What Is Radical Feminism, What Does It Mean?June 29, 2021
Radical feminism is a theory that sees the root cause of the exploitation and oppression of women in the biological difference between men and women.
Among radical feminist theorists, there are different understandings of the current situation of women. Among radical feminists, those who have formed a wide range of theoretical considerations; Kate Millett and Shulamith Firestone. Radical feminists argue that the oppression of women and the contradiction between men and women are basically derived from the institution of the family.
According to Kate Millett, “the family socializes the youth in the attitudes envisaged by the role, temperament and status categories of the patriarchal ideology. The family is seen as the institution that ensures the reproduction of the male-dominated ideology that conditions women to serve men and accept this role of serving. For this reason, radical feminists reject the institution of the family, while Shulamith Firestone says that biological gender differences lie at the root of women’s oppression.
Women are constrained by the roles of birth and motherhood. Firestone thinks that the solution to this is to use technology to escape the biological fate of women. “The reproduction of the human species by one sex alone for the benefit of both sexes will be replaced (by selection, at least) by artificial reproduction. Children will be able to reproduce equally in both sexes. Or be born independent of either.” Childcare will thus be undertaken collectively by members of the community.
Men and women will not be identified as defined by their gender-based role responsibilities, and a new culture will be tried to be created. Mary Daly in her work “Gyn/Ecology” proposes the radical demolition or deconstruction of language used to explore a world outside of patriarchy. She also emphasizes that women should be lesbians and live completely apart from men in order to completely liberate themselves from oppression. Radical theorists have been criticized for their unnatural proposals, such as technology-dependent reproduction.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım