The Feminism Portal

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International Women's Day, Bangladesh (2005)
International Women's Day, Bangladesh (2005)

Feminism is a range of socio-political movements and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that societies prioritize the male point of view, and that women are treated unjustly within those societies. Efforts to change that include fighting against gender stereotypes and establishing educational, professional, and interpersonal opportunities and outcomes for women that are equal to those for men.

Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to: vote, hold public office, work, earn equal pay, own property, receive education, enter contracts, have equal rights within marriage, and maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure access to contraception, legal abortions and social integration, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Changes in female dress standards and acceptable physical activities for females have often been part of feminist movements.

Some scholars consider feminist campaigns to be a main force behind major historical societal changes for women's rights, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women's suffrage, gender-neutral language, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property. Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women's rights, some feminists argue for the inclusion of men's liberation within its aims, because they believe that men are also harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; feminist theorists have developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues concerning gender.

Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years and represent different viewpoints and aims. Traditionally, since the 19th century, first-wave liberal feminism that sought political and legal equality through reforms within a liberal democratic framework was contrasted with labour-based proletarian women's movements that over time developed into socialist and Marxist feminism based on class struggle theory. Since the 1960s, both of these traditions are also contrasted with radical feminism that arose from the radical wing of second-wave feminism and that calls for a radical reordering of society to eliminate male supremacy; together liberal, socialist and radical feminism are sometimes called the "Big Three" schools of feminist thought.

Since the late 20th century, many newer forms of feminisms have emerged. Some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle class, college-educated, heterosexual, or cisgender perspectives. These criticisms have led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, such as black feminism and intersectional feminism. (Full article...)

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Title page of the original edition of Aradia
Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches is an 1899 book by Charles Godfrey Leland. The book is an attempt to portray the beliefs and rituals of an underground religious witchcraft tradition in Tuscany that had survived for centuries until Leland's claimed discovery of its existence in the 1890s. Scholars have disputed the veracity of this claim. Still, the book has become one of the foundational texts of Wicca and Neo-paganism. Its fifteen chapters portray the origins, beliefs, rituals and spells of an Italian pagan witchcraft tradition. The central figure of that religion is the goddess Aradia who came to Earth to teach the practice of witchcraft to oppressed peasants in order for them to oppose their feudal oppressors and the Christian church. Leland's work remained obscure until the 1950s, when other theories about, and claims of, "pagan witchcraft" survivals began to be widely discussed. Aradia began to be examined within the wider context of such claims. Scholars are divided, with some dismissing Leland's assertion regarding the origins of the manuscript, and others arguing for its authenticity as a unique documentation of folk beliefs.

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Patchwork quilt

Mrs. Bill Stagg of Pie Town, New Mexico with her embroidered patchwork quilt that displays all 48 (at the time) United States state flowers and birds, October 1940. Quilting was a very popular early American pastime, particularly in the Midwest, where quilting circles were a common social pastime for women. Annual town fairs generally included a quilting bee, to award excellence in quilting. Handmade quilts were a very common wedding gift for young couples, and were often mentioned specifically in wills due to their sentimental significance.

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In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: Either she's a feminist or a masochist. — Gloria Steinem

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Portrait by her mother Alice Pike Barney (1896)
Natalie Clifford Barney (1876 - 1972) was an American expatriate who lived, wrote and hosted a literary salon in Paris. She was a noted poet, memoirist and epigrammatist. Barney's salon was held at her home on Paris's Left Bank for more than 60 years and brought together writers and artists from around the world, including many leading figures in French literature along with American and British Modernists of the Lost Generation. She worked to promote writing by women and formed a "Women's Academy" in response to the all-male French Academy while also giving support and inspiration to male writers from Remy de Gourmont to Truman Capote. She was openly lesbian and began publishing love poems to women under her own name as early as 1900, considering scandal as "the best way of getting rid of nuisances". In her writings she supported feminism, paganism and pacifism. She opposed monogamy and had many overlapping, long and short-term relationships, including an on-and-off romance with poet Renée Vivien and a 50-year relationship with painter Romaine Brooks. Her life and love affairs served as inspiration for many novels, ranging from the salacious French bestseller Sapphic Idyll to The Well of Loneliness, arguably the most famous lesbian novel of the 20th century.

