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The Different Currents Of Feminism: A Brief Resume

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

We, women, are still fighting for social rights, but also reflecting about other aspects and realizing they also make a difference.

Since the 80’s, we are on the so called third wave of feminism. This new era contemplates things like the media representation of women, the way society talks about us, the actions that reaffirms the sexism and how to change this reality.

Therefore all the movement’s subdivisions give an importance to all these issues, many times the focus given to each point or the way of debating them are different. Check out some of the principal feminist’s currents:

1. Black Feminism

The name given synthesizes the main point of it: black women fighting for equal rights in a society that still oppress the black people – especially the female ones. However, what kind of rights are these? They involve not only the representation matter at working places, fashion and politics, but also a structural change in the way of thinking, seeing and giving the same opportunities to the black women.

2. Radical Feminism 

The radical feminists focus on the patriarchy and its structures, used to oppress the women. That means they believe our culture and institutions maintain the inequality between the genders. Their arguments are based on the biological characteristics of being a woman: you only know what is being female, if you were biologically born as one. They claim that the only thing woman have in common are theirs bodies and its functions, which defines the treatment you will receive by the society, and the socialization will you have.


They are sometimes criticized by the trans movement, that brings a totally opposite point of view about gender: it claims that people can be born biologically as one gender, but to not identify with it, which means, in the last instance, that for them, the gender is not biological, like the radical feminists defend.

3. Liberal Feminism

The main liberal feminism concern is to assure that women around the world will have the same rights and opportunities men do. 


They believe that the way to guarantee these rights is through social and political reforms. One example is the vote right that was accomplished on the XIX and the XX centuries in many countries, promoting participation on the politics and recognizing women as legally voting citizens. Liberal feminists also think that the state makes coercive actions that maintain the gender disparity. The criminalization of the abortion in many countries around the world would be an example of that, because such issue should be a women’s right of choice, and, for them, it is not the State’s role to decide if a woman can do it or not.

4. Intersectional Feminism

Focused on the minorities’ issues, the intersectional feminism unites different women’s fights. Its point is to reunite LGBT, black, asian, trans and other feminisms in one and discuss their specific needs and the problems they face in the society. In other words, this current believes that women are oppressed in different ways and intensities because they are not only women, but also black, lesbian, bissexual, asian, muslim, etc, and because of this, the kind of oppression each woman will suffer is going to be different. Therefore, the tactics for fighting against it will have to consider  the women’s distinct needs.

Mel Trench

Casper Libero '20

I’m a journalism in formation, really near graduating! You’ll probably find me reading a book, drawing, talking about Harry Potter, taking pictures or just telling some story. Hope you enjoy my articles :) Her Campus Casper Libero Feature Editor
Giovanna Pascucci

Casper Libero '22

Estudante de Relações Públicas na Faculdade Cásper Líbero que ama animais e falar sobre séries.