Liberal Feminism



At least part of the inspiration for the first two schools of feminist philosophy comes from classical political theory. 


Liberal feminism and Marxist feminism are the two types of feminism. Liberal feminism, as the name implies, is a feminist ideology based on classical liberalism. Liberal feminism does so by adopting liberal notions of human nature and human freedom and using them to build a feminist liberation vision. 

Humans are rational, self-aware people, according to liberalism. Part of functioning rationally includes acting in one's own best interests, which frequently takes the shape of competition. Liberalism, which has its origins in social contract theory, particularly the classical forms of Hobbes and Locke, concentrates on individual independence or liberty. 

Rousseau's social contract theory emphasizes equality, but his definition of equality is so broad that he isn't necessarily considered a classical liberal. 

Liberalism, in general, maintains that everyone of us should be free to pursue our own notion of happiness. Feminists who draw on this basis of classical liberalism see the absence of legal rights and equal opportunity for women as the source of women's oppression. 


Liberal feminists think that by examining how the state regards women and tackling areas where women are disadvantaged, women's oppression may be alleviated. 


Consider how, in many Western societies, women were only recently recognized as full citizens rather than merely members of families represented by the male head of household, or how women were not allowed to own property or sign contracts, or how women were protected from rape not as individuals but as the property of their husbands or fathers. 

Obtaining equal chances for women and granting equal legal rights is, of course, far more difficult than it appears at first look. 

Feminists must first argue that women are fully human, which in the context of liberalism means demonstrating that women have the same logical capability as men. It is necessary to examine not just social and legal procedures, but also the metaphysical and epistemological assumptions that underpin them. 


Most liberal feminists maintain the conventional epistemological viewpoint that knowledge is objectively verifiable and value neutral, in keeping with classical liberalism. 


If we could all assume the perspective of an unbiased observer, for example, we should all be able to come up with real information about the world. Women's education will be organized differently from men's if they are not accepted to the domain of "knowers" in the same way that men are. 

The struggle to admit women to universities and workplaces on an equal footing with men; the struggle for equal pay for equal work; the struggle to gain admission to social roles, clubs, and events previously reserved only for men; and similar efforts to obtain equal liberty to pursue each woman's own vision of the good life are among the many campaigns of liberal feminists.


You may also want to read more about Feminism and Activism here.







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