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Feminism; From Plato to Janmohamed


No. Page

1.0 Introduction 3

2.0 History of Feminism 3

2.1 – Protofeminist 4

2.2 – Defenders of Women’s Rights in the 18th and 19th Century 6

2.3 – The Four Waves of Feminism Movements 8

3.0 Feminism Movements Throughout History 11

4.0 Feminist Writer Throughout History 22

5.0 Conclusion. 26

7.0 Bibliography 27

Muhammad Faisal bin Abdullah

Prof. Dr. Faridah Abdul Manaf

ENGL 6502

20 Disember 2017



This paper will be tracing the history of feminism right up to the current movement.

For the purpose of the discussion, this paper will consist of three main sections. In

the first section, the discussion will focus primarily on the chronological history of

Feminism without delving into any specific discussion on the various types of

feminism movement. The discussion on that will be carried on in the following

section where it will focus on the prominent feminism movements throughout

history specifically beginning from the first wave right up to the current fourth

wave. In the final section of the discussion, the focus will be on five prominent

feminist writers that have contributed in the development of the feminism

movement throughout history.


The discussion in this section will trace back the evidence of any type of incidents

that attempt to support the betterment towards women’s status and also any

impactful efforts recorded in history that support gender equality. This section will

first discusses evidence of early pre-feminism movement as far back as the Ancient

Greek and will then chronologically continue forward to the present day.


The history of feminism does not begin with any of the feminism movement that

we have nowadays. Feminism has evolved tremendously up to the current

movement and the pioneers or the founding fathers that has triggered this constant

evolution of Feminism are the groups of Protofeminists. They existed long before

any of the feminism movement are founded, which is mainly the reason why they

are not labelled as Feminist. The Protofeminist are the people and activists who

discuss or support women's equality prior to the existence of the feminism

movement. Some of the Protofeminists movement can be traced back to the

Ancient Greece, the early teachings of the Islamic world and also during the Middle


Plato is among the earliest Protofeminist of the Ancient Greece and it was

evident through one of his writings. In the book five of Plato's The Republic, he

discusses the role of women where he stated that ideally, women in his opinion

should work alongside men, receive equal education, and posses equal shares in all

aspects of the state. He suggested this ideal concept of equality with one exception;

that women should be allowed to work in capacities that required less physical

strength in comparison to men (The Republic).

During the Middle Ages, women in the Middle East has benefited from an

early “Protofeminism movement”, long before the women in the West started

fighting for such benefits. This movement actually refers to the early reforms

within the Middle Eastern society under Islam. Through Islamic law, an early effort

to improve the status of women occurred during the early reforms under Islam, in

which women are then granted women greater rights in marriage, divorce and

inheritance. Among the general improvement of the status of Arab women during

the time are the prohibition of female infanticide which was going rampant and the

recognition towards women as individuals. The dowry, are no longer regarded as a

“bride-price” paid to the father, instead it becomes a nuptial gift retained by the

wife as part of her personal property. Furthermore, under Islamic law, marriage is

no longer viewed as a status but rather as a contract, in which the woman's consent

is mandatory. Women are also then given the inheritance rights in a patriarchal

society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives. These are only

parts of the advance benefits that Muslim women has had the privilege of not

having to fight for due to the reforms brought forward by the coming of Islam.

As mentioned previously, the women in the West during the middle ages

were still lacking the advantages and benefits that Muslim women were already

having during those time. This does not mean that there was no progress made in

their society. Some of the Protofeminist writers that are traced back to those era

includes a French writer Christine de Pizan, the author of The Book of the City of

Ladies and Epistle to the God of Love who is cited as the first woman to denounce

misogyny and write about the relation of the sexes (de Beauvoir, 1989). Other early

feminist writers include Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Modesta di Pozzo di Forzi,

who worked in the 16th century, and the 17th-century writers Hannah Woolley in

England and Juana Inés de la Cruz in Mexico. However, the most important 17th-

century feminist writers in the English language would be Margaret Cavendish,

Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Her knowledge was recognized as being more

superior than of any other men and she was considered as a exemplary testimony of

what women could become through education (Makin, 1673).



During the 18th and early 19th century, feminism movements has yet to emerged but

the Age of Enlightment has brought forth many enlightment philosopher who

championed the rights of women. Among the prominent philosophers are Jeremy

Bentham (1781), Marquis de Condorcet (1790), and Mary Wollstonecraft (1792).

