Showing posts with label Activism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Activism. Show all posts

Third World and postcolonial feminism



Third World feminism arises from Third World women, as the term implies. However, in this case, ‘Third World' should be viewed as a political rather than a geographic categorization. Chandra Mohanty has argued persuasively that the term "Third World Woman" refers to the formation of coalitions and solidarity among women who make political commitments. 

These groups of women voluntarily choose to unite in order to effect social, cultural, or political change. The imperialism, racism, and sexism that so many women face drives some to band together in opposition and resistance. 


Women who identify as ‘Third World Women' or ‘Third World Feminists' do so in the context of an opposing battle. 


Men and women in former colonies responding to and resisting the legacy of colonialism in their history is referred to as ‘postcolonial.' Third World feminism and postcolonial feminism contend that colonialism, exploitation, imperialism, sexism, and racism are at the foundation of oppression. When we look at the global allocation of resources, sexism and racism take on global dimensions. 

Wealthy countries misappropriate valuable assets from less developed parts of the world, and this misappropriation is frequently accompanied by the dumping of garbage and dangerous materials. The impoverished of the globe are disproportionately affected by this exploitation, and women account for the majority of the world's destitute. 


Importantly, the Third World feminist understanding of oppression also includes a critique of many mainstream Western feminist schools of thought. 


While feminists in developed countries had the luxury of fighting for the freedom to work and participate in politics, or for equal pay for equal labor, women in underdeveloped countries faced frequently brutal social and political repression. Of course, in certain situations, this was also a fight for survival. Women bear a disproportionate share of the burden of poverty. 

Another way to think about it is that Third World feminist philosophy highlights the relevance of colonial histories and how nations demarcate or confine individuals' daily lives. Survival, not simply supplies, becomes a political issue. Third-world and postcolonial thinkers stress history, memory, and narrative when thinking about emancipation. 


The memory of colonial oppression aids in maintaining a resistance mindset in liberation attempts. Racism, imperialism, misogyny, and other types of oppression have all played a role in the history of political marginalization and economic exploitation.


We are more able to understand the complexity of oppressive factors in day-to-day living if we know that human beings involved in praxis arise from these histories and circumstances of struggle. 

There are strong ties with socialist feminism and Womanist theory, both of which, like Third World feminism, seek to recognize the intersections and linkages between various types of oppression. 

Of course, there are distinctions, such as the fact that Third World feminism focuses on the context of struggle or resistance rather than the commonalities across oppression kinds. 

Another part of the postcolonial historical viewpoint is the Marxist criticism of history. If the colonizers record history, it will, of course, reflect not just their interpretation of reality but also their social standing in the process. 


The freedom of all people (particularly women) to construct their futures according to their own visions and in light of their suppressed histories is therefore interpreted as liberation from hegemonic culture. 


This would necessitate political, economic, and social autonomy, as well as the absence of sexual assault. 

Of course, there are other schools of feminist thinking, including ecofeminism, queer theory, and global feminism. Whatever drives feminist activity or explains feminist conflicts, all feminists believe that there is something about culture or society that affects women and has to be changed. To put it another way, they are linked by a critical activism effort aimed at ending sexism and other forms of oppression. 

Despite the fact that I have portrayed these schools of feminist thinking as unique, I believe it is evident that they have a lot in common. 


In truth, categorizing any particular feminist into a single school of thought is frequently both foolish and impossible. 


For one problem, a feminist could support Marxist techniques and motivations, but for another, she could support cultural feminism. 

Another feminist may have been a socialist feminist for much of her life, but when her focus shifts to larger global concerns, she may accept ecofeminism or postcolonial feminism. Nonetheless, these many approaches to feminism allow us to observe some of the great variation among feminists, as well as their reasons and recommendations for change.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan 


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










Postmodern feminism

 


Because of the nature of postmodernism, the following school of feminist thought is a little more difficult to define clearly. Grand narratives, or more or less comprehensive explanatory theories, are rejected by postmodernism. 

As a result, while considering postmodern feminism, we should conceive of it as a collection of ideas rather than a theory. Of course, all of the previously listed schools of thought may be regarded as groupings of comparable ideas. 


The rejection to hunt for a single explanation for women's oppression distinguishes postmodern feminism. Phallogocentrism, psychoanalysis, and sexual difference are three key concepts in postmodern feminist thinking. Phallocentrism (as opposed to phallologocentrism) literally refers to the phallus's centrality. 


The phallus is the penis's metaphorical depiction. Phallologocentrism, or phallogocentrism, is a term that refers to the ‘centrality of the word.' Given the context, logos, the basis of logic and all those ‘ologies' we study, may imply a multitude of things. 

It might refer to a term, a law, a concept, or an idea. The structure of consciousness, according to postmodern feminism, is masculine-centered, resulting in phallologocentrism. 

The phallus' prominence, on the other hand, indicates something slightly different than what radical feminists may label "male centered" or "a man's world," as liberal feminists may put it. Instead, postmodern feminists contend that the penis' uniqueness as a male sex organ symbolizes the singularity of mind. 

Consider the process of learning a new language. Small toddlers experience the world in a rainbow of hues, but they are taught to label hues that are quite different as "red." They are trained to think of the world in terms of particular categories during this process. There is, in effect, a single correct method of viewing the world's hues. 


A postmodern feminist, on the other hand, values diversity and difference. 


They don't perceive otherness as a flaw, but rather as a source of pride. As an author, Hélène Cixous encouraged women to engage in feminine writing (l'écriture féminine) and contrasted it with masculine writing (l'écriture macho) (literatur). 

Phallocentrism is visible in masculine literature (and Cixous famously drew the parallel of Penis/phallus/pen). L'écriture féminine was an attempt to write in a way that defied grammatical and linguistic conventions. Women were to write the unthinkable/unthinkable in order to tackle women's role in society. 

Writing about women's bodies necessitates the use of white ink rather than black, and Cixous is making a literary reference to breast milk here. Feminine writing encourages subversive thought through its openness and overt challenge to the forms and substance of writing. 

According to Cixous, although masculine writing is unique, feminine writing, like women's sexual experience, is numerous, varied, and pleasurable. Psychoanalysis is the second major notion or approach in postmodern feminism. 

