Feminist Theory: The Intellectual Traditions by Josephine Donovan

By Josephine Donovan

This first significant examine of feminist idea, that is revised and entirely reset, now takes the reader into the 20th century. It chronicles a renaissance of feminist thought in the course of the so-called 3rd wave of the current day, which follows major "waves" of previous sessions: the 15th via early eighteenth centuries in addition to the extra well known 19th century; and the Nineteen Sixties throughout the 80s.

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An extended ratification deadline expired in 1982; the amendment was immediately reintroduced in Congress, but it has never passed. The natural rights doctrine of the Enlightenment remains a central premise of the mainstream women's movement today (for further discussion, see chapter 2). There has been a tendency among feminists to write off the nineteenthcentury women's rights movement as a relative failure, partly because the vote did not end women's subordinate status and because it is clear that oppression still continues today.

She therefore links the liberation of women with the amelioration of life on earth, as later feminists were to do. While Stanton and Anthony's fundamental theoretical position always remained that of natural rights, they had by the 1870s begun analyzing women's issues that carried them beyond the pale of traditional liberal thought. Their journal, The Revolution, which was published from 1868 to 1870, included discussions of prostitution, venereal disease, rape, and working women's conditions. 8 In general, their analysis was that the root of women's oppression was their economic and moral dependence on men.

False construction [of scripture] has no weight with me: they are the opinions of interested judges, and I have no particular reverence for them, merely because they have been regarded with veneration from gen- 30 ENLIGHTENMENT LIBERAL FEMINISM eration to generation. So far from this being the case, I examine any opinion of centuries standing . . as if they were of yesterday. I was educated to think for myself, and it is a privilege I shall always claim to exercise (91). Grimke sees that in order to combat the weight of centuries of received opinion and custom, women are going to have to articulate and legitimate their own truths.

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