Jeremy Bentham was an English utilitarian and classical liberal philosopher who

exerts that it was the placing of women in a legally inferior position that made him

choose the career of a reformist at the age of eleven. Bentham fought for complete

equality between sexes including the rights to vote and to participate in

government. In his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1781),

Bentham strongly condemned many countries' common practice of denying

women's rights with the poor excuse that women are of possession of inferior

minds, in which he provided many excellent examples of excellent female

individual who prove otherwise.

Nicolas de Condorcet on the other hand was a mathematician, who was also

a fierce defender of human rights, including the equality of women and the

abolition of slavery, which was very unusual for the 1780’s. He advocated for

women's suffrage in the new government in 1790 with De l'admission des femmes

au droit de cité (For the Admission to the Rights of Citizenship For Women) and an

article for Journal de la Société de 1789.

It is important to note however that the most cited feminist writer of the

time was Mary Wollstonecraft, who was often characterized as the first feminist

philosopher. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) is one of the first works

that is unarguably feminist. Wollstonecraft brought forth the argument that women

were trapped into limited expectations as their self-image are being dictated by the

typically male perspective. Wollstonecraft also argued that both genders

contributed to inequality. She believed that both would require education to ensure

the necessary changes in social attitudes. Most critics at that time perceived

Wollstonecraft as representation of the first codification of equality feminism, or a

refusal of the feminine role in society.

Beginning from the early 19th century, strands of feminism movements

began to appear. 19th century feminist came to surface as a reaction against the

Victorian portrayal of what is propagated as feminine ideal. The feminine ideal

suggested that women should remain hidden within their private sphere at home,

bound to their maternal and spousal duty while the public sphere remain exclusive

for the men. This caused outrage among the feminist and Queen Victoria herself

noted in a private letter that this ‘ideal’ is a "mad, wicked folly of 'Woman's

Rights'” (Crawford, 2013).

During the 1850s Barbara Leigh Smith and her friends met regularly in

London's Langham Place to discuss the united women's voice necessary for

achieving reform. They soon became the "Ladies of Langham Place", which

included Bessie Rayner Parkes and Anna Jameson. Their focus was on education,

employment, and marital law. The ladies collected thousands of signatures for

legislative reform petitions, some of which were successful. Smith was able to

reach large numbers of women via her role in the English Women's Journal. The

positive response to this journal led to their creation of the Society for Promoting

the Employment of Women (SPEW).

The Langham group, together with individual feminist such as Emily

Davies at that time were also slowly making progress in term of education reform.

The Queen's College and Bedford College in London began to offer some education

to women from 1848 and by the year 1862, Davies established a committee to

persuade the universities to allow women to sit for the recently established Local

Examinations, and achieved partial success in 1865. Davies and Leigh Smith later

founded the first higher educational institution for women and enrolled five

students, which contributed to the creation of three girls’ colleges; Girton College,

Cambridge in 1869, Newnham College, Cambridge in 1871, and Lady Margaret

Hall at Oxford in 1879. However, despite these triumphant development, only a

select few women could take advantage of them and life for female students was

still very challenging.


The positive progress made during the 19th century became a crucial springboard

for feminism movement all around the world. All the changes and reforms has

brought forth an awareness among the feminist that there are room for better future

for women and it marked the beginning of a continuous waves of feminism

movement from that point forward. In this section, the discussion will focus mainly

on brief introduction of each waves with prominent events and changes that took

place during each stage. A more in-depth discussion will resume in the following

sections as the discussion will look into various strands of feminism movements

that came into creation in chronological order.

First-wave of feminism can be identified as a period of feminist activity and

thought, that occurred within the time period of the 19th and early 20th century

throughout the world. Within this first wave the focus is mainly on legal issues,

primarily on gaining women's suffrage, or the right to vote as women all over the

world at this time are being treated as having less authority than men. Besides that,

this wave is main goals are also to fight for female education rights, better

working conditions, and abolition of gender double standards. Among the

important events that are included in the history of feminism first movements can

be traced back to 1809 married women property law in US up until the year 1928,

where the right to vote was granted to all UK women equally with men. There are

notably 69 important incidents and changes that took place within the first

feminism wave movement globally. In Russia for instance, Russian women

observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February

1913. Three years later in Germany, granted women are granted the right to vote

and last but not least in 1919, the first female students were accepted in Peking

University, which was soon followed by all universities throughout China.

