Showing posts with label Morals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morals. Show all posts

Second Wave Of Feminism



The initial wave of feminist movement was marked by battles to obtain legal, economic, social, and intellectual respect for women. 


The second wave may be seen of as an attempt to address those elements of women's oppression that are left unaddressed after legal, economic, and intellectual equality has been achieved. 


  • This includes, in part, improving our understanding of equality, but it also includes women's physical experiences in culture and society. 
  • Changing the rules that prevent women from joining the employment does not necessarily result in a change in how women are treated once they are there. 
  • Women's full citizenship rights, including the ability to vote, do not necessarily imply that their concerns will be acknowledged or that they will be regarded seriously as political actors. 



Second wave feminism adds an analysis of oppression that includes understandings of the body, morality, subjectivity, and identity, allowing for new ways to analyze and fight oppression as well as new criteria for liberation.


Here, I cover each ongoing, and notable aspect of the Second Wave of Feminism (Click through to learn in detail):


    1. The Second Sex?
    2. Gender Vs Sex
    3. Sisterhood
    4. Identity Politics
    5. Race And Social Status
    6. Public Vs. Private - Personal Politics
    7. Psychological Oppression Of Women
    8. Ethics In A Feminist Context
    9. Caring Ethics
    10. Lesbian Morals
    11. Female Embodiment
    12. Overcoming Religion, Myth And Control
    13. Epistemology From A Female Vantage.


~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan


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



Second Wave Of Feminism - Epistemology From A Female Vantage.



One of several feminist models of knowing is standpoint epistemology. 

I'll go through some current developments in feminist epistemology and philosophy of science, but I'd want to start with perspective since it intersects with identity politics and the ethics of caring. 



Marxist ideas influenced standpoint epistemology. 

  • Marx believed that workers in a more involved position had a better grasp of the oppressive system and structure – in other words, a clearer image of reality – than privileged capitalists who had no real motivation to examine social institutions. 


Feminists, according to Nancy Hartsock, should use this approach to articulate a feminist epistemology. 

  • She claimed that we might identify a feminist viewpoint by looking at the tangible realities of women's domestic labor. 

Hartsock's viewpoint epistemology, like Marx's, starts with the assumption that there are two opposing factions. 



The proletariat, according to Marx, was in opposition to the bourgeoisie. 


  • Women, apparently are assumed to be in opposition to males. 
  • Importantly, neither theory asserts any kind of essentialist claim about workers or women. Both believe that society's organization is to blame for the conflict. 
  • The ruling class, whether bourgeois or male, determines what is ‘true' and establishes the criteria for acceptable information sources. 
  • However, Marx and Hartsock believe that the oppressed have a sharper perspective as a result of their battles, seeing that the strong merely set criteria for knowledge and reality in order to preserve their control. 

The criteria are incorrect, or at the very least misleading. 



In a stratified society, the downtrodden acquire a perspective via their labor and suffering. 


  • Keep in mind that a viewpoint is context-dependent; it is based on a certain moment and location. 
    • A women's job is both childrearing and contributing to sustenance since the division of labor is based in a sex divide. 
  • Along this axis, further distinctions between women's and men's work become evident. 
    • A woman's workday is twice as long as a man's. 
    • They will have a disproportionate quantity of work when they come home if they work outside the house. 
    • Women's labor also tends to be more utilitarian, focusing on all aspects of reproduction rather than manufacturing. 
    • A women's job is more boring and repetitious than men's, and that it consumes the majority of their spare time. 

It's worth noting that women's reproductive labor is embodied. It defies the duality by including both the intellect and the body. 




Other viewpoint theorists have expanded the idea in a variety of ways, including creating black feminist and Latina feminist perspectives, among others. 


However, standpoint theory is not without flaws. 

  • The use of a dichotomy between oppressor and victimized by perspective has been criticized by certain feminists. Others believe that putting a premium on employment or activity is harmful. 
  • Furthermore, as with identity politics, there is a danger of viewpoints multiplying to the point where everyone has a privileged knowledge of others on at least one issue. 

Nonetheless, perspective theorists may and have replied to these objections, and the theory has made considerable progress in displacing more conventional epistemological methods. 


One of the most important findings from perspective is that knowledge standards are socially created by the strong in order to preserve their authority. 

In third wave feminism, challenging conventions becomes critical as well. 


~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan


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



Second Wave Of Feminism - Overcoming Religion, Myth And Control




Several of the societal beliefs that contribute to women's oppression or otherwise define and restrict them. 


