What are the main points of Liberal Feminist theory?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Liberal Feminism focuses upon the independence of women and their individual ability to prove themselves the equal of males intellectually and physically. As early as 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects  explored liberal feminism. Certainly, after World WarII as women worked outside the home, there was an emergence of thought upon feminine independence. Liberal feminism hold that

...female subordination is rooted in a set of customary and legal constraints that block women’s entrance to and success in the so-called public world.

After women's suffrage, there was little active feminism until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's from which women drew parallels to the African-American demand for recognition with their rights to opportunities. From these ensuing efforts, the National Organization for Women, the National Women's Political Caucus, and the Women's Equity Action League came into being. Perhaps the largest movement was that of the Equal Rights Amendment which the Republican party endorsed, but the Democratic party did not support because of the labor unions. Nevertheless, in 1972 there was the passage of the ERA.

The Equal Rights Amendment has given women 

  • Equal rights throughout the United States in every entity under the government's jurisdiction
  • Equal rights regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or national origin
  • ERA prevents pregnancy discrimination; it also allows the woman the right to make her own "reproductive decisions."

As early as 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects  explored liberal feminism.

National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded by Betty Friedan and other founding members. This organization promotes  and advocates for adequate child care for working mothers, reproductive rights, and the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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