What is Feminist Theory?
In simple terms, feminist theory is a theory on women’s rights and gender equality. It involves the study of women’s roles in society which include their rights, privileges, interests, and concerns. It serves as an extension to feminism which evaluates the rightful place of women in the society.
Various feminist theories already came out as early as 1792. Many publications during that time featured the limited rights and privileges of women because of wrong perceptions against them. There were also accounts on women being able to perform tasks that were deemed only for men. Some women of the past also argued that government laws were biased against women and that these same laws could punish them but are not able to protect them. Part of history also documented women’s struggle to fight for their right to vote. Over the years, more and more women published their concerns regarding women’s issues and continued to fight for equality.
There are various disciplines wherein feminist theories can be applied to. One such discipline is in the field of languages. In this area, feminists argue that much of literature only represented masculinity. The Bible itself is somewhat questioned because of references to God as a “He”. Others also insist on changing some masculine-based words into more gender-sensitive words. Examples of these are those that pertain to positions or rank in the workplace. The words “chairman” and “mailman” are changed to “chairperson” and “mail carrier” respectively.
Feminist theories also point out the world’s bias on women’s bodies. Historically, men were associated with the brain while women were associated with the body. This sort of concept was believed to have caused women to be taken as objects or properties of men. Another discipline wherein feminists are involved is the field of movie-making, in which studies are made on how women characters are portrayed on feature films. Some feminists also review history books and rewrite stories on a female perspective.