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2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Making a Difference:
Toward a Better Future for Women
Chapter 14
Photo courtesy of Monica Lau/Getty Images.
Contemporary Feminism
Feminists are a diverse group on dimensions such as
nationality, ethnicity, socioeconomic group and religion.

Diversity is a strength, encouraging people to work for
social change in many areas and to use a variety of
Respect for difference is a cornerstone of feminist philosophy
and activism.

Feminism is becoming a global social movement.
Gender is not the only source of oppression for many
women: current feminist thinking is including
evaluations of race, class, sexual orientation, etc..
Collective action: group solidarity toward social
change, differentiates feminism as a movement from
just individual women achieving success.
Imagery & Attitudes
Backlash: attempts to put women, particularly
feminists, back in their place (Faludi, 1991).
Feminists and their ideas are trivialized when equality is
treated as an issue only women care about.
Being labeled a feminist brings a certain stigmaa feminist
may be seen as an angry woman who hates men, and
feminism as a radical, destructive ideology.
Both feminists and non- feminists believe others have negative
views of feminists and consider them more likely to be lesbian
than straight (Ramsey et al., 2007).

Stereotype of feminists as man-haters
Psychologist Kristin Anderson and colleagues decided to
gather empirical evidence of this claim (Anderson et al., 2009).
An ethnically diverse sample of nearly 500 college
students found feminists had significantly less hostility
toward men than non-feminists.
Feminist Psychology and Social Change
Today, Women earn a majority of
higher degrees in psychology, lead
well-established professional
organizations, produce books and
journal articles, and participate in
every aspect of psychological
research, education, and practice.
Imagine a world free of gender-based
violence against girls and women.
Imagine a world where husbands do half
the housework, every child is protected
from sexual abuse and no elder woman
is forced to end her life in poverty.
Imagine a world where half of the CEOs,
judges, generals, and members of
parliament or congress are women in
every country.
Photo courtesy of Jack Hollingsworth/Getty Images.
Feminist Psychology and Social Change
What Can One Student Do?
Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people could
change the world. Indeed, its the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead
Contemporary Psychology is diverse; everyone can
participate in creating a psychology by and for all of the
You can Make a Difference as a student by contributing:
help raise awareness for yourself and others:
Write term papers on women/gender in psychology, history, and
literature courses.
Ask questions in class when women are excluded or trivialized in
readings and lectures.
Do an independent study or thesis on women and gender.
Connect with the womens center on your campus. If your campus has no
womens center or womens studies program, start asking why.
Continue taking courses focusing on women, gender and social justice
Recommend this approach to others, show an interest for this knowledge!
Feminist Psychology and Social Change
What Can One Student Do?
Graduate Studies?
Your knowledge of the psychology of women and
gender can help in your career planning.
If you are planning to apply to graduate schools in
psychology (or any other area), look carefully at the
number of women faculty.
Look at the women in any organizations or
corporations youre considering for employment, Is
there ethnic and racial diversity?

As you reach the ending of this class, how will you
use your knowledge of the Psychology of Women to
Make A Difference?