Feminism Essay Questions

1. Introduction

Feminism brings many things to philosophy including not only a variety of particular moral and political claims, but ways of asking and answering questions, constructive and critical dialogue with mainstream philosophical views and methods, and new topics of inquiry. Feminist philosophers work within all the major traditions of philosophical scholarship including analytic philosophy, American Pragmatist philosophy, and Continential philosophy. Entries in this Encyclopedia appearing under the heading “feminism, approaches” discuss the impact of these traditions on feminist scholarship and examine the possibility and desirability of work that makes links between two traditions. Feminist contributions to and interventions in mainstream philosophical debates are covered in entries in this encyclopedia under “feminism, interventions”. Entries covered under the rubric “feminism, topics” concern philosophical issues that arise as feminists articulate accounts of sexism, critique sexist social and cultural practices, and develop alternative visions of a just world. In short, they are philosophical topics that arise within feminism.

Although there are many different and sometimes conflicting approaches to feminist philosophy, it is instructive to begin by asking what, if anything, feminists as a group are committed to. Considering some of the controversies over what feminism is provides a springboard for seeing how feminist commitments generate a host of philosophical topics, especially as those commitments confront the world as we know it.

2. What is Feminism?

2.1 Feminist Beliefs and Feminist Movements

The term ‘feminism’ has many different uses and its meanings are often contested. For example, some writers use the term ‘feminism’ to refer to a historically specific political movement in the US and Europe; other writers use it to refer to the belief that there are injustices against women, though there is no consensus on the exact list of these injustices. Although the term “feminism” has a history in English linked with women's activism from the late 19th century to the present, it is useful to distinguish feminist ideas or beliefs from feminist political movements, for even in periods where there has been no significant political activism around women's subordination, individuals have been concerned with and theorized about justice for women. So, for example, it makes sense to ask whether Plato was a feminist, given his view that women should be trained to rule (Republic, Book V), even though he was an exception in his historical context. (See e.g., Tuana 1994.)

Our goal here is not to survey the history of feminism — as a set of ideas or as a series of political movements — but rather is to sketch some of the central uses of the term that are most relevant to those interested in contemporary feminist philosophy. The references we provide below are only a small sample of the work available on the topics in question; more complete bibliographies are available at the specific topical entries and also at the end of this entry.

In the mid-1800s the term ‘feminism’ was used to refer to “the qualities of females”, and it was not until after the First International Women's Conference in Paris in 1892 that the term, following the French term féministe, was used regularly in English for a belief in and advocacy of equal rights for women based on the idea of the equality of the sexes. Although the term “feminism” in English is rooted in the mobilization for woman suffrage in Europe and the US during the late 19th and early 20th century, of course efforts to obtain justice for women did not begin or end with this period of activism. So some have found it useful to think of the women's movement in the US as occurring in “waves”. On the wave model, the struggle to achieve basic political rights during the period from the mid-19th century until the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 counts as “First Wave” feminism. Feminism waned between the two world wars, to be “revived” in the late 1960's and early 1970's as “Second Wave” feminism. In this second wave, feminists pushed beyond the early quest for political rights to fight for greater equality across the board, e.g., in education, the workplace, and at home. More recent transformations of feminism have resulted in a “Third Wave”. Third Wave feminists often critique Second Wave feminism for its lack of attention to the differences among women due to race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion (see Section 2.3 below; also Breines 2002; Spring 2002), and emphasize “identity” as a site of gender struggle. (For more information on the “wave” model and each of the “waves”, see Other Internet Resources.)

However, some feminist scholars object to identifying feminism with these particular moments of political activism, on the grounds that doing so eclipses the fact that there has been resistance to male domination that should be considered “feminist” throughout history and across cultures: i.e., feminism is not confined to a few (White) women in the West over the past century or so. Moreover, even considering only relatively recent efforts to resist male domination in Europe and the US, the emphasis on “First” and “Second” Wave feminism ignores the ongoing resistance to male domination between the 1920's and 1960's and the resistance outside mainstream politics, particularly by women of color and working class women (Cott 1987).

One strategy for solving these problems would be to identify feminism in terms of a set of ideas or beliefs rather than participation in any particular political movement. As we saw above, this also has the advantage of allowing us to locate isolated feminists whose work was not understood or appreciated during their time. But how should we go about identifying a core set of feminist beliefs? Some would suggest that we should focus on the political ideas that the term was apparently coined to capture, viz., the commitment to women's equal rights. This acknowledges that commitment to and advocacy for women's rights has not been confined to the Women's Liberation Movement in the West. But this too raises controversy, for it frames feminism within a broadly Liberal approach to political and economic life. Although most feminists would probably agree that there is some sense of “rights” on which achieving equal rights for women is a necessary condition for feminism to succeed, most would also argue that this would not be sufficient. This is because women's oppression under male domination rarely if ever consists solely in depriving women of political and legal “rights”, but also extends into the structure of our society and the content of our culture, and permeates our consciousness (e.g., Bartky 1990).

Is there any point, then, to asking what feminism is? Given the controversies over the term and the politics of circumscribing the boundaries of a social movement, it is sometimes tempting to think that the best we can do is to articulate a set of disjuncts that capture a range of feminist beliefs. However, at the same time it can be both intellectually and politically valuable to have a schematic framework that enables us to map at least some of our points of agreement and disagreement. We'll begin here by considering some of the basic elements of feminism as a political position or set of beliefs. For a survey of different philosophical approaches to feminism, see “Feminism, approaches to”.

2.2 Normative and Descriptive Components

In many of its forms, feminism seems to involve at least two groups of claims, one normative and the other descriptive. The normative claims concern how women ought (or ought not) to be viewed and treated and draw on a background conception of justice or broad moral position; the descriptive claims concern how women are, as a matter of fact, viewed and treated, alleging that they are not being treated in accordance with the standards of justice or morality invoked in the normative claims. Together the normative and descriptive claims provide reasons for working to change the way things are; hence, feminism is not just an intellectual but also a political movement.

So, for example, a Liberal approach of the kind already mentioned might define feminism (rather simplistically here) in terms of two claims:

  1. (Normative) Men and women are entitled to equal rights and respect.
  2. (Descriptive) Women are currently disadvantaged with respect to rights and respect, compared with men […in such and such respects and due to such and such conditions…].