All of the key postmodern feminists (Hélène Cixious, Julia Kristeva, Annie LeClerc, Luce Irigaray, and Judith Butler, among others) adopt a psychoanalytic technique developed by Sigmund Freud or Jacques Lacan. Psychoanalysis encourages us to reflect on our upbringing – or even our infantile condition – in order to discover the origins of our present style of thinking. In their psychoanalytic writings, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan were infamously sexist, and important postmodern feminists adapt and critique parts of psychoanalysis' methods. 


The third major notion is that of sexual difference. 


Postmodern feminists believe that sexual difference is socially manufactured rather than biologically rooted, as they do with phallocentrism and psychoanalysis. Language assigns two genders (masculine and feminine), and while gender has traditionally been seen to be a function of social circumstances, postmodernists go even farther, claiming that sex is both socially and linguistically determined rather than a natural truth. 

This emphasizes their commitment to diversity, uniqueness, and plurality while simultaneously challenging the concept of ‘woman.' Perhaps the term "woman" is a construct concocted by an oppressive language framework. 

If the term "woman" does not relate to any basically defined category, postmodern feminists say, more diversity and liberation from the repressive binary thinking that defines so much Western dogma becomes possible. 

Although postmodern feminism encourages readers to think in new ways, it has been attacked for being overly focused on academic disputes and not being relevant or accessible to the great majority of people. A related objection is that some postmodern feminist stances appear to undermine any prospect of political action on behalf of women or female political unity.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan 


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











Womanist theory

 



Of fact, the notion that we can pinpoint the source of women's oppression - as if there were a single source or reason that affects all women in the same way - is not only deceptive, but also alienating to many women. 

Feminist arguments can turn off some women who are fighting sexist oppression, regardless of whether they are liberal, radical, socialist, or a mixture of these. 


Traditional articulations of feminist thought are challenged by womanist theory. 


Proponents compel a reexamination of what constitutes a "feminist" by publicly rejecting the term. Womanist theory, in particular, examines the interconnections of race, class, and gender. After all, a woman's life is influenced by more than her sex or gender identity. 

Women are stereotyped, violated, objectified, and dominated by a slew of other societal forces. Black Liberation Theology has some origins in womanist ideology. 

There is no coherent body of theory, as there is with the other schools of feminist thought. Instead, the word refers to a wide category that encompasses a variety of problems and challenges. 

Many women reject the name "feminism" exactly because there are so many variations of feminisms, according to bell hooks (her chosen pseudonym, based on matrilineal links, is written in lower case as an express rejection of patriarchal naming and control of women). 

Women appear to be divided in this way, implying that there is no unity among them. It might also imply that feminism is more preoccupied with academic intellectual arguments than with bringing about social change for actual women worldwide. 

Another reason, according to Hooks, is that feminism has historically been a racist movement aimed at equalizing white middle and upper class women with white middle and upper class males. Feminism, according to hooks, fails in its mission by disregarding the impact of racism and class on black women. Furthermore, many of the concerns that a white, middle-class feminist might consider vital are either refuted or tangential to the reality of many black women. 

Instead, hooks proposes redefining feminism as a "fight to eradicate sexist oppression." There are a few noteworthy aspects to this definition. 


Feminism is inherently a revolutionary collective movement as a fight. 


She distinguishes between feminism as a way of life and feminism as a political movement. Individual feminists make only a commitment to themselves as a lifestyle choice, and they promote a feminist agenda exclusively through their own personal actions. There is no requirement to engage with people or to effect social change. 

In that sense, feminism may just be about changing certain specific societal behaviors that are harmful to a certain woman. Feminism, on the other hand, is a broader commitment to others as a political movement, actively working to bring about good change in the lives of women who are subjected to sexist oppression. It's both political and collective. Hooks defines sexist oppression as "all types of oppression that influence women's political life." 


Women face racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, ageism, and a variety of other types of oppression on a daily basis, but not all women face all of them. 


The key is that oppression has a cultural foundation. The basic underpinnings of all types of oppression remain in existence when efforts are only focused on eradicating one kind of oppression. 

In many ways, this is analogous to the socialist feminist endeavor of finding a unifying notion. 'The cultural underpinning of group oppression,' according to Hooks, is founded at least in part in either/or thinking. According to hooks, either/or thinking may be seen in all types of dominance in Western culture. 


We divide individuals into two categories that are mutually exclusive, yet these two groupings do not coexist. 


Domination renders one group inferior and another superior (see the dichotomies of Men/Women, White/Black, and Rich/Poor). Womanist solutions include intersectionality or intersectional thinking, in addition to hooks' recommendations. 

Intersectionality was initially proposed by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, who saw how race was often left out of feminist domestic violence and rape discourses, as well as how the gendered character of these crimes was frequently concealed by some of the prevailing discourses in the black community. 

The goal of intersectional thinking is to avoid prioritizing any one voice above another; neither one's ethnicity nor gender are important considerations. Human beings, on the other hand, are in some ways products of their sex, race, and social class experiences. 

These cultural rules and experiences have an impact on all knowledge (some of which are oppressive and some of which are dominating). Crenshaw claimed that intersectional thinking was not only desirable but also required in order to fully and correctly address violence in the lives of women, particularly black women. The many schools of feminist philosophy each have their own definition of freedom or liberation. 

The emphasis in Womanist ideology is on everyone's full self-development, but there is also acknowledgment that we are all associated with families, communities, governmental entities, and other organizations that have a significant impact on our self-development. 

The essential (and this seems to apply to all of the schools) is that no one should be subjected to any kind of dominance. However, in order to realize this vision, greater attention must be paid to the ways in which oppressive forms cross, link, or overlap.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan 


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













Cultural feminism



'Cultural feminism' is another feminist school of thought. It was something I said before while talking about women's reproductive authority. 

In some ways, the word is deceptive, but if we consider women's contributions to social existence as a kind of "culture," the name may be accurate. Cultural feminists concentrate on gender rather than biological sex as the source of oppression, whereas radical feminists focus on biological sex as the source of oppression. That is, the core of women's oppression is the devaluation of uniquely feminine characteristics within any particular community. 

Caring and nurturing abilities are undervalued, ignored, or omitted from politics and morals in most Western nations. Because women are usually the major givers of care in families and society, this devaluing of caring oppresses women. Care is undervalued, as are the women who provide it. Women, as one might expect, are in a catch-22 situation. 

Despite the fact that the caring labor they undertake is rarely sufficiently recognized or appreciated, society relies on it and often criticizes women who fail to fulfil it. Furthermore, this critique may be applied to epistemology as well. Women's ways of knowing, which are frequently described as intuitive or maternal, are not included in the categories of knowledge claims that are deemed reliable sources. 

Carol Gilligan's research of the moral psychological patterns of boys and girls, published in the classic book In a Different Voice, was perhaps the most important contribution to cultural feminism (1982). According to Gilligan's study, women respond to moral problems by focusing on the connections between the individuals in the situation. 

Men, on the other hand, are more concerned with their own rights. This is a distinction (a "different voice") that adds a new paradigm for moral decision-making based on women's experiences. Strong varieties of cultural feminism urge for more calm, loving, intuitive, and life affirming feminine attributes. Weaker variants avoid the essentialist claim entirely, but nonetheless provide a set of qualities that distinguish women from males essentially. 


Other feminist schools of thought believe that those attributes may have their origins in a patriarchal society that demands women to care for children and men, but the cultural feminist believes that the key thing is that women have these attributes. 


Oppression is defined as a failing to recognize the need of caring and nurturing in human existence. Women's roles as family caretakers assist to instill some of these life affirming ideals in society, but cultural feminists would quickly point out that much more needs to be done both to appreciate women's labor in the home and to promote more compassion in other aspects of social life. 

Sara Ruddick's book Maternal Thinking is an outstanding theoretical example of attempts to improve social life by infusing it with caring (1995). Maternal thinking is the way a mother thinks (although Ruddick is keen to point out that ‘mothers' are people who play a certain function in childrearing — they don't have to be female, though they often are). 

She claims that women participate in behaviors such as protection, nurturing, and training. Children's needs are the source of these approaches. Children want 'preservation,' which implies they must be safeguarded. Mothers undertake a lot of labor as a kind of protection; they safeguard their children from problems like starvation, injury, and neglect. Furthermore, youngsters require aid with their development. 

This growth is aided by mothers providing age-appropriate nourishment. Finally, moms provide training in what Ruddick refers to as "social acceptability." 

Ruddick was motivated by her personal mothering experience as well as the wealth of knowledge she gained through interacting with other moms at playgrounds, schools, and other child-centered events. 

That wisdom was not recognized as wisdom by dominant theories of knowing, and it was rarely respected or given much attention by popular culture. 

Ruddick explains how mothers' behaviors give rise to knowledge. Mothers and maternal ideas must alter to meet new difficulties since practices are continuously evolving. Ruddick goes on to say that maternal thought can and should serve as the foundation for a feminist peace politics. S

he uses her personal experience in social movements as well as the stories of other mother-activists to show how maternal thought can be effective in politics. 


These mother-activists' motivations and actions introduced a new focus to peace politics: one based on caring. 


Ruddick claimed, in other words, that maternal behaviors and ideas may, and presumably should, be found across society rather than being exclusive to family relationships. 

As can be seen, maternal thinking is more pacifist than other modes of thought, and Ruddick and other cultural feminists depend on this idea when advocating for broader societal change based on caring. In most liberal cultures, caring and nurturing are not universally recognized societal ideals. 

Many of the barriers to women's participation in public and political life are based on the notion that their compassion would interfere with their ability to behave logically. 

Rationality and compassion or caring, on the other hand, are not mutually incompatible or otherwise antagonistic to each other for the cultural feminism. 


Men and women must be free to care in any social situation for liberation to be realized. 


As Ruddick's peace politics demonstrate, the logic of nonviolence supersedes the logic of conflict and even the logic of competitiveness. Consider a company strategy that aimed to help or cultivate the maximum potential of all parties involved in a transaction. 

This approach would stand in stark contrast to the competitive paradigm, which attempts to maximize self-interest. One of the most important arguments in moral philosophy over the last two decades has been between justice and compassion. 

Some individuals claimed that if care is feminine, then justice is male. The link between the two became the focus of the dispute. The great majority of cultural feminists do not want to delegitimize justice as a moral objective, but rather to emphasize the significance of care and compassion in conjunction with or within justice.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan 




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










Socialist feminism

 



Another school of feminist thinking attempts to reconcile patriarchal and capitalist critiques. Both ideological systems, according to socialist feminists, are harmful to women and must be combated. Although they draw inspiration from socialist ideas (particularly utopian socialists), the socialist movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were frequently sexist in their policies and practices. 


Socialist feminists want to include feminist politics within the socialist agenda while staying away from the excesses of both Marxist and radical feminists. 


The second question is how, and socialist feminists have a variety of approaches to both patriarchy and capitalism. One of the most important distinctions between radical, Marxist, and socialist feminism is how they see the origin or foundations of women's oppression. 

Radical feminists argue that oppression stems from women's biological role in reproduction or their position in a sex-divided society, while Marxist feminists argue that it stems from capitalism, and socialist feminists argue that both are true and then try to figure out how capitalism and patriarchy are linked. 

Of course, there may be a deeper relationship, and some socialist feminists prefer to look for a "unifying concept": something that not only connects capitalism and patriarchy, but also explains all kinds of oppression. 

If we imagine each form of oppression as a branch of a very large tree, we can better understand the conceptual structure of oppression by recognizing the "unifying concept," and we can tear out all oppression by its roots rather than continuing to trim away at branches that appear to grow and even flourish despite near constant attack. In feminist writing, a variety of competitors for the unifying theme have been proposed. 


One is the concept of 'labor division.' This is understandable because both patriarchy and capitalism use some form of labor division, whether based on sex or class. Of course, the gender distribution of work has its limitations. 


Other ideas for a unifying notion include "dominance systems," "alienation," and "either/or dichotomous thinking." Each of these characteristics may be found in many types of oppression, but in different ways. 

However, much like with the gender distribution of work, any of these might have issues. Feminism, as a critical movement, must not only provide recommendations, but also evaluate those suggestions for their merits and flaws. 


Capitalism and patriarchy, according to certain socialist feminists, are inseparable. 


