Feminist Research Paper

Feminist Research Paper-38
Although there are many different and sometimes conflicting approaches to feminist philosophy, (see "Feminism, approaches to"), it is instructive to begin by asking what, if anything, feminists as a group are committed to.

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Feminism brings many things to philosophy including not only a variety of particular moral and political claims, but ways of asking and answering questions, critiques of mainstream philosophical views and methods, and new topics of inquiry.

Feminist contributions to and interventions in mainstream philosophical debates are covered in entries under "Feminism, interventions".

Although most feminists would probably agree that there is some sense of "rights" on which achieving equal rights for women is a necessary condition for feminism to succeed, most would also argue that this would not be sufficient.

This is because women's oppression under male domination rarely if ever consists solely in depriving women of political and legal "rights", but also extends into the structure of our society and the content of our culture, and permeates our consciousness (e.g., Bartky 1990).

Moreover, even considering only relatively recent efforts to resist male domination in Europe and the US, the emphasis on "First" and "Second" Wave feminism ignores the ongoing resistance to male domination between the 1920's and 1960's and the resistance outside mainstream politics, particularly by women of color and working class women.

Feminist Research Paper

One might seek to solve these problems by emphasizing the political ideas that the term was apparently coined to capture, viz., the commitment to women's equal rights.In many of its forms, feminism seems to involve at least two claims, one normative and the other descriptive.The normative claim concerns how women ought (or ought not) to be viewed and treated and draws on a background conception of justice or broad moral position; the descriptive claim concerns how women are, as a matter of fact, viewed and treated, alleging that they are not being treated in accordance with the standards of justice or morality invoked in the normative claim.Feminists disagree about what sexism consists in, and what exactly ought to be done about it; they disagree about what it means to be a woman or a man and what social and political implications gender has or should have.Nonetheless, motivated by the quest for social justice, feminist inquiry provides a wide range of perspectives on social, cultural, and political phenomena.) , and what sorts of injustice women in fact suffer (what aspects of women's current situation are harmful or unjust? Disagreements between feminists and non-feminists can also occur with respect to both the normative and descriptive claims, e.g., some non-feminists agree with feminists on the ways women ought to be viewed and treated, but don't see any problem with the way things currently are.Others disagree about the background moral or political views.My goal here will be to sketch some of the central uses of the term that are most relevant to those interested in contemporary feminist philosophy.For an overview of the history of feminist thought see: "Feminism, history of".(Admittedly, the claim that women are disadvantaged with respect to rights and respect is not a "purely descriptive" claim since it plausibly involves an evaluative component.However, my point here is simply that claims of this sort concern what is the case not what ought to be the case.) Disagreements within feminism can occur with respect to either the descriptive or normative claim, e.g., feminists differ on what would count as justice or injustice for women (what counts as "equality," "oppression," "disadvantage"?


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