On this account, that women and men ought to have equal rights and respect is the normative claim; and that women are denied equal rights and respect functions here as the descriptive claim. Admittedly, the claim that women are disadvantaged with respect to rights and respect is not a “purely descriptive” claim since it plausibly involves an evaluative component. However, our point here is simply that claims of this sort concern what is the case not what ought to be the case. Moreover, as indicated by the ellipsis above, the descriptive component of a substantive feminist view will not be articulable in a single claim, but will involve an account of the specific social mechanisms that deprive women of, e.g., rights and respect. For example, is the primary source of women's subordination her role in the family? (Engels 1845; Okin 1989) Or is it her role in the labor market? (Bergmann 2002) Is the problem males' tendencies to sexual violence (and what is the source of these tendencies?)? (Brownmiller 1975; MacKinnon 1987) Or is it simply women's biological role in reproduction? (Firestone 1970)

Disagreements within feminism can occur with respect to either the descriptive or normative claims, e.g., feminists differ on what would count as justice or injustice for women (what counts as “equality,” “oppression,” “disadvantage”, what rights should everyone be accorded?) , and what sorts of injustice women in fact suffer (what aspects of women's current situation are harmful or unjust?). Disagreements may also lie in the explanations of the injustice: two feminists may agree that women are unjustly being denied proper rights and respect and yet substantively differ in their accounts of how or why the injustice occurs and what is required to end it (Jaggar 1994).

Disagreements between feminists and non-feminists can occur with respect to both the normative and descriptive claims as well, e.g., some non-feminists agree with feminists on the ways women ought to be viewed and treated, but don't see any problem with the way things currently are. Others disagree about the background moral or political views.

In an effort to suggest a schematic account of feminism, Susan James characterizes feminism as follows:

Feminism is grounded on the belief that women are oppressed or disadvantaged by comparison with men, and that their oppression is in some way illegitimate or unjustified. Under the umbrella of this general characterization there are, however, many interpretations of women and their oppression, so that it is a mistake to think of feminism as a single philosophical doctrine, or as implying an agreed political program. (James 1998, 576)

James seems here to be using the notions of “oppression” and “disadvantage” as placeholders for more substantive accounts of injustice (both normative and descriptive) over which feminists disagree.

Some might prefer to define feminism in terms of a normative claim alone: feminists are those who believe that women are entitled to equal rights, or equal respect, or…(fill in the blank with one's preferred account of injustice), and one is not required to believe that women are currently being treated unjustly. However, if we were to adopt this terminological convention, it would be harder to identify some of the interesting sources of disagreement both with and within feminism, and the term ‘feminism’ would lose much of its potential to unite those whose concerns and commitments extend beyond their moral beliefs to their social interpretations and political affiliations. Feminists are not simply those who are committed in principle to justice for women; feminists take themselves to have reasons to bring about social change on women's behalf.

Taking “feminism” to entail both normative and empirical commitments also helps make sense of some uses of the term ‘feminism’ in recent popular discourse. In everyday conversation it is not uncommon to find both men and women prefixing a comment they might make about women with the caveat, “I'm not a feminist, but…”. Of course this qualification might be (and is) used for various purposes, but one persistent usage seems to follow the qualification with some claim that is hard to distinguish from claims that feminists are wont to make. E.g., I'm not a feminist but I believe that women should earn equal pay for equal work; or I'm not a feminist but I'm delighted that first-rate women basketball players are finally getting some recognition in the WNBA. If we see the identification “feminist” as implicitly committing one to both a normative stance about how things should be and an interpretation of current conditions, it is easy to imagine someone being in the position of wanting to cancel his or her endorsement of either the normative or the descriptive claim. So, e.g., one might be willing to acknowledge that there are cases where women have been disadvantaged without wanting to buy any broad moral theory that takes a stance on such things (especially where it is unclear what that broad theory is). Or one might be willing to acknowledge in a very general way that equality for women is a good thing, without being committed to interpreting particular everyday situations as unjust (especially if is unclear how far these interpretations would have to extend). Feminists, however, at least according to popular discourse, are ready to both adopt a broad account of what justice for women would require and interpret everyday situations as unjust by the standards of that account. Those who explicitly cancel their commitment to feminism may then be happy to endorse some part of the view but are unwilling to endorse what they find to be a problematic package.

As mentioned above, there is considerable debate within feminism concerning the normative question: what would count as (full) justice for women? What is the nature of the wrong that feminism seeks to address? E.g., is the wrong that women have been deprived equal rights? Is it that women have been denied equal respect for their differences? Is it that women's experiences have been ignored and devalued? Is it all of the above and more? What framework should we employ to identify and address the issues? (See, e.g., Jaggar 1983; Young 1990a; Tuana and Tong 1995.) Feminist philosophers in particular have asked: Do the standard philosophical accounts of justice and morality provide us adequate resources to theorize male domination, or do we need distinctively feminist accounts? (E.g., Okin 1979; Hoagland 1989; Okin 1989; Ruddick 1989; Benhabib 1992; Hampton 1993; Held 1993; Tong 1993; Baier 1994; Moody-Adams 1997; Walker 1998; Kittay 1999; Robinson 1999; Young 2011; O'Connor 2008).

Note, however, that by phrasing the task as one of identifying the wrongs women suffer (and have suffered), there is an implicit suggestion that women as a group can be usefully compared against men as a group with respect to their standing or position in society; and this seems to suggest that women as a group are treated in the same way, or that they all suffer the same injustices, and men as a group all reap the same advantages. But of course this is not the case, or at least not straightforwardly so. As bell hooks so vividly pointed out, in 1963 when Betty Friedan urged women to reconsider the role of housewife and demanded greater opportunities for women to enter the workforce (Friedan 1963), Friedan was not speaking for working class women or most women of color (hooks 1984, 1-4). Neither was she speaking for lesbians. Women as a group experience many different forms of injustice, and the sexism they encounter interacts in complex ways with other systems of oppression. In contemporary terms, this is known as the problem of intersectionality (Crenshaw 1991). This critique has led some theorists to resist the label “feminism” and adopt a different name for their view. Earlier, during the 1860s–80s, the term ‘womanism’ had sometimes been used for such intellectual and political commitments; more recently, Alice Walker has proposed that “womanism” provides a contemporary alternative to “feminism” that better addresses the needs of Black women and women of color more generally (Walker 1990).

2.3 Feminism and the Diversity of Women

To consider some of the different strategies for responding to the phenomenon of intersectionality, let's return to the schematic claims that women are oppressed and this oppression is wrong or unjust. Very broadly, then, one might characterize the goal of feminism to be ending the oppression of women. But if we also acknowledge that women are oppressed not just by sexism, but in many ways, e.g., by classism, homophobia, racism, ageism, ableism, etc., then it might seem that the goal of feminism is to end all oppression that affects women. And some feminists have adopted this interpretation, e.g., (Ware 1970), quoted in (Crow 2000, 1).

