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The 2 feminist movements: 1 built on reason, the other rage

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Read Hanne’s The Herland Report.

There are vast differences between the conservative feminist movements in the early 1900s and the radical, left-wing 1960s feminism that now dominate the narrative. The early women’s movement fought for equal social-political rights and respected the differences between the sexes. It culminated in the suffragette movement in the 1920s and was defined by free-spirited activism, demanding full participation in public life for women.

Important topics were the right to choose their own way of life, the right to higher education, participation in the workforce as professionals, the right to divorce, claim inheritance, win custody of children, the right to own property and more. Author Deborah Siegel states in “Sisterhood Interrupted. From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild,” that the movement ebbed after 1920 when women were granted the right to vote.

I would argue that this early conservative movement was based on constructive realism rather than ideology and therefore produced better results. We did not witness the breakdown of the family in its aftermath; marriage did not turn into a war zone. This type of feminism did not produce raging women who hate men. Mary Wollstonecraft, who at the entry of the 1800s published “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” acknowledged that men and women are different by nature; that the woman is weaker physically and therefore is structured in such a way that she naturally takes other roles than the man.

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