Heidi Hartmann, for example, notably contends that patriarchy is a material state or economic relationship that supports males controlling women's joint labor. She contends that the gender wage gap, which requires women to care for children while men work in the public sector, promotes women's subjugation in all parts of society. 


Battling patriarchy will be futile until capitalism is also deposed. 


Other socialist feminists see capitalism and patriarchy as two separate ideological systems that exist side by side. 

Each oppresses women in various ways, necessitating diverse strategies for fighting oppression. For example, a radical feminist would examine sexism by pointing to the biological basis of women's position in the home and their exclusion from public and political activity. 

That same feminist may believe that capitalism is to blame for part of the economic exploitation of women's domestic labor. In other words, the subjugation of women is a result of both women's reproductive potential and capitalism's need on a huge unpaid workforce. 


Socialist feminists suggest a variety of answers, but they are unified in their desire to alter or abolish capitalism and patriarchy. 


Although some of the proposals to end oppression are more revolutionary than others, socialist feminists generally agree that challenging patriarchy without also challenging society's class divisions, or challenging class division without also addressing sex-based divisions, will not be sufficient to end women's oppression. 

They also tend to think that arguing over whether kind of oppression is worse or which kind should take precedence is detrimental for feminists. Instead, socialist feminism contends that all types of oppression are interdependent or interlinked, as the unifying notion demonstrates. 


For the socialist feminist, women's liberation, and indeed all emancipation, is defined as independence from social and historical class and gender roles. 


But socialist feminists go much farther, emphasizing each individual's right to self-determination within a community. Between the individual and the community, there is a balance. Individual rights should not take precedence over collective responsibility. 

One assumption is that people are already part of a community. Humans are biological organisms whose identities or natures are shaped by the community in which they live, as well as their physical makeup and surroundings. 

Women's metaphysical and epistemological claims must take into consideration this jumble of influences. Some feminists link socialist feminism to what they call "standpoint epistemology." 

To summarize, perspective epistemology is a theory of knowing that maintains that one's perspective or social position affects (or even determines) one's knowledge claims. This is in contrast to liberal feminism, which believes that objectivity in science and knowledge is attainable.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan 

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












Radical Feminism

 



Although Marxist feminists blame capitalism for women's oppression, many feminists feel patriarchy is a more basic and insidious ideological structure. In general, patriarchy refers to a societal structure that consistently oppresses women while benefiting males. 

The name comes from political theory and means "rule of the father," but radical feminists use it to refer to more than the political order of society. 

Patriarchy refers to a system or network of males controlling women and their bodies. It's a power system that categorizes women based on their biological sex and, more specifically, their reproductive capacity. 


Radical feminists believe that sex-based childbearing and childrearing duties, as well as women's connection with their sexualized bodies, are at the foundation of female oppression. 


Another approach to consider this is to simply ask, "What distinguishes men and women?" The ordinary individual would most likely respond with a physiologically grounded response. This is the response that radical feminists point to as the foundation of women's oppression. 

Women have been consigned to the private domain of the family or domestic life because they may produce children; they are considered accountable for reproduction (while males are excused from reproductive activities), and sexual intercourse is defined by men's pleasure. Monogamous heterosexuality is thus a socially imposed rather than a freely chosen norm. 

It's utilized as an ideological weapon to make women socially subordinate to males and maintain men's control over their sexuality. Radical feminists propose a variety of alternative answers to this oppression, the most of which are, well, radical. They're intended to be together. 

Radical feminists challenge us to think more creatively about our social relationships and gender roles by offering very drastic remedies to the problem of female oppression. 

One approach is to employ technology advancements to replace biological reproduction with technological reproduction, for example. Infants might be conceived outside the body, in incubators or pods. 


This would liberate women from the "tyranny of reproductive biology," while simultaneously allowing males to engage more fully in the reproductive process. 


If oppression is built on an unfair power relationship, and if women have a power that men do not have – even if it is now employed against them – then some radical feminists believe that women should give up their power as well. This suggestion isn't as outlandish as it appears. 

Extra-uterine pregnancy appears to be a feasible possibility because to technological advancements in reproductive health. Of course, one critique levelled at this suggestion as a radical feminist idea is that if technology stays in the hands of males, women's social status would stay same, if not worsen. Another argument is that such a technological revolution will deprive women of their only authority. 

Cultural feminists make this last argument, and the explanation for it is addressed below. In support of the radical feminist notion, eliminating biological reproduction would go a long way toward eliminating societal sex and gender roles. Freedom would be a broad idea that includes the ability to be free of those duties. 


Families could be reimagined in novel and flexible ways. 


Families can be gay, single parent, group (much like a communal or shared parenting extended family structure), or any number of different arrangements in addition to the standard heterosexual family.

Women cannot be free, according to a radical feminist, unless they are free to make their own decisions regarding their bodies, particularly their reproductive capacity. 

The radical feminist view considers human nature as essentially structured by a sex-gender system by positing patriarchy as the dominant ideology that oppresses women. Humans are sexual beings that decide their social status based on their reproductive abilities. 

Whether or whether women's childrearing talents are "natural," the radical feminist sees those talents or that embodied sexual function as defining and determining – and so oppressing – women. However, sex-based social roles do not represent the whole amount of women's subjugation. 


According to some radical feminists, imposed heterosexuality and biologically based reproductive roles have an impact on everything from language and knowledge to economics and literature. 


To overcome such an established oppressive system, bold alternatives are required. The Dialectic of Sex (1970) by Shulamith Firestone uses Marx's dialectical materialism reasoning but swaps class division with sex. According to Firestone, the sex divide is society's most fundamental separation, and that other types of oppression (racial, class, age, etc.) are modelled after men's oppression of women. 

According to Firestone, biological reproduction is at the basis of women's oppression since sex-based childbearing responsibilities ground and explain sex-based childrearing duties, as well as other social inequalities. 

Her recommendations to end this oppression are among feminist theory's most far-reaching and creative (some may say absurd) ideas. She also advocates for the "liberation of women from the tyranny of their reproductive nature." 

Firestone advocates for the division of child-rearing and child-bearing responsibilities. Clearly, this would necessitate a technological revolution similar to the one described above. 

