How did feminism contribute to the countercultural movement?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

For thousands of years (going back to the Roman Empire), western culture had been built on the idea of males as inherently superior to females: stronger, smarter, more capable. A binary opposition was posited between males and females: males were hard, females soft; males logical, females emotional; males leaders, females followers; males strong, females weak. No matter how much this was contradicted by reality, it became a main, if not the main, organizing principle of Western culture (Deleuze argues the main, saying the first thing we notice as we categorize people is not their race, but their gender). It justified the principle which was put into practice, that men should have the vast preponderance of legal, economic, and political power in the culture.

When feminists began challenging that, it was profoundly counter-cultural, as it rocked the very foundations upon which western culture had been constructed. The idea that women were equal to men and that gender differences were a social...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 647 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team