Gender Feminism and Ifeminism: Wherein They Differ

Etica E Politica 5 (2):1-12 (2003)
Individualist feminism argues that the slogan "a woman's body, a woman's right" should extend to every peaceful choice a woman can make. For example, it demands that all sexual choices, from motherhood to participating in pornography, be legally respected. The cost of such freedom is personal responsibility and a refusal to appeal to government for privilege or protection. As a school within the broader feminist tradition, individual feminism contrasts sharply with gender feminism both in its theory and its history. Indeed, the two schools define the ideological extremes of the feminist movement. Their differing interpretations of such concepts as "equality," "class," and "justice" stand in opposition to each other and could restimulate what many consider to be a dying movement by breaking through the shell of dogma that surrounds it. And, yet, because gender feminism has dominated the movement for decades, the disagreements expressed by individualist feminism have been labeled as "anti-feminist" and even "anti-woman." It is time to reclaim this neglected and rich tradition, including the many heroic figures who struggled and suffered so that contemporary women can enjoy their many freedoms
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