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Terminology

Here is a great place to start since you will find definitions of words commonly associated with feminism

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If you are reading this site, and think; "I have no idea what these people are saying..."

It may be because you are not used to the terminology, which makes this page particularly useful. Below there are words commonly used when dealing with feminism and also definitions of the various types of Feminism, all in alphabetical order. If you would like more information on a particular term listed below there are links following each definition to connect you with a larger article on that subject.

 

fem·i·nism: 1. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. 2. The movement organized around this belief. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Feminism)

 

Amazon feminism is dedicated to the image of the female hero in fiction and in fact, as it is expressed in art and literature in the physiques and feats of female athletes, martial artists, and other powerfully built women, and in gender-related and sexual orientations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_feminism)

Anarcha-feminist view patriarchy as a manifestation of hierarchy and thus as a fundamental problem of society. Anarcha-feminists believe that the struggle against patriarchy is an integral part of class struggle and the anarchist struggle against the state. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcha-feminism)

Cultural Feminism is the theory that there are fundamental personality differences between men and women, and that women's differences are special and should be celebrated. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_feminism)

 

Domestic violence, by barest definition, is violence within a home. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_Violence)

 

Ecofeminism is a biocentric environmental movement with cultural and social concerns. The movement believes that a relationship exists between the oppression of women and the degradation of nature. Ecofeminist theorists consider the interconnections between sexism, the domination of nature, racism, and other social inequalities. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-feminism)

 

Equity Feminism is a phrase coined by Christina Hoff Sommers in her book Who Stole Feminism (Simon & Schuster, 1994). It's used to describe an ideology of civil and legal equality and distinguish it from the gynocentrism that she felt was dominant in the contemporary feminist movement, which she described as gender feminism. Christina Hoff Sommers argues, "Most American women subscribe philosophically to the older 'First Wave' kind of feminism whose main goal is equity, especially in politics and education" (Who Stole Feminism, p. 22). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_feminism)

 

Erotophobia is the fear of marriage or romantic relationships. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotophobia)

 

Feminazi is an invective neologism used predominantly in United States political rhetoric to characterize women whose ideas are believed to be vehemently misandrous; i.e.- having an irrational and extreme hatred of men. The word is a portmanteau derived from feminist and Nazi. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminazi)

 

Feminist theology is a movement, generally in the Western religious traditions (mostly Christianity and Judaism), to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, and studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts, if any. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_theology).

 

First-wave feminism was the feminist movement in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, which primarily focused on gaining the right of women's suffrage. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-wave_feminism)

 

French feminism, compared to Anglophone feminism, is distinguished by an approach which is at once more philosophical and more literary. Its texts are effusive, metaphorical, and conceptually rich, rather than pragmatic; they are not as concerned with pragmatism, immediate political doctrine, or a "materialism" which is not of the body. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_feminism)

 

Girly girl is a slang term for a girl or woman who chooses to dress and behave in a traditionally feminine style, such as wearing pink or floral dresses, blouses and skirts, wearing make-up, talking about relationships and other activities which are associated with the traditional gender role of a girl. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girly_girl)

 

Individualist feminism is a blanket term for different forms of individualist feminist ideas. This take on feminism is often associated with a minarchist or even anarcho-capitalist perspective.The core principle of individualist feminism is that all human beings have a moral and / or legal claim to their own persons and property, not to any sort of affirmative action policies or privileges. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualist_feminism)

Lesbian feminism is a feminist ideology, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s, that advocates lesbianism as the logical result of feminism. Although many of feminism's detractors had made this same assertion as a way of discrediting feminism, lesbian feminists instead asserted it as a way of promoting lesbianism and their brand of feminism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesbian_feminism)

Liberal feminism is a form of feminism that argues that equality for women can be achieved through legal means and social reform, and that men as a group need not be challenged. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_feminism)

Marxist feminism is a sub-type of feminist theory which focuses on the dismantling of capitalism as a way to liberate women and states that capitalism, which gives rise to economic inequality, dependence, political confusion and ultimately unhealthy social relations between men and women, is the root of women's oppression. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxist_feminism)

Material feminism was a movement in the late 19th century to liberate women by improving their material condition. This movement revolved around taking the "burden" off women in regards to housework, cooking, and other traditional female domestic jobs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_feminism)

