During middle of nineteenth century the American journalist Betty Freidan published her book The Feminine Mystique, in which she identified, on the basis of an analysis of womens magazines and surveys of women, a paradox in the self-awareness of American women: in striving to…
In both, a person is deprived of self-identity, of self-respect, and of manifesting ones individuality and is isolated from the large world of ideas and events. Freidan’s general conclusion was that the ideal of "femininity" that guides women is not a natural bent of their natures but an inhumane stereotype that is imposed by advertising, business, and government because it is useful to society. (Dua, 15)
The budding potential for discontent that Freidan noted became manifest in full force in the early 1970s in the form of a mass womens movement that challenged American society and demanded an end to the "conspiracy of silence" as regards the existence of sexism (the term was introduced by analogy with racism) at all levels of society. All these things spurred the appearance of feminist thought-theoretical reflection on the problems of women.
The first books of American theoreticians of feminism (Shulamith Firestone, Juliet Mitchell, Ti-Grace Atkinson, Germaine Greer, and others) were mainly ideological-philosophical, political, and provocative in tone. Subsequently, feminist thought was transformed into professional academic investigation and acquired a stable status. Philosophical feminism flourished, examining social and ethical as well as epistemological-metaphysical problems (Shulamith Firestone, Kathy Ferguson, Nancy C.M. Hartsock, Alison Jaggar, Virginia Held, Heidi Hartmann, Jean Grimshaw, Susan Okin, Carol Gilligan, Sandra Harding, and others). (Yegenoglu, 105)
The present article will touch upon a few topics discussed in philosophical feminism: woman faced with the dilemmas of modern civilization, the role of the reproductive and family factors in explaining the development of society and the sources of inequality, the controversy between the ethic of fairness and the ethic of care, democracy, and the family as partnership.
The most difficult and painful area for feminist thought is the problem of "woman, the family, and ...
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