However, Firestone contends that children are oppressed as well, and that their oppression is connected with women's oppression. Women require children in order to maintain their status in the patriarchal system, but children also acquire patriarchal norms and responsibilities from women. 

As a result, Firestone argues for children's and women's social, economic, and sexual emancipation. Children should be able to explore their sexuality without being constrained by social norms. 

In The Dialectic of Sex, Firestone memorably characterized delivery as "like shitting a pumpkin." Considering sex as a core or basic component of society's repressive framework also necessitates a close examination of how women's bodies are utilized, depicted, or otherwise represented. Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon are two well-known radical feminists who rose to prominence as a result of their anti-pornography campaigns. 


Pornography, they claimed, was a sign of male dominance of female sexuality in society. 

Dworkin and Mackinnon were instrumental in making pornography illegal in Minneapolis and Indianapolis, as well as influencing pornographic judgments in other cities. 


They defined pornography as "the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women, whether in pictures or words," and went on to say that sexual objectification of women could include being conquered, dominated, or servile; enjoying pain, humiliation, rape, mutilation, or physical abuse; or being otherwise violated by objects or animals. 


They go on to say that pornography includes anybody who is subjected to the degradation portrayed (males, children, transsexuals). The word 'woman' in the definition denotes a person who is dominated. 

They contend that pornography promotes violence against women – both extreme kinds of violence and more basic types of humiliation – seem normal or acceptable. 

To put it another way, pornography isn't only direct violence against women; it's also a kind of practice ground for the mental, physical, and emotional abuse males inflict on women on a daily basis. Although many individuals believe radical feminism goes too far in its societal critique, and some even believe it is out of date, many feminists continue to make startling radical suggestions that help highlight problems of women's oppression and provide novel solutions for social change.



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







Marxist Feminism

 




In contrast to liberal feminist views on women's oppression and liberation prospects, the Marxist feminist believes that women's freedom is hampered by material realities of existence rather than legal impediments. 

Whereas liberal feminists blame legal, social, and intellectual inequalities for women's oppression, Marxist feminists argue that capitalism is to blame for women's oppression in society.

Marxist feminists, as their name implies, depend on and expand on Marxist theory; for Marxists, class oppression is the basis of all other types of oppression, as well as the most ubiquitous.

 Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx's long-time intellectual companion, was the first and possibly most influential Marxist feminist. 


Friedrich Engels traces the emergence of women's oppression in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, using Marx's critique of capitalism and the method of historical materialism (a method of analyzing human history from the perspective of materialism, the understanding that it is the material aspects of human existence that are real). 


According to Engels, we can understand how women's influence in the home changed through time by looking at how production developed. Whereas families were once matrilineal (since mothers are the only ones who know for sure who their offspring are), a shift in production – that is, a shift in how humans satisfy their material needs – resulted in a shift in the familial structure. 

The ‘world historical defeat of the female sex,' according to Engels, is the domestication of animals, the formation of private property, and the fall of the ‘mother-right.' Men became the ‘owners' of the means of production, and women's social standing plummeted. Furthermore, Engels demonstrates how laws prohibiting adultery were enacted to preserve the male head of household's private property. ‘The collapse of mother-right was the female sex's worst historical setback. 

The woman was degraded and subjected to slavery in the household as well; she became the slave of his passion and a simple instrument for the creation of offspring.' The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, Friedrich Engels (1884). Marxist feminists after him have continued Engels' argument by examining women's position in capitalism today. 


Wages for housekeeping are one of the most prominent modern Marxist feminist debates. 


Capitalism is based on a class of individuals who do unpaid ‘productive' labor (including everything from bearing and raising children to making lunches, mending socks, and caring for the elderly). Marxist feminists have advocated that reproductive labor should be viewed as productive and rewarded, or that it should be socialized so that women are not consigned to the unpaid job. Insofar as it implies a historical beginning point for women's oppression, Marxist feminism is unique among feminist schools of thought. 

If the foundations of oppression can be located in capitalism's class structure and private property, then theoretically, in order to end women's oppression, capitalism must be eliminated. 


The eradication of a class society and private property is the first step. Women must work in the producing sector or in the public sector. 


Furthermore, the family as an economic unit must be destroyed, as Engels contended. This last idea indicates that every adult would work for a living income and that marriages would no longer be based on financial need. This does not rule out the possibility of marriages or families. 

Although this explanation of Marxist feminism is brief, it demonstrates the importance of society's economic structure in understanding and alleviating women's oppression. According to Marxist feminists and Marxists, freedom is defined as the absence of economic necessity's compulsion, rather than a refined conception of autonomy. 

Similarly, the social and political value of equality is defined as the absence of social class distinctions and near equality in the capacity to meet material demands, rather than formal civil equality.


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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.


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Third Wave feminism and Islamic Feminism

 


Muslim Feminism in the Third Wave.


According to Pam Alldred and Sarah Dennison, the first wave of feminism was about the "struggle for equality and integration," the second wave was about criticizing "dominant values and sometimes inverted value-hierarchies to revalue qualities associated with the feminine," and the third wave is about "deconstructing the presumption of a gender binary or the conventional womb," and feminism in its third wave is about "deconstructing the presumption of a gender binary or the conventional.


Is there a place for Muslim feminism in third wave feminism?


The pluralities accepted by third wave feminism certainly provide a more inviting environment than prior feminisms. Patricia McFadden, citing African feminist awareness, refutes the premise that gender, feminism, and woman are inevitably Western, claiming that the problem with this theoretical paradigm is that it sees "women" as a construct [as] equally western. When gender and women are removed from the conceptual landscape, feminist resistance politics is evacuated as well, leaving us without a political response to patriarchal exclusion.'

As a result, an adversarial approach has emerged, pitting the West against the East, and one feminism against the other. 


Susan Muaddi Darraj uses the terms "Arab" and "feminist" to summarize the apparent difficulties for the West: 

Many Western women and feminists are surprised to hear that there is, and has been, a significant Arab feminist movement in the Middle East from at least the beginning of the twentieth century. 

When I use the phrase "Arab feminism," I usually get responses like 

"That seems like an oxymoron!" and "Can you be a feminist if you're still veiled?" from American feminists. 

