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Questioning what is feminism

nia.pike's picture

I enjoyed today's class discussion on feminism through the eyes of bell hooks. Some of the quotes really got discussion flowing. Feminism is for everyone. I agree with this statement; however, our discussion today made me question it. I tend to think of feminism as the coming together of individual feminism towards a greater movement to empower women. But this quote by bell hooks made me stop and think "Advancing the notion that there can be many "feminisms" has served the conservative and liberal political interest of women seeking status and priviledged class power suggest that one could be feminist and be another misguided is a feminist principle that women should have the right to choose."

Feminism is about choice. But what if one person's view of feminism has a negative effect on someone else? Is that still feminism? Is feminism really about individuals or is it just a collective movement? I thought I was understanding feminism more, now I'm not really sure. But I love questioning!


EmmaBE's picture

Power feminism as a type of feminism

I agree that there can be multiple types of feminism, but I think that we can't focus on power feminism or have the only type of feminism that is represented in the media be power feminism while considering the feminist movement 'empowering'. If striving towards success in a patriarchal society or looking up to successful women is what motivates you, then I think you can consider that your own kind of feminism. Where power feminism fails is in its notion of "sisterhood". There can be no sisterhood if you find success in a system that oppresses your sisters, and choose to stop there. 

Taylor11's picture

common theme among feminism

I really like how Fdaniel put this. I agree that there are many different kinds of feminism and that each interpret feminism in different ways.  Some may see this as a weakness but I think it is a strength because it covers so many different grounds and they all get connected back to feminism.  However it does make understanding what exactly feminism is more difficult.  I am curious of what the common theme that connects all these different kinds of feminist together would be and how one would go about making one over reaching theme of feminism that connects all the different groups?

Fdaniel's picture

What is feminism trying to achieve?

This quote is so striking but also extremely powerful. I really had a hard time trying to understand this quote. I don’t think there is anything wrong with there being different types of feminism as long as each one has a common theme. Feminism to me should be about empowering women and preventing oppressive forces from affecting her growth. After that is truly understood among all feminists then there will always be a debate. We will be spending so much time fighting each other and figuring out whose right or wrong than actually combating the problem in society.  Having different types of feminism is actually a positive thing because everyone is passionate about different things that involve feminism. Some are passionate about women's health, some education some violence. Some women interpret feminism differently but it doesn’t mean were not productive or making progress it just means we need to take a step back and really rethink what’s the common theme among all feminisms.