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Given the controversies over the term "feminism" and the politics of circumscribing the boundaries of a social movement, it is sometimes tempting to think that there is little point in demanding a definition of the term beyond a set of disjuncts that capture different instances.However, at the same time it can be both intellectually and politically valuable to have a schematic framework that enables us to map at least some of our points of agreement and disagreement.Important topics for feminist theory and politics include: the body, class and work, disability, the family, globalization, human rights, popular culture, race and racism, reproduction, science, the self, sex work, and sexuality.
Feminism brings many things to philosophy including not only a variety of particular moral and political claims, but ways of asking and answering questions, critiques of mainstream philosophical views and methods, and new topics of inquiry.
Feminist contributions to and interventions in mainstream philosophical debates are covered in entries under "Feminism, interventions".
More recently, transformations of feminism in the past decade have been referred to as "Third Wave" feminism.
However, other feminist scholars object to identifying feminism with these particular moments of political activism, on the grounds that doing so eclipses the fact that there has been resistance to male domination that should be considered "feminist" throughout history and across cultures: i.e., feminism is not confined to a few (White) women in the West over the past century or so.
The term 'feminism' has many different uses and its meanings are often contested.
For example, some writers use the term 'feminism' to refer to a historically specific political movement in the US and Europe ; other writers use it to refer to the belief that there are injustices against women, though there is no consensus on the exact list of these injustices.
The references I provide below are only a small sample of the work available on the topics in question; more complete bibliographies are available at the specific topical entries and also at the end of this entry.
In the mid-1800's the term 'feminism' was used to refer to "the qualities of females" , and it was not until after the First International Women's Conference in Paris in 1892 that the term, following the French term féministe, was used regularly in English for a belief in and advocacy of equal rights for women based on the idea of the equality of the sexes.
) , and what sorts of injustice women in fact suffer (what aspects of women's current situation are harmful or unjust? Disagreements between feminists and non-feminists can also occur with respect to both the normative and descriptive claims, e.g., some non-feminists agree with feminists on the ways women ought to be viewed and treated, but don't see any problem with the way things currently are.
Others disagree about the background moral or political views.