Feminists and Geography

The concept of identity is at the heart of any social movement. Without common, identifiable, characteristics, social groups would not be able to form common objectives. The book states, “objective inequalities may provide the basis for social mobilization” (128). However I would argue that with out the “subjective sense of group belonging” or the “human feelings or group attachments” people would not have motivation to concentrate on objectives (127-128).  The places or geography, in which people share similar feelings, changes their objectives for the group.

The women’s rights movement is especially attractive to me because I would consider myself to be a twenty-first century feminist. The group of feminists I consider myself apart of is focused on equality of women in the workplace and the Christian church. Women in this particular sect of feminism believe women should have equal leadership positions and salaries as men in either a secular occupation or in positions within the church itself. Leaders of this movement include Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, who recently published a book title, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sandberg’s work focuses on women stepping up in corporate settings and putting themselves in situations that give them the best opportunity to gain leadership positions at work. Sarah Beasley author of Jesus Feminist, takes similar approach to women gaining respect, and opportunity to “sit at the table” if you will, in church organization. Now, both authors address very different audiences and at times have different approaches, but they contain very similar messages. Neither woman uses their positions to angrily bash men nor does either author want to incorporate what the text describes as “ideal assimilation”(130).  Instead both of these feminists call on women and men to work together, appreciating differences and recognizing that each gender brings something unique to the table and without the cooperation of both women and men, companies and churches miss out on the best qualities humanity has to offer.

The above example describes a group of feminists that occur mainly within the United States and some Western European countries. Other feminist groups around the world focus on issues such as rights to vote, right to divorce, and other rights western countries have had for many years. Furthermore, some parts of the western world would consider the feminists who desire to align with the “ideal of diversity” doctrine as too rigid and conservative. The global, national, and even local geography dictates which groups of women identify with certain sects of feminism.

Are you involved in any social movement? If so, what specific characteristics do you identify with in your movement? How does the place in which you live separate you from other members of your association?

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