Are You a Feminist? Understanding different types of feminism.

The only thing that all feminists have in common is that they are all committed to achieving political, economic and social equality of sex, race and class. Feminism encompasses a huge variety of people and positions. Feminists are religious, atheistic, and somewhere in between; Black, White, Latino, Asian and any combination of the above. They are married, single, dating, in open relationships and in polyamorous relationships; They are LGBTQIA, straight and asexual. They are transgender, female, male and gender queer; we’re feminine, masculine, all of the above and none of the above. We’re pro-choice, pro-life, politically liberal and politically conservative. We’re young, young at heart and old. Unfortunately, our society gives us many stereotypes, and they are not always accurate. When asked if they are a feminist, most women scream, “Oh heck no!” Because of the following stereotypes; That:

    • Feminists hate men
    • Feminists are angry
    • Feminists are unattractive and not feminine
    • All feminists are lesbian
    • Feminists are all pro-choice
    • If you are a feminist, you cannot be religious
    • All feminists are career women and do not support stay-at-home moms
    • Feminists are Bra- Burners who hate sex
    • Feminists can only be women
    • Feminists don’t believe in marriage

If you have ever found yourself saying “I’m not a feminist, but I am for equality,” then ask yourself why you do not claim the title? If it is because of the misconceptions of what a feminist truly is then empower yourself to raise awareness about what feminism is really all about. The first thing we all have to realize is that it’s okay to be brave and admit you are a feminist. However, when you call yourself a feminist, it is helpful if you know which kind you are, because there are a lot of different types of feminism. So here they are.

    1. Liberal feminism.This is one of the types of feminism that works within the regular structure of our mainstream society. People who are liberal feminists want sexual equality, and they work to make that happen through political and legal reform. Therefore, they believe that our culture should change laws *such as employment laws* to make sure that no one is discriminated against because of their gender. Liberal feminists also work to make sure that our society respects women in general.
    2. Radical feminism– People who call themselves a radical feminist think that sexual discrimination is so deeply integrated into the world that the only way to make things equal is to completely get rid of the whole concept of gender. Radical feminists see gender equality as a system whereby men benefit from female subordination which has been created through Patriarchy.
    3. Cultural Feminism- emphasizes essential differences between men and women in terms of biology, personality and behavior. Women are seen to have different and superior virtues that provide the foundation for a shared identity, solidarity and sisterhood. Since by nature women are viewed as kinder and gentler than men, it follows that if women were in power, the world would be a better place. In the 1960s and 70s, some women supported the idea of forming separate women-only cultures.
    4. Transnational or Global Feminism: This approach to feminism is concerned mainly about how globalization and capitalism affect people across nationalities, races, ethnicity, genders, classes, and sexuality and has reinforced a range of global movements. It recognizes inequalities across different groups of women and the importance of intersectionality as a way to understand and engage difference. While global issues do not affect women in the same way because of these differences, the impact of these issues and power dynamics are seen to be crucial to feminist social justice agendas. This vision understands the need for comprehensive approaches that integrate multiple issues and movements to find common cause across agendas to ensure long-term social transformation.
    5. Marxist and Socialist Feminism: Feminists, grounded in Marxist and socialist analysis, attribute women’s oppression principally to the capitalist economic system where global corporate power prevails. Many other feminists believe that this form of power seen in the class system is a crucial factor in women’s subordination but see patriarchy as the major force behind women’s subjugation