Note, however, that not all agree with such an expansive definition of feminism. One might agree that feminists ought to work to end all forms of oppression — oppression is unjust and feminists, like everyone else, have a moral obligation to fight injustice — without maintaining that it is the mission of feminism to end all oppression. One might even believe that in order to accomplish feminism's goals it is necessary to combat racism and economic exploitation, but also think that there is a narrower set of specifically feminist objectives. In other words, opposing oppression in its many forms may be instrumental to, even a necessary means to, feminism, but not intrinsic to it. E.g., bell hooks argues:

Feminism, as liberation struggle, must exist apart from and as a part of the larger struggle to eradicate domination in all its forms. We must understand that patriarchal domination shares an ideological foundation with racism and other forms of group oppression, and that there is no hope that it can be eradicated while these systems remain intact. This knowledge should consistently inform the direction of feminist theory and practice. (hooks 1989, 22)

On hooks' account, the defining characteristic that distinguishes feminism from other liberation struggles is its concern with sexism:

Unlike many feminist comrades, I believe women and men must share a common understanding — a basic knowledge of what feminism is — if it is ever to be a powerful mass-based political movement. In Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, I suggest that defining feminism broadly as “a movement to end sexism and sexist oppression” would enable us to have a common political goal…Sharing a common goal does not imply that women and men will not have radically divergent perspectives on how that goal might be reached. (hooks 1989, 23)

hooks' approach depends on the claim that sexism is a particular form of oppression that can be distinguished from other forms, e.g., racism and homophobia, even though it is currently (and virtually always) interlocked with other forms of oppression. Feminism's objective is to end sexism, though because of its relation to other forms of oppression, this will require efforts to end other forms of oppression as well. For example, feminists who themselves remain racists will not be able to fully appreciate the broad impact of sexism on the lives of women of color. Furthermore because sexist institutions are also, e.g., racist, classist and homophobic, dismantling sexist institutions will require that we dismantle the other forms of domination intertwined with them (Heldke and O'Connor 2004). Following hooks' lead, we might characterize feminism schematically (allowing the schema to be filled in differently by different accounts) as the view that women are subject to sexist oppression and that this is wrong. This move shifts the burden of our inquiry from a characterization of what feminism is to a characterization of what sexism, or sexist oppression is.

As mentioned above, there are a variety of interpretations — feminist and otherwise — of what exactly oppression consists in, but the leading idea is that oppression consists in “an enclosing structure of forces and barriers which tends to the immobilization and reduction of a group or category of people” (Frye 1983, 10-11). Not just any “enclosing structure” is oppressive, however, for plausibly any process of socialization will create a structure that both limits and enables all individuals who live within it. In the case of oppression, however, the “enclosing structures” in question are part of a broader system that asymmetrically and unjustly disadvantages one group and benefits another. So, e.g., although sexism restricts the opportunities available to — and so unquestionably harms — both men and women (and considering some pairwise comparisons may even have a greater negative impact on a man than a woman), overall, women as a group unjustly suffer the greater harm. It is a crucial feature of contemporary accounts, however, that one cannot assume that members of the privileged group have intentionally designed or maintained the system for their benefit. The oppressive structure may be the result of an historical process whose originators are long gone, or it may be the unintended result of complex cooperative strategies gone wrong.

Leaving aside (at least for the moment) further details in the account of oppression, the question remains: What makes a particular form of oppression sexist? If we just say that a form of oppression counts as sexist oppression if it harms women, or even primarily harms women, this is not enough to distinguish it from other forms of oppression. Virtually all forms of oppression harm women, and arguably some besides sexism harm women primarily (though not exclusively), e.g., body size oppression, age oppression. Besides, as we've noted before, sexism is not only harmful to women, but is harmful to all of us.

What makes a particular form of oppression sexist seems to be not just that it harms women, but that someone is subject to this form of oppression specifically because she is (or at least appears to be) a woman. Racial oppression harms women, but racial oppression (by itself) doesn't harm them because they are women, it harms them because they are (or appear to be) members of a particular race. The suggestion that sexist oppression consists in oppression to which one is subject by virtue of being or appearing to be a woman provides us at least the beginnings of an analytical tool for distinguishing subordinating structures that happen to affect some or even all women from those that are more specifically sexist (Haslanger 2004). But problems and unclarities remain.

First, we need to explicate further what it means to be oppressed “because you are a woman”. E.g., is the idea that there is a particular form of oppression that is specific to women? Is to be oppressed “as a woman” to be oppressed in a particular way? Or can we be pluralists about what sexist oppression consists in without fragmenting the notion beyond usefulness?

Two strategies for explicating sexist oppression have proven to be problematic. The first is to maintain that there is a form of oppression common to all women. For example, one might interpret Catharine MacKinnon's work as claiming that to be oppressed as a woman is to be viewed and treated as sexually subordinate, where this claim is grounded in the (alleged) universal fact of the eroticization of male dominance and female submission (MacKinnon 1987; MacKinnon 1989). Although MacKinnon allows that sexual subordination can happen in a myriad of ways, her account is monistic in its attempt to unite the different forms of sexist oppression around a single core account that makes sexual objectification the focus. Although MacKinnon's work provides a powerful resource for analyzing women's subordination, many have argued that it is too narrow, e.g., in some contexts (especially in developing countries) sexist oppression seems to concern more the local division of labor and economic exploitation. Although certainly sexual subordination is a factor in sexist oppression, it requires us to fabricate implausible explanations of social life to suppose that all divisions of labor that exploit women (as women) stem from the “eroticization of dominance and submission”. Moreover, it isn't obvious that in order to make sense of sexist oppression we need to seek a single form of oppression common to all women.

A second problematic strategy has been to consider as paradigms those who are oppressed only as women, with the thought that complex cases bringing in additional forms of oppression will obscure what is distinctive of sexist oppression. This strategy would have us focus in the U.S. on White, wealthy, young, beautiful, able-bodied, heterosexual women to determine what oppression, if any, they suffer, with the hope of finding sexism in its “purest” form, unmixed with racism or homophobia, etc. (see Spelman 1988, 52-54). This approach is not only flawed in its exclusion of all but the most elite women in its paradigm, but it assumes that privilege in other areas does not affect the phenomenon under consideration. As Elizabeth Spelman makes the point:

…no woman is subject to any form of oppression simply because she is a woman; which forms of oppression she is subject to depend on what “kind” of woman she is. In a world in which a woman might be subject to racism, classism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, if she is not so subject it is because of her race, class, religion, sexual orientation. So it can never be the case that the treatment of a woman has only to do with her gender and nothing to do with her class or race. (Spelman 1988, 52-3)

Recent accounts of oppression are designed to allow that oppression takes many forms, and refuse to identify one form as more basic or fundamental than the rest. For example, Iris Young describes five “faces” of oppression: exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and systematic violence (Young 1990c, Ch. 2). Plausibly others should be added to the list. Sexist or racist oppression, for example, will manifest itself in different ways in different contexts, e.g., in some contexts through systematic violence, in other contexts through economic exploitation. Acknowledging this does not go quite far enough, however, for monistic theorists such as MacKinnon could grant this much. Pluralist accounts of sexist oppression must also allow that there isn't an over-arching explanation of sexist oppression that applies to all its forms: in some cases it may be that women's oppression as women is due to the eroticization of male dominance, but in other cases it may be better explained by women's reproductive value in establishing kinship structures (Rubin 1975), or by the shifting demands of globalization within an ethnically stratified workplace. In other words, pluralists resist the temptation to “grand social theory,” “overarching metanarratives,” “monocausal explanations,” to allow that the explanation of sexism in a particular historical context will rely on economic, political, legal, and cultural factors that are specific to that context which would prevent the account from being generalized to all instances of sexism (Fraser and Nicholson 1990). It is still compatible with pluralist methods to seek out patterns in women's social positions and structural explanations within and across social contexts, but in doing so we must be highly sensitive to historical and cultural variation.

