6 Common Types Of Feminism
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” ― Rebecca West
Growing up, feminism wasn’t the word I heard or felt even the shadow of in my own house. Not that I live in a family of misogynists but here things are more or less equal for both the genders and if they are not, I and my sister make sure it gets alike for us and our brothers, not mere by our words but by our actions. It may take a tiny revolution to mold things but we are capable masters of our own universes. Agreed, there are still things that our families don’t agree with and we need to change them but we are trying our best. Feminism is no rocket science, it’s just a word that means the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes; it is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Some might confuse feminists as humorless and hairy man-haters but that’s not what we are! Anyway, different people have different opinion and so feminism has varieties; there are various branches to feminism. Come, let’s take you on the feminism tour.
Liberal Feminism: Unless you’re reading those academic notes about the history of feminism, you would never hear the term ‘liberal feminism’. But hold on, here it is! Liberal feminism is an individualistic theory that emphasizes women’s capability to uphold their equality via their own actions and also choices. Our society holds a forged belief that women, by nature, are less capable than men mentally and physically, according to liberal feminism and so women are discriminated against in the long run. Liberal feminists believe that subordination of women is ingrained in our legal constraints that does not give access to women in the so-called ‘free world’. Striving for sexual equality with both feet on the ground via political and legal reform is what liberal feminists do.
Marxist Feminism: The branch of feminism which focuses on scrutinizing and elaborating the ways in which women are overpowered through systems of capitalism and private property. It’s strange how the efforts of women who even have to do “double shifts”, i.e, work at home and in office go unnoticed.
Radical Feminism: Radical feminism is a process which calls for the reordering of society in which male superiority is eliminated in all social and economic contexts. Radical feminists targets patriarchy via its roots of inequality between both the genders. This does not just comprise of challenging the traditional gender roles but also differing from what our modern media favors, that is, women objectification. It also includes raising awareness about all forms of violence against women.
|Radical feminists do not believe that women are better than men but they hold on to the idea that female biology (our ability to get pregnant) is the cause of why we have to suffer inequality because child rearing isn’t the only duty of us women. And this inequality, indeed, isn’t the problem that one woman is facing. It is the problem of the whole nation.
Ecofeminism: The branch of feminism that talks about the connection between women and nature is ecofeminism. Ecofeminism adds an assurance to the environment and consciousness of the relations made between women and nature. These types of feminists want the world to realize how men are dependent on both nature and women and how this world is so incomplete without them.
Psychoanalytic feminism: Using psychoanalytic theories, this type of feminism explains the dominance of women, with the faith that resolutions can be found by exploring the men’s domination causes, based on early childhood development. Sigmund Freud, the Austrian neurologist argues that children are not sexuality-less. According to him, children were sexual and they experience three sexual stages of infancy which are oral, anal, and phallic.
|According to the Freudian theory, a male child wants his mother sexually, yet noticing that she and other creatures alike have no penis. What’s strange is that he assumes they have been castrated by his father, and for dread of being castrated himself, chooses not to battle with his father and act upon his wish, but rather isolates himself from his mother. He then begins to develop a superego…the son’s internalization of his father’s values, it is a patriarchal, social conscience. And the female child lacking the penis, leads her to shame which is in direct opposition with male’s superego, giving rise to the characters of a civilized person. Thus, a woman’s lack of penis leads her to inferiority as a sex which is dominated by men’s fear of castration, motivating men to become obedient rule followers and leading women’s ‘hearts’ with their ‘heads’.
Global Feminism: Making a note of women’s oppression worldwide is what global feminism comprises of. It is a feminist theory closely associated with post-colonial theory and postcolonial feminism. Global feminists take on global causes and start movements to fight patriarchy. I am sure you are down with the F-word and now a lot of you would be up with questions like what about socialist feminism/ third-world feminism and other kinds of feminism? Well, that reminds me of Bell Hooks and how she puts forward her thoughts, “Feminism is, for everybody, whether or not you need to append an adjective to make it feel like it belongs to you. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which labels you choose or reject. What matters is your commitment to challenging the notion that a person’s gender should, by law or by rote, be an obstacle to civil and personal liberties. It’s important to have a sense of feminism’s complex history, but it’s also crucial to know—and help others understand—that feminism isn’t something that happened to your mother or grandmother and is now over. It’s living, breathing, and evolving.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Ishita Kapoor. Ishita sees her passion in writing and hopes to change the world by not only giving them their piece of mind, but also receiving their opinion and then judging what’s correct. She is also the co – founder of Respect Women and an initiator in making people get their voices heard.