Skip to Main Content

MHS Library | Liberal Feminist Theory

Liberal Feminist Theory (from Canvas)

The key aspects of the theory? Liberal feminists believe that freedom is a personal right. They hold the exercise of personal autonomy depends on the conditions that are insufficiently present in women's lives and that social arrangements often fall short in terms of respecting a women's autonomy and in the way women would flourish in today's society. They also believe that autonomous deficits are caused by the gender system or the patriachy.

What phenomena does it best explain?

It mainly focuses on women's ability to maintain their equality through their own actions and choices.

Criticisms of this theory: - That liberal feminism is necessary but not sufficient. - Liberal feminism doesn't address the social structures that disadvantage women. - Doesn’t account for the social and cultural factors that support the inequality between men and women (marriage inequality). - Also, liberal feminism excludes a lot of people. It's main focus is middle class white-women which excludes women of other class and race.