Monday, March 12, 2007

FAQ: why do some people talk of "feminisms"?

Most recently updated 17 March 2007

Because, as was said back on the What is a feminist? and Why are there so many fights between feminists? posts, Feminism is not a monolith.

From the soc.feminism Terminologies FAQ compiled in 1993 by Cindy Tittle Moore, here is a following non-exhaustive list of feminisms (read fuller descriptions at the given link to clarify concepts). Some of the following groups are very small compared to the major strands of modern feminism:

Amazon Feminism
Cultural Feminism
Erotic Feminism
'Feminazi' **
Feminism and Women of Color
Individualist, or Libertarian Feminism
Lesbianism *
Liberal Feminism
Marxist and Socialist Feminism
Material Feminism
Moderate Feminism
'pop-feminism' **
Radical Feminism

There are important new movements not included in the list above, particularly the Radical Women of Colour movement and the many non-Western national/ethnic feminist movements, which have all been caught up in the single classification "Feminism and Women of Colour" above.

The Feminist eZine (LilithGallery): 1001 Feminist Links (just keep on scrolling, and then scroll some more)

Feminist Theory Website (choose English/Francais/Espanol on homepage): Different National/Ethic Feminisms - biased towards academia, but a good starting point for specific readings.

* Just as not all feminists are lesbians, not all lesbians are feminists. It's a "correlation, not causation" thing, and not an easily distinguished movement as such either.
** Essentially media inventions rather than meaningful classifications.

Men's Movements
From the same FAQ: "many of these movements were started in reaction to feminism: some inspired by and others in contra-reaction to it"
Feminist Men's Movement
Men's Liberation Movement
Mythopoetic Men's Movement
The New Traditionalists
The Father's Movements

The Father's Rights Movement has grown greatly since this FAQ was compiled, and is probably now the largest cohesive Men's Movement.

Further reading into the differing details of these movements will be added to this post as time allows. I especially apologise for the US-centricity of the list thus far, (and me an Aussie!) and hope to add more information on other feminisms around the world. (Update: national/ethnic feminist movement directory now added above) Feel free to leave links to distinctive voices characterising one or more of these movements in the comments.

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