What is the feminist movement?
We explain what the feminist movement is, its history and the characteristics of this position. Also, what it is to be a feminist.
What is the feminist movement?
When we talk about feminism or the feminist movement, we refer to a diverse set of positions and models of critical thinking of a political, economic, cultural and social nature , which have in common their aspiration to claim women’s rights and conquer of an equal role with respect to man in the different aspects of society.
The feminist movement aspires to demonstrate and rethink the roles traditionally assigned according to gender , that is, the place that is destined for men and women in society depending exclusively on their sex and not on their interests, talents or abilities.
In that sense, feminism fights against the patriarchal order of society : a cultural and social model that gives men a predominant role and women a more submissive and secondary one. In this struggle, feminism is more or less allied with other subaltern movements, such as the LGBT movement (in favor of sexodiversity).
Thanks to the different stages and versions of the feminist struggle, the role of women has grown in participation and rights throughout the history of humanity , and political triumphs such as the female vote, equality before the law or reproductive rights, although there are still many controversial issues on the agenda.
Similarly, feminism has allowed the emergence of schools of critical theory, applied to various fields such as literature , sociology , anthropology , etc. that have enriched the look of the human being around himself and allowed him to consider debates about the way he understands life and society.
History of the feminist movement
The feminist movement has a long history in ancient times , in what is usually called protofeminism or premodern feminism. Cases such as Juana de Arco, Christine de Pizan, or later Sr. Juana Inés de la Cruz, Manuela Sáenz and Juana de Azurduy are specific cases of women who fought against an order that excluded and marginalized them.
The first wave of feminism as such occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in England and Latin America, in the voice of numerous intellectuals, writers and social activists who raised their voices to demand a more leading role for women in women. nascent capitalist republics.
This happened through rights to study, vote and even work. The famous movement of the suffragists in Europe was a powerful and radical attempt to get the vote of women and allow their participation in the conduct of the State .
The second wave arises in the middle of the century, between 1960 and the 90s, and expanded the fight against de facto inequalities, not only legal, but also sexual and reproductive rights, in what was called the Liberation Movement of the woman .
The third wave is supposed to begin in the 90s and reaches the 21st century, and arises in response to the failures of feminism of the second wave, rethinking the social and cultural idea of what a woman is to incorporate other races, classes , religions , cultures , etc.
Characteristics of the feminist movement
Feminism is broadly a movement:
- Diverse . There are numerous political, social and philosophical positions on the subject, it is not a homogeneous organization.
- Continuous . Feminism does not have an end, an objective in which to end, but is part of a critical current of thought that updates its objectives as society changes.
- Multidisciplinary . It does not focus on a single field of knowledge, but has aspects of thought in various areas of science and humanities.
- Egalitarian . Feminism does not pursue the superiority of women over men, or anything like that, but an equal distribution of social roles and rights between them.
What is being a feminist?
There is no exclusive way to be a feminist, and there is much misinformation about what it means to be . Some mistakenly think that it is a movement of superiority of women, or a preaching of lesbianism, of hatred towards men, or many other baseless accusations.
It is true that there may be individuals, people, feminists or not, who believe those things, and what are commonly called “feminazis.” But those are superficial positions that have nothing to do with feminism.
Being a feminist means thinking that women should occupy an equal place in society and be willing to review the patterns that exist in it to make it more inclusive, fair and democratic in that regard. You can perfectly be a man and be a feminist.
The debate on feminism today has given way to broader approaches to subalternity and the fight against patriarchy , in what is called Gender Studies and which instead of focusing on the claim of women, prefers to address the idea of gender (not sex, biologically determined) as a cultural construction that can be reviewed, criticized and modified.