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Maria Nikolaevna

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  • Alice Manfield - Guide Alice, Mt Buffalo, c1900-30, SLV
    Alice Manfield - Guide Alice, Mt Buffalo, c1900-30, SLV
  • Alice Park - Records of the National Woman's Party
    Alice Park - Records of the National Woman's Party
  • Alice Paul (1915) by Harris & Ewing
    Alice Paul (1915) by Harris & Ewing
  • Anne Dallas Dudley LOC
    Anne Dallas Dudley LOC
  • Avril de Sainte-Croix - Restored, cropped
    Avril de Sainte-Croix - Restored, cropped
  • Bertha Lutz 1925
    Bertha Lutz 1925
  • Cabinet Card of Sojourner Truth - Collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
    Cabinet Card of Sojourner Truth - Collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Convicts Lunatics and Women! Have No Vote for Parliament, ca. 1907-1918
    Convicts Lunatics and Women! Have No Vote for Parliament, ca. 1907-1918
  • Dr. Caroline Spencer 275029v
    Dr. Caroline Spencer 275029v
  • Ethel Smyth
    Ethel Smyth
  • Frances Benjamin Johnston, Self-Portrait (as "New Woman"), 1896
    Frances Benjamin Johnston, Self-Portrait (as "New Woman"), 1896
  • Fredrikke Mørck
    Fredrikke Mørck
  • George Charles Beresford - Virginia Woolf in 1902 - Restoration
    George Charles Beresford - Virginia Woolf in 1902 - Restoration
  • Henrietta Rodman from the George Grantham Bain Collection
    Henrietta Rodman from the George Grantham Bain Collection
  • Henry Mayer, The Awakening, 1915 Cornell CUL PJM 1176 01 - Restoration
    Henry Mayer, The Awakening, 1915 Cornell CUL PJM 1176 01 - Restoration
  • Hester Jeffrey
    Hester Jeffrey
  • Hubertine Auclert 1910
    Hubertine Auclert 1910
  • Iris Calderhead
    Iris Calderhead
  • Joy Young Rogers outside the White House
    Joy Young Rogers outside the White House
  • Lucretia Mott, signed photo, by F. Gutekunst
    Lucretia Mott, signed photo, by F. Gutekunst
  • Mabel Vernon, c. 1917, by Edmonston, Washington, D.C.
    Mabel Vernon, c. 1917, by Edmonston, Washington, D.C.
  • Marguerite Durand 1910 - Restoration
    Marguerite Durand 1910 - Restoration
  • Marie Stopes in her laboratory, 1904 - Restoration
    Marie Stopes in her laboratory, 1904 - Restoration
  • Mary Garrity - Ida B. Wells-Barnett - Google Art Project - restoration crop
    Mary Garrity - Ida B. Wells-Barnett - Google Art Project - restoration crop
  • Millicent Fawcett
    Millicent Fawcett
  • Mrs. Crystal Eastman Benedict by Edmonston, Washington, D.C.
    Mrs. Crystal Eastman Benedict by Edmonston, Washington, D.C.
  • Mrs. Lillian Ascough, chairman of the Connecticut branch of the Woman's Party
    Mrs. Lillian Ascough, chairman of the Connecticut branch of the Woman's Party
  • Mrs. Pauline Adams 147002v
    Mrs. Pauline Adams 147002v
  • Portrett av Gina Krog (6276081582) - Restoration
    Portrett av Gina Krog (6276081582) - Restoration
  • Ray Strachey restored
    Ray Strachey restored
  • Sojourner Truth, 1870 (cropped, restored)
    Sojourner Truth, 1870 (cropped, restored)
  • Victoria Claflin Woodhull by Mathew Brady - Oval Portrait
    Victoria Claflin Woodhull by Mathew Brady - Oval Portrait
  • Voltairine de Cleyre (Age 35)
    Voltairine de Cleyre (Age 35)
  • We Can Do It! NARA 535413 - Restoration 2
    We Can Do It! NARA 535413 - Restoration 2

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