“How can a Muslim woman be a feminist if she shares her husband with three other wives?” and 

“How can a Muslim woman be a feminist if she shares her husband with three other wives?”


While promoting a broader definition of the "third wave," this article will sidestep the binaries prevalent in many feminist literatures to identify the same difficulties that women confront across borders, faiths, and orientations. Muslim feminism is a feminist movement that arises from Islam, both as a religion and as a historically and culturally reinforced belief framework. This isn't to claim that all women who use Islam as a foundation for their advocacy are Muslim feminists.

 

Muslim feminism is also known as Islamic feminism.

 

However it should not be confused with Islamist feminism, which is the realm of women who are part of the organized conservative Islamist movement's rank and file. Muslim feminism, like Islamist feminism, originates from the same intersections between Islam and woman.


Is Muslim feminism capable of empowering and emancipating women? 


The emancipation gap between Western and non-Western feminists should not be interpreted because of arguments that one culture is superior to another or that one brand of feminism is superior than another.

What it should be regarded as is the expression of debates about feminism's "ownership" — something that third wave feminism opposes. Deniz Kandiyoti agrees with Mcfadden, claiming that “there is a culturalist bias in [such] a conversation that reduces it to questioning whether particular concepts of rights and citizenship, and for that matter feminism, may find any resonance in a Middle Eastern environment.”

This disparity is primarily due to power dynamics mediated by culture and the defining of gender roles. Contextual distinctions must be acknowledged as shaping feminist emancipatory techniques while defining the bounds of a Muslim feminist awareness.

 

Determining the meaning of Muslim feminism.

The link between religion and feminism is viewed differently by different people, ranging from proponents of a culturally defined feminist movement to a more critical group of researchers who see the interplay between Islam and feminism as crippling to the feminist mission. The case for Muslim feminism, on the other hand, should be made based on empowerment and a rights-based approach, refuting the claim that it is only a culturally relativist form.

This would amplify its influence as a movement reacting to most post-fundamentalist Muslim cultures' current political and socio-economic realities. This isn't to say that a pluralist feminist movement that represents and includes all "women" isn't important. Rather than being a non-feminist aim, Muslim feminism should be a tactical shift in the feminist movement. To do so, one must be able to determine who, among the many activists who use the phrases "woman" and "Islam," should be allowed to claim the feminist name.

The contrast between different forms of Challenges feminism when these concepts collide is critical because it allows for a differentiation between the emancipatory movement and, for example, activism with a conservative purpose. 


Azza Karam proposes three types of feminist activity in contemporary Muslim societies: 


  1. Secular feminism (a discourse grounded outside of religion and engaged with international human rights);
  2.  Islamist feminism (a discourse emerging from the socially and intellectually conservative Islamist movement, Al Harakah Al-Islamiyya); 
  3. Muslim feminism (a discourse engaging with Islamic sources writ large).

The first group, secular feminism, originated in the early twentieth century in the Middle East, when women like Hoda Sha'rawy, Ceza Nabarawi, and Bint El Sahti' began to challenge women's status. In Muslim nations, secular feminism is still a prominent movement that has achieved noteworthy results. Secular feminists, on the other hand, have increasingly encountered difficulties from the state, the public, and conservative religious groups as they attempt to separate religion and feminist discourses. Alternative feminist movements, such as Muslim feminism, have risen as a result.

The contrasts between Muslim feminists and Islamist feminists, as well as the classification of the former as a third wave feminist movement, will be the topic of this article. There seems to be little differences between Muslim and Islamist feminists on the surface. 

Within Islamist feminism, however, women are oppressed precisely because they aspire to be "equal" to men and are therefore placed in unnatural settings and unjust conditions that demean them and take away their integrity and dignity as women. [Islamism] instils in women a sense of worth, political purpose, and self-assurance.'


The Islamist argument reflects neo-patriarchal values, indicating a conservative rather than progressive approach to change.


Muslim feminism, on the other hand, allows for the presence of liberated women inside Islam. Sharazad Mojab echoes many contemporary critiques of post-feminism, claiming that while ‘focusing on identity, culture, language, discourse, desire, and body... has made enormous contributions to our understanding of patriarchy,' this new form of post-feminism lacks the political impetus of liberal feminism's legal equality achievements.

‘In this theory, women across the world are divided into faiths, ethnicities, tribes, cultures, nations, and traditions, all of which influence the agenda of feminist and women's organizations. The political implications of cultural relativism are obvious.' 

The risk of a postfeminist stance is that it implies that the goals of second wave feminism have been achieved. I believe it is more helpful to refer to feminism as a "third wave." This third wave should be viewed as having a globalized worldview that embraces commonality while transcending differences.

This new wave of feminism symbolizes a new generation of feminism/ists committed to finding constructive solutions to women's problems while respecting their differences. Instead of seeking to fit all women into the frameworks conceptualized by the second wave, this enables for a non-monolithic feminism that reacts to the increasing needs and genuine concerns confronting women today.

This is not to dismiss the second wave's ideas, but to recognize that today's global systems and interconnections necessitate a "new" feminism. In terms of the link between Islam and feminism, Mojab's claim that post-feminism is just a modern form of liberal feminism is supported by the grouping of all Islamized discourses into one basket. 


Recognizing the different character of feminism today, particularly Muslim feminism, is an important part of embracing diversity. 


Miriam Cooke emphasizes the significance of distinguishing Islam from Islamic fundamentalism (Islamism).

This is, in essence, the major point of critique that guides the argument in this article. Supporting and objectively analyzing Muslim feminism's rights-based discourses helps to define the boundaries of cultural relativism in favor of a culturally sensitive universalism of rights, chances, and activism. Islamist feminists should be viewed as female campaigners for the Islamist movement in this context.

 

Islamist "feminists'" worldview systems, in many respects, contradict feminism's emancipatory principles. Zeinab Al-Gazali and Safeenaz Kazem, for example, are proponents of established Islamist conservative views about women's conduct and space.

On the other side, Muslim feminism is a rights-based movement with Islamic implications. It does so by reinterpreting religious discourses to make them more compatible with global feminism (s). For the most part, Muslim feminism is a desire for equality, equity, and empowerment within an Islamic environment. Muslim feminists like Asma Barlas, Leila Ahmed, and Fatima Mernissi, to mention a few, are challenging the existing quo of male-dominated Islamic interpretation and acculturation, which perpetuates women's oppression.