The second-wave feminism was the reason the previous wave was retrospectively

coined. This wave first began in the early 1960s in the United States, and eventually

spread throughout the Western world and beyond and it lasted through the early

1980’s. The main aim for the second wave was to further probe on the other issues

in regard of gender inequality. The movement focuses on rectifying the inequality

of laws for women, the cultural inequalities and also correcting the role of women

in the society. In short, it attempted to put a stop towards discrimination against


There were in total 104 incidents that was recorder in the second wave of

feminism movements. Among the most prominent incident was recorded in 1966

when twenty-eight women, among them Betty Friedan, founded the National

Organization for Women (NOW). Later on in 1973, The American National Black

Feminist Organization was formed and in Canada four years later, the Canadian

Human Rights Act was passed, prohibiting discrimination based on characteristics

including sex and sexual orientation, and requiring "equal pay for work of equal


Third-wave feminism begins in the early 1990s and continuing to the early

2000. The movement arose partially as a continuation of the second wave and also

as a response to the perceived failures of and backlash against initiatives and

movements created by second-wave feminism during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, and

the perception that women are of "many colors, ethnicities, nationalities, religions,

and cultural backgrounds". This wave of feminism expands the topic of feminism to

include a diverse group of women with a diverse set of identities and allows women

to define feminism for themselves. Furthermore, it also embraces contradiction and

conflict. These features have therefore contributed towards the development of

various strands of feminism movements that will be introduced in the other sections

of this discussion.

Among the important issues that were addressed by this wave are the issue

of race, social class and sexuality. Besides that, it also delved further into

workplace issues such as the glass ceiling, sexual harassment and unfair maternity

leave policies all around the world. Among the most important incident recorded

during the wave is when The Gender Equity in Education Act became law in the

U.S. in 1994. This act banned sex-role stereotyping and gender discrimination in

the classroom. During the same year as well, The Violence Against Women Act

became law in the U.S. On a more global scale, China held The Fourth World

Conference on Women was held in 1995 and Norway mandates that all companies

are required to have at least forty percent women on their boards starting from


The year 2008 actually marks a new wave in the feminism movement

history. Kira Cochrane, the author of All the Rebel Women: The Rise of the Fourth

Wave of Feminism, defined fourth-wave feminism as a movement that is connected

through technology. Furthermore it is also viewed as a movement that "combines

politics, psychology, and spirituality in an overarching vision of change (Diamond,

2009)." It is interesting to note that within this wave, the movement started to take

lighter stance towards using the label feminism and was rather more concerned with

the route towards gender equality. The fourth wavers are concerned with the fact

that the word “feminism” carries the subtext of “women only”. Thus, en route of

championing inclusivity, the new age of feminism movement are now taking place.

The types of feminism movements that come into creation will be further discussed

in the following section of this paper.


As mentioned previously, this section will focus on chronologically laying out the

various strands of feminism movements that have come into development

throughout these four waves. In this sections, 18 types of feminism movements will

be discussed. The following diagrams sums up the development of these feminism

movements starting from the movement that originated from the first wave.

Diagram 1; Development of Feminism Movements During the 1st and 2nd Waves
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3.1 – Mainstream Feminism

The first wave takes place during the early 19th Century and continues on until the

year 1960. During these waves, only two types of feminism movements were

developed. The first and earliest one would be the Mainstream feminism.

Mainstream feminism, as the name suggests, is rather a general term that identifies

feminist ideologies and movements, which do not fall into either the socialist or

radical feminist camps. The mainstream feminist movement has its roots in first-

wave feminism and in the historical liberal feminism of the 19th and early-20th

centuries and its main focus was directed towards political and legal reform.

Historically it is also referred to as "liberal feminism" or "bourgeois feminism".

This movement are more inclusive of men in contrast with the radical feminism,

and often focuses on issues that are no longer considered controversial nowadays,

such as women's political participation or female education. However, it is

important to note that due to the effort of mainstream feminism, major milestones

of the feminist struggle such as the right to vote and the right to education came

into fruition.

