Radical Feminsim

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Summary Radical feminism sees patriarchy as the root cause of women's oppression. Some radical feminists assert that the oppression of women is the standard for all other types of oppression. Patriarchy is the control by men of an unevenly large share of power, which causes the subordination of women by men. This control is conveyed through mandatory motherhood, restrictions on reproductive freedom, enforcement of traditional gender roles, perception of heterosexual relationship as the norm, and the institutions which foster patriarchal images.

Radical feminism is the breeding ground for many of the ideas arising from feminism. Radical feminism was the cutting edge of feminist theory from approximately 1967-1975. It is no longer as universally accepted as it was then, and no longer serves to solely define the term, "feminism." This group views the oppression of women as the most fundamental form of oppression, one that cuts across boundaries of race, culture, and economic class.

This is a movement intent on social change, change of rather revolutionary proportions. It is based on total separation from men.

Radical feminism questions why women must adopt certain roles based on their biology, just as it questions why men adopt certain other roles based on theirs. Radical feminism attempts to draw lines between biologically-determined behavior and culturally-determined behavior in order to free both men and women as much as possible from their previous narrow gender roles.

Radical feminists, meanwhile, find the reforms called for by liberal feminism to be inadequate and superficial. The main goal for radical feminists is not to introduce equal rights; they do not want women to become like men, but to free women from patriarchal control. The main challenge to patriarchy being in the form of separation, while liberal feminists wish to create equality in society and are quite happy to live...