Misogyny is an exaggerated aversion toward women. Compared with anti-woman sexism or misandry (aversion toward men), misogyny is usually regarded as directed against women by some men, though women can also harbor misogynistic views. In feminist theory, misogyny is recognized as a political ideology similar to racism or anti-Semitism, existing to justify and reproduce the subordination of women by men. The etymology of misogyny comes from the Greek and means to hate (misein) woman (gyne). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogyny)

 

Misandry, sometimes called androphobia, is the hatred of men, for being men. While usually ascribed to women, it is also possible for males themselves to be misandrist. Unlike misogyny (a pathological aversion towards women), misandry has been little discussed or investigated. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misandry)

 

Postmodern feminism is one approach to feminist theory that argues that there is no single cause for a woman's subordination because sociological gender is itself constructed through language. Because the meaning behind this gender is not universal, there is no single approach towards dealing with the issue. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_feminism)

 

Psychoanalytic feminism is based on Freud and his psychoanalytic theories. It maintains that gender is not biological but is based on the psycho-sexual development of the individual. Psychoanalytical feminists believe that gender inequality comes from early childhood experiences, which lead men to believe themselves to be masculine, and women to believe themselves feminine. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalytical_feminism)

 

Radical feminism is a branch of feminism that views women's oppression as a fundamental element in human society and seeks to challenge that standard by broadly rejecting standard gender roles. "Radical" (from Latin rādīx, rādīc-, root) in radical feminism is used as an adjective meaning the root; radical feminists seek the root cause of women's oppression. The traditional Radical feminist standpoint may be expressed as viewing the division in all societies as that between men and women and stating that men are the oppressors of women. These concepts were first developed in the late sixties as a significant part of second-wave feminism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_feminism)

 

Second-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist thought that originated around the 1960s and was mainly concerned with independence and greater political action to improve women's rights. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism)

 

Separatist feminism is a form of feminism that does not support heterosexual relationships due to perceived (both proven and unproven) gender disparities. Separatist feminists generally do not believe men can participate in the feminist movement, believing that even if they are well-meaning, men will only create trouble with their masculine perspective and behavior. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separatist_feminism)

 

Sex-positive feminism, sometimes known as pro-sex feminism, sex-radical feminism, sexually liberal feminism, or individualist feminism, is a movement that was formed in the early 1980s. It formed in response to efforts by anti-pornography feminists to put pornography at the center of a feminist explanation of women's oppression (McElroy, 1995). Sex-positive feminism centers around the idea that sexual freedom is an essential component of women's freedom. As such, sex-positive feminists oppose legal or social efforts to control sexual activities between consenting adults, whether these efforts are initiated by the government, other feminists, opponents of feminism, or any other institution. They embrace sexual minority groups, endorsing the value of coalition-building with members of groups targeted by sex-negativity. Sex-positive feminism is connected with the sex-positive movement. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-positive_feminism)

 

Socialist feminism is a branch of feminism that focuses upon both the public and private spheres of a woman's life and argues that liberation can only be achieved by working to end both the economic and cultural sources of women's oppression. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_feminism)

 

Suffrage is the civil right to vote, or the exercise of that right. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffrage)

 

Third-wave feminism is a feminist movement that arguably began in the early 1990s. Unlike second-wave feminism, which largely focused on the inclusion of women in traditionally male-dominated areas, third-wave feminism seeks to challenge and expand common definitions of gender and sexuality. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-wave_feminism).

 

Tomboy is a girl who behaves according to the stereotypical gender role of a boy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomboy)

 

Transfeminism is the application of transgender discourses to feminist discourses, and of feminist beliefs to transgender discourse. It also concerns the establishment of transfeminism within mainstream feminism, having specific content that applies to transgender and transsexual people, but much of which is also applicable to all women. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfeminism)

 

Womanism is a commonly used term that was coined to mean specifically African American Feminism, but it has developed into a more encompassing version of feminism that crosses lines of race and class. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womanism)

 

Womyn is a term used by some radical feminists in order to degender the English word women. Other spellings meant to perform the same function include "wimmin" (plural), wom!n, and "womban" (see womb). An occasional singular form, to refer to one person, is womon. A similar usage is "femal" instead of "female". All are pronounced the same as the conventional terms. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womyn)

GE2208 Canadian Culture and Evangalism
Masters College and Seminary