3.2 – Anarcha-feminism

The other movement that gained it’s momentum during the first wave is Anarcha-

feminism. It is also referred to as anarchist feminism and anarcho-feminism as it

combines the philosophy of anarchism with feminism. This movement generally

views patriarchy as a manifestation of involuntary hierarchy. Thus anarcha-

feminists believe that the struggle against patriarchy is an essential part of class

struggle and of the anarchist struggle against the state. Brown (1990), justifies the

need of anarchism is interrelated with the feminist movement due to the fact that

anarchism is a political philosophy that opposes all relationships of power.

Therefore, the anarchist struggle is a necessary component of feminist struggle and

vice versa. Among the important historical figures of anarcha-feminists include

Emma Goldman, Federica Montseny, Voltairine de Cleyre, Maria Lacerda de

Moura, and Lucy Parsons while the contemporary anarcha-feminist writers or

theorists include Germaine Greer, L. Susan Brown, and the eco-feminist Starhawk.

3.3 – Radical Feminism

The second wave of the feminism movement arises from the late 1960’s until the

early 1980’s. One of the earlier feminism movements within this wave is the

Radical Feminism. Radical feminists seek to obliterate patriarchy by challenging

the existing social norms and institutions. The issues that are highlighted include

opposing the sexual objectification of women, raising public awareness about such

issues as rape and violence against women, and challenging the notion of

problematic gender roles. For the radical feminists they view patriarchy as the root

cause of women's oppression. This is where the main difference can be detected in

comparison with the liberal feminism, which attempts at rectifying or the anarchist

feminism, socialist feminism, and Marxist feminism that deal with the issue of class


3.4 – The Socialist/Marxist Feminism

The Socialist feminism and Marxist feminism are often treated under the same

umbrella as they both share the same core philosophy and both gain momentum

around the same period. Socialist feminism connects the oppression of women to

Marxist ideas about exploitation, oppression and labor. Socialist feminists held the

belief that the unequal standing in both the workplace and the domestic sphere are

the reason why women are oppressed. They perceive prostitution, domestic work,

childcare, and marriage as the mediums in which women are exploited by a

patriarchal system that devalues women and misappreciate their substantial

contribution. Socialist feminists works on impacting changes on the societal level

as a whole, rather than on an individual basis. They acknowledge the importance of

working alongside not just men but all other groups, as they perceive the oppression

of women as a part of a larger pattern that affects everyone involved in the capitalist


Marxist feminism on the other hand believes that when class oppression was

overcomed, then gender oppression would vanish as well. In another word

according to Marxist feminists, women's liberation can only be achieved

through a radical restructuring of the capitalist economy, in which, they argue

that much of women's labor is uncompensated. One main criticism that arises

against these traditional Marxist ideas are the fact that they are inherently silent on

gender oppression since it tends to oversweep the issue underneath broader class


3.5 – French Feminism

In the 1970’s as well another movement was on the rise in another part of the

world. The French feminism is a branch of feminist thought from a group of

feminists in France from the 1970s to the 1990s. It differs from the other

Anglophone feminism by an approach which is more philosophical and literary.

This movement includes writers who are not French, but who have worked

substantially in France and the French tradition, such as Julia Kristeva and Bracha

Ettinger. This movement is also referred to as Post-structural feminism, as it adopts

the insights of various epistemological movements, including psychoanalysis,

linguistics, political theory, race theory, and literary theory. This movement

proposes the idea that difference is one of the most powerful tools that women

possess in their struggle with patriarchal domination, and therefore equating the

feminist movement only with equality will limit the chances and opportunity of

better future for women because equality is still defined from the masculine or

patriarchal perspective.

Amidst the rise of feminism movements against sexism and class

oppression, another movement came in conception to fill in the gap left by the other

types of movements. Black feminism argues that sexism, class oppression, and

racism are inextricably bound together. They believe that any forms of feminism

that strive to overcome sexism and class oppression but ignore race will

discriminate against many people, including women, through racial bias. Thus, the

National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO) was founded in 1973 by Florynce

Kennedy, Margaret Sloan, and Doris Wright. One of the theories that progressed

out of this movement was Alice Walker's womanism. It emerged after the early

feminist movements that were led exclusively by white women, were largely white

middle-class movements, and had generally ignored oppression based on racism

and classism. Alice Walker and other womanists pointed out that this resulted into a

situation where black women experiencing a different and more intense oppression

compared to that of white women.

