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Hi, my name is Biju P R. I am a writer, teacher and academic blogger. Anything that comes through society and technology interest me. My blog posts here define what am I doing here. Please just check it out.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Feminism, Theories of Feminism, Waves of feminism, Lecture Notes for Undergraduate Students

Hi, getting visibility among core literary public is benchmark of publishing success and this message is part of an aggressive online campaign for the promotion and visibility of my two books [1] Political Internet and [2] Intimate Speakers among core reading public in online space.
It will be really helpful if you are able to help me forward, share, tweet, post, or tag this message or parts of this message among potential beneficiaries of the ideas in the books in your network, your friend’s network or their networks?
Or anyone should according to you benefit if they work broadly on anything related to social media, Internet, society, politics, cyber sexuality, Internet pornography, intimacies,  women and online misogyny, introverts, underprivileged people, Diaspora, cyberspace, Internet in education, International relations, digital politics, social media and state, public sphere, civil society, social capital, contentious politics and so on.
1. Political Internet: State and Politics in the Age of Social Media, (Routledge 2017)
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2. Intimate Speakers: Why Introverted and Socially Ostracized Citizens Use Social Media, (Fingerprint! 2017).
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Biju P R
Author, Teacher, Blogger
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Government Brennen College
Kerala, India

My Books
1. Political Internet: State and Politics in the Age of Social Media,
(Routledge 2017), Amazon https://www.amazon.in/Political-InternetStatePoliticsSocialebook/dp/B01M5K3SCU?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_kin_swatch_0&sr=   

2. Intimate Speakers: Why Introverted and Socially Ostracized Citizens Use Social Media, (Fingerprint! 2017)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.in/dp/8175994290/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487261127&sr=1-2&keywords=biju+p+r 

Prepared by Biju P R

Alternate reality by Nighath M Gandhi.
Islamic Etiquettes to Sex.
Story of Nusrath, a lesbian. Sex for men is all about penetration in bedroom.

Once, on her travel to Pakistan she read Dr. Aftab Ahmed Shah's book- Islamic Etiquettes of Sex. Dr. Shah warned against male masterbation. It is heinous, forbidden and trangression. But Nighat M Gandhi says Dr. Shah did not discuss women's masterbation. She thinks for the community it is a non-issue.
It is a compelling argument that struck in my mind after reading Nighat M Gandhi' book- Alternate Reality. Author swished in to the life of Muslim women in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. She belives misogynistic forces begins from the most intimate lives of Muslim women in cities and villages of the three countries.
What an argument........
Alternative Reality by Nighat M Gandhi

The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. Feminism involves political and sociological theories and philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference, as well as a movement that advocates gender equality for women and campaigns for women's rights and interests. Although the terms "feminism" and "feminist" did not gain widespread use until the 1970s, they were already being used in the public parlance much earlier; for instance, Katherine Hepburn speaks of the "feminist movement" in the 1942 film Woman of the Year. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." In other words, feminism is a commitment to achieving the equality of the sexes.
Feminism strives to end the discrimination, exploitation, and oppression of people due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, and other differences and supports people in being free to determine their own lives for themselves.
It aims to create a world where there is no domination, where people are valued for being who they are fully and freely.  To create such a world, all forms of oppression need to end – sexism, racism, patriarchy, according to Oxford dictionaries, is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes” - What does this mean? Simply, feminism is the belief that all women should be allowed the same opportunities, power and rights as men. They should be treated the same and shouldn’t face discrimination or disadvantage based on their gender. Working from that definition, everyone who believes women should have complete equality as men could be deemed feminists.

