Three Types of feminism

Kinds of Feminism

This is the variety of feminism that works within the structure of mainstream society to integrate women into that structure. Its roots stretch back to the social contract theory of government instituted by the American Revolution. Abigail Adams and Mary Wollstonecraft were there from the start, proposing equality for women. As is often the case with liberals, they slog along inside the system, getting little done amongst the compromises until some radical movement shows up and pulls those compromises left of center. This is how it operated in the days of the suffragist movement and again with the emergence of the radical feminists. [JD]

[See Daring to be Bad, by Alice Echols (1989) for more detail on this contrast.]

Radical Feminism

Provides the bulwark of theoretical thought in feminism. Radical feminism provides an important foundation for the rest of "feminist flavors". Seen by many as the "undesirable" element of feminism, Radical feminism is actually the breeding ground for many of the ideas arising from feminism; ideas which get shaped and pounded out in various ways by other (but not all) branches of feminism. [CTM]

Radical feminism was the cutting edge of feminist theory from approximately 1967-1975. It is no longer as universally accepted as it was then, nor does it provide a foundation for, for example, cultural feminism. [EE]

This term refers to the feminist movement that sprung out of the civil rights and peace movements in 1967-1968. The reason this group gets the "radical" label is that they view the oppression of women as the most fundamental form of oppression, one that cuts across boundaries of race, culture, and economic class. This is a movement intent on social change, change of rather revolutionary proportions, in fact. [JD]

The best history of this movement is a book called , by Alice Echols (1989). I consider that book a must! [JD] Another excellent book is simply titled Radical Feminism and is an anthology edited by Anne Koedt, a well-known radical feminist [EE].

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