3.6 – Separative Feminism

The second wave also witnesses another type of radical feminism with the arise of

Separative feminism. Separatist feminism is a form of radical feminism that does

not support heterosexual relationships. Lesbian feminism is therefore closely

related to this movement. Separatist feminism's advocates argue that the sexual
MrFaisal 31/12/17 2:30 PM
Deleted: proponents
disparities between men and women are unresolvable. Separatist feminists

generally held the believe that men can not make positive contributions to the
MrFaisal 31/12/17 2:31 PM
Deleted: do not feel
feminist movement and that even well-intentioned men will subconsciously

replicate patriarchal dynamics. Frye (1997) describes separatist feminism as

separation of various sorts or modes from men and from institutions, relationships,

roles and activities that are male-defined, male-dominated, and operating for the

benefit of males and the maintenance of male privilege—where this separation

being consciouly initiated or maintained, at will, by women.

3.7 – Libertarian Feminism

As most of the movements during the second wave are focusing on equality and

sameness between men and women, a group of feminist in favour of similar

concept began to rise. They are the libertarian feminist. Libertarian feminism

according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, conceives of freedom as

freedom from coercive interference. It holds that women, as well as men, have

similar right to such freedom due to their status as self-owners. This movement is

also known as the Individualist feminism where it simply is attempting to overcome

the problem by proposing that everyone regardless of their gender is to be treated as

free and independent individual and thus freeing the women from various

mistreatments and oppressions that they are facing.

3.8 – Ecofeminism

Ecofeminism on the other hand is a unique type of feminism movements as it links

ecology with feminism. Ecofeminists perceives the domination of women as

MrFaisal 31/12/17 2:54 PM
Deleted: see
stemming from the same ideologies that bring about the domination of the

environment. Especially in the western patriarchal systems, where men own and
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Deleted: W
control the land, the men are deemed responsible for the oppression of women and
MrFaisal 31/12/17 2:54 PM
Deleted: seen as
destruction of the natural environment. Ecofeminists consider women to be
MrFaisal 31/12/17 2:55 PM
Deleted: Ecofeminists argue that the men in
exploited by men in power for their own profit, success, and pleasure and apply the power control the land, and therefore are able
to exploit it for their own profit and success. In
same analogy towards men’s relationship with the environment. Therefore this situation,
MrFaisal 31/12/17 2:56 PM
Ecofeminists argue that women and the environment are both being exploited as Deleted: us

passive pawns in the race to domination. Ecofeminists argue that those people in

power are able to take advantage of both women and the environment distinctly

because they are seen as passive and rather helpless. As an effort towards repairing

social and ecological injustices, ecofeminists urge women to work towards creating

a healthy environment and ending the destruction of the lands that most women rely

on to provide for their families.

3.9 – Cultural Feminism

Towards the end of the second wave, another movement regarded as Cultural

feminism came into development. This movement is based on the ideology of a

"female nature" or "female essence" that attempts to revalidate what they consider

undervalued female attributes. It emphasizes the difference between women and

men but considers that difference to be psychological, and to be culturally

constructed rather than focusing on the biological differences. They assert the idea

that a woman’s worth from a cultural perspective is much more valuable and if this

was to be realized, women would be in a much better position within the society, in

all aspects of life.

Diagram 2; Development of Feminism Movements During the 3rd and 4th Waves

3.10 – Standpoint Feminism

The third wave began to take shape beginning from the early 1980’s. The first

movement that was started with the mission of filling in the gaps left by the first

and second wave was the Standpoint feminism. This movement have argued that

feminism should examine how women's experience of inequality relates to other

oppressive factors such as racism, homophobia, classism and colonization. Even

though standpoint feminism did not become a huge feminist movement in

comparison to the others, it actually paved the way for other prominent movements

that gained their momentum during this wave.

3.11 – Postmodern Feminism

Postmodern feminism is one of the example of movement that benefited from the

philosophy of the standpoint feminism. Postmodern feminism is an approach to

feminist theory that incorporates both the postmodern and post-structuralist theory.

