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Countries Where Same-sex Marriage is Fully Legal Nationwide
The first dichotomous division of this mass [mankind] is said to have been on the grounds of sex: They further assert that men as a class benefit from the oppression of women. Patriarchal theory is not generally defined as a belief that all men always benefit from the oppression of all women. Rather, it maintains that the primary element of patriarchy is a relationship of dominance, where one party is dominant and exploits the other for the benefit of the former. Radical feminists believe that men as a class use social systems and other methods of control to keep women and non-dominant men suppressed. Radical feminists seek to abolish patriarchy by challenging existing social norms and institutions, and believe that eliminating patriarchy will liberate everyone from an unjust society. Ti-Grace Atkinson maintained that the need for power fuels the male class to continue oppressing the female class, arguing that "the need men have for the role of oppressor is the source and foundation of all human oppression". Redstockings co-founder Ellen Willis wrote in that radical feminists "got sexual politics recognized as a public issue", created second-wave feminism 's vocabulary, helped to legalize abortion in the USA, "were the first to demand total equality in the so-called private sphere" "housework and child care It grew largely due to the influence of the civil rights movement , that had gained momentum in the s, and many of the women who took up the cause of radical feminism had previous experience with radical protest in the struggle against racism. Chronologically, it can be seen within the context of second wave feminism that started in the early s. In our group at least, they opposed so-called male dominated national liberation struggles". They took up the cause and advocated for a variety of women's issues, including abortion , the Equal Rights Amendment , access to credit, and equal pay. Later, second-wave radical feminism saw greater numbers of black feminists and other women of color participating. In the s, radical feminism emerged simultaneously within liberal feminist and working-class feminist discussions, first in the United States, then in the United Kingdom and Australia. Those involved had gradually come to believe that it was not only the middle-class nuclear family that oppressed women, but that it was also social movements and organizations that claimed to stand for human liberation, notably the counterculture , the New Left , and Marxist political parties, all of which were male-dominated and male-oriented. Radical feminists introduced the use of consciousness raising CR groups. These groups brought together intellectuals, workers, and middle class women in developed Western countries to discuss their experiences. During these discussions, women noted a shared and repressive system regardless of their political affiliation or social class. Based on these discussions, the women drew the conclusion that ending of patriarchy was the most necessary step towards a truly free society. These consciousness-raising sessions allowed early radical feminists to develop a political ideology based on common experiences women faced with male supremacy. Consciousness raising was extensively used in chapter sub-units of the National Organization for Women NOW during the s. The feminism that emerged from these discussions stood first and foremost for the liberation of women, as women, from the oppression of men in their own lives, as well as men in power. Radical feminism claimed that a totalizing ideology and social formation — patriarchy government or rule by fathers — dominated women in the interests of men. Groups[ edit ] Logo of the Redstockings Within groups such as New York Radical Women — no relation to the present-day socialist feminist organization Radical Women , which Ellen Willis characterized as "the first women's liberation group in New York City",  a radical feminist ideology began to emerge that declared that "the personal is political" and "sisterhood is powerful",  formulations that arose from these consciousness-raising sessions. This call to women's activism was coined by Kathie Sarachild in the s. The feminist side of the split, which soon began referring to itself as "radical feminists",  soon constituted the basis of a new organization, Redstockings. Ideology emerges and diverges[ edit ] At the beginning of this period, " heterosexuality was more or less an unchallenged assumption". Among radical feminists, the view became widely held that, thus far, the sexual freedoms gained in the sexual revolution of the s, in particular, the decreasing emphasis on monogamy , had been largely gained by men at women's expense. Most members of Redstockings held to a materialist and anti- psychologistic view. They viewed men's oppression of women as ongoing and deliberate, holding individual men responsible for this oppression, viewing institutions and systems including the family as mere vehicles of conscious male intent, and rejecting psychologistic explanations of female submissiveness as blaming women for collaboration in their own oppression. They held to a view—which Willis would later describe as "neo- Maoist "—that it would be possible to unite all or virtually all women, as a class, to confront this oppression by personally confronting men. They placed more emphasis on institutions, seeing marriage, family, prostitution, and heterosexuality as all existing to perpetuate the "sex-role system". They saw all of these as institutions to be destroyed. Within the group, there were further disagreements, such as Koedt's viewing the institution of "normal" sexual intercourse as being focused mainly on male sexual or erotic pleasure, while Atkinson viewed it mainly in terms of reproduction. In contrast to the Redstockings, The Feminists generally considered genitally focused sexuality to be inherently male. Ellen Willis , the Redstockings co-founder, would later write that insofar as the Redstockings considered abandoning heterosexual activity, they saw it as a "bitter price" they "might have to pay for [their] militance", whereas The Feminists embraced separatist feminism as a strategy. They argued that men dominated women not so much for material benefits as for the ego satisfaction intrinsic in domination. Similarly, they rejected the Redstockings view that women submitted only out of necessity or The Feminists' implicit view that they submitted out of cowardice, but instead argued that social conditioning simply led most women to accept a submissive role as "right and natural". Radical feminists also take direct action. In , they protested against the Miss America pageant in order to bring "sexist beauty ideas and social expectations" to the forefront of women's social issues. Even though there weren't any bras burned on that day, this protest is famous for the phrase "bra-burner". These women demanded that the editor "be removed and replaced by a woman editor". The Ladies Home journal, "with their emphasis on food, family, fashion, and femininity, played an important role in maintaining the status quo and thus were instruments of women's oppression". One member explains the motivation of the protest noting that they "were there to destroy a publication which feeds off of women's anger and frustration, a magazine which destroys women. Through "tireless[ly] organizing among friends and coworkers, on street corners, in supermarkets and ladies' rooms" these radical feminists were able gain an amazing amount of exposure". The movement gained momentum, while a "prodigious output of leaflets, pamphlets, journals, magazine articles, newspaper and radio and TV interviews" were produced. When informal leadership developed, it was often resented. Some of the feminist leaders reacted with defiance, some quit the movement", and "others tried to respond to the criticism by echoing it and withdrawing from [their] leadership roles, in classic guilty liberal fashion". Resentment of leadership was compounded by the view that all "class striving" was "male-identified". In the extreme, exemplified by The Feminists, the upshot, according to Ellen Willis, was "unworkable, mechanistic demands for an absolutely random division of labor, taking no account of differences in skill, experience, or even inclination". When The Feminists began to select randomly who could talk to the press, Ti-Grace Atkinson quit the organization she had founded. Many radical feminists in Australia participated in a series of squats to establish various women's centers, and this form of action was common in the late s and early s. By the mids many of the original consciousness raising groups had dissolved, and radical feminism was more and more associated with loosely organized university collectives. Radical feminism can still be seen, particularly within student activism and among working class women. In Australia, many feminist social organizations accepted government funding during the s, and the election of a conservative government in crippled these organizations. The movement also arose in Israel among Jews. To be realised, reproductive freedom must include not only woman's right to choose childbirth, abortion, sterilisation or birth control, but also her right to make those choices freely, without pressure from individual men, doctors, governmental or religious authorities. It is a key issue for women, since without it the other freedoms we appear to have, such as the right to education, jobs and equal pay, may prove illusory. Provisions of childcare, medical treatment, and society's attitude towards children are also involved. In this, they often form tactical alliances with other currents of feminism. Views on the sex industry[ edit ] Radical feminists have written about a wide range of issues regarding the sex industry — which they tend to oppose — including but not limited to: Feminist views on prostitution Radical feminists argue that most women who become prostitutes are forced into it by a pimp, human trafficking , poverty, drug addiction , or trauma such as child sexual abuse. Women from the lowest socioeconomic classes—impoverished women, women with a low level of education, women from the most disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities—are over-represented in prostitution all over the world. The money thus acts as a form of force, not as a measure of consent. It acts like physical force does in rape. In the words of Kathleen Barry , consent is not a "good divining rod as to the existence of oppression, and consent to violation is a fact of oppression". Andrea Dworkin Prostitution in and of itself is an abuse of a woman's body. Those of us who say this are accused of being simple-minded. But prostitution is very simple. In prostitution, no woman stays whole. It is impossible to use a human body in the way women's bodies are used in prostitution and to have a whole human being at the end of it, or in the middle of it, or close to the beginning of it. And no woman gets whole again later, after. They say it is crucial that society does not replace one patriarchal view on female sexuality—e. Radical feminists argue that sexual liberation for women cannot be achieved so long as we normalize unequal sexual practices where a man dominates a woman. These feminists see prostitution as a form of slavery, and say that, far from decreasing rape rates, prostitution leads to a sharp increase in sexual violence against women, by sending the message that it is acceptable for a man to treat a woman as a sexual instrument over which he has total control. Melissa Farley argues that Nevada's high rape rate is connected to legal prostitution. Nevada is the only US state that allows legal brothels, and it is ranked 4th out of the 50 U. In Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, and Taiwan, studies have shown that indigenous women are at the bottom of the race and class hierarchy of prostitution, often subjected to the worst conditions, most violent demands and sold at the lowest price. It is common for indigenous women to be over-represented in prostitution when compared with their total population.
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