life, which is considered a human being." Also, "The act of abortion is not only seen a violent act against the woman receiving it, but the possible female whose life is being ended. More than one person's rights are involved in a pregnancy."

Another website, states pro-life feminists respect ALL human life, and they do not place their morality on people - including the unborn - by deciding who should live and who should die. Some people call pro-life feminists "anti-choice" - well, pro-life feminists *are* anti-choice, when it comes to abortion. They are also anti-choice when it comes to rape or the abuse of women. No one should have the "choice" to rape or abuse women either. No one should have the "choice" to beat a woman or not. Pro-life feminists want REAL choice for women. A REAL choice where women have the option to *choose* effective birth control, effective being the key word. A REAL choice when it comes to having a career and a child - women should not be in the situation where they either have an abortion or risk losing their job. What kind of choice is that? And this sort of thing does happen. What does this say to women? That a pregnant woman isn't as valuable in the workplace? How is that showing a respect for women? How does that type of attitude "liberate" women? Pro-life feminists reject abortion because they reject the use of violence to solve a problem. They want more than to just settle for mere equality of opportunity -- the opportunity to contribute equally to violence and and human rights abuses in society. Pro-life feminists seek to transform society to create a world that reflects true feminist ideals. "True Feminist ideals" are part of a larger philosophy that values all life, including the life of the unborn. Feminists believe that all human beings have inherent worth - a worth which cannot be conferred or denied by someone else. ("Abortion Does Not Liberate Women," Feminists for Life) Abortion is completely incompatible with this feminist vision. Abortion makes the unborn and the mother enemies, and basically pits women against their own children so women can achieve "equality." For in today's society, women have not achieved true equality - they still must, many times, abort to be on an equal level politically, socially, and in the business world.

Pro-life differs from pro-choice for the beliefs they have. Pro-choice feminists say women should have complete control over her fertility and pregnancy, guarantees of reproductive rights, which includes sexual education, contraception, fertility treatments, access to legal and safe abortions, and protection from forced abortions. Yet, both want to minimize the need for abortions.

From all that I have read and researched, I agree with both sides of the argument. Yet, I would have to say I am pro-choice. I believe a woman has a right to have an abortion if she feels it is needed. I do not agree on abortions being used as a type of birth control or for a woman to do it for someone else. This has to be her decision. She is the one that has to live with this for the rest of her life. I think, if it is possible in the situation, she should think of adoption first.

Many activists names I came across are Susan B. Anthony, Carolyn C. Gargaro, Daphne de Jong, Alice Paul, Angela Kennedy, former chair of the Labour Life Group, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of "A Vindication of the Rights of a Woman".
I found two books on pro-life feminism, "No Turning Back" by Estelle B. Freedman and "Feminism" by Judith Harlan. I also researched different websites such as http:/, http:/, http:/,, and

-Mandie Kohlenberg

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Merxist Feminism

Erin Harris
WS 200

Marxist feminism is a sub-type of feminism which focuses on the dismantling of capitalism as a way to liberate women. The theory states that capitalism, which gives rise to economic inequality, dependence, political confusion and ultimately unhealthy social relations between men and women, is the root of women's oppression in the current social context. According to this theory, the individual is influenced by the class structure of society which states that some classes are above others. These classes are categorized by who controls the modes of production. Women and men are seen as classes in the Marxist feminist point of view and therefore the oppression that goes on between them is a form of class oppression.
Marxist feminists believe that this oppression is maintained because it serves the interests of the ruling class. This is an expansion of the traditional Marxist theory, which was founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels and is based upon the bourgeoisie, or the ruling class, having control of the means of production and therefore being in power, while the proletariat, or the working class, is oppressed. The only way to get rid of this oppression and class control, according to Marx and Engels, is to abolish private property and make everyone equal. The Radical Women, a major Marxist-feminist organization, expanded Marx and Engels theory to include gender oppression.

Radical feminism came about in about the 1970s and critiqued Marxist feminism. They stated that “modern society and its constructs (law, religion, politics, art, etc) are the product of males and therefore have a patriarchal character. According to those who subscribe to this view, the best solution for women's oppression would be to treat patriarchy not as a subset of capitalism but as a problem in its own right. Thus eliminating women's oppression means eliminating male domination in all its forms. Like most feminists, however, radical feminists believe in replacing such domination with a culture and policy of equality” (pars 2).

