The History of Feminism Essay

750 Words 3 Pages
The History of Feminism
The definition of feminism is very elusive. Maybe because of its ever-changing historical meaning, it’s not for certain whether there is any coherence to the term feminism or if there is a definition that will live up to the movement’s variety of adherents and ideas. In the book “No Turning Back,” author Estelle Freedman gives an accurate four-part definition of the very active movement: “Feminism is a belief that women and men are inherently part of equal worth. Because most societies privilege men as a group, social movements are necessary to achieve equality between women and men, with the understanding that gender always intersects with other social hierarchies” (Freedman 7).
Many historians believe that the roots for feminism began in ancient Greece with Sappho or during the medieval times. Most certainly though, the foremothers of the modern women’s movement were Jane Austen, Olympes de Gouge, and Mary Wollstonecraft; these women all advocated for the full potential of the female gender. (Rampton)
Mary Wollstonecraft published one of the seminal works for modern day feminism in 1792. “Vindication of the Rights of Women” argued that all women should get an equal education and allow them to become independent, whole people. She stated that the current education system restricted women’s potential to help make society and well with family and their home better. Wollstonecraft’s book was one of the first to clearly outline the need for change and…

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