- 1 Types of Feminism
- 1.1 Material Feminism
- 1.2 Multiracial Feminism
- 1.3 Analytical Feminism
- 1.4 Gender Feminism
Types of Feminism
Material feminism concentrates on how economics and political participation have been used to oppress women. Solutions range from encouraging more female involvement into the economy to the outright abolishment of a market economy.
Anarchist feminists believe that both capitalism and the state uphold patriarchy and use sexism in order to divide the working class. They believe that the patriarchy can only be defeated by a united working class fighting all oppression in order to overthrow the state. Anarchist feminist tend to call other anarchist who see sexism to be defeated after the abolition of the state and capitalism instead of fighting against sexism now "manarchist".
Ecofeminism tends to deal with environmental justice and how women are forced to suffer in environmentally poor conditions; it tends to see women and the environment as interconnected, which has led to significant crankery. Ecofeminism, as a materialist philosophy, views connections in some institutions such as labor, power, and property as the source of domination over women and nature. They see the destruction of the environment as problematic for women because it depletes natural resources and pollutes living populations; since women are seen as caregivers in underdeveloped countries they would be most affected by ecocide. Unfortunately, there is a significant amount of New Age mysticism involved with this branch of feminism such as women having heightened knowledge about the environment. This belief has led some ecofeminists to oppose nuclear energy, GMOs, and various chemicals for being "unnatural". One prominent ecofeminist who endorses this mystical view is Vandana Shiva.
Marxist feminism takes on the view of sexism and patriarchy as a class struggle. They believe misogyny is a tool of the bourgeoisie that attempts to suppress women and divide the working class. They view any attempt to get women in higher class positions as futile since the bourgeoisie will use this to manipulate them in order to uphold the patriarchy. Their most controversial view is that patriarchy will be overturned only after capitalism is overthrown.
Socialist feminists believe that income inequality caused by capitalism causes societal sexism. They seek to equally distribute the means of production in order to allow women to have equal resources. They tend to criticize liberal feminists who are more concentrated in promoting women into higher paying roles instead of concentrating on women in the working class. Their main difference to Marxist feminist was their rejection to Karl Marx's claim that sexism would be defeated once communism was established. They endorse the state which puts them in opposition with anarchist feminist.
Multiracial feminism has to do with how race and ethnicity intersects with sexism. Multiracial feminists concentrate on women who aren't just opprosed based on their biological sex but also because of the creed they come from.
Black feminism concentrates on the oppression black women face within both feminism and the black community. It concentrates on the intersectional oppression of black women and how to increase awareness of black women within black movements and white feminists organizations, It started as a part of second-wave feminism and was a reaction to early black nationalists movements failing to help improve conditions for black women. Most black feminists felt that mainstream feminist failed to help black women because they failed to understand the oppression of black people.
Third World Feminism
Analytical feminism uses analytical philosophy to fight sexism and androcentrism. They try to study cultural trends that may be sexist and change them in order to be more neutral to women. They encourage more women to take academic roles in order to fight cultural biases.
Radical feminist view the destruction of the patriarchy as the only way to end sexism. They believe that women must work united in order to end the patriarchy. There are several overlapping views among Marxist, socialist, and anarchist feminists. There are also disagreements among how to end patriarchy and what is "womanly" which has led to some radfems to be against pornography or sex work (see SWERFs). Some go as far as opposing heterosexual sex and instead endorsing "political lesbianism". Some are even against transwomen because they believe that they are men trying to benefit from being women; they are commonly called TERFs.
Separatist feminist believe that the fight against patriarchy is best fought by concentrating solely on women. This view tends to see even well-intentioned men who believe in feminism as individuals who will indirectly act sexist. Mainly, separatist feminists believe that men benefit more from patriarchy and therefore may not be able to benefit feminism because they unknowingly contribute to it. Some of the more radical beliefs see heterosexual relationships as an expression of the dynamics of patriarchy and therefore women should become lesbians to further their power within society. This is called political lesbianism.
Gender feminism deals with how gender and sexuality affect women in society. Female sexuality and gender essentialism have been used against women in many societies.
Amazon feminism attempts to create a portrayal of women who's physical prowess makes them heroic. An example of this would be feminists icons such as Wonder Woman and the push for more female soldiers and female athletes. These ideas were fostered by early suffragettes, but Gloria Steinham and Ayn Rand (eeew...) would expand this branch of feminism.
Difference feminists assert that there are differences between biological males and females, but assert that these differences aren't essential. They originated from the split between second-wave feminism and third-wave feminism with the main argument originating from whether differences among genders, whether those differences were biological or historical, were detrimental to equality. Difference feminist argued that these differences existed, but they should be embraced and not shunned since they weren't essential. They sought to embrace what was perceived as feminine as well as masculine as personality traits and not as a traditional binary. Some more radical strains believed that women were inherently different and were actually superior because of their feminity, but this strain fell apart after mainstream feminists accepted postmodern deconstruction of the gender binary.
Sex-positive feminism believes that women can fight sexual objectification is to embrace their own sexuality. They argue against anti-pornography attitudes within feminism by asserting that a woman can be empowered in sex work by taking control and embracing their sexual power. They encourage women to understand their sexuality and enjoy sex when they have sex.