What Is Feminism? Essay

769 words - 3 pages

What is Feminism?

What is feminism? By general definition, feminism is a philosophy in which women and their contributions are valued. It is based on social, political and economical equality for women. Feminists can be anyone in the population, men, women, girl or boys. Feminism can also be described as a movement. A revolution that includes women and men who wish the world to be equal without boundaries. These boundaries or blockades are better known as discrimination and biases against gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status and economic status.

Everyone views the world with his or her own sense of gender and equality. Feminists view the world as being unequal. They wish to see the gender gap and the idea that men are superior to women decreased or even abolished. Carol Gilligan is one woman who has contributed much time and effort to the feminist theory. Her beliefs and ideas are based upon difference feminism. In this essay I will tie the ideas and beliefs of Carol Gilligan with information from our text, the packet read in class and the book, Faces of Feminism.

     Carol Gilligan is a lecturer and assistant professor at Harvard University as well as a psychologist. She has many theories that deal with moral reasoning and development. In her influential book In a Different Voice, she sets forth the idea that women make decisions “according to a criteria of ethics of care and that men make decisions according to an ethic of rights.”(3) In her book, Carol Gilligan also disagrees with Lawrence Kohlbergs' theory, which suggests that “Few people matured fully in their moral reasoning...but women hardly ever did.”(2) In her opposition Gilligan stated that “women make moral decisions according to different but equally mature and morally upright reasoning.”(2) She feels that women are different because they posses a different hereditary set of values and beliefs. This opposition to Kohlberg's theory was backed by research. Even though there was research done to support Gilligan, it seemed to have experimenter bias. It was not an open or strong experiment and it only observed the actions of the white middle class. This did not give a clear or objective view on the separate criteria of women and men. The views and ideas on moral reasoning and development set...

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