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Note: this text is copyright Reddit user littletiger and appeared as a post in the /r/SRSDiscussion subreddit. The original post (and the resultant discussion) can be found here. This user has given permission for their content to be posted on Everything2.

Feminism is not a monolith. In fact, feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies. For the purposes of education, I thought it would be useful to outline the predominant variants of feminism and provide links to essays from each. Please note that these ideologies occasionally overlap, and many feminists identify themselves with several branches or schools of thought at once.


Variant Name More Information
Amazon Emphasizes female physical prowess as a means to achieve the goal of gender equality. Adherents are dedicated to the image of the female hero in fiction and in fact, as expressed in the physiques and feats of female athletes, martial artists and other powerfully built women in society, art and literature.
Anarchist Combines anarchism with feminism. Views patriarchy as a manifestation of involuntary hierarchy. Anarcha-feminists believe that the struggle against patriarchy is an essential part of class struggle, and the anarchist struggle against the state. In essence, the philosophy sees anarchist struggle as a necessary component of feminist struggle and vice-versa.
Atheist Advocates the equality of the sexes within atheism. Believes religion is inherently oppressive to women.
Black Argues that sexism, class oppression, and racism are inextricably bound together.
Christian Seeks to advance and understand the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership from a Christian perspective.
Cultural An ideology of a "female nature" or "female essence" that attempts to revalidate what cultural feminists consider undervalued female attributes.
Cyber Concerned with feminist interactions with and acts in cyberspace.
Difference Stresses that men and women are ontologically different versions of the human being.
Eco Experiential, theoretical, and linguistic parallels exist between oppression and subordination of women and nature in Western cultural tradition through the transformation of differences into culturally constructed conceptual binaries and ideological hierarchies that allow a systematic justification of domination ("power-over power") by subjects classed into higher-ranking categories over objects classed into lower-ranking categories (e.g. man over woman, culture over nature).
Equality Expresses the crucial similarities between the male and female sexes.
Equity An ideology rooted in classical liberalism, and that aims for full civil and legal equality for women.
Fat Argues overweight women are economically, educationally, socially and physically disadvantaged due to their weight.
Gender Describes feminism which seeks to use legal means to give preference to women in such areas as domestic violence, child custody, sexual harassment, divorce proceedings, and pay equity. Identified by Christina Hoff Sommers, so think what you will.
Individualist or Libertarian Seeks to celebrate or protect the individual woman.
Islamic Concerned with the role of women in Islam. It aims for the full equality of all Muslims, regardless of gender, in public and private life. Islamic feminists advocate women's rights, gender equality, and social justice grounded in an Islamic framework.
Jewish Seeks to improve the religious, legal, and social status of women within Judaism and to open up new opportunities for religious experience and leadership for Jewish women.
Lesbian Questions the position of lesbians and women in society. Particularly refutes heteronormativity, the assumption that everyone is "straight" and society should be structured to serve heterosexual needs.
Liberal An individualistic form of feminism theory, which primarily focuses on women's ability to show and maintain their equality through their own actions and choices. Liberal feminists argue that our society holds the false belief that women are, by nature, less intellectually and physically capable than men, it tends to discriminate against women in the academy, the forum, and the marketplace.
Marxist Focuses on the dismantling of capitalism as a way of liberating women. Marxist feminism states that private property, 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 in the current social context.
Postcolonial or Third World Centers around the idea that racism, colonialism, and the long lasting effects (economic, political, and cultural) of colonialism in the postcolonial setting, are inextricably bound up with the unique gendered realities of non-white, and non-Western women.
Proto Defines women in a philosophical tradition that anticipated modern feminist concepts, yet lived in a time when the term "feminist" was unknown, that is, prior to the 20th century.
Radical Aims to challenge and overthrow patriarchy by opposing standard gender roles and oppression of women and calls for a radical reordering of society.
Separatist Holds that opposition to patriarchy is best done through focusing exclusively on women and girls.
Sex-positive Centers on 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.
Trans A category of feminism most often known for the application of transgender discourses to feminist discourses, and of feminist beliefs to transgender discourse.

All feminists have one thing in common: they believe in political, economic, and social equality between the sexes.

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