2.4 Feminism as Anti-Sexism

However, if we pursue a pluralist strategy in understanding sexist oppression, what unifies all the instances as instances of sexism? After all, we cannot assume that the oppression in question takes the same form in different contexts, and we cannot assume that there is an underlying explanation of the different ways it manifests itself. So can we even speak of there being a unified set of cases — something we can call “sexist oppression” — at all?

Some feminists would urge us to recognize that there isn't a systematic way to unify the different instances of sexism, and correspondingly, there is no systematic unity in what counts as feminism: instead we should see the basis for feminist unity in coalition building (Reagon 1983). Different groups work to combat different forms of oppression; some groups take oppression against women (as women) as a primary concern. If there is a basis for cooperation between some subset of these groups in a given context, then finding that basis is an accomplishment, but should not be taken for granted.

An alternative, however, would be to grant that in practice unity among feminists cannot be taken for granted, but to begin with a theoretical common-ground among feminist views that does not assume that sexism appears in the same form or for the same reasons in all contexts. We saw above that one promising strategy for distinguishing sexism from racism, classism, and other forms of injustice is to focus on the idea that if an individual is suffering sexist oppression, then an important part of the explanation why she is subject to the injustice is that she is or appears to be a woman. This includes cases in which women as a group are explicitly targeted by a policy or a practice, but also includes cases where the policy or practice affects women due to a history of sexism, even if they are not explicitly targeted. For example, if women are deprived an education and so are, on the whole, illiterate. And if under these circumstances only those who are literate are entitled to vote. Then we can say that women as a group are being disenfranchised and that this is a form of sexist oppression because part of the explanation of why women cannot vote is that they are women, and women are deprived an education. The commonality among the cases is to be found in the role of gender in the explanation of the injustice rather than the specific form the injustice takes. Building on this we could unify a broad range of feminist views by seeing them as committed to the (very abstract) claims that:

  1. (Descriptive claim) Women, and those who appear to be women, are subjected to wrongs and/or injustice at least in part because they are or appear to be women.
  2. (Normative claim) The wrongs/injustices in question in (i) ought not to occur and should be stopped when and where they do.

We have so far been using the term ‘oppression’ loosely to cover whatever form of wrong or injustice is at issue. Continuing with this intentional openness in the exact nature of the wrong, the question still remains what it means to say that women are subjected to injustice because they are women. To address this question, it may help to consider a familiar ambiguity in the notion “because”: are we concerned here with causal explanations or justifications? On one hand, the claim that someone is oppressed because she is a woman suggests that the best (causal) explanation of the subordination in question will make reference to her sex: e.g., Paula is subject to sexist oppression on the job because the best explanation of why she makes $1.00 less an hour for doing comparable work as Paul makes reference to her sex (possibly in addition to her race or other social classifications). On the other hand, the claim that someone is oppressed because she is a woman suggests that the rationale or basis for the oppressive structures requires that one be sensitive to someone's sex in determining how they should be viewed and treated, i.e., that the justification for someone's being subject to the structures in question depends on a representation of them as sexed male or female. E.g., Paula is subject to sexist oppression on the job because the pay scale for her job classification is justified within a framework that distinguishes and devalues women's work compared with men's.

Note, however, that in both sorts of cases the fact that one is or appears to be a woman need not be the only factor relevant in explaining the injustice. It might be, for example, that one stands out in a group because of one's race, or one's class, or one's sexuality, and because one stands out one becomes a target for injustice. But if the injustice takes a form that, e.g., is regarded as especially apt for a woman, then the injustice should be understood intersectionally, i.e., as a response to an intersectional category. For example, the practice of raping Bosnian women was an intersectional injustice: it targeted them both because they were Bosnian and because they were women.

Of course, these two understandings of being oppressed because you are a woman are not incompatible; in fact they typically support one another. Because human actions are often best explained by the framework employed for justifying them, one's sex may play a large role in determining how one is treated because the background understandings for what's appropriate treatment draw invidious distinctions between the sexes. In other words, the causal mechanism for sexism often passes through problematic representations of women and gender roles.

In each of the cases of being oppressed as a woman mentioned above, Paula suffers injustice, but a crucial factor in explaining the injustice is that Paula is a member of a particular group, viz., women (or females). This, we think, is crucial in understanding why sexism (and racism, and other -isms) are most often understood as kinds of oppression. Oppression is injustice that, first and foremost, concerns groups; individuals are oppressed just in case they are subjected to injustice because of their group membership. On this view, to claim that women as women suffer injustice is to claim that women are oppressed.

Where does this leave us? ‘Feminism’ is an umbrella term for a range of views about injustices against women. There are disagreements among feminists about the nature of justice in general and the nature of sexism, in particular, the specific kinds of injustice or wrong women suffer; and the group who should be the primary focus of feminist efforts. Nonetheless, feminists are committed to bringing about social change to end injustice against women, in particular, injustice against women as women.

3. Topics in Feminism: Overview of the Encyclopedia Sub-Entries

Given a schematic framework for considering different forms of feminism, it should be clearer how philosophical issues arise in working out the details of a feminist position. The most straightforward philosophical commitment will be to a normative theory that articulates an account of justice and/or an account of the good. Feminists have been involved in critiquing existing normative theories and articulating alternatives for some time now. A survey of some of this work can be found under “Feminism, interventions”, in the sub-entries within “Feminist Political Philosophy”, viz., Liberal Feminism, Materialist Feminism, and Radical Feminism. (See also Hampton 1993; Jaggar 1983; Kittay 1999; MacKinnon 1989; Nussbaum 1999; Okin 1979; Okin 1989; Pateman 1988; Schneir 1972; Schneir 1994; Silvers 1999; Young 1990.)

However, there is also important philosophical work to be done in what we have been calling the “descriptive” component of feminism. Careful critical attention to our practices can reveal the inadequacy of dominant philosophical tropes. For example, feminists working from the perspective of women's lives have been influential in bringing philosophical attention to the phenomenon of care and care-giving (Ruddick 1989; Held 1995; Held 2007; Hamington 2006), dependency (Kittay 1999), disability (Wilkerson 2002; Carlson 2009) women's labor (Waring 1999; Delphy 1984; Harley 2007), scientific bias and objectivity (Longino 1990), and have revealed weaknesses in existing ethical, political, and epistemological theories. More generally, feminists have called for inquiry into what are typically considered “private” practices and personal concerns, such as the family, sexuality, the body, to balance what has seemed to be a masculine pre-occupation with “public” and impersonal matters. Philosophy presupposes interpretive tools for understanding our everyday lives; feminist work in articulating additional dimensions of experience and aspects of our practices is invaluable in demonstrating the bias in existing tools, and in the search for better ones.

