While feminist theory begins with the immediate need to end women’s oppression, it is also a way of viewing the world. . .Feminist theory provides a basis for understanding every area of our lives, and a feminist perspective can affect the world politically, culturally, economically, and spiritually.Charlotte Bunch, “Not by degrees: Feminist theory and education” in Reading Feminist Theory, 1979, pp. 113
At the beginning of this course, we learned that WGS takes feminism as a theoretical and political foundation for understanding gendered lives, histories, and futures. This lesson, we return to the matter of feminism in order to understand the various and sometimes contradictory ways that feminisms analyze, explain, and intervene in all sorts of inequalities and power structures. It’s important to note the switch from using the term feminism singular to feminisms plural.
By the end of this module, you should be able to:
- Identify the four components of any feminist theoretical perspective
- Differentiate between various feminist perspectives
- Describe the differences between the waves of the modern women’s movement, and illustrate the limitations of the wave metaphor
- Recognize some key debates within feminism