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Portal:Feminism Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Feminism

The Feminism Portal

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International Women's Day, Bangladesh (2005)

Feminism is a range of socio-political movements and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that most societies prioritize the male point of view and that women are treated unjustly in these societies. Efforts to change this prioritization and injustice include fighting against gender stereotypes and establishing educational, professional, and interpersonal opportunities and outcomes for women that are equal to those for men.

Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to vote, run for public office, work, earn equal pay, own property, receive education, enter contracts, have equal rights within marriage, and maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure access to contraception, legal abortions, and social integration and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Changes in female dress standards and acceptable physical activities for females have often been part of feminist movements.

Some scholars consider feminist campaigns to be a main force behind major historical societal changes for women's rights, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women's suffrage, gender-neutral language, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property. Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women's rights, some feminists argue for the inclusion of men's liberation within its aims, because they believe that men are also harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; feminist theorists have developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues concerning gender.

Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years and represent different viewpoints and aims. Traditionally, since the 19th century, first-wave liberal feminism that sought political and legal equality through reforms within a liberal democratic framework was contrasted with labour-based proletarian women's movements that over time developed into socialist and Marxist feminism based on class struggle theory. Since the 1960s, both of these traditions are also contrasted with radical feminism that arose from the radical wing of second-wave feminism and that calls for a radical reordering of society to eliminate male supremacy; together liberal, socialist and radical feminism are sometimes called the "Big Three" schools of feminist thought.

Since the late 20th century, many newer forms of feminisms have emerged. Some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle class, college-educated, heterosexual, or cisgender perspectives. These criticisms have led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, such as black feminism and intersectional feminism. (Full article...)

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Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman
Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman is Mary Wollstonecraft's unfinished novelistic sequel to her revolutionary political treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). The Wrongs of Woman was published posthumously in 1798 by her husband, William Godwin, and is often considered her most radical feminist work. Wollstonecraft's philosophical and gothic novel revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband. It focuses on the societal rather than the individual "wrongs of woman" and criticizes what Wollstonecraft viewed as the patriarchal institution of marriage in eighteenth-century Britain and the legal system that protected it. However, the heroine's inability to relinquish her romantic fantasies also indicts women for wallowing in a false and damaging sentimentalism. The novel pioneered the celebration of female sexuality and cross-class identification between women. Such themes, coupled with the publication of Godwin's scandalous Memoirs of Wollstonecraft's life, made the novel unpopular at the time it was published. Twentieth-century feminist critics embraced the work, integrating it into the history of the novel and feminist discourse. It is most often viewed as a fictionalized popularization of the Rights of Woman, as an extension of Wollstonecraft's feminist arguments in Rights of Woman, and as an autobiography.

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Spinning wheel
Credit: Detroit Publishing Co.

A photochrom of an elderly Irish woman using a spinning wheel, a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or human-made fibers. Manual spinning wheels were likely invented in the 13th century, replacing the earlier spindle and distaff, and remained in use until automated mass production techniques were invented in the Industrial Revolution. Hand-spinning remains a popular handicraft.

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Liz Phair
I am a feminist, and I define myself: Be yourself, because if you can get away with it, that is the ultimate feminist act.
Liz Phair

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Bette Davis was a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress of film, television and theatre. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional comedies, though her greatest successes were romantic dramas. Until the late 1940s, she was one of American cinema's most celebrated leading actresses, known for her forceful and intense style. Her forthright manner, clipped vocal style and ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona which has often been imitated and satirized. Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen, and was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her career went through several periods of decline, and she admitted that her success had often been at the expense of her personal relationships. Married four times, she was once widowed and thrice divorced, and raised her children as a single parent. Her final years were marred by a long period of ill health, however she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer, with more than a hundred film, television and theater roles to her credit. In 1999, Davis was placed second, behind Katharine Hepburn, on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female stars of all time.

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