Feminist explanations of sexism and accounts of sexist practices also raise issues that are within the domain of traditional philosophical inquiry. For example, in thinking about care, feminists have asked questions about the nature of the self; in thinking about gender, feminists have asked what the relationship is between the natural and the social; in thinking about sexism in science, feminists have asked what should count as knowledge. In some such cases mainstream philosophical accounts provide useful tools; in other cases, alternative proposals have seemed more promising.

In the sub-entries included under “feminism (topics)” in the Table of Contents to this Encyclopedia, authors survey some of the recent feminist work on a topic, highlighting the issues that are of particular relevance to philosophy. These entries are:

See also the entries in the Related Entries section below.

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  • Heywood, Leslie and Jennifer Drake, eds. 1997. Third Wave Agenda: Being Feminist, Doing Feminism,
  • Hillyer, Barbara. 1993. Feminism and Disability, Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Hoagland, Sarah L. 1989. Lesbian Ethics: Toward New Values, Palo Alto, CA: Institute for Lesbian Studies.
  • hooks, bell. 1989. Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, Boston: South End Press.
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  • Hurtado, Aída. 1996. The Color of Privilege: Three Blasphemies on Race and Feminism, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Jaggar, Alison M. 1983. Feminist Politics and Human Nature, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
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  • Kiss, Elizabeth. 1995. “Feminism and Rights.” Dissent, 42(3): 342-347
  • Kittay, Eva Feder. 1999. Love's Labor: Essays on Women, Equality and Dependency, New York: Routledge.
  • Kymlicka, Will. 1989. Liberalism, Community and Culture, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Longino, Helen. 1990. Science as Social Knowledge Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Mackenzie, Catriona and Natalie Stoljar, eds. 2000. Relational Autonomy: Feminist perspectives on Autonomy, Agency and the Social Self, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • MacKinnon, Catharine. 1989. Towards a Feminist Theory of the State, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • –––. 1987. Feminism Unmodified, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Maturi, Ellen, ed. 2003. Women and the Economy: An Economic Reader, New York: M.E. Sharpe.
  • McRuer, Robert and Abby Wilkerson, eds. 2003. “Desiring Disability: Queer Theory Meets Disability Studies.” Special Issue Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, 9. 1-2.
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  • Molyneux, Maxine and Nikki Craske, eds. 2001. Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America, Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan.
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Other Internet Resources

Resources listed below have been chosen to provide only a springboard into the huge amount of feminist material available on the web. The emphasis here is on general resources useful for doing research in feminist philosophy or interdisciplinary feminist theory, e.g., the links connect to bibliographies and meta-sites, and resources concerning inclusion, exclusion, and feminist diversity. The list is incomplete and will be regularly revised and expanded. Further resources on topics in feminism such as popular culture, reproductive rights, sex work, are available within each sub-entry on that topic.

General

“Waves” of Feminism

Feminism and Class

Marxist, Socialist, and Materialist Feminisms

Feminist Economics

Women and Labor

Feminism and Disability

Feminism, Human Rights, Global Feminism, and Human Trafficking

Feminism and Race/Ethnicity

General Resources

African-American/Black Feminisms and Womanism

Asian-American and Asian Feminisms

Chicana/Latina Feminisms

American Indian, Native, Indigenous Feminisms

Feminism, Sex, Sexuality, Transgender, and Intersex

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Elizabeth Harman for research assistance in preparing this essay. Thanks also to Elizabeth Hackett, Ishani Maitra, and Ásta Sveinsdóttir for discussion and feedback. Thanks to Leslee Mahoney for the 2011 revisions.

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Sports

1Is rugby dangerous?
2Are footballers overpaid?
3Is athletics underrated?
4Is golf fun?
5Is golf only meant for the rich in the society?
6Where does golf get its revenue?
7Is swimming healthy?
8Why is marching band grouped as a sport?
9Does cheerleading fit in games?
10How is chess considered as a beneficial sports activity?
11Hockey as a dangerous sport.
12Steroid users should be banned from any sports activities.

Technology

1Are we becoming technological zombies?
2Will there come a time when there will be no innovation and technological advancement?
3Is the current technology too advanced for us?
4Are mobile phones killing authenticity?
5Will robots make us lazier or more efficient?
6What should be the actual cost of technology?
7Are technological gadgets, the leading cause of cancer?
8Is this the age of digital explosion?
9Can the chip control the mind too?
10Is FaceBook a great invention or the end of privacy?
11Communication in social networks: is it a good invention or the end of good communication?
12Impacts of cell phones on people: its pros and cons.
13Are we too much reliant on technology?
14Has internet brought about more harm than it is good?
15Technology as a thief of creativity.
16Do we need cell phones?
17What impacts has the technology impacted on the community as a whole?
18How some electronics bring about diseases?

Politics

1Are politicians corrupt?
2How do politicians gain influence?
3Do some politicians engage in illegal activities?
4Is the government doing enough to curb corruption?
5Is the president supreme?
6Is there anyone above the law?
7Are the physically disabled considered in government?
8Is the government overspending?
9Does the government influence court decisions?
10Is the government right in all its policies?
11Pros of Monarchy.
12Advantages and disadvantages of conservatism.
13Democracy: is it the only option for governing?
14Can the politicians do better?
15Is politics an art?
16Is politics a ‘clean’ game?
17Famous people in the society should not get involved in politics.
18How does the government oppress the taxpayers in the country?
19Is politics considered an art or a talent?
20Why are governors categorized among the corrupt?
21The system has become more corrupted.

Dating and Sex

1Is there a right age to start having sex?
2What should be the role of the partners in a relationship?
3Is polygamy or polyandry, a form of relationship?
4Should homosexuality be legalized in every country?
5What should one do if sex is too painful?
6The civil marriage and what it entails?
7Is online dating fruitful?
8Is it proper to join dating sites and dating clubs to get a partner?
9What is the best way to solve issues in a relationship?
10Is it okay to date a younger man?
11What should be the maximum age gap between partners in a relationship?
12After how many dates should sex happen?
13Are phones the chief reason for most relationship issues?
14Is communication the most important element of dating?
15Is it proper to date different races?
16What is incest?
17Are long distance relationships effective?
18Is sex education important?
19How does cheating impact relationship?
20Is it wrong to date your boss?
21Must there be love for sex to happen?
22Long distance relationships.
23Sex and violence: is it acceptable on TV?
24Marriage life: does it lead to a routine?
25The choice between sexual freedom and morality.
26Is there gender equality?
27Are there supposed to be specific roles for each gender?
28Is there a stronger and weaker sex?
29Are there specific jobs and careers for each gender?
30Is there gender discrimination in religion?
31Feminism and its positive and negative impacts on the lives of women.
32Who are more intelligent: men or women?
33Can men and women be friends?
34Military service and gender.
35Is age a limiting factor while dating?
36Polygamy is not that evil.
37How do pedophiles shatter the esteem of children?
38Why is interracial dating encouraged in this new world order?
39Why long distance relationships never make it.

