Gender feminism

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Gender feminism is a term used in relation to other forms of feminism. First explicated in the book "Who Stole Feminism?" in 1994, Christina Hoff Sommers categorized gender feminism as a gynocentric subdivision of feminism.[1] According to Wendy McElroy and Christina Hoff Sommers, gender or political feminism is defined in opposition to individualist feminism.[2][3] Disapproval of modern-day gender roles and the gradual eradication of them are at the foundation of gender feminism. Gender feminism aims to bring awareness to a perspective on the development of the different sexes[4] Feminism, itself, is defined in Sommers' book, "Who Stole Feminism?" as a "collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women." Gender feminism views gender as socially constructed. Furthermore, that this construction of gender is embedded into various aspects of the everyday social order, which consists of power, privileges and economic resources.[5]

The term was used especially in the early 1990s[6][7][8] to refer to some different concepts. It has been used to distinguish perceived radical feminism in comparison to liberal feminism.[6] It has also been used in relation to some feminists' arguments about gendering and other topics: that all cognition is gendered and that all knowledge is gendered.[7] Gender reform feminism laid the theoretical groundwork for second-wave feminism. Contrary to equity feminist, who have an exclusive sociopolitical aspiration for men’s and women’s legal and social equality, gender feminist also argue that psychological differences between men and women are adapted from societal acclimation and have little to do with evolution.[9]


Though viewed as the dominant feminist outlook among scholars, as an alternative version of feminism, gender feminism has been met with opposition. Critiques argue that there is science that supports the claim that the sexes are substantially different in a natural and inherent way. Kuhle maintains that due to evolution, regardless of whether they are viewed as equal, men and women have diverse roles in society.[4] Other critiques have said that though feminism is the dismantlement of the patriarchy and challenges gender roles, the notion that gender differences do not exist biologically is problematic.[3] Others argue that every feminist has an altered standpoint on the movement due to the varying hurdles women of different backgrounds come across.[10]

Divisions in feminist ideology have caused many to question the cohesiveness of the feminist movement as a whole and if devoting their efforts to the movement would genuinely be beneficial. Although, varying perspectives have hindered the collaboration of some feminist subdivisions, a common interest in the upward mobilization of women as a whole has prompted a desire for a more inclusive and universal feminist movement.[1]

A category of anti-gender feminism has also been described.[8]


  1. ^ a b Kalsem, Kristin (Brandser); Williams, Verna L. (2010). "Social Justice Feminism". UCLA Women's Law Journal. 
  2. ^ McElroy, Wendy (2002). Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the 21st century. Ivan R. Dee, Publisher. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-56663-435-9. Ideologically speaking, individualist and radical or gender feminism are mirror images of each other 
  3. ^ a b Sommers, Christina Hoff (1995). Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 320. ISBN 0-684-80156-6. 
  4. ^ a b Kuhle, Barry X. (2012). "It's Funny Because It's True (Because It Evokes Our Evolved Psychology)" (PDF). American Psychological Association. 
  5. ^ Lorber, Judith (November, 1997). "The Variety of Feminisms and their Contributions to Gender Equality" (PDF). Informationssystem der Universitat Oldenburg.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ a b Beckwith, Francis J. (September 1992). "Reply to Keenan: Thomson’s Argument and Academic Feminism". International Philosophical Quarterly Volume 32, Issue 3. pp. 369–376. (Subscription required (help)). L. Geisler, Matters of Life and Death: Calm Answers to Tough Questions about Abortion and Euthanasia (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991), chapter 3. ·Sommers, who calls herself a "liberal feminist" and distinguishes herself from "radical (or gender) feminism" (see her ... 
  7. ^ a b Yates, Steven (October 1992). "Multiculturalism and Epistemology". Public Affairs Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 4. pp. 435–456. JSTOR 40435825. (Subscription required (help)). Feminists offer their distinctive twist to this approach by saying that all knowledge and cognition are "gendered"; hence the term gender feminism. 
  8. ^ a b Sandoval, Chéla (1994). "Re-entering cyberspace: sciences of resistance". Dispositio Vol. 19, No. 46, Subaltern studies in the Americas. pp. 75–93. JSTOR 41491506. (Subscription required (help)). Under this new form of what Haraway calls "anti-racist," indeed, this is even an anti-gender feminism, she asserts, "there is no place for women," only "geometries of difference and contradiction crucial to women's cyborg identities" (Haraway 1991, 171). 
  9. ^ Pinker, Steven (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. ISBN 0-670-03151-8. 
  10. ^ Anthias, Floya; Yuval-Davis, Nira (Winter, 1983). "Contextualizing Feminism: Gender, Ethnic and Class Divisions". Palgrave Macmillan Journals.  Check date values in: |date= (help)