Feminist Frontiers


Feminist Frontiers Essay, Research Paper

Feminism is defined as an organized activity on

behalf of women?s rights and interests. To me,

this statement encompasses all women; regardless

of race, class, ethnicity, sexual preference, age

or religion. While I agree that these factors do

influence and shape a woman?s individual

experiences, I believe that women everywhere are

oppressed just for being biologically different

than males. In Feminist Frontiers, it is stated

that ?women everywhere suffer restrictions,

oppression, and discrimination because they are

living in patriarchal societies? (1). Why then,

are many feminists centered on these factors? I

believe that in order for there to be a successful

women?s liberation movement, all women, regardless

of race, class, etc., must come together in order

to achieve equality.

In reaction to the Million Man March orchestrated

by Farrakhan, Joan Morgan states, ??moved by the

awesome sight of so many black men of different

classes and sexual orientations gathered together

peacefully for the sole purpose of bettering

themselves? (51). If African-American men of

different classes and sexual preferences can

congregate to demonstrate a common goal, then why

can?t women seem to do this? If black men, ?the

one group in this country most likely to murder

each other?(Morgan, 51) can manage to show a

unified front, then why can?t ?feminists? seem to

get past class and race for the betterment of all


Pharr seems to agree with this, asserting that

racism has been one of the major causes of the

failure of the women?s movement to make permanent

and meaningful change (25). The women?s

liberation movement is beginning to gain strength

again because there are women who are now

expressing ideas about ?liberation for all women?

(Pharr, 26). I agree with Pharr, that women have

to examine racism, classism, etc to see how

everything is connected (26), yet women cannot get

stuck on these issues if serious change is to be


I do understand that feminism and ?femininity? is

different for women of various races, classes, and

sexual preferences. Being an upper-middle class

WASP-y white female, feminism meant acquiring an

education, obtaining a career, and being

emotionally and financially independent (Morgan,

58). Race and class didn?t figure into my

feminism because they weren?t issues I dealt with

on a daily basis. Learning to change my own oil

or fixing my own flat tire made me feel like an

independent superwoman. I realize that growing up

African-American or Hispanic would change my

concept of what it means to be a woman, what it

means to be a ?feminist?. Being a woman for a

middle-class black woman might include ?providing

financial support for her children or taking an

active and influential role in her church and

community, yet still being stereotyped by dominant

white culture? (Feminist Frontiers, 1).

Isn?t feminism not just about ?analyzing the ways

that social structures shape and restrict the

lives of women?(Feminist Frontiers, 2)? I do

believe that it is important to report upon the

inequalities faced by different groups of women

but it is more important to examine the ways that

women have been ?oppressed and victimized based on

gender?(Feminist Frontiers, 2). Isn?t this the

essence of feminism? Job discrimination, sexual

harassment and violence are undeniably pivotal to

gender. These are ways women are oppressed, just

for being biologically different than males. This

is the reason I consider myself to be a feminist.

In order to exercise control over our own lives

and resist social constraints (Feminist Frontiers,

2), women must know ?that we won?t get there until

everyone gets there; that we must move forward in

a great strong line, hand in hand, not just a few

at a time? (Pharr, 26).

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