Since time memorial, equality has always been an issue of contention between men and women. Gender differentiations form the main basis that societies use in determining roles it assigns each individual, with little considerations on individuals’ capabilities. Although some individuals can argue that, globalization and civilization have brought many tidings as far as gender-based roles assignment is concerned, still some societies embrace their cultures and always fight to ensure every societal member respects them.
However, it is also necessary to note that, because some cultural practices imprisons individual’s potentials, in the recent past many movements have emerged that oppose the articulation of this gender based roles. The main aim of these movements is to ensure equality prevails in the society, whereby respect to all individual rights forms the main basis of assigning chores. In the past, societies accorded men power to rule women; hence, women were to bow down to their orders and never question anything men said.
In addition, in most patriarchal societies, men were the sole breadwinners of homes, hence women had to stay home and tend to home chores until their men returned. Of recent, these and many other societal practices have undergone many transformations, a fact that societies attribute to educational advancement of both men and women (Wood pp. 4-7). This paper will discuss concepts of feminism in the present societies.
Nowadays equality rules all sectors of life, right from home chores to office chores. This is because, in the present society women have equal access to what men can access in terms of jobs, finances, education, and other rights.
Although women are achieving a lot as concerns societies’ valuing them and their achievements, still they face more challenges primarily because, as they struggle to ensure men honor their rights, other societal factors such as racism and family issues are pulling behind their efforts. To fights and eliminate such impediments hence, grant women equal societal rights, the concept of feminism emerged, leading to the continuous struggle by women to receive recognition in all aspects of life.
Feminism primarily aims to achieve equality between men and women in the society. That is, considering the diversified nature of present communities, many movements have emerged that fight for recognition of women efforts not only socially, but also politically and economically. This is because in present societies, women and men participate equally in all nation-building chores, hence the need to respect all individuals’ efforts regardless of their gender.
In many ways, the whole feminism idea is a result of revolution in ideas and individual perceptions about women. It is important to note here that, although the main ideology of feminism is female oriented, some men with upright morals also assist women in their struggle for recognition in the society. The feminists’ ultimate goals are to create a world where men do not rule with all the superiority that they posses hence, equal chances of representation and participation.
Feminism takes many orientations, which include cultural, libertarian, social and liberal feminism. These and other feminism orientations aim to achieve different aspects that encompass women’s freedom of participation and representation. To start with, libertarian (individualist feminism) aims to develop a world where women have all the safety they deserve legally.
To achieve their goals, these classes of feminists endeavor to eliminate many gender differentiations that legal systems create. This is because the respect of individual rights goes beyond the simple elimination of manly deviant behaviors in the society. Hence, to ensure that, individuals eliminate gender differences that legal systems create, societies have formed groups that represent women when it comes to legal matters of property ownership.
To achieve this in women, these movements have ensured that they instill in women the concept of responsibility in their every undertaking, something that translates to opposing of any external pressures from governments and individuals who oppose alternatives that women take or opt for.
Liberal feminism almost fights for the same concepts as libertarian feminism in that, as libertarian feminism insists that societies should grant women their legal rights, liberal feminism also endeavors to ensure women receive all other favors and rights that the society gives men.
In this regard, it is important to note that, the main goal behind struggles by liberal feminists is to do away with obstacles that limit women in terms of economic developments. Individuals who believe in this argue that, women too have a role to play as far as the economic viability and sustainability of a community is concerned. Hence, limitations that the societies impose on women are great impediments to its economic well-being (Marilley pp.43-52).
In addition to libertarian and liberal feminism, there exists a third from of feminism that also fights to ensure not only the society respects women’s rights, but also the society adopt values and practices that promotes the well-being of women in the society.
Generally, this movement; social feminism, argues from a technological point of view, whereby supporters of the theory clearly show how technological innovations have isolated the female members of the society. Two major things that proponents of this theory oppose are egoism and positivism.
This is because they believe that, anything that comes with technology isolates women in terms of participation, a fact that has many societal influences. In this regard, this group of feminists struggle to ensure there is equality in terms of benefits gained from any innovational developments, because women also must have a role to play for these innovations to exist (Seigfried pp. 259-265).
To social feminists, the society is full of capitalist; men, who use force and their manly power to pass on ideas, while forgetting that such capitalist form of ruling constrains women’s rights.
Following the social feminist’s arguments on capitalism and women rights, to some extent there exist clear differences between gender biases and class differentiation as it occurs in the common society. Hence, due to this, is not wrong for to argue that, the two are separate entities that share a common oppression phenomenon, because depending on values and morals adopted by societies; both can contribute to gender segregations.
Cultural feminism is primarily concerned with the behavior differences that exist among individuals in the society. These classes of feminists view women as more kind and rational as compared to men, hence if the society entrusts then with leadership positions chances of strife and disagreements occurring are minimal.
This in many ways opposes the traditional belief that, the society cannot entrust women with leadership positions, because no matter which values they adopt they are bound to fail in their leadership, which is never the case (Echols pp. 243-248).
This to some extent this may be right, because in present societies, many women have succeeded in many leadership positions. On the other hand, most cultural feminists have a belief that, there is little gender plays as concerns societal role assignment, because in due time the society will realize that, surely women can take leadership positions hence, the need to accord them the respect they deserve (Moore p.1). Practically it is impossible to prove this notion hence, supporting what many critics of this argument say.
As clearly illustrated by these movements of feminism, the whole idea of feminism aims to eliminate or eradicate injustices against women that are either created by many opposing factors in the society, or common practices that humans have embraced since time memorial.
In addition, taking note of the many scientific developments that occur daily, there exist many gender segregations, hence supporting the notion held by radical feminist. Concepts of feminism are clear in present contemporary societies, as women have not only endeavored to join male dominated fields, but also they struggle each day to receive recognition in the society. A good example is the most recent debated abortion clause.
The National Organization for Women expressed its dissatisfaction with the restrictive which the abortion clause contained, hence their calls for the re-formulation of the clause. In addition, to ensure that the government implemented some of their recommendations, the women had to send representatives to forward their grievances to president Obama, something that clearly signifies the solidarity women have decided to embrace (National Organization for Women p.1).
In conclusion, because feminism fights to ensure that societies and individuals do away with segregations that are gender based, it is important for all policy makers to ensure, they adopt practices that will alleviate differences that exist between male and females. This is because in the current world, women’s achievements also matter very much, for their efforts are many and important in the ever-changing universe driven by technological innovations.
Echols, Alice. Daring to be bad: radical feminism in America, 1967-1975.
Minneapolis University of Minnesota press, 1989. Web. 25 Feb. 2010.
Marilley, Suzanne. Woman suffrage and the origins of liberal feminism in the United States, 1820-1920. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997. Web. 25 Feb. 2010.
Moore, Cindy. Cultural Feminism. 20 Feb. 2009. Web. 25 Feb. 2010.
National Organization for Women. Hot topics and campaign events. 2009. web. 25 Feb. 2010. < http://www.now.org/>
Seigfried, Charlene. Pragmatism and feminism: reweaving the social fabric. London. University of Chicago Press, 1996. Web. 25 Feb. 2009. Woods, Julia. Gendered lives: communication, gender, and culture, 8th e.d. Belmont, California: Wadsworth publishing, 2009. Print.
Woods, Julia. Gendered lives: communication, gender, and culture, 8th e.d. Belmont, California: Wadsworth publishing, 2009. Print.