Why do fewer women subscribe to the idea that they are feminists in 2003 than was the case in the 70's and early 80's?

Essay by rubytuesdayUniversity, Bachelor's May 2003

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Why do fewer women subscribe to the idea that they are

feminists in 2003 than may have been the case in

the 70's and early 80's.

Within this essay I will be identifying the reasons why many women are reluctant to call themselves feminists. I will look at the ideas and opinions of feminists such as Natasha Walter, Katherine Viner, Germaine Greer and Imelda Whelehan in order to answer the question and hope to successfully show why there has been a decline in women as feminists.

The dictionary definition of feminism is simple enough: "belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes."

Feminism means different things to different people, however, the basic assumption shared by all feminists is that women suffer certain injustices on account of their sex. Some writers set out lists of supposedly essential feminist policies, for them true feminists, for example, support abortion and avoid marriage.

The problem with these things is that they ignore changing circumstances and shifts in policy. For example the first wave feminists opposed abortion and contraception and supported the family and motherhood, the second wave feminists opposed these two things.

Although feminists are united by their common desire for sexual justice and their concern for women's welfare there is actually quite a wide spectrum of feminists, these can roughly be divided into four groups: Liberal, Radical, Marxist and Black.

The question of the relevance of feminism has become an important issue since the late 1990's, this is partly a generational reassessment. Thirty years after the Woman's Liberation Movement, the second wave, it appears that feminism is facing a test. It has been questioned whether the ideas and theories are still relevant to twenty-first century life, and what can it offer women who were not even born when...