The Feminine Mystique Betty Friedan
A nonfiction book published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique sparked the second-wave of the Women's Movement in the United States, a movement that lasted until the early 1980s and, unlike the first-wave's focus on the one issue of suffrage, expanded its agenda to a wide variety of issues such as sexuality, reproductive rights, the workplace, and more. Friedan's book came about by accident. For her 15th class reunion, Friedan was asked to conduct a survey of her Smith College classmates. In talking with them, she realized how unsatisfied they were as housewives. Afterwards, she expanded her research to include other women and the media's use of advertising. She pitched her work to a variety of magazines, but when none of them wanted to publish her work as an article, she extended it into a book.
The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir
The Second Sex was another work credited with igniting the second-wave of the Women's Movement. Published in 1949, it covered how women had been treated throughout history. French author and existentialist Simone de Beauvoir wrote it in 14 months and published it in two volumes. The book made the Vatican's List of Prohibited Books.
A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf
When Virginia Woolf stood up to give a lecture to the Newnham Arts Society in 1928, she started by imagining her audience’s puzzlement. Woolf tells us that the best way to address the topic of "Women in Fiction" is to give us a work of fiction that describes how she got to the conclusion that, in order to write fiction.  "A woman must have money and a room of her own “Woolf’s essay explores how a woman “must have money and a room of her own” to write fiction.
A Room of One's Own, a long form essay by Virginia Woolf, was first published in book form on October 24, 1929. The material came from a series of lectures Woolf gave at two women's colleges, Newnham and Girton, at Cambridge University in 1928. In the essay, Woolf made the case that women writers should have a space of their own. She meant literally and figuratively. She also pointed out that the literary world was dominated by men. Woolf brilliantly used a fictional narrator to make her case.
The Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler
The Vagina Monologues, a play made up of a series of monologues, premiered in New York City in 1996. Written by Eve Ensler, the monologues covered a variety of topics from a feminist perspective. The topics ranged from sex to menstruation, birth, rape, female genital mutilation, and more. When the play first premiered, Ensler performed all the monologues herself. Once she left the production, three actresses divided up the monologues.
Sexual Politics Kate Millett
Published in 1970, Sexual Politics was the first academic take on feminist literary criticism. The book was based on Millett's PhD dissertation, in which she dissected the work of D. H. Lawrence, Norman Mailer, and Henry Miller, among others. Millett pointed out how the three authors wrote about women in a sexist way. The book added fuel to the second wave of feminism, which had started in the early 60s. The book was controversial, receiving national attention and a strong backlash from men.
The Female Eunuch Germaine Greer
The Female Eunuch became an international bestseller after it was published in 1970. Greer divided the nonfiction book into four sections: Body, Soul, Love, and Hate. She explored the self-perception of women throughout history. Translated into 11 languages, it was a key book in the feminist movement during 1970s.
The Beauty Myth Naomi Wolf
A nonfiction book published in 1991, The Beauty Myth was an instant best-seller and won the praise of many feminists. Of the book, Gloria Steinem wrote, "The Beauty Myth is a smart, angry, insightful book, and a clarion call to freedom. Every woman should read it." In the book, Wolf made a case for a reevaluation of society's current standards of beauty. She explained how women were constantly under scrutiny in these five areas: hunger, religion, sex, violence, and work.
Their Eyes Were Watching God  Zora Neale Hurston
Since its publication in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God has become an important work in womeTime magazine included the book in its list of the 100 best novels that have been published since 1923.
The Color Purple  Alice Walker
Published in 1982, The Color Purple won a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The novel, set in Georgia, dealt with the lives of African American women in the South during the 1930s. The novel won the praise of feminists because many of the characters breakaway from traditional gender roles.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Mary Wollstonecraft
One of the earliest feminist works, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was first published in 1792. Wollstonecraft began work on it after reading Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord's French National Assembly report. In the report, he advised that women should only be educated in domestic matters. Wollstonecraft used the report as an example of double standards. The book was well received when it was published. Wollstonecraft was working on a second volume when she died.

Liberal feminism

Liberal feminism aims for individuals to use their own abilities and the democratic process to help women and men become more equal in the eyes of the law and in society. Liberal feminism's primary goal is gender equality in the public sphere -- equal access to education, equal pay, ending job sex segregation, better working conditions -- won primarily through legal changes.

Socialist feminism

(It can also be termed Marxist feminism or materialist feminism). It traces the oppression of women to inequalities that developed in connection with the class system of private property. Socialist feminists view gender inequalities as intrinsic to the capitalist system, which makes vast profits off women's unpaid labor in the home and underpaid labor in the workforce.

Radical feminists

It target male psychology or biology as the source of women's oppression. The extreme form of radical feminism is separatism, which advocates a total break with men.
Perhaps the stereotype of feminists that we discussed before is most closely associated with our first type of feminism, called radical feminism. Radical feminism is a movement that believes sexism is so deeply rooted in society that the only cure is to eliminate the concept of gender completely. Radical feminists suggest changes, such as finding technology that will allow babies to be grown outside of a woman's body, to promote more equality between men and women. This will allow women to avoid missing work for maternity leave, which radical feminists argue is one reason women aren't promoted as quickly as men. In fact, radical feminists would argue that the entire traditional family system is sexist. Men are expected to work outside the home while women are expected to care for children and clean the house. It is a cutting-edge branch of feminism focused on sweeping social reforms, social change, and revolution. Argues against institutions like patriarchy, heterosexism, and racism and instead emphasizes gender as a social construction, denouncing biological roots of gender difference. Often paves the way for other branches of feminism. It notes that this traditional dichotomy maintains men as economically in power over women, and therefore, the traditional family structure should be rejected.

Cultural feminism:

It focuses on women’s inherent differences from men, including their “natural” kindness, tendencies to nurture, pacifism, relationship focus, and concern for others. Opposes an emphasis on equality and instead argues for increased value placed on culturally designated “women’s work.”


It argues against patriarchal tendencies to destroy the environment, animals, and natural resources. Focuses on efforts to stop plundering of Earth’s resources, often drawing parallels between exploitation of women and exploitation of the Earth. Frequently connected with spirituality and vegetarianism.

