Feminism is a range of socio-political movement built with the intention of establishing equality in terms of socio-politico-economic and personal rights. This means that women must have equal pay as that of their male counterparts, should be allowed to buy or sell properties, enter into contracts, must be granted maternity leave, must have the right to dress as she wishes and of the like. Feminist criticism is a school of theory with the aim to emphasize on the undermine the oppression of women at the hands of patriarchal norms, over time.
Feminist criticism follows a 3 waved chronology. The first wave dates back to the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792. It goes on up until the Nineteenth Amendment which grants women’s suffrage in the National Universal Suffrage in 1920. The second wave burgeons out of women’s demand to equal conditions at workplace , during World War II, taking full shape during the Civil Rights Movement in America, during the mid-50s going up to the 60s and 70s, spearheaded by people like Simone du Beauvoir and through the formation of organizations like the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. The third wave starts from the early 1990s continuing at present. This one refutes essentialist perception of women, one done by white, middle-class, hetero-sexual male.
Pro and Anti
Pro-feminists comprise of those who are in solidarity with the feminist movement without implying that he is. Pro-feminists is a term loosely used to attribute men who work along with other men to organize sexual-harassment workshops, counseling perpetrators of crimes against women, setting up education camps, promoting gender equity classes at schools and so on.
Anti-feminists oppose feminists completely or partly. They bring in age old religious traditions and customs to refute the right of a woman to seek education or enter the labor force, form unions, sit in the jury. They claim that these are too much of a burden for a woman. They argue that men and women are fundamentally different and equality of rights can affect societal balance; for them for a woman to get a divorce or not marry is socially unacceptable.
Read to write
A reading of some of the essential feminist theories is must before one attempts to critique or even to apply the theory to deduce a different text. Not all points that were effective back in the days of the first and second wave will be applicable in current scenarios. Historical accuracy must be maintained in any form of writing, more so at college and university levels. If it is a term paper or thesis, you can try including interviews with women from your association, share their views on certain aspects of the system which are still sexually regressive.