Postcolonial feminism emerged from the gendered history of colonialism.
Second-wave feminism has existed continuously since then, and coexists with what is termed “third-wave feminism.” Second-wave feminism saw cultural and political inequalities as inextricably linked.
French feminists have a tendency to attack the rationalist Enlightenment thinking which first accorded them intellectual freedom as being itself male-oriented, and approach feminism with the concept of йcriture fйminine (female, or feminine, writing).
Contemporary feminism comprises a number of different philosophical strands.
First-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Gamble points out that post-feminists like Denfeld are criticized as "pawns of a conservative 'backlash' against feminism.
The third-wave of Feminism (1990s-present), is seen as both a continuation of and a response to the perceived failures of the second-wave.
According to her, women in the third world feel that Western feminism bases its understanding of women on its "internal racism, classism and homophobia".
The title of an essay by Carol Hanisch, "The Personal is Political," became a slogan synonymous with second-wave feminism and the women's liberation movement.
Post-feminism takes a critical approach to previous feminist discourses, including challenges to second-wave ideas.
Black feminism argues that sexism and racism are inextricable from one another.
Virginia Woolf was one of the more prominent women to reject the term early in its history in 1938, although she is regarded as an icon of feminism.
Both the self-proclaimed sex-positive and the so-called sex-negative forms of present-day feminism can trace their roots to early radical feminism.
The term 'post-feminism' comprises a wide range of theories, some of which argue that feminism is no longer relevant to today's society.
The largest departure from other branches of feminism, is the argument that sex as well as gender is constructed through language.
The third-wave of feminism arose in the early 1990s as a response to perceived failures of the second-wave, and a response to the backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second-wave.
Some contributors to socialist feminism have criticized traditional Marxist ideas for being largely silent on gender oppression except to subsume it underneath broader class oppression.
A Vindication of the Rights of Women, written by Mary Wollstonecraft in 1742, is considered a germinal essay of feminism.
Contemporary feminist historians distinguish three “waves” in the history of feminism.
Some feminists, like Katha Pollitt, author of Reasonable Creatures, or Nadine Strossen, consider feminism to hold simply that "women are people."
Individualist feminists define "Individualist feminism" in opposition to political or gender feminism.
Separatist feminism is a form of radical feminism that rejects heterosexual relationships, believing that the sexual disparities between men and women are unresolvable.
Ecofeminism argues that there is a connection between women and nature that comes from their shared history of oppression by a patriarchal western society.
Liberal feminism asserts the equality of men and women through political and legal reform.
The first-wave refers to the feminism movement of the nineteenth through early twentieth centuries, which dealt mainly with the Suffrage movement.
Pro-feminism is support of feminism without implying that the supporter is a member of the feminist movement.
Other attempts at defining feminism have been made by the United Nations.
Opposition to feminism comes in many forms, either criticizing feminist ideology and practice, or arguing that it should be restrained.
Postmodern feminism is an approach to feminist theory that incorporates postmodern and post-structuralist theory.
Individualist feminists such as Wendy McElroy are concerned with equality of rights, and criticize sexist/classist forms of feminism as "gender feminism."
One of the difficulties in defining and circumscribing a complex and heterogeneous concept such as feminism is the extent to which women have rejected the term from a variety of semantic and political standpoints.
Many women engaged in activities intimately grounded in feminism have not considered themselves feminists.
Feminism takes a number of forms in a variety of disciplines such as feminist geography, feminist history and feminist literary criticism.
Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical, fields.
Postcolonial feminism is critical of Western forms of feminism, notably radical feminism and liberal feminism and their universalization of female experience.
Politically, usage of the term "feminism" has been rejected both because of fears of labeling, and because of its innate ability to attract broad misogyny.
Forms of feminism that strive to overcome sexism and class oppression but ignore race can discriminate against many people, including women, through racial bias.
Patai and Koerge argue that in this way the term "antifeminist" is used to silence academic debate about feminism.
Jewish feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious, legal, and social status of women within Judaism and to open up new opportunities for religious experience and leadership for Jewish women.
Themes explored in feminism include discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification), oppression, and patriarchy.
Mainstream feminism has been criticized as being too narrowly focused, and inattentive to related issues of race and class.
Liberal feminism looks at the personal interactions between men and women as the starting ground from which to introduce gender-equity into society.
Defining feminism in this way reflects the contemporary reality that both men and women openly support feminism, and also openly adhere to sexist ideals.
Butler criticizes the distinction drawn by previous feminisms between (biological) sex and socially constructed gender.
Another strand of radical feminism is "Anarcha-feminism" (also called anarchist feminism or anarcho-feminism).
Individualist feminism encourages women to take full responsibility over their own lives.
Rajeshwari Sunder Rajan, Leela Kasturi, Sharmila Rege, Vidyut Bhagat are some of the essayists and social critics who write in favor of feminism in English.
Feminism has affected women’s choices to bear a child, both in and out of wedlock, by making the choice less dependent on the financial and social support of a male partner.
Another way of expressing this concept is that a primary goal of feminism is to correct androcentric bias.
is the origin of the term, "pro-sex feminism."
Feminist and social ecologist Janet Biehl has criticized ecofeminism for focusing too much on a mystical connection between women and nature, and not enough on the actual conditions of women.
Christian feminism is a branch of feminist theology which seeks to interpret and understand Christianity in terms of the equality of women and men morally, socially, and in leadership.
Radical feminism sees capitalism as a barrier to ending oppression.
Historians of feminism have identified three “waves” of feminist thought and activity.
Critics believe that individual feminism reinforces patriarchal systems because it does not view the rights or political interests of men and women as being in conflict, nor does it rest upon class/gender analysis.
The term is most often used in reference to men who are actively supportive of feminism and of efforts to bring about gender equality.
Radical feminism identifies the capitalist sexist hierarchy as the defining feature of women’s oppression.
Islamic feminism is concerned with the role of women in Islam.
The history of feminism is not important to them, their only concern is what is going to be done about it.