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Women finding their identity in the modern world - Essay Example

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Feminism and feminist movement have always been widely criticized and heavily misunderstood. This is because feminism has no specific definition; rather, it is a combination of a variety of social and political theories and has objectives that range from extremist man-hating views to more milder equal rights aims…
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Women finding their identity in the modern world
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Download file to see previous pages The author correctly points out that the world as young women see it today is something that was not there before 1950s or before the feminist movements. Rosen maintains that young women today cannot even identify with the 1950s era when life of women revolved around home, husband and kids. Various feminist movements, ideologies, and objectives have changed the landscape of rights for women. This change was seen as "the most powerful challenge to the feminine mystique," i and changed the way things were in women workforce increasing their participation in economic activities. It was during the 1950s that young women slowly "rejected the world of their mothers" and because of this change, this generation was termed anti-motherhood.
The various changes in feminist movements have been witnessed over the decades. In the 1950s since feminism was still new, women had adopted the rather ill fitting tools to compete with men. They had become sexually, socially and intellectually rebellious but over the years, they realized that these tools were not helping them with their objectives. Rosen notes that during the 1970s, FBI got involved with feminism movement in order to stifle the latter. The paranoia had spread far and wide and feminist politics had become a major party of US political scene. Many feminists had become wary of government's interference as Rosen states: "Still, in my wildest flights of paranoia I never imagined the extent to which the FBI spied on feminists or how many women did the spying"ii. It was believed that FBI had recruited women informers to tip them off about such subversive aims as: "They wanted equal opportunities that men have in work and in society" iii. Many people saw feminist activities as a threat to internal security as Hoover was found saying: "Inter woven with its goals for equal rights for women is the advocation of violence to achieve these goals," that he saw as a threat to internal security iv. Thus FBI files contained information on feminist activities and agenda as one operative explained: "This movement has no leaders, dues, or organizations"v.
The most disturbing aspect of FBI involvement was that it had a negative impact on solidarity of feminists. Some of the women would accuse each other of being informers thus hurting their bond of sisterhood to the effect that "feminists sometimes found it easier to accuse one another of being informers than to accept the inevitable differences among them that, even without the FBI, would naturally result in different feminist perspectives and different ideas of sisterhood"vi. Such differences resulted in the complete dissipation of feminism's objectives. These disagreements grew to the extent that by the mid-1970s, this movement "was everywhere and nowhere" vii. This means that during this time feminist movement was suffering from diffusion and misunderstanding. Many people felt that feminism was all about becoming a super-woman who cared about nothing and no one except her own dreams and herself. That was certainly not good for the movement as Rosen explains: "when Americans took a good hard look at this narcissistic superwoman who embraced the values of the dominant culture, they grew anxious and frightened, for they no longer saw loyal mothers and wives who would care for the human community, but a dangerous individual, unplugged from home and hearth, in other words, a female version of ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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