Art

1Does art pay?
2What are the challenges faced by artists?
3Is art a profession?
4How can artists market their work?
5Is art gender-specific or age restrictions?
6Is gothic art the best in history?
7Can modern art be considered as art?
8Is graffiti a part of art?
9Graffiti is an illegal art.
10Left-handed individuals are good at art compared to the fellow right-handed individuals.
11Why is gothic art considered as evil art?
12Can you succeed in life with art as a profession?

Music and Movies

1Is today’s music educational?
2Are musicians right to sing in both secular and religious genres?
3Why are women used in most songs?
4Why do people like secular more than religious songs?
5How do musicians make money?
6Is music a profession?
7How long should a movie take?
8Is music appropriate for all ages?
9How are psychology and music connected?
10Children tend to learn instruments better than adults.
11All women prefer movies that have romance.
12Do actors survive on only the money that they earn from acting?

Internet and Social Media

1Can you get genuine friends online?
2How do social media affect behavior?
3Is online business profitable?
4How does one avoid fraud on the internet?
5Is there online bullying?
6Should parents monitor what their kids are doing online?
7Should parents be on social sites?
8Is online privacy important?
9What are the risks of online transactions?
10Can we trace someone online?
11Is censorship of internet necessary?
12The unfair presentation of facts by mass media and should it be punishable?
13Do firewalls assist in preventing bad content to the users?
14How can you avoid the catfish type of people in the social media?
15Has Whatsapp proven itself as an efficient communicating social media tools?
16Can online friends stick by you even in harsh times?
17How old should the children be allowed to access the social media sites and utilities?

International Relations

1Is the U.S being too lenient on Israel?
2What should be done in the case of Syria and ISIS?
3Is Russia supporting the ‘bad guys?’
4How can the problem in Kashmir be solved?
5Is the world turning a blind eye on South Sudan?
6The third world war – is it possible?
7What are the impacts of the contracting Chinese economy?
8Is China a genuine superpower?
9Who is wrong, between North and South Korea?
10Is Iraq a failed state?
11The issue between Israel and Palestine.
12Is Somalia fast becoming a terrorist hub?
13How can the world combat terrorism?
14The war in Iraq and the questions for and against it.
15Is pacifism utopia or the real way to peace?
16Globalizations: its pros and cons.
17The war in the Middle East and America will never end.
18Did the death of Saddam reduce conflict in the world?
19Globalization will be the main reason for the third world war.
20How can ISIS be abolished?
21How was the war in Iraq justified?

Law enforcement and Justice System

1Should court proceedings be televised?
2The possibility of eliminating judicial errors.
3Adoption of children by gay couples.
4Punishment of desecration of religious objects.
5The most suitable age for voting.
6Are the police justified to use live ammunition?
7Military service: should be compulsory?
8Is drug testing in the workplace a violation of your rights?
9Is it right for someone to be judged in a foreign country?
10Should the drinking age be increased or reduced?
11Should the driving age be increased or reduced?
12Is the International Criminal Court fair in its judgments?
13What is alimony and who should pay it?
14What should be done to improve the police force?
15Gay marriage: Should it be accepted in all the democratic nations?
16Is it proper to merge the police and the army?
17Laws prohibiting the use of heroin: Should they also be applied to tobacco?
18Generally, is there justice?
19Advertising of alcohol and whether it should be prohibited.
20Should voluntary euthanasia be legalized?
21Should marijuana be legalized?
22Is maintenance of law and order, relative?
23Is capital punishment a thing of the past?
24Use of cell phones while driving: is it acceptable or should it be banned?
25The justice systems are corrupted beyond repair.
26Is the criminal justice system in countries racist?
27Do the police favor law offenders from their race?
28Should live ammunition be used in college students’ strikes?
29Are the law enforcers justified to sacrifice a hostage for the sake of the others?

Parenting and Childhood

1What is the right age to give birth?
2Are there any complications with late parenthood?
3Just which is the best way to discipline a kid?
4How should adolescents be handled?
5Should parents go for further training in parenthood?
6Is it right to house your child past the age of 30?
7What should a parent do, if the child is consistently rude?
8Should failed parenting be criminalized?
9Should there be distinction of duties between the parents?
10How should a single parent play both roles of father and mother, to the child?
11Should we reward our children for good conduct?
12Is extreme pampering dangerous for our kids?
13What should a parent do to protect the kid from bad company?
14How can parents nurture talent?
15Motherhood and the most suitable age.
16Small or large families: The best alternative for children.
17How old can you legally become a parent?
18Is Down’s syndrome related to late childbearing?
19What is the most standard number of children that parents can bear?
20Between a father and mother, who has the most roles?
21What is the greatest way of punishing your child?

Current Generation

1Is this the most immoral generation in history?
2Are we slowly getting swallowed with our own arrogance?
3How can the current generation be properly managed?
4Is this generation a product of experimental parenting?
5Is there the relation that was there in the past, at present?
6Necessity of school uniform.
7Teen marriages and should they be allowed.
8What is the effect of violent games in real life?
9Does this present generation know how to maintain relationships?
10Has this generation become brainwashed with communication technology?
11The increasing number of teenage mothers.
12Do movies that are violent and immoral have an impact on the behavior of this generation?
13Does this current generation follow any rules?

Religion and Spirituality

1Just what is the meaning of the word ‘evil?’
2Relevance of all religions: are they all good?
3Is there anyone righteous in the word at the moment?
4Which religion is right?
5Is there heaven and hell?
6Atheism as a religion.
7Is there God?
8Why are there so many religions in the world now?
9Why did Christianity split into so many distinct religions as there are now?
10Is yoga more spiritual than fasting?
11Are today’s pastors genuine?
12What happens, or where do people go, after they die?
13Is death final? If God is there, why are people suffering so much?
14Why do Christians get divorced at almost the same rate as non-Christians?
15Why do different prophets preach contradictory teachings?
16Why is Islam preaching violence yet it is a religion of peace?
17Does the soul exist?
18Is reincarnation real?
19What is karma?
20Why were we created?
21Why is there too much evil in this world?
22Is the Sabbath controversial?
23Is it a mandatory to go to respective places of worship?
24Is having many religions justified?
25The world would be better if the religions were not there.
26Do alternatives related to evolution exist?
27Can religion be considered as a force of evil?
28Will cloning mean the end of morality in the world?

