Radical Feminist Theories

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Hooks’ approach to capitalism, power structures and feminist movement in this text suggests she is a radical feminist. Here, she aligns conservative and liberal feminism with bourgeois ideology, a concept which occupies much of her criticism throughout the book: “It is no accident that feminist struggle has been so easily co-opted to serve the interests of conservative and liberal feminists since feminism in the United States has so far been a bourgeois ideology” (8). Radical feminism seeks to entirely reorder social structures to eradicate patriarchal oppression, whereas conservative and liberal feminism only seek varying degrees of reform by adjusting the pre-existing social structures. Hooks sees these feminisms as individual-centric, capitalistic …show more content…
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center existed before third wave feminism came into being, therefore it is more accurate to consider it a response to second wave feminism. Scholars say that third wave feminism exists primarily as an answer to the socially and racially linear second wave, as a critique of the movement’s failure to address interlocking and layered oppression faced by women from one or more minority groups. For example, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique offers a considerably narrow view of feminist …show more content…
As such, Hooks’ text is an important critique, by readily affronting second wave ideologies and practices: “Even though they may be sincerely concerned about racism, their methodology suggests they are not yet free of the type of paternalism endemic to white supremacist ideology” (13). By acknowledging that not sexism, nor racism, nor classism is more damaging than another – and rejecting dualist Western ideology in doing so – Hooks helped to tool third wave feminism with its fundamental concept of intersectionality.

Hooks’ arguments for the inclusion of men in feminist movement challenged the separatist thinking of second wave feminism. Some elements of second wave feminism viewed men as the enemy and not the solution, exampled by the Redstockings Manifesto of 1969:

“Men have controlled all political, economic, and cultural institutions and backed up this control with physical force. They have used their power to keep women in an inferior position. All men receive economic, sexual, and psychological benefits from male supremacy. All men have oppressed

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