• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The feminist movement?

Extracts from this document...


What are the ideals and history of the feminist movement? Feminism is the ideology of women's liberation centred on the belief that women suffer injustices because of their sex. One pioneer of feminism in the late 18th century was Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1792, she published A Vindication of the Rights of Women. It was probably the first great feminist treatise. In it, Wollstonecraft preached that intellect will always govern. She addressed the legal, economic and educational disabilities of women and believed that women had the right to an education and that the progress of society relied upon the equal education of men and women. Wollstonecraft was critical of marriage and stated that it was nothing more than "legalized prostitution". She paved the way for modern feminism. The first wave feminists were those who worked for the reform of women's social and legal inequalities in the 19th century. In the 1850s, at Langham Place in London, a group of middle-aged women, led by Barbara Bochidon and Bessie Rayner Parkes, met to discuss issues and published the English Women's Journal. The issues that they addressed were largely based upon injustices they themselves had experienced. These included education, employment, marriage and the plight of intelligent middle-class women. The term first wave feminism also applied to the feminists who fought for suffrage in the United States and beyond. ...read more.


The feminist movement has also had an impact on religion. In Christianity and Judaism especially, women are becoming more equal with men by obtaining positions of power. Women are now ordained as clergy in Protestant Christianity and rabbis and cantors in Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism. Islam, however has not followed this trend and still forbid women to be recognised as religious clergies and scholars. Perhaps the most notable impact that feminism has had on society is the impact on heterosexual relationships. The power relationship between men and women has shifted markedly. In the past, the male was the more dominant person in the relationship. Nowadays, females are more assertive. It is not uncommon for women to initiate a relationship, or even a marriage. This change has brought about confusion about roles and identities for some. Some women have struggled to live up to the socially accepted identity of "superwoman" i.e. being able to juggle family and a career successfully. Men are now more involved with the family and are expected to assist in managing family matters more than in previous times. Feminism has also brought about criticism, particularly from masculists, who suggest that social change and legal reform has gone too far and are now disadvantaging men. ...read more.


The mother bear is the one who cooks the porridge. Why must the mother be the one who always does the house duties? The father must be expected to be able to cook. Mother bear is also the one who forgets to close the door properly. This suggests that women are forgetful and unreliable, which is totally untrue. Goldilocks' temptation to enter the house suggests that women are blinded by their curiosity. Her naivety and immaturity is also shown by how she unthoughtfully enters a house without permission. When Goldilocks says how nice it was that someone had left her breakfast, the story implies that women are always thinking that they must be the centre of attention. This is farfetched because, generally, men are just as self-centred as women. The fact that Goldilocks says that the porridge is too hot and too cold, that the chair and bed is too hard and soft, gives the impression that women are perfectionists; that everything must suit them. When the bears come back, the father bear speaks in a gruff voice whilst the mother bear speaks with a soft, gentle voice. This seems to suggest that women are submissive whilst the male is more dominant. Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a fairy tale that contains many politically incorrect things from a feminist perspective. A feminist reading of the text would change a lot of its context. Phillip Le 1 Extension English 3 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Discuss the concept of 'Double Colonization'; how do postcolonial women writers contest both patriarchy ...

    We tend to absolutise male and female writings and observe them as seamless blocks those forming opposites of total power and total powerlessness. Patriarchy however, operates far more complicatedly then that. This is the reason why women are for the most part the complicit subjects of patriarchy.

  2. The purpose of this essay is to describe four studies relating to gender each ...

    which continued to exist in modern society; consequently many feminist approaches have derived from this. The three principal feminist perspectives to emerge during the 1960's were; Marxist and socialist feminism, radical feminism and liberal feminism each with a different explanation and solution for this inequality.

  1. Gandhi's Impact on the Liberation of Indian Women.

    To get women out of their homes and participate in the freedom for Independence Gandhi introduced his philosophy of Satyagraha. Gandhi's philosophy of Satyagraha is one that appealed to women and contributed to their emancipation. In South Africa Gandhi developed the technique of Satyagraha or "soul force" which proved effective in resisting political control that the British demonstrated.

  2. Pitted against Patriarchy

    The strictures of Catholicism serve to dictate the attitudes, behaviour and beliefs of both themselves and their communities. Freedom within such a structure is merely an illusion and any attempt to live outside its tenets result in psychological distress and final submission.

  1. Can Virginia Woolf's novel ' To The Lighthouse' be understood as a feminist text?

    than as an individual, as she is never called by her first name, she represents an era of Victorian values and Lily Briscoe represents the feminist figure as she rejects irrationality, chaos and fragmentation, which has come to represent feminity.

  2. Foucault: History of Sexuality/ A Reading.

    population like birthrate, legitimacy of births, age of marriage, frequency of sexual relations, fertility etc. Therefore as on one hand, sex became confined to home and the licensed married couple, on the other hand, it also became a governmental matter between the state and the individual.

  1. Wider Reading - Cider with Rosie and Cranford.

    Similarly, Cranford is made up of 'fragments and small opportunities', The letters, which Miss Matty reads with Mary, carried with them: "A vivid and intense sense of the present time, which seemed so strong and full, as if it could never pass away."

  2. How do feminists explain inequality between the sexes and how do they seek to ...

    The feminists at the time thought that gaining the vote would be the most important right that women needed, and as a result the other gender divides in society would disappear. For this reason it is understandable to see why feminists at the time thought gaining the vote would solve

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work