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Submitted by on Aug 19, 2021

Feminism is a collection of social movements, political movements, and ideas to define and establish gender equality in politics, economics, personal life, and social life. Feminism believes that civilizations favor men’s viewpoints and that women are mistreated within those communities. Efforts to alter this include combating gender stereotypes and ensuring that women have equal educational, professional, and interpersonal opportunities and results as men.

Women’s rights, including the freedom to vote, hold public office, work, earn equal pay, own property, obtain an education, join contracts, have equal rights within marriage, and take maternity leave, have been championed by feminist groups. Feminists have also campaigned to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic abuse and provide access to legal abortions and social inclusion. Feminist movements have frequently included changes in female clothing norms and acceptable physical activity.

Feminist initiatives are often credited for gaining women’s suffrage, gender-neutral terminology, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraception and abortion), and the freedom to engage in contracts and own property.

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Although feminist activism has been primarily focused on women’s rights, some feminists say that men’s emancipation should be included in its goals since they think that conventional gender roles affect males. Feminist theory, which sprang from feminist movements, attempts to comprehend the nature of gender disparity by studying women’s social roles and lived experience; feminist theorists have produced theories in several fields to address gender issues.

A slew of feminist groups and philosophies have emerged throughout the years, each with its own set of goals and perspectives. First-wave liberal feminism, which sought political and legal equality through reforms within a liberal democratic framework, has traditionally been contrasted with labor-based proletarian women’s groups, which evolved through time into socialist and Marxist feminism based on class struggle theory.

Since the 1960s, both of these traditions have been pitted against radical feminism, which arose from the radical wing of second-wave feminism and called for a radical reordering of society to eliminate male supremacy; the “Big Three” schools of feminist thought are liberal, socialist, and radical feminism.

Many fresh kinds of feminism have arisen since the late twentieth century. Some types of feminism have been chastised for focusing solely on the experiences of white, middle-class, college-educated, heterosexual, or cisgender women. As a result of these criticisms, ethnically specific or multicultural varieties of feminism, such as black feminism and intersectional feminism, have emerged.

In 1837, a utopian socialist and French philosopher named Charles Fourier is credited with coining “feminism.” The terms “féminisme” (“feminism”) and “féministe” (“feminist”) first emerged in 1872 in France and the Netherlands, in the 1890s in the United Kingdom, and 1910 in the United States. “Feminist” first appeared in 1852, “feminism” first appeared in 1895.

Feminists worldwide have pursued various causes and aims, depending on the historical period, culture, and nation. Most feminist historians in the West believe that all movements striving for women’s rights should be classified as feminist movements, even if they did not (or do not) label themselves as such.

Others argue that the word should only be applied to the modern feminist movement and its offshoots. Historians use the term “protofeminist” to characterize previous movements.

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