As Amy E. Schwartz points out, this interpretation and acculturation must be understood independently of Islamic texts: ‘Islam rightly understood reflects a philosophy of enlightenment and egalitarianism... unsavory practices relegating women to second-class citizenship are not intrinsic to true Islamic values or to the Shari'a [Islamic Law] and never have been'. 


The goals and techniques of Muslim feminists and Islamist feminists are clearly different. 


When public intellectuals position themselves as Islamic [Muslim] feminists, according to Cooke, they engage prevailing religious discourses.

They derive their tactics for constructing a feminist viewpoint that rejects exclusion and locates power within the same cultural bounds from official Challenges history and hermeneutics. Cooke's acknowledgment of the distinction between Islamic/Muslim and Islamist discourses is a clear solution to an issue that plagues this field of research. That is, semantic ambiguity facilitates ideological ambiguity. Cooke asserts that "Islam and Islamism are not the same," however this article asserts that Muslim and Islamist are equally separate.

While initiating change within the context of Islam's universal terms of reference, a Muslim feminist movement is tolerated by Muslim society. Islamist feminists, on the other hand, take a more conservative stance on women's rights in Muslim nations. Islamism, sometimes known as Islamists, associates feminism with the "unthinkable."

As a result, it is critical to recognize the existence of ultraconservative movements that perpetuate the status quo while defining the substance and logic of Muslim feminist methods. Mojab verifies that Islamist feminism, in its different manifestations, does not have the capacity to pose a major alternative to patriarchy, using the legal reforms to increase maternal custodial rights in post-revolutionary Islamist society in Iran as an example. The Islamic Republic's experience has proved that Islamic theocracy strengthens the existing patriarchal society.

As a result, rather than being a complement to secular, radical, and socialist feminisms, [it] defends unequal gender relations. 


The goals and limits of this women's movement are defined by the context. 


Not because women were refused access to their children, but because children were denied access to their mothers, these changes were implemented.

The core of Muslim feminism as conveyed in various circumstances is in stark contrast to Mojab's example. After a determined struggle with the established 'ulama (religious academics) and orthodox Islamist groups in Egypt, the principle of Khul' (women's right to begin divorce by economically forfeiting themselves) was restored, as was the appointment of female judges. Under the latter situation, Muslim feminist ideologies were empowering, but activist practices in Iran's Islamist government were, in essence, non-feminist. Despite their progressive nature, they were conceptualized using Islamist concepts.


Islam and feminism, on the other hand, are incompatible, although Islamism and feminism are not.


Subversion as a cultural paradigm is being challenged. Understanding the structural and hierarchical processes that Muslim feminists are striving to remove is crucial to comprehend the problems they encounter.

 Is it Islam itself, or its relationship with the host culture(s), that allows for the dynamics of interpretation and practice, and hence defines the justification for male–female power dynamics in Muslim societies?

Special attention must be paid to the interpretation of the original Islamic Texts and the behaviors that influenced these readings while attempting to comprehend the nature of the connection between religion and culture. In this approach, a separation is created between religion as a holy Text, its interpretation, and the level of practice, which is heavily impacted by cultural and historical amalgamations. 


Religious acculturation is the result of the interplay of the Text, interpretation, and cultural practice.


Too frequently, acculturation consists of distinct and distinct practices and ideas that are closed to debate and difficult to change. When it comes to religious ideas, particularly fundamentalism, Shahin Gerami believes religion has a little but important impact in defining culturally established gender roles: ‘Men and women's political, economic, and geographic places within social structure are determined by culturally defined disparities. Gender identities that further review and reinterpret previously established sex roles' are promoted by religious beliefs that strengthen these functions.

This argument is helpful in forming assumptions regarding the influence of culture and religion in the identification of gender roles and sexual identities. The impact of culture on religious conceptualization – rather than the other way around – is critical in defining the paradigm of religious interpretation and practices that perpetuate patriarchal power patterns in Muslim communities by strengthening specific beliefs about gender and gender dynamics.

This is the foundation upon which Muslim feminists aspire to bring about change and women's empowerment. 


‘Muslim women may battle for equality within the context of the Qur'an's teachings,' 


Asma Barlas, like other Muslim feminists, believes the significance of interrogating the contextual/extratextual realities that molded the understanding of the original Qur'an Text and its interpretation, as well as the interplay between the three levels of religion - the Text, interpretation, and practice.

Scholars have stated that "inequality and discrimination [against women] stem from secondary religious books, not from the teachings of the Qur'an [the Text]." Despite the possibility of egalitarian and non-patriarchal readings, Islam, and notably the Qur'an, has become more conservative in regards to women's roles.

As a result, religious comments and exegesis contributed to a developing tendency throughout history in which male-dominated interpretation perpetuated women's imprisonment and inequality. One of Muslim feminism's top concerns is to reply to such interpretations. Part of this is due to male-dominated interpretation and jurisprudence.

This, on the other hand, was tied to the environment in which such Challenges occurred, as well as the cultural differences that shaped ideological and political frameworks throughout Islamic history.


The secondary theological writings that accepted and reinforced women's subordination mirrored the effect of these cultural realities. 


This religious acculturation is the result of an interplay between three overlapping levels of religion – the Text, (male-dominated) interpretation, and cultural practice – that results in a specific understanding of Islam.

As a result, traditions and belief frameworks emerge, policing power dynamics and gender roles. Muslim feminists are addressing the limitations and difficulties of religious acculturation to achieve freedom for women in Muslim countries. 

To have a better grasp of the grounds of reference from which Muslim feminism draws its ideas, Muslim feminist academics must engage with the dimensions and dynamics of Islamic acculturation. 


Religious acculturation's sources and dynamics 


When viewing the Qur'an against the backdrop of pre-Islamic civilization known as Jahiliyya, Barbara Stowasser claims that it is clear that "both the social standing and the legal rights of women were enhanced by Qur'anic legislation." 

Nonetheless, she observes that ‘the process of growing exclusion and growing limitations imposed on women [was plainly] discernible via comparison of the original Qur'anic laws with the succession of interpretations created by succeeding centuries. Fatima Mernissi also claims that the Qur'anic morality has harmed women's rights.

