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Radical feminism - Essay Example

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In attempting to explain the views of radical feminism with regards to pornography, it is imperative to define what feminism is as well as pornography. According to a document published by the York University (2008) entitled 'Theories in Feminism,' feminism can be described as, "a diverse competing and often opposing collection of social theories, political movements and moral philosophies largely motivated or concerning the experiences of women especially in terms of their social, political and economic inequalities." Thus, radical feminists argue that women for a long time were oppressed and their radical ideas posit to the effect that gender stereotypes as well as patriarchy should be remo…
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Download file to see previous pages However, these views may be contestable in some situations since men are equally portrayed the same way just as women in pornography.
Indeed, the term pornography is often complex to define as people tend to describe it the way they see as suitable to their liking. Various connotations will emerge from this attempt to infer different meanings to this complex term. The feminists on the other hand are primarily concerned with pursuing the equality agenda with reference to the male dominated patriarchal system. Wendy McElroy (2008) suggests that radical feminists decide to describe pornography as the "graphic description of the lowest whore." Radical feminists view sex itself as a social construct where men seek to satisfy their sexual feelings through the exploitation of women. They view pornography as a way of discrimination on the basis of sex where women are presented as sexual objects as well as commodities meant to benefit the men alone. The radical feminists tend to infer insubordination of women by men and they choose to ignore other possible definitions which seek to rationalise pornography.
It is also imperative to fully explain radical feminism as a way of grasping the whole concept with regards to exploring the feminist views against pornography. Jone Lewis (2008) attempts to define radical feminism as; "a philosophy emphasising patriarchal roots of inequality between men and women or more specifically the dominance of women by men." Thus, according to Lewis, radical feminism uses a militant approach where it views patriarchy as dividing rights and power by gender as a result of oppressing women while at the same time giving privileges to men. It can be noted that radical feminists have this general view of opposing the existing political as well as social systems as they believe that they have their origins tied to patriarchy. They in fact support a culture which advocates a different approach to various political as well as social systems.
The radical feminists are of the view that patriarchy is the root problem of inequality between men and women. Their approach is the attempt to get to the root cause of what they view as their problems. By any standard, this is a radical approach where the radicals seek to challenge the existing way of viewing things. According to Bronwyn Winter (1998), radicalism is influenced by the need to correct the imbalances of power between men and women that were created by patriarchy. There seems to be overemphasis on radicalism as different views brought out by feminists serve the purpose of exposing their views contrary to the actual situation obtaining on the ground.
Radical feminists are particularly concerned with equality between men and women. When it comes to pornography, they argue that women are not fairly treated and they are depicted as sex objects. However, be it soft or hard core pornography, both men and women are depicted within the same parameters where it can be argued that the claims by the feminists are not wholly true to a certain extent. Even men take an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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