Morality and Responsibility

1Who should be in charge of one’s morality?
2Is there a perfect punishment for immorality?
3Are the current religions guiding people in the right direction?
4What is the meaning of life?
5Did we come from one creator?
6Is black PR acceptable?
7Contraceptives and birth control.
8Are security cameras an infringement of privacy?
9Ethics issues affecting prolonging of people’s lives by scientists.
10Banning of pornography.
11Is mankind losing its morality?
12What is the reason why people don’t live up to their full potential?
13Is peer pressure bad?
14Where did the universe originate from?
15How does one build self – esteem?
16Is personality important in the image of a person?
17Is abortion a form of murder?
18Is Euthanasia a form of mercy killing or a crime?
19Pros and cons of hunting.
20Right to murder and the society.
21How important is the education on patriotism?
22Animal testing: A necessity or savageness.
23Is keeping animals in zoos acceptable?
24The morals behind cloning.
25Necessity of death penalty: is it a vestige of the past?
26Suicide is a brave act of cowardice.

Education

1Is education becoming useless?
2Is plagiarism a serious crime as it is put to be?
3Corporal punishment in schools.
4What is worse, exam cheating or boycotting?
5Is the current education system relevant?
6University degree: is it necessary for success?
7Are colleges churning out half-baked professionals?
8Importance of mandatory physical education for students?
9Is homeschooling considered as a basic form of schooling?
10Has education become so much commercialized?
11Is academic grading helpful in performance?
12Should boarding in schools be banned?
13How can a student acquire all-round education?
14Should there be specific dress codes in schools?
15Should education be mandatory?
16Is online education important?
17Should education be privatized?
18Sex education in schools: should it be halted or increased?
19Video games at school.
20Education and its importance in the developing of a country.
21Is sign language equally important as the foreign languages?
22For foreign language to be effective, it should be implemented right from kindergarten.
23Should single-sex education be introduced in colleges and universities?
24Sports should be made a compulsory course in higher learning institutions.
25The examinations results do not necessary reflect the knowledge of the child.

Jobs and Careers

1Should a parent choose the career for the child?
2Are some careers better than others?
3Can one do a career he/she has not studied?
4Why are other professions paying than others?
5How long should a person work in a day?
6Should there be a dressing code for each profession?
7What is the best profession?
8Afternoon nap facilities should be introduced in the working places.
9Should all careers overlook tattoos?
10Does experience apply in all types of works?
11Should short dresses be banned from the workplaces?
12Some career opportunities have prestige compared to others.

Health and Nutrition

1How much protein should be taken in a day?
2What is the diet of a pregnant woman?
3What is the best way to slim or gain weight?
4What is the ideal amount of water for a healthy person?
5What causes cancer?
6What is the best meal for a diabetic patient?
7Vegetarianism and health?
8Are traditional and alternative medicines reliable?
9Is fast food beneficial or detrimental?
10Can man live without eating meat?
11Stimulants used by sports people.
12Going to hospital and self-treatment.
13Is being broke a habit?
14Heroin should be made compulsory to the terminally ill patients.
15Unhealthy foods should comply with high taxation so as to prevent the processing.
16Access to free health care should be made available to everyone.
17Ancestry knowledge is essential for healthy living.
18Drug addiction is not a disease as it is entirely dependent on the choice of the individual.

Science

1Are we alone in the universe?
2How big is the universe?
3Is there a connection between science and religion?
4How can we prove that the earth revolves?
5Is there life on moon?
6Darwinism.
7Different theories to explain the origin of the universe.
8Are there stars that are bigger than the sun?
9What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
10How did the continents split?
11Is there some language for animals?
12How did the ancients use science?
13Is there any science behind life?
14Nuclear energy and safety issues.
15Importance of alternative sources of energy.
16Is genetic research improving or destroying the lives of people?
17Is global warming a belief or a real danger?
18Space exploration leads to wastage of money.
19The greatest hoax in history was the NASA moon landing.
20Is Mars considered as the next destination for humans?
21GMOs will be the savior of the hunger problems faced by the world.
22Do animals interact with each or is it just coincidence?

Miscellaneous

1What is the best place to go on a date?
2What is the greatest bargain you have ever got?
3Can hiking happen at night?
4Is rock climbing dangerous?
5What should be the appropriate dressing code for church?
6Is the current trend in fashion attractive?
7Should there be a measure of just how far fashion should go?
8Is the present fashion better than the ancient one?
9What is the appropriate manner to prepare for a dinner date?
10Are high heels good for the body?
11Destruction of forests as a crime against the planet.
12The different views of the bombing of Hirosima and Nagasaki.
13Rainforests and why their destruction should be prohibited.
14Wealth and happiness.
15Most suitable age to find friends.
16Possibility of having everyone in the world as rich.
17Our ideas and their influence on the world.
18Pros and cons of living in the city or in the country side.
19People have never been content with what they have in life.
20Can laziness be considered as a bad thing?
21Is social status that important?
22Is the society still a sexist world?
23Are foreign films the main cause of the increasing immorality in the society?

Artificial Intelligence

1Artificial intelligence cannot make life convenient.
2Artificial intelligence is not dangerous to humanity.
3Self-preservation and real acquisition is inherent.
4Can artificial intelligence detect human emotions?
5Artificial intelligence can aid in mind reading.
6Robots can educate humans.
7Are the advancements in artificial intelligence viable?
8Robots are not the pioneers to artificial intelligence.
9Automation and artificial intelligence are the same.
10Artificial intelligence is all about technology.
11Everything cannot be solved through artificial intelligence.
12Artificial intelligence can cede control over humanity.
13Artificial intelligence cannot be competent to man.
14Humans have a general purpose intelligence.
15Artificial intelligence is a belief.

Space

1Are space explorations worth the time, money and resources?
2Can space exploration save mankind?
3Technologies used in space exploration can help solve earth’s problems.
4Space exploration gives us no direct benefit.
5Is the need to colonize space viable?
6Having not fully explored the earth, is it viable to explore space?
7Unmanned probes are not the best choice for space exploration.
8Is space exploration necessary for understanding the world?
9The scientific knowledge of space has value beyond the measurements of cost.
10Space explorations can lead to physical and environmental hazards.
11Space explorations do not guarantee long term survival.
12Is it necessary to prioritize space exploration programs?
13Space explorations can provide us with new and untested raw materials.
14Are we causing damage to other ecosystems through space explorations?

Life in the Future

1Will we be able to feed earth without destroying it?
2We can colonize outer space.
3Will there ever be a cure of AIDS?
4Will global warming pose as a threat to nature?
5Sexual and gender issues can be altered.
6Homo sapiens can survive in the next 300 years.
7Gender equality can be achieved in the sciences.
8Peace can exist worldwide.
9Will natural disasters be predictable with warning times?
10Global warming can be stabilized?
11Can we be able to understand dark matter?
12Robots will be able to perform major labor jobs.
13Will there be satellite controlled cars?
14Extinction can be avoided.
15Can the whole world have adequate health care?

Drugs

1Is getting drunk a crime?
2Should marijuana be illegalized?
3A drug test should be mandatory to students.
4Drug abuse is easy to control.
5The use of tobacco should be illegalized.
6Should smoking be allowed among teenagers?
7Smoking zones should be brought down.
8Parents are the main reason why there are rampant cases of drug abuse among teenagers.
9Drug abuse ads are effective.
10Drug abuse is not a problem for teenagers.
11Can universities impede student drinking?
12Is a drug abuse era significant?
13Drug misuse is not effective.
14Can the abuse of prescription drugs risk in addiction?
15Drugs are not harmful to our health.

