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! Note to Facilitator: There are many different feminisms,12 including liberal feminism, radical feminism, womanism, Black feminism, global feminism, and ecofeminism. Each kind has different priorities and a different focus. I have provided brief definitions13 of feminism, based on the beliefs of some radical feminists, ecofeminists, and others for two different age groups. ________________________________________________________________________________

FEMINISM: A definition for middle school students that focuses on fairness.

FEMINISM is a belief that girls’ and women’s rights and opportunities should be equal to those of boys’ and men’s, and that no one should be oppressed.

FEMINISM is also the movement based on this belief.

FEMINIST: A definition for middle school students that focuses on fairness.

A FEMINIST is a person who supports equal rights and opportunities for girls and women that are equal to those of boys and men and also supports the end of oppression for everybody.

FEMINISTS can be of any gender, of any religion, ethnic group, class, or political party.

Being a FEMINIST is not about hating men. It is about loving the idea that everybody should have equal opportunities and respect and be treated fairly, and it’s also about working to bring that idea to fruition.

FEMINISM: A definition for older students and adults that focuses on fairness, solidarity, and transformation.

FEMINISM is a belief system that embraces the following:

  • Support of economic, social, and political rights of women equal to those of men.

  • Advocacy on behalf of all women, with all of their different situations taken into account, so that every woman has the above rights. For instance, feminism advocates for the elimination of poverty, racism, and homophobia so that low-income women, women of color, and lesbians can have economic, social, and political rights equal to those of men.

  • Support of the transformation of the patriarchal social structure into a nonsexist social structure so that one gender (males) does not have power over another (females).

  • Support of the elimination of all other forms of oppression, because feminism recognizes that we are all interconnected. When one person or aspect of life is oppressed, we are all affected. In its broadest definition, therefore, feminism works against oppressions of class, race, gender, and nature and works for a cooperative, compassionate, respectful world for all people and every living thing, as well as for the entire ecosystem.

FEMINISM is also the movement based upon these beliefs.

FEMINIST: A FEMINIST is someone of any gender who supports feminism.

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Feminisms is a term created by radical women of color in response to the term feminism, which mostly focused on the concerns of privileged white women. The word feminisms encompasses a wide variety of beliefs, issues, and concerns of all kinds of women and takes into account the intersections of many factors, including class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.


These definitions are influenced by my readings of books and essays by Bell Hooks, Starhawk, Riane Eisler, Jennifer Baumgardner, and Amy Richards, and by the beliefs, practices, and traditions of Native American tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy.





Beyond: A Facilitator’s Guide for Empowering









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