The most well-known cultural use of myth is religion. 


  • Christianity, Islam, and Judaism — the three main monotheistic global faiths – all grapple with old patriarchal norms. 
  • Other religious traditions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, contain aspects of patriarchy, or what could be termed sexist behaviors, although they are not as deeply rooted in theological and spiritual ideas as monotheistic religions. This article focuses only on the latter. 

One of the main concerns addressed by feminist theologians is whether patriarchal traditions are required for religious belief and practice.


  • The portrayal of God and leadership within religious groups are two places where this issue is plainly apparent. 
  • God is described in both language and detailed descriptions of God's nature. 
  • God is referred to as "Father" in both Judaism and Christianity; 
  • God is referred to as "Allah" in Islam. 
  • The term Father conjures up images of a parent's affection and care, as well as the authority to establish and execute laws. 

According to feminist theologians, it is a pretty clear allusion to patriarchy. 


  • Furthermore, worship language is often masculine or uses the male pronoun in relation to both God and Christians. 
  • However, God does not have to be shown exclusively as a masculine Father
  • Other terms may also be used to characterize the transcendent being, and these alternatives may be useful in destabilizing patriarchal conceptions


For example, radical feminists advise referring to God as "Goddess" or "Mother God," ecofeminists prefer "Creator," and all feminists support referring to God as "God" in all cases to avoid using masculine pronouns. 



Each of these options connotes a distinct picture of God and highlights various aspects of God. 


  • Human understanding of God's characteristics was a popular subject of study throughout the Middle Ages, and it hasn't lost its allure, particularly in light of feminist concerns regarding the relationship between divine and human traits. 
  • When God is portrayed as a strong, powerful lawgiver, and males are seen to be stronger and more powerful than women, as well as holding positions of authority in the family and state, the logical inference is that men are more like God than women. 
  • Of course, there is much to be said about this, and feminist theologians have thoroughly refuted the argument, claiming that God's attributes are not limited to those masculine characteristics, that philosophy and theology have been dominated by men who created an image of God in their own image, and that God should not be identified (and limited) by essentially human attributes. 



The organizational structures of the main global religions are patriarchal. 


  • Males not only control the majority of leadership posts, but they also have a near-exclusive grip on authority inside institutional faiths. 
  • Women have only lately been allowed to higher levels of leadership in the main monotheistic faiths, and only in a few denominations or sects. 
  • Women's exclusion was justified, at least in Christianity, because of their separation from God and their connection with more worldly, earthly, or physical concerns. 
  • The restrictions against women having positions of authority in churches, like the exclusion of women from other aspects of social life, were often predicated on their reproductive capabilities. 
  • Furthermore, women are banned from the priesthood in Catholicism since it is claimed that Jesus exclusively chose male apostles — despite the fact that women were leaders in the early Christian Church. 



What accepted or conventional theology says about women is another aspect of the connection between women and religion. 


  • Women's responsibilities are described as mainly or exclusively related to the family in all three major global monotheistic faiths. 
  • They often contain clear comments regarding women's inferiority. 
  • Furthermore, they include accusations of women's bodies.
    • Women's bodies are a source of sin or temptation, therefore they must be regulated or covered, as well as women's movements or places in worship sessions. 
    • Women are often instilled with guilt and encouraged to accept lesser positions as a result of such beliefs. 



Feminist answers to religious sexism are diverse, innovative, and varied. 


  • The majority of radical feminists are adamantly opposed to established faiths. 
  • They believe that misogyny is so deeply ingrained in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism that a woman cannot participate without being implicated in it. 
  • To replace the sexist institutions they leave behind, some radical feminists have established new spiritualities and faiths, or resurrected existing non-patriarchal traditions. 



Another feminist approach, maybe less radical but no less difficult, is to try to change organized religion from the outside or from inside. 


  • In any case, feminists use social criticism to expose the inconsistencies in religious belief systems and the sexist aspects that are completely unnecessary for believing. 
  • They also use creativity to change patriarchal imagery and language in religious rituals and to include more women in religious ceremonies.



~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan


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



Second Wave Of Feminism - Female Embodiment

 



Looking back, one of the most important elements of existence in second wave feminism is how a person lives in a body. 

This is referred to as embodiment by philosophers. 



Second-wave feminists pioneered innovative approaches to analyzing the origins and consequences of issues such as eating disorders, female sexuality, sexual assault, beauty standards, and even bodily conduct. 