Butler (1990), argues that sex, not just gender, is constructed through language. She

draws on and critiques the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault, and

Jacques Lacan. Butler criticizes the distinction drawn by previous feminisms

between biological sex and socially constructed gender. She asserts that the
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Deleted: says
sex/gender distinction does not allow for a sufficient criticism of essentialism. For

Butler, what is considerd "woman" is a debatable category, complicated by class,

ethnicity, sexuality, and other facets of identity. She argues that gender is
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Deleted: states
performative. This argument leads to the conclusion that there is no single cause for

women's subordination and no single approach towards dealing with the issue.

3.12 – Postcolonial Feminism

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One of the most prominent and influential feminism movement from the third wave Deleted: , sometimes
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:45 PM
would be Postcolonial feminism. This movement is also referred to as Third World Deleted: known
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:46 PM
feminism, and it partly draws on postcolonialism, which discusses experiences Deleted: "
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:46 PM
endured during colonialism, including migration, slavery, suppression, resistance, Deleted: "[49]
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:46 PM
representation, difference, race, gender, place and responses to the influential Deleted: centers
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:47 PM
discourses of imperial Europe. Postcolonial feminism revolves on racism, ethnic Deleted: bound up with
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:47 PM
issues, and the long-lasting economic, political, and cultural effects of colonialism, Deleted: [50]
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:47 PM
inextricably intertwined with the unique gendered realities of non-White non- Deleted: It sees the parallels between
recently decolonized nations and the state of
women within patriarchy—both ... [1]
Western women. MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:47 PM
The issue with the Western feminists is the fact that they tend to MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:50 PM
Deleted: [51]
universalize women's issues, thereby excluding social classes and ethnic identities, MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:50 PM
Deleted: [52]
reinforcing homophobia, and ignoring the activity and voices of non-White non- MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:50 PM
Deleted: ,[52][53][54]
Western women. Postcolonial feminists therefore can also be described as feminists MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:50 PM
Deleted: as under one application of ... [2]
who have reacted against both the universalizing tendencies in Western feminist MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:51 PM
Deleted: [55]
thought and a lack of attention to gender issues in mainstream postcolonial thought. MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:51 PM
Deleted: Colonialism has a gendered history.
... [3]

Postcolonial feminism is closely related to transnational feminism which is MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:53 PM
Deleted: . The former has strong overlaps
... [4]

another movement that gained its momentum during the third wave. Transnational MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:54 PM
feminism holds to both a contemporary feminist paradigm and the corresponding MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:54 PM
Deleted: refers
activist movement. Both the theories and activist practices are concerned with how MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:54 PM
Deleted: [1]
globalization and capitalism affect people across nations, races, genders, classes, MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:54 PM
Deleted: [2]
and sexualities. The term "transnational" was also chosen in reaction and rejection MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:54 PM
Deleted: [1][3]
towards the terms like "international" and "global" feminism. Transnational MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:55 PM
Deleted: ... [5]

feminists hold the believe that the term "international" puts more emphasis on MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:55 PM
Deleted: is
nation-states as distinct entities, and that "global" speaks to liberal feminist theories MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:55 PM
Deleted: the

on "global sisterhood" that ignore Third World women and women of color’s MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:55 PM
Deleted: of
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:55 PM
Deleted: [1][4][5]

perspectives on gender inequality and other problems that inherently come together

with globalization.
MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:58 PM
Deleted: inherently brings.

3.13 – Transnational Feminism

Transnational feminist practice is involved in activist movements across the globe

MrFaisal 31/12/17 3:57 PM
Deleted: ... [6]
that work together to understand the role of gender, the state, race, class, and

sexuality in critiquing and resisting structures of patriarchal, capitalist power. It is

attentive to feminism as both a liberatory formation and a practice that has been

oppressed by and sometimes been complicit with colonialism, racism, and

imperialism. As such, it resists utopian ideas about "global sisterhood" while

simultaneously working to lay the groundwork for more productive and equitable

social relations among women across borders and cultural contexts.

MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:30 PM

3.14 – Transfeminism Deleted:
... [7]
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:31 PM
Deleted: ,
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The final feminism movement that transpired during the third wave is known as
Deleted: "
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:32 PM
Transfeminism. Hill (2002) defines transfeminism as a category of feminism, most
Deleted: "
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often known for the application of transgender discourses to feminist discourses,
Deleted: [88]
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and of feminist beliefs to transgender discourse. He defines transfeminism in this
Deleted: Hill says asserts that transfeminism
also concerns its integration within mainstream
context as a type of feminism as having specific content that applies to transgender feminism.[89]
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and transsexual people, but the thinking and theory of which is also applicable to all Deleted: "
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:33 PM
women. Transfeminism goes hand in hand with many of the major themes of other Deleted: ".[citation needed]
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:33 PM
third-wave feminism, including diversity, body image, oppression, misogyny, and Deleted:
... [8]

women's agency. It is not merely about merging the concerns of transgenders with MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:33 PM
Deleted: includes
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:34 PM
Deleted: trans concerns

feminism, but often applies feminist analysis and critiques to social issues faced by
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:34 PM
Deleted: ing
trans women and trans people in general.
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:34 PM
Deleted: more broadly
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:34 PM
Deleted: [citation needed
3.15 – New Age Feminism
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:34 PM
Deleted: ] Transfeminism also includes
critical analysis of second-wave feminism
from the perspective of the third wave.[90]
For the final and most current wave of feminism, a brand new feminism movement MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:34 PM
Deleted: ... [9]
has now taken place and it is known as the New Age feminism. The New Age
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:35 PM
Deleted: ... [10]
feminism has emerged in the 21st century and serves as both a continuation and

response to Second and Third Wave feminism. It challenges the traditional

MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:39 PM
Deleted: "
definitions of femininity and embraces a change in times, incorporating elements of

ethnicity, girl power, individualist feminism, sex-positivity and postmodernism

(Redcross, 2012) In New Age feminism, a woman or man embraces the qualities in
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:39 PM
Deleted: ."
him or herself that have culturally been defined as "feminine" without shame, while
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:40 PM
Deleted: [39]
still fighting against the discrimination that women and also "feminine" men still
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:40 PM
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face in the workplace and other facets of 21st century society. This movement
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:40 PM
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comes in response to the current culture that simultaneously claims to embrace the
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:40 PM
Deleted: (
equality of men and women and at the same time seriously devalues femininity.
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:40 PM
Deleted: )
In contrast to the Second and Third wave feminists, a New Age feminist does not
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:41 PM
Deleted: a
demand women to be treated the same way as a man, but rather that the differences
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:41 PM
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between men and women be recognized, understood, celebrated and accommodated
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:41 PM
Deleted: ".[40]
even while those differences are treated with equity. A New Age feminists for MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:42 PM
Deleted: Unlike
example are not afraid to have children or to get married should they choose to, nor MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:43 PM
do they feel shame for choosing not to. A New Age feminist knows there is great

joy in both a career and a family, and feels entitled to experience both. This

feminist is not looking for special treatment, and is not obsessed with getting purely MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:45 PM
Deleted: or even
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:46 PM
equal treatment. This movement is looking for equitable treatment, respect in the
Deleted: She is

workplace, and equal opportunity. New Age feminists champion the rights of
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:46 PM
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working women to become pregnant, take maternity leave, and nurse in public,
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:46 PM
Deleted: s
while ensuring that they are still getting paid as much as her male counterparts.
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:44 PM
Deleted: Meanwhile, she lends her support
One of the most prominent features of New Age feminists is the fact that to slut walks,[42] sex workers, belly[43] and
pole dancers, #FreeTheNipple[44] campaigns,
they do not hate men and many might have at some point in their lives identified as as well as anti-harassment and anti-victim
blaming movements. She denounces sexual
exploitation, but also believes in a woman's (or
men, or is in love with or has close relationships with men. This movement also anyone's) right to explore and be empowered
by their own "feminine" sexuality.
does not reject certain male practices like chivalry and sexual dominance as long as MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:48 PM
they are performed consensually between both parties. In another word, the New MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:44 PM
Deleted: Most feminists
Age feminist are no longer bound to any external expectation of specific traits that MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:47 PM
Deleted: New Age feminists
they need to conform to, as long as they are not causing any harm towards MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:47 PM
Deleted: ay
themselves or the others. MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:48 PM
Deleted: Nor do
MrFaisal 31/12/17 5:48 PM
Deleted: they
Deleted: ... [11]