Vegetarianism

1Having more vegetarians will strip off people’s income.
2A meat rich diet is healthier than a vegetarian diet.
3A meat rich diet is expensive than a vegetarian diet.
4Vegetables keep one healthier while meat eating diets are more prone to chronic diseases.
5Meat rich diets are more essential for normal body functions.
6Vegetarianism influences mental ability.
7A vegetarian diet helps in weight loss.
8It is impossible to live without eating meat.
9Does being a vegetarian imply that you have a longer life span?
10Can one survive on a vegetarian diet?
11An increase in the number of vegetarians will put some wild animals at risk.
12Vegetarianism is unhealthy.
13A vegetarian diet is more important to an athlete than a meat rich diet.
14Vegetarians care more about animal suffering than that of humans.
15There is no significant environmental impact that is brought about by a vegetarian lifestyle.

Tattoos

1Can tattoos be considered valid art?
2Tattooing and crime are not related.
3Tattooing does not define an individual’s personality.
4Should tattooing be banned on medical grounds?
5Tattooing is still a taboo in the society.
6Tattooing should not be a factor in job recruitment.
7Should tattooing be allowed in the workplace?
8Peer pressure is a major factor which influences one in having a tattoo.
9Tattooing and Paganism are not related.
10Do people who have tattoos look more attractive?
11It is not wrong for a Christian to tattoo.
12Tattooing should be discouraged for teachers.
13Tattooing is a viable method of creating memories.
14Tattooing is an act of rebellion.
15Should tattooing still be considered a delinquent behavior?

EDM Music

1EDM music is noise.
2EDM is not the new age hard metal.
3Electronic dance music is not associated with drugs.
4Terrible music is not popular than EDM music.
5EDM music is all about performance.
6EDM music helps in boosting one’s immune system.
7EDM music is a boon.
8EDM music is not chaotic.
9EDM music stimulates the mind.
10EDM music helps in stress reduction.

Rap Music

1Rap music brings about gender issues with it.
2Rap music can cause violence and hostile behavior among teenagers.
3Politics and rap music do not correlate.
4Rap music influences sexual behavior among teenagers.
5Rap music is not the best genre for vocal improvisation.
6Rap music can be insulting.
7Rap music is not more popular than other music genres.
8Rap music does not portray one’s cultural background.
9Should rap music be censored?
10Is rap music big enough to be considered a culture?

Rock Music

1Rock music does not foster bad behavior among the youth.
2Rock music is not related with Satanism.
3Rock music does not engage negative influence among the youth.
4Rock music is not authentic.
5The rock and roll lifestyle is not fully associated with drugs.
6Rock music does not have deeper emotional content.
7Stupidity is regarded as a virtue in rock music.
8Rock music has a positive influence in the society.
9Does rock music acknowledge religion?
10Rock music is a more popular genre than other music genres.

Donald Trump

1Economic success in Trump’s regime is visible
2Donald Trump is perfect at making enemies
3Donald Trump does not support globalization
4America needs Trump to restore honesty
5Donald Trump: Why he will not make America Great Again?
6Donald Trump is not a champion for environment
7Why Donald Trump is the most pathetic President?
8Donald Trump is a direct president
9American People chose Racist Trump instead of President
10Is Donald Trump a Narcissistic President?

Blockchain

1Blockchain: A Bitcoin crypto-currency.
2Is Blockchain Secure?
3Is Threat or Opportunity comes first in Blockchain
4Blockchain Use-case: Payment and Insurance
5Blockchain no longer a revolution in banking
6Blockchain improves due to Brexit
7Blockchain impacts positively on Energy
8Blockchain improves Trade Finance
9Blockchain improves developing nations more than developed nations
10Blockchain reverse revolution

Cryptocurrencies

1Market demands and authority control crypto-currencies
2Cryptocurrency is a breeding ground for mistrust
3Cryptocurrency is an amusement to the market
4Cryptocurrency enhances confidential transaction
5International co-operation: A sure way to regulate crypto-currencies
6Cryptocurrencies burst due to bitcoin
7Cryptocurrencies enhance transaction security
8Cryptocurrencies promote black market
9Cryptocurrencies: the best investments for future
10Cryptocurrency: the best replacement for economic market

Internet Of Things

1End-to-end security challenge brings down internet of things
2Fog computing boosts internet of things
3Sharing in social network taints improve internet of things
4IoT no longer guarantees security and privacy
5IoT improves agricultural productivity
6IoT promote environmental conservation
7Intelligence controls IoT
8Is IoT making us stupid?
9IoT vehicle simulation system does promote accidents
10IoT enhances cybercrimes

Machine Learning

1Machine learning helps in fraud detection
2Machine learning enhances stock market prediction
3Machine learning enhances man replacement with machines
4Machine learning makes people zombies
5Machine learning promotes digital exploration
6Chip can control our brain
7Machine learning promotes communication
8Machine learning promote sedentary lifestyle with passive learning
9Robotics replaces human in various activities
10Programming of machines endangers the freedom of choice

Facebook

1Are we becoming Facebook zombies?
2We are too advanced for Facebook
3Facebook is responsible for intellectual laziness
4Facebook is responsible for fake news
5We do not need Facebook
6Facebook is responsible for relationship breakups
7Facebook hinders privacy
8Facebook: The home of fraudsters
9Facebook encourages cyber bullying
10Facebook promote censorship

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Structure Of The Argumentative Essay

The introduction

The introduction is the first part of the argumentative article as it will either capture the attention of the reader or bore at the same time. The introduction should provide general information that will be included in the article. The points can be highlighted in the introduction so as to show the necessity of the title thus the need for an argument. You should also state your argumentative thesis statement in the introduction. The thesis will give you a guideline on how to go about with writing the essay. The thesis should, therefore, be phrased as a general statement of the main idea being discussed. Ensure your thesis is not in the form of a title but rather a general statement that is specific and unified at the same time. Your thesis should be relevant so that the article can use a structure that is flexible so as to fit in the shoes of the readers. Below is an example of a thesis statement:

Topic: GMOs will be the savior of the hunger problems faced by the world.

Thesis statement:

GMOs can greatly assist in the eradication of hunger in the world.

Body paragraphs

For the body to achieve the intended meaning, ensure the points evolve from being general to specific. This technique is essential as it offers a platform of fully exhausting the points in a systemic manner. Use transition words so as to connect the paragraphs and make the point flow. Start the body paragraph by using a topic sentence followed by the argumentative evidence that will support the claim. Finish up the paragraph by illustrating how that particular point is related to the argumentative thesis in the introduction.

Conclusion

The conclusion gives the overall verdict of the argument. You can also restate the ideas that you have discussed in the body paragraphs so