  • I examine some of these issues within the context of each of the many waves of feminism in order to demonstrate the various perspectives and techniques. 
  • In this essay, I discuss embodiment in general and its role in second-wave feminist issues. 





In some ways, embodiment stems from a long-standing philosophical conundrum: 

How to reconcile the intellect and the body?



In the seventeenth century, RenĂ© Descartes notably investigated this issue. 


  • The body, according to Descartes, is nothing more than a mechanism that is driven by the rational mind. 
  • The mind and the body are two types of substances: 

    1. the mind is a non-extended material, 
    2. whereas the body is an extended substance (it takes up space). 
  • Descartes, too, confronted the issue of explaining the connection between mind and body in his own time. 
  • To put it another way, how could something that doesn't take up space have any effect on something that does? 



Following philosophers have attempted to answer the issue and have given a range of answers. 


Some feminist explanations have an unique position in social philosophy, despite the fact that they typically come under the umbrella of philosophy of mind. 



As a feminist idea, embodiment refers to how one lives one's body. 

  • Embodiment is the topic of both criticism and positive theory building, given that women's bodies are often the target of considerable societal control as well as the focus of distinctively female contributions to society. 



Some feminists utilize embodiment to criticize women's societal expectations. 


Some feminists have argued that eating disorders and cosmetic surgery are both the consequence of women's estrangement from their bodies. 

    • When society delivers more or less constant signals about what constitutes the ideal or even the "normal" physique for women and men, deviations from those standards may lead a person to see her or his body as alien or even hostile. 


A person may turn to severe means such as life-threatening diet or surgery in order to gain control over this alien power. 

    • Take note of how this interpretation of the body as foreign or "other" appropriates Beauvoir's notion of otherness. 


The Other is seen as a danger that must be subdued. Similarly, the body may be a source of shame. 

    • Menstruation has been mythologized to the point that its onset may give a young woman humiliation at being subject to the forces of nature, as Beauvoir claimed. 


Patriarchal norms of feminine behavior may also lead to body shame. 


  • A woman may conceal her breasts and legs, covering her body to avoid being objectified or reduced to its components, in response to a leering stare or catcall. 
  • Of course, not every physical experience leads to feelings of estrangement or guilt, and not every woman has a complicated relationship with her own body. 
  • Embodiment is also how we interact with the environment. 



Instead of asking, "How does the mind interact with the body?" 

Descartes' inquiry becomes, "How does embodied subjectivity connect with the world?" 



Shame and alienation seem to highlight the inverse of this relationship: 


  • How the environment influences one's bodily experience. 
  • Subjective embodiment seeks communicative experiences and empathic understanding between and among individuals, rather than universalizing statements about the body. 



At various times and in different situations, women have distinct experiences with their bodies. 


  • Subjective embodiment enables women to reflect about how they live their bodies uniquely by rejecting essentialist assumptions about how all women experience their bodies. 
  • This is a world apart from medieval efforts to escape the body and modernist attempts to mechanize the body. 
  • The environment forms and is molded by the living body. 



The shifts in how women perceive embodiment are reflected in feminist theories on female sexual pleasure. 


  • In the Western culture, sexual intercourse was traditionally defined and centered on the male body's activities. 
  • Penetration and ejaculation were the hallmarks of sex. 
  • Women and sexual pleasure are almost completely missing from such a view of sex, and women who do seek or feel sexual pleasure may be demonized or ashamed.
  • They're just there to be entered and maybe pregnant. 
  • Women were even referred to as "vessels for reproduction" by some, but there was no mention of a woman's personal subjective experience of her body during sex. 
  • When the body is reduced to a reproduction object, alienation is common. 



Second and third wave feminists have made significant progress in reclaiming sexual pleasure for women, teaching women about their own bodies, the many locations and sources of sexual pleasure, and female orgasms, as well as educating the general public about sexual equality and reciprocity. 


Third-wave feminists also brought into the public a broader discussion of autoeroticism and non-traditional sexual interactions. 



Finally, embodiment may be seen as a metaphor. 


  • Since Plato, political theorists have utilized the body as a metaphor for the state.
  • Feminists are interested in this kind of body politics because the body shown is often a male body devoid of the natural rhythms and connections associated with women, and because the state/body metaphor may be inverted to demonstrate the molding effect of power on the body. 


The notion that the masculine body represents the state is complicated. 

