Contemporary feminism began in the late eighteenth century as a social movement to achieve political equality for women. Since its inception it has passed through a number of different stages. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries liberal feminism and socialist feminism allied feminism with the dominant political theories of the day. Beginning in the 1960s, however, feminists developed approaches that did not depend on male-defined theories. Radical feminism, psychoanalytic feminism, the feminisms of women of colour, and postmodern feminism are attempts to develop analyses of women's role in society from a woman's perspective. These approaches analyse how gender is constructed and maintained as one of ...

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