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Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common stated aim: to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist generally self-defines as advocating for or supporting the rights and equality of women. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social construction of sex and gender. Some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle-class, educated perspectives. This led to the creation of ethnically specific or multiculturalist forms of feminism.
Feminist activists campaign for women's rights – such as in contract law, property, and voting – while also promoting bodily integrity, autonomy, and reproductive rights for women. Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be main force behind major historical societal changes, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with having achieved women's suffrage, gender neutrality in English, equal pay for women, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property. Some feminists have worked to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. They have also advocated for workplace rights, including maternity leave, and against forms of discrimination against women. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but author bell hooks and others have argued that, since feminism seeks gender equality, it must necessarily include men's liberation because men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles.
- "Feminism – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- "Definition of feminism noun from Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus". dictionary.cambridge.org. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- "feminist". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. 2012. (subscription required (. ))
An advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women. 1852: De Bow’s Review (‘Our attention has happened to fall upon Mrs. E. O. Smith, who is, we are informed, among the most moderate of the feminist reformers!’)
- Chodorow, Nancy (1989). Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theory. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-05116-2.
- Gilligan, Carol (1977). "'In a Different Voice: Women's Conceptions of Self and Morality'". Harvard Educational Review 47 (4): 481–517. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
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- Messer-Davidow, Ellen (2002). Disciplining Feminism: From Social Activism to Academic Discourse. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2843-7.
- Echols, Alice (1989). Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-1787-2.
- Cornell, Drucilla (1998). At the Heart of Freedom: Feminism, Sex, and Equality. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-02896-5. Scholarly review: "The author’s … quarrel with the equal rights feminist movement is not new in academic feminism.… In Cornell’s opinion … feminists have failed to consider crucial differences between women…. Attempts to claim equality with men … cause injustice for women when they do not fit into the male ideal."
hookswas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Cite error: The named reference
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