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Essay Preview: Feminism

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Feminism as an organized movement appeared in the late 19th century in a number of countries, and agitation for votes for women became increasingly visible and vocal at the beginning of the twentieth century. After the granting of suffrage, women's movements turned to other issues of social reform and equality. The two world wars changed much of the world and with it the perception of women's work outside the home. After the Second World War, feminism entered a second stage or wave with campaigns for reproductive rights and removal of discrimination, and the United Nations created an office to represent women's rights. Since then feminism has continued to reinvent and redefine itself to adapt to a changing world and a diversity of cultures. When we talk about the feminist movement, feminists like conflict and Marxists theorists, argue for power sharing. Daly and Chesney-Lind argued that men's violence toward women must be controlled, particularly sexual and physical abuse. Women generally have no interest in viewing lives of men as a worthy behavioral norm. Women may also suffer from correctional policies that call for equal treatment, ignoring women's unique health problems and problems with incarceration. Feminists emphasize the study of violence against females. Early in the evolution of feminist criminology judicial decision making emerged as the point in the administration of justice at which the operation of sexist, paternalistic, or antifeminist attitudes could be observed. Feminism is often linked with gay, lesbian and transgender studies and psychoanalytic feminism places focus on psychosexual development. Some feminists are wary of the transgender movement because they view it as challenging the distinction between men and women. Transgender and transsexual individuals who identify as female are excluded from women only gatherings and events and are rejected by some feminists, who say that no one who was assigned as male at birth can fully understand the oppression that women face.



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