Mernissi displays a strong female power dynamic in this culture by referring to pre-Islamic history and using instances from the historical period that witnessed the emergence of Islam as a religion. This is supported by Leila Ahmed's research of male–female power relations in the same time and the change from a matrilineal to a patriarchal social order in Arabia following the birth of Islam in Gender and Islam.

As a result, Islam might be establishing a new social compact that restricted gender roles and women's space. According to Ahmed, the Qur'an established an ethical guideline for Muslim society's organization.

This ethical code should be separated from Islamic law's legal code, which has evolved over centuries and throughout several Islamic empires and caliphates. 


‘The particular substance of laws derived from the Qur'an is very dependent on the interpretation that legists choose to apply to it, as well as the components of its complex utterances to which they choose to give weight.' 


One cannot deny the historical realities that these legal codes ushered in a regulating social order that, in many cases, had the ethical protection of women at its core.

The Qur'an is founded on the 'man as provider' concept, in which women are dependents due to the division of labor. This, however, has no bearing on the equality of men and women before God. However, current politics and practice reveal a strong conservative tendency within modern Muslim communities, which denies women the rights guaranteed by the Quran and the Sunna.


The “textualization of misogyny” in Islam was made possible by secondary religious writings. 


These texts have surpassed the Qur'an's influence in most Muslim societies today, demonstrating not only the triumph of some texts over others in Muslim discourses, but also the triumph of history, politics, and culture over the sacred text, and thus of cross-cultural, transnational, and nondenominational ideologies on women and gender in vogue in the Middle East, over the Qur'an's teachings.

These conflicts give rise to Muslim feminism, which works within these "cross-cultural, transnational, and nondenominational ideals" while claiming freedom for women through Qur'anic interpretation. This allows them to "plant themselves in the soil of Islam in order to demand authority and speak out against those who seek to glorify them as symbols while excluding them as humans."

At the level of religious practice, which is formed by the junction of the previous two levels of religion, Text and interpretation, the more transitory components of acculturation occur. This indicates that, though most Muslim nations have a dominating Islamic practice in terms of gender roles, there are differences amongst them.


The usage of female isolation and segregation is example of Dominating Islamic Practice in Gender Roles. 


In contrast to more traditional nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt has virtually abolished this practice. Despite this diversity, the main concepts apply to most Muslim communities, where women nowadays face more segregation, isolation, and power limits. 

In contrast to what has happened in other celestial religions, Islamic historical memory has helped to strengthen the patriarchal underpinnings that had already been built in the Arab civilization where Islam originally originated. 

It has also included other external cultural characteristics and ideas that were adopted through the rise of the Islamic Empire, allowing for the resurgence of sexual inequity. Thus, through centuries of ‘Islamic historical memory,' the concept of the ‘submissive condition' has been preserved.

The interaction of many cultural practices has resulted in this historical memory. Some of the characteristics seen in today's Muslim communities can be traced back to a non-religious cultural activity. 


This is part of the existing quo that Muslim feminists are contesting by bringing their own interpretation of the Qur'an to the fore. 


As a result, they put their arguments within Islam's universal terms of reference, securing their standing as true proponents. 

Their purpose, Challenges analyzing cultural practice via the Text, is to promote structural change that leads to attainable objectives.


Third wave feminism/Muslim feminism.


The goal of this article was to outline the fundamental elements of Muslim feminism, which is a junction of Islamic and feminist discourses. Even though both Muslim feminism and Islamist women's movement are inspired by the Quran, the former is concerned with worldwide human rights, not merely rights granted by religious teachings. Religious acculturation and its influence in determining gender roles, power dynamics, and women's space in contemporary Muslim societies have been highlighted as crucial to understanding the condition of both women in Muslim societies and Muslim feminism in identifying the sources of challenges to Muslim feminism strategies. The historical and dialectical components of this acculturation process are both present.

The combination of the Text, interpretation, and practice results in a complex religious acculturation that characterizes distinct Islamic interactions in society. It has also had a significant impact on patriarchal systems and the perceived inflexibility of gender roles. Cultural norms and traditions in Muslim cultures promote a conservative and patriarchal structure.

In addition, while dealing with the Kadiyyat Al Mara'a, or woman question, one must consider several other factors, including the loci of traditionalism vs modernization, ‘Westernism' vs ‘authenticity,' and the local vs global. These definitional systems split rather than unify, and the separation is often expressed as a divide between the East, Islam, and the West. Within these disputes, feminism has become one of the binary concepts. Different types of feminism, such as Western and Muslim feminism, have competing overtones. We discover a way out of these binary oppositions in the third wave of feminism.

Third-wave feminists have based their arguments on US Third-World feminism, suggesting a commitment to feminist discourses that extends beyond the Anglo-American models advocated by the second wave.

Third-wave feminism allows for diversity, and by rejecting the strict paradigm of universal "feminism," the third wave allows for a pluralistic approach to the feminist mission. This encompasses both Western and non-Western feminisms, as well as emerging tendencies like Muslim feminism. Muslim feminism has a broader influence than secular feminism, which has faced opposition in Muslim communities due to its perception as a Western incursion and hence a danger to "authenticity."

While this may be arguable from an academic standpoint, the intersection of cognitive realities and worldviews in Muslim civilizations attests to the contrary.

As diverse sorts of feminist activity show empowerment and purposeful life choices, preconceptions and understandings of what feminism is altering. Difference does not imply the presence of the "other," but rather is a genuine and alternative manifestation. Third-wave feminist discourses provide a space for Muslim feminism to be both authentic and ‘other.' Secular feminism, on the other hand, borrows from second-wave feminism in its conception of a "universal" woman and does not allow for culturally specific authentication.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, third wave feminism provides a platform for emergent feminist strategies. Pluralism, as a result, should be aggressively promoted to eliminate the disparity between Western and Eastern feminist ethos, whether genuine or imagined. We could wish to redefine feminism as we strive to define third wave feminism. Rather than an ethno-specific ideal type, feminism should be characterized by emancipatory activity. This is where Muslim feminism excels, and it is for this reason that Muslim feminism is one of the many voices of third-wave feminism.



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