Post-colonial feminism:

Emphasizes a rejection of colonial power relationships (in which the colonizer strips the colonized subject of her customs, traditions, and values). Argues for the deconstruction of power relationships and the inclusion of race within feminist analyses. Usually includes all feminist writings not from Britain or the United States.
Postcolonial feminists argue that oppression relating to the colonial experience, particularly racial, class, and ethnic oppression, has marginalized women in postcolonial societies. They challenge the assumption that gender oppression is the primary force of patriarchy. Postcolonial feminists object to portrayals of women of non-Western societies as passive and voiceless victims and the portrayal of Western women as modern, educated and empowered. Postcolonial feminism emerged from the gendered history of colonialism: colonial powers often imposed Western norms on colonized regions.
Post structuralist and Post-modern feminism:

Writer Sithara. Yes, I have breast. I have cleave. Deepika Padukon

Analyzes the male/female binary and argues against this binary as the organizing force of society. Advocates deconstructionist techniques of blurring boundaries, eliminating dichotomies, and accepting multiple realities rather than searching for a singular “truth”. Post-structural feminism, also referred to as French feminism, uses the insights of various epistemological movements, including psychoanalysis, linguistics, political theory (Marxist and post-Marxist theory), race theory, literary theory, and other intellectual currents for feminist concerns. Many post-structural feminists maintain that difference is one of the most powerful tools that females possess in their struggle with patriarchal domination, and that to equate the feminist movement only with equality is to deny women a plethora of options because equality is still defined from the masculine or patriarchal perspective.

Postmodern feminism is an approach to feminist theory that incorporates postmodern and post-structuralist theory. The largest departure from other branches of feminism is the argument that gender is constructed through language. The most notable proponent of this argument is Judith Butler. In her 1990 book, Gender Trouble, she draws on and critiques the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan. Butler criticizes the distinction drawn by previous feminisms between biological sex and socially constructed gender. She says that this does not allow for a sufficient criticism of essentialism. For Butler "woman" is a debatable category, complicated by class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other facets of identity. She states that gender is performative. This argument leads to the conclusion that there is no single cause for women's subordination and no single approach towards dealing with the issue.

Psychoanalytic feminism:

It uses psychoanalysis as a tool of female liberation by revising certain patriarchal tenants, such as Freud’s view on mothering, Oedipal/Electra complex, penis envy, and female sexuality.
It is feminism informed by psychoanalysis, postmodernism, and post-colonialism. It emphasizes multiple forms of oppression, multiple definitions of feminism, and a shift beyond equality as the major goal of the feminist movement. Post-feminism describes a range of viewpoints reacting to feminism. While not being "anti-feminist”, post-feminists believe that women have achieved second wave goals while being critical of third wave feminist goals. The term was first used in the 1980s to describe a backlash against second-wave feminism. It is now a label for a wide range of theories that take critical approaches to previous feminist discourses and includes challenges to the second wave's ideas. Other post-feminists say that feminism is no longer relevant to today's society. Amelia Jones wrote that the post-feminist texts which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s portrayed second-wave feminism as a monolithic entity and criticized it using generalizations. One of the earliest uses of the term was in Susan Bolotin's 1982 article "Voices of the Post-Feminist Generation," published in New York Times Magazine. This article was based on a number of interviews with women who largely agreed with the goals of feminism, but did not identify as feminists.  Some contemporary feminists, such as Katha Pollitt or Nadine Strossen, consider feminism to hold simply that "women are people". Views that separate the sexes rather than unite them are considered by these writers to be sexist rather than feminist'.'

History of feminism

According to Maggie Humm and Rebecca Walker, the history of feminism can be divided into three waves. The first feminist wave was in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the second was in the 1960s and 1970s, and the third extends from the 1990s to the present. Feminist theory emerged from these feminist movements. It is manifest in a variety of disciplines such as feminist geography, feminist history and feminist literary criticism.

First wave
First-wave feminism refers to an extended period of feminist activity during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom and the United States. By the end of the nineteenth century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women's suffrage.
Second wave
Second-wave feminism refers to the period of activity in the early 1960s and lasting through the late 1980s. The scholar Imelda Whelehan suggests that the second wave was a continuation of the earlier phase of feminism involving the suffragettes in the UK and USA. Second-wave feminism has continued to exist since that time and coexists with what is termed third-wave feminism. The scholar Estelle Freedman compares first and second-wave feminism saying that the first wave focused on rights such as suffrage, whereas the second wave was largely concerned with other issues of equality, such as ending discrimination.
The feminist activist and author Carol Hanisch coined the slogan "The Personal is Political" which became synonymous with the second wave. Second-wave feminists saw women's cultural and political inequalities as inextricably linked and encouraged women to understand aspects of their personal lives as deeply politicized and as reflecting sexist power structures.
Third wave
Third-wave feminism began in the early 1990s, arising as a response to perceived failures of the second wave and also as a response to the backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second wave. Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave's essentialist definitions of femininity, which (according to them) over-emphasize the experiences of upper middle-class white women.
A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality is central to much of the third wave's ideology. Third-wave feminists often focus on "micro-politics" and challenge the second wave's paradigm as to what is, or is not, good for females. The third wave has its origins in the mid-1980s. Feminist leaders rooted in the second wave like Gloria Anzaldua, bell hooks, Chela Sandoval, Cherrie Moraga, Audre Lorde, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many other black feminists, sought to negotiate a space within feminist thought for consideration of race-related subjectivities.
Third-wave feminism also contains internal debates between difference feminists such as the psychologist Carol Gilligan (who believes that there are important differences between the sexes) and those who believe that there are no inherent differences between the sexes and contend that gender roles are due to social conditioning.

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