It could mean one or more of the following (though not all at the same time): 


(1) the state is patriarchal; 

(2) reason rather than nature should rule the state; 

(3) only men are represented in the state; 

(4) the state is phallocratic; or 

(5) the values privileged in the state or society are masculine values. 



We allude to the metaphor's inversion. The state might symbolize the body, illustrating the ability to shape it. 


  • The inherent differences between men and women are less important than how those differences are perceived by a culture or society in determining how women are treated. 
  • Following theorists built on this finding, demonstrating how things like popular media produce women via the strength of ubiquitous message. 
  • When faced with pictures of how the body should seem, individuals usually strive to fit in. 


This is similar to the state's use of coercion to force individuals to follow specific regulations. 

Using the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault, feminists like Bartky even discuss how the body is policed. 


Clearly, a person lives as, in, with, and through a body in a variety of ways. 



Understanding how oppression affects embodiment advances feminist theory beyond legal equality to a far more nuanced understanding of freedom.


~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan


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





Second Wave Of Feminism - Lesbian Morals



Other feminist ethical theories are more openly political than care ethics. They may be founded on existentialism, political solidarity, postmodernism, or radical feminist principles, for example. 

I only address one other clearly feminist ethics here - ‘lesbian ethics,' although existentialist feminist ethics was represented with ecofeminist ethics, and global feminist political solidarity. 

There are many articulations of lesbian ethics, such as an ethics of caring and an ecological feminist ethics. 

  • However, all lesbian ethics theorists believe that lesbian views expose the advantages of heterosexuality because of their place on society's periphery. 
  • Lesbian ethics is recognized for emphasizing the necessity for a feminist ethic to investigate the institution of heterosexuality, as well as the family, marriage, work environment, and other ethical topics. 


Lesbianism is generally thought of as a sexual preference or orientation that is unique to a person. 

  • This perspective is enriched by the inclusion of lesbian ethics. 
  • As a result, lesbianism may be seen as a political commitment, i.e., a commitment to prioritize women above males, which may or may not include same-sex sexual interactions. 
  • Although contentious when originally suggested in the mid-1970s, this is an essential element of the women's movement. 
  • Some extreme lesbian feminists believed that to be a feminist, one had to be a lesbian. 


Other feminists, on the other hand, believed that include lesbians and lesbianism in the feminist movement would harm it. 

(They were probably also worried about perpetuating the notion that all feminists are lesbians.) 


Challenges to the assumption of heterosexuality are seen as beneficial to feminism since they concurrently question gender norms, according to the more moderate lesbian ethics viewpoint. 


  • Women do not have to draw their identity from males, according to lesbianism as a political commitment. 
  • Women may seek emotional assistance from other women and be free of the stigma of being men's "second sex." 
  • Lesbians suffered invisibility as a group for a long time since lesbianism was rejected by Western society. 
  • The ideas of feminist lesbian ethics are born out of this experience of invisibility or marginalization. 
  • Traditional ethics, as well as parts of the feminist movement, may be criticized by both sexual and political lesbians for failing to examine the oppressive systems of what Adrienne Rich refers to as "compulsory heterosexuality." 

According to Rich, women have been taught to be heterosexual in a patriarchal society (a quick look at the toys, books, and movies targeting young girls supports this claim). 

  • Rich claims that patriarchal indoctrination conceals our real identities and promotes female rivalry. 
  • To break free of these repressive prescriptions and learn to be woman-identified, women must establish women's spaces or cultivate a women-centered society. 
  • Only in this setting, a woman-identified context, can one really be free to make moral choices, according to lesbian ethics. 
  • Heterosexuality is not in and of itself a problem; but, heterosexuality's dominance and assumption, as well as the societal advantages that come with it, are. 


According to lesbian ethics, patriarchal training solely toward heterosexuality prevents women from being free. 


Certainly, awareness-raising organizations and sisterhood initiatives may be seen as attempts to establish women's spaces. 

To ease the transition away from patriarchal indoctrination, several lesbian ethicists created retreat centers and communes. 


The criticism of feminist ideas that unintentionally presuppose a heterosexual paradigm is one of lesbian ethics' many significant contributions. 

The intersections and linkages between sexism and heterosexism as forms of oppression are shown by lesbian ethics and third wave queer theory. 


These kind of movements inside and outside of feminism will continue to be extremely essential in driving us to a better awareness of oppression in general as society grows more comfortable with social change and a nonexclusionary vision of social participation.


~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

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