Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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

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