In this section, the discussion will look upon several prominent feminist

literature works and writers throughout history. A few interesting examples of

feminist literature will be provided, ranging from written works prior to the

beginning of the first wave right until the current movement of the New Age


Long before any of the feminism movement begins in the first wave, in

1928, an English author by the name of Radclyffe Hall created a huge scandal

within the world of literature by writing The Well of Loneliness, the first ever

recorded lesbian novel. The novel narrates the life of Stephen Gordon, an

Englishwoman from an upper-class family who “suffers” from homosexual

tendency from an early age. She finds love with Mary Llewellyn, but their

happiness together is short-lived due to social isolation and rejection. Hall was

actually portray a rather “advanced” message witihin the novel as she portrays

inversion as a natural, God-given state and even makes an explicit plea: "Give us

also the right to our existence". Although the novel’s only sex scene consists of the

words "and that night, they were not divided", a British court judged it obscene

because it defended "unnatural practices between women" and in the United States

the book survived legal challenges in New York state and in Customs Court.

Although few critics rate The Well highly as a work of literature, its treatment of

sexuality and gender continues to inspire study and debate.

Another prominent feminist author who championed feminist issue long

before any feminist movement came into realization was definitely none other that

Jane Austen. Even though her works might be deemed as counterproductive effort

towards feminism by some of the feminism movement, it is an undeniable fact that

Jane is among the earliest women writer who created strong and intelligent female

protagonist in her novel. It is a truth universally acknowledge that Austen has

undoubtedly managed to sow the seed of feminism through her novel, especially

through the depiction of Elizabeth Bennet in her famous Pride and Prejudice written

as early as in 1797.

As we move into the prominent feminist writer during the first wave of

feminism, one name would always rise way above the other writers. Virginia Woolf

and her most prominent work, A Room of One’s Own remains the symbol of

feministic influence all around the world even to this day. Her thought-provoking

arguments provide a springboard for early feminists during her time, which

eventually leads to the illustrious development experienced by the feminism

movement throughout history.

There are undoubtedly thousands of feminist authors to be listed but for the

second wave of feminism, there is one book that strongly represents the aspiration

of the second wave. The Feminine Mystique is a book written by Betty Friedan,

which marked the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States. It was

published on February 19, 1963 by W. W. Norton. Friedan was asked to conduct a

survey of her former Smith College classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion;

the results, in which she found that many of them were unhappy with their lives as

housewives, prompted her to begin research for The Feminine Mystique. During

the year of 1964, The Feminine Mystique became the bestselling nonfiction book

with over one million copies sold. In this book, Friedan challenged the widely

shared belief in 1950s that fulfillment as a woman had only one definition for

American women after 1949, which is being the housewife and mother.

As the emphases and the mission of the third waves are decentralizing away

from Western feminism, another feminist writer that deserve a mention is Begum

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, commonly known as Begum Rokeya. She was a

Bengali writer, educationist, social activist, and advocate of women's rights. She

has been considered the pioneer of women's education in the Indian subcontinent

during the time of the British rule. What is most unique and interesting about her

and her written work was that even though she lived and wrote during the period of

the first wave, her ideas and thoughts are actually in tandem with what is being

championed within the third wave. Her feminist utopian short story, Sultana’s

Dream, cynically deals with serious issues such as the traditional stereotypes of

male superiority and the oppressive cultural practice in India as well as women’s

right for education.

Last but not least, for the fourth wave of feminism, a perfect example of a

unique New Age feminist would be Shelina Janmohamed. Shelina Zahra

Janmohamed is a British writer. She is the author of Love in a Headscarf (2009), a

memoir of growing up as a British Muslim woman. Her new book titled Generation

M: Young Muslims Changing the World was published in August 2016. Generation

M, is dubbed by the The Guardian as the first detailed portrait of the influential

segment of the world’s fastest growing religion, Islam. Her first autobiographical

book, Love in a Headscarf, in which she is the main protagonist, is the perfect

depiction of a New Age feminist. She is multilingual Oxford scholar, an

independent woman travelling the world and also a pious daughter who is happy to

share about her search for love through arranged marriage. This proves that she

does not belong to any specific boxes and she is a New Age feminist in pursuit of

her own happiness.


The feminism movements has most definitely gone through an extensive historical

incidents from the Age of Protofeminist right up to the New Age Feminism with the

fourth wave. As a conclusion, it is important to note that the various movement

previously discussed in this paper suggest that the Feminism movements are indeed

developing in a constantly evolving forms. This fickled feature however, though

might appear undecided and uncertain, provide feminism movement with the

fluidity and the ability to remain relevant in this ever-changing world.


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