We explain what feminism is, its history, achievements and objectives it pursues. Also, what types of feminism exist.

Feminism includes various social, political, economic and cultural movements.

What is feminism?

Feminism is a social and political theory that aims to understand the way in which women societies they think of women, as a group of individuals.

In other words, it is a philosophy that exposes the macho traits of the different societies, that is, those that show the traditional domination of the masculine over the feminine, of the majority of men over the majority of women.

Furthermore, a diverse and heterogeneous set of social, political, cultural, economic and even sexual movements are grouped under the term feminism. Their common and fundamental objective is the struggle to achieve equality between men and women, that is, the elimination of the various existing forms of sexism.

It can be considered a doctrine from thought that makes visible the ways in which a society privileges the masculine in the economic and labor, in the domestic, in the intimate, even in the sexual and reproductive. In that sense, feminism is a tool to identify and criticize the sexism, and it is not really, as many believe, its opposite.

Feminism has antecedents throughout the historyBut it emerged as an identifiable social and political movement in the 19th century. It then became an academic theory and the intellectual basis for a set of studies of gender, in which an attempt is made to dismantle a long and ancient tradition of macho thinking and homophobic, in favor of building freer societies.

What is feminism looking for?

Feminism pursues gender equality, that is, the end of patriarchy: the ancestral predominance of men over women in social, economic and cultural aspects. It could be said that it seeks the end of machismo, that is, the establishment of a society in which men and women are equal rights Y opportunities.

Feminism does not propose a society without men, nor does it propose the submission of the latter to the authority of women. This does not mean that there are no radical or extremist feminist strands, but the whole of a vast, complex and important cultural, political and philosophical movement should not be judged by them.

History of feminism

The first feminist movements aligned themselves with anarchists and workers.

Feminism has important antecedents in the history of the humanity, which however were always punctual. They worked with emancipated, rebellious women, who assumed positions of can and they led entire societies.

Some needed to take on male pseudonyms in order to publish their writings or pursue an intellectual career, at a time when such activities were seen as "men's."

However, properly feminist thought had its beginning with the Illustration French, in the eighteenth century, especially after the publication of the work Vindication of women's rights by the English philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797).

This book already assumed the controversy regarding the difference of the sexes and their traditional roles in society: men at work and thinking, and women at home, taking care of their lives. family and dedicated to craft matters, at most. Thus, the great changes that the French Revolution 1789 and the end of the Old Regime allowed the emergence of a feminist thought.

Thanks to this then the so-called First Wave of Feminism appeared, which openly questioned the existing hierarchy of the sexes. The suffrage movement, that is, the movement for the universalization of the female vote, played a leading role in it.

At this time the women's movements took on the task of their political emancipation with fervor, and often hand in hand with anarchist and worker groups. The first country to approve the female vote was New Zealand, in September 1893.

The so-called Second Wave of feminism appeared in the middle of the 20th century (decades of the 60s and 70s), under the name of the Women's Liberation Movement. Unlike the first wave, which was focused on politics, this second one addressed an important diversity of social and cultural issues.

Thus, feminism addressed the sexuality, the family, the discrimination labor and especially reproductive rights, thanks in part to the commercial appearance of the contraceptive pill in 1960.

Important feminist icons such as Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), author of The second sex , and Kate Millet (1937-2017), author of Sexual politics , were part of this second wave.

The Third Wave of feminism emerged around 1990 in the United States, and actually consisted of a critique of perceived failures in the second wave. Thus, these feminists wanted a movement freer of essentialisms and rigid definitions of what is feminine.

They opted for post-structuralist philosophical currents, proposing new interpretations of gender and sex. However, this third wave was always involved in a certain controversy (they were called “post-feminists”) and was more successful in the academic field than in the socio-political militancy.

At the beginning of the 21st century, feminism has come back into vogue, especially in Western countries that have been the scene of marches, massive complaints of sexual harassment.

According to some opinions, certain fragments of the movement have become radicalized, with slogans called “female”And open apology for lesbianism. However, there is much debate about it and the radical is only one aspect of a complex, diverse and unstructured movement.

Achievements of feminism

Feminism achieved the right to abortion in some countries and still seeks it in others.

The historical achievements of feminism are not few, and they are widely recognized, at least in the West. In fact, the debate regarding the differences between men and women, instead of submissively accepting the imposed place in society, is already an achievement: therefore, it could be said that the existence of a feminism is, in itself, an achievement feminist.

Other historical achievements of feminism have to do with:

  • Women's suffrage.
  • Universal access to education top for women.
  • Right to decide about pregnancy and participation in family planning.
  • Sexual liberation of women and making female desire visible.
  • End of sexual discrimination in access to work.
  • Democratization of certain dress codes.
  • Labor social protection in case of pregnancy.
  • Protective measures for a delivery with anesthesia and adequate clinical resources.
  • Right to abortion in many countries.

Types of feminism

There are numerous movements within feminism, some oriented towards the more political and economic, others with purely social interests, each with its own concepts, practices and considerations. Some examples are:

  • Anarcho-feminism. Anarchist feminism has its roots in the first waves of feminism, and that assumes the fight against machismo as a political objective, akin to those of the anarchism. Your logic dictates that since you are fighting the patriarchal society, we must also fight against its economic and political manifestations, such as the capitalism and the Condition.
  • Radical feminism or radfem. It is an extremist wing of contemporary feminism, whose struggle against patriarchy disbelieves the possibility of achieving equality without first establishing a matriarchy, that is, a society run entirely by women, which compensates for the millennia of male domination already suffered.
  • Abolitionist feminism. A current of feminism particularly interested in the culture of sex, which denounces and therefore opposes pornography and prostitution, considering them activities that strengthen the imaginary of patriarchy and that submit and denigrate women.
  • Transfeminism. In this variant of feminism, trans women have a special place, that is, those transgender people who were born with a male biological sex, and in life they undertook the transition to become women. The latter is considered possible based on the idea that "masculine" and "feminine" are concepts of cultural origin and therefore can be deconstructed.
  • Separatist feminism. The most extreme variant of radical feminism aspires to build a women-only society, as the only possible alternative to patriarchal rule. Among them, lesbian sex is considered the true and only form of sex that guarantees the fullness of women.
!-- GDPR -->