Essay Sample on the Tidal Wave: The Equality Branch and the Liberation Branch

Published: 2023-01-24
Essay Sample on the Tidal Wave: The Equality Branch and the Liberation Branch
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Women Gender Discrimination Feminism
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1025 words
9 min read

The Equality branch was recognized as a multiple and heterogeneous group that called for the end to the unequal distribution of rights and duties between the sexes. This stage is identified with the demands for the inclusion of women in political, economic and educational rights, and its fundamental milestone is the conquest of the right to vote for women. It recognized its sources in the illustrated roots and suffragism but aimed to achieve the deepening of that equality until it completely abolishes artificial differences on the basis of sex. The defenders of equality denied the existence of feminine values and pointed out that the only valid difference was that which had its origin in oppression.

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On the other hand, the liberation branch claimed equal rights between the sexes and the guarantee of individual freedoms. It claimed that the greatest social contradiction occurred according to sex and advocated a confrontation. Women would be oppressed by the patriarchal institutions that have control over them and, fundamentally, their reproduction. The branch had as its central objectives: retake sexual and reproductive control of women and increase their economic, social and cultural power; destroy the hierarchies and the supremacy of science; create non-hierarchical, supportive and horizontal organizations. It proposed a revaluation of the feminine, proposing a radical opposition to the patriarchal culture and all forms of power, considering it to be the man's own; they rejected rationality and masculine discourse. This stage marks the beginning of a strong collective reflection on the deep roots of patriarchy and the need for women's liberation from patriarchal oppression. It was the fight for the right to abortion that articulated, mostly, the presence of women in the streets at that time.

According to Evans, no group was more successful than the other. After tough controversies, they managed to eliminate the sharpest edges of both tendencies, and even mutual contributions were recognized. These two groups came together in a variety of ways: criticism of women's double/triple work journey, the difference in economic gains between men and women, and the sexual division of the system educational and labor market.

Accomplishments of the Second-Wave Feminists Movement

One of the great mobilizations of the second wave in the United States had the double meaning of commemorating the suffragettes and formulating new demands, such as the recognition of the economic value of domestic work, the equality of wages and opportunities between women and men and the decriminalization of abortion. It was then called for all to stop cooking, washing and ironing as the secretaries, waitresses, and workers of all kinds suspended activities in a symbolic act to demand the valuation of work in the home and the end of discrimination in jobs employees. The "Women's Strike for Equality" used a strategy of the workers' struggle to stress that housework was a form of work, with economic value, that deserved to be recognized.

Feminism allowed thousands of women to aspire to something more than marriage as the peak to achieve personal fulfillment. Motherhood was then not an option but a social imposition. This new feminist also led to the democratization of the organic structures of the different groups and favored the plurality of voices. Women no longer wanted to do manual work but also intellectual, they did not want to be the ones who received and followed the orders, but those who made the decisions and held leadership positions because only in this way would they be in a better position to raise the demands that interested them.

It also brought to an end the rule that stipulated abortion was punishable by 30 years in prison. Abortion was the unifying axis of almost the whole movement because it was of primary interest for both radical women and liberals. At that time, about five thousand women per year died from an abortion. The Strike for Equality of Women (Women's Strike for Equality) was called by feminists to make the struggle for equality of women with men felt in the North American state legislatures. Their slogans were: free nurseries open for 24 hours, under community control; free abortion "free and immediate"; and equal opportunities for work and education.

Challenges of the Movement and Weakening of the Movement

Some of the challenges that the movement faced included; blurring of collective proposals articulated from civil societies and absence of channels of dialogue that place feminism as a subject of valid dialogue. The fragmentation of views, internal struggles, and dismantling of proposals; and too radicalized and unviable positions that moved away from popular movements. Another challenge was finding appropriate strategies to articulate their struggles with those of other broader movements, women, human rights, etc., to promote the transformations required by today's society. Another challenge was the tensions that existed between the different women groups. The egalitarian feminists were blamed for making "women" a homogeneous category, erasing in a false universalism other forms of domination such as racism, heterosexism, and class domination. Their model of emancipation, based on anti-sexism, would relegate the fight against racism to the background, for example in debates on the veil and the burqa. These internal feminist debates were exacerbated by the rhetoric of right-wing governments, which exploited some of the feminist themes: emancipation, women's autonomy, the fight against male violence then serve to legitimize xenophobic policies of closing borders and reduction of immigration.

The discrepancies between "feminists" and "politics" were the most controversial and increased in the last stage of the military regime. This division would accentuate the decline that the movement suffered when democracy was restored. However, from this movement emerged various institutions whose focus was the fight for gender equality and work with women, one of the most important being the Women's Institute. There were also differences within the women's movement itself regarding the methods to achieve visibility in their claims. While some felt that it was necessary to be more radical and attract the attention of the media, others preferred traditional mobilization strategies. The rise of the feminist generation also weakened the group since they demarcated themselves from their predecessors because they considered their politics to be narrow and alien to the multiplicity of cultural, sexual and gender identities.

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