Socialist feminists have also critiqued Marxist feminism for failing to find an inherent connection between patriarchy and classism. Socialist feminism focuses focuses upon both the public and private spheres of a woman's life and argues that liberation can only be achieved by working to end both the economic and cultural sources of women's oppression. This theory sort of combines the ideas of both Radical and Marxist feminism into one unique idea.

Karl Marx was a pretty smart person in my opinion. He pinpointed the problems of a class system and predicted the outcome of this type of system years before our society was formed, however, the way he describes it is pretty much true in our society I think. I do however, disagree with his ideas about the solutions to this type of oppression, which is to do away with private property altogether and then everyone would be equal. I think we tried that system over in other countries and that didn’t work either because then the people were all equal, but the government was sort of like the ruling class that Marx talks about oppressing all the people. I also do not think abolishing private property would take away the issues of oppression between gender. Just because you take away a man’s property does not make him realize that women are equal to him. Overall, I do not think that I would call myself a Marxist feminist.

There are several places where you can get more information about Marxist feminism. The information shared in this entry came from the following website: More links to information are found below:

Important people to this type of feminism include Margaret Benston and Patty Morton and you can find out more about them by following these links:

By Erin Harris
WS 200

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Ecofeminism is a smaller and more specific type of feminism. It links the oppression of women and nature together. Eco is a prefix to ecology which has to do with the stude of organisms and the environment. The term Ecofeminism was first coined in 1974 by Francois d'Eaubonne. In an article titled "Ecofeminist Visions" by Cathleen McQuire and Colleen McQuire they state"The Western patriarchal belief system also places higher value on linear, mechanistic, analytical, and rational qualities. The intuitive, emotional, anarchic, and earthy are negatively perceived as passive, weak, irrational—and female...the patriarchal mind objectifies, controls, and devalues all that is labeled "female. The linquistic corrilation of Mother Nature being female is a big point of Ecofeminist. Along with the use and abuse that land gets and how it is claimed and concord compared to the way women at treated and looked at in today patriarchal society. This is seen to be caused by male domination. I agree with this. Studing entymology one will begin to realize that words and language is set up to be opressive. In a patriarchal society of course launguage is set up to specificlly opress women.
Ecofeminism takes several different perspectives into on. It obviously includes feminism as well as, ecology or science, nature/earth, and indiginous ways. By indiginous ways I mean what women are instinctually and biologically suppose to do. Adrian Harris states "Central to the liberation in a recognition of the value of the activities traditional. lt associated with women; childbirth, nurturing and the domestic arena...In Western society women are treated as inferior to men, 'nature' is treated as inferior to 'culture', the humans are understood as being separate from, and often superior to, the natural environment" (the Green Fuse). These it two points. One that Ecofeminist stive to free women and give them the credit they diserve for what they are biologically suppose to be doing. Two that seperation has accured. Humans view themselves as seperate from nature feel in power and control there environments to a point were what assets women are born with like childbearing and a nurturing nature are not what women are looked to for. They are set against these patriarchal standards of beauty, role at work, roles at home all of which at male dominated. Ecofeminist eleminate this idea of domination, sexism, manipulation, and hierachy of men to women to nature and level the playing field. They strive and take action through the power within not what is imposed through a patriarchal structure set upon them.
I personally wouldn't call myself a ecofeminist eventhough I do agree with their ideas and theory. I personally am not into labeling myself as one thing or another. Alot of ecofeminist are vegitarion or vegan which I do share with them. I do partake in a earth friendly lifestyle and do belive in some feminist ways of thinking but would not feel comfortable calling myself an ecofeminist.

Francios d'Eaubonne
Richard Twine
Karen Warren
Vandana Shiva

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blog #1 Pro-Life Feminism

Pro-life feminists strive to eliminate abortion and the social conditions that create demand for abortion. They want a society in which motherhood is appreciated as a choice, a society that does not view pregnancy as something to be ashamed of, or just a hindrance to a person's advancements.

Pro-life feminists honor all human life. Occasionally people call pro-life feminists anti choice. Pro-life feminists are anti choice when it comes to abortion. They are anti choice when it comes to rape and abuse of women. No one should have the choice to rape and or abuse women. Pro-life feminists reject abortion because they refuse the use of violence to solve a problem.

Honestly, I am not sure where I stand as far as feminism. However, I proudly label myself as a pro-lifer. I too, believe all life holds great value. 'I also want equal rights for women, but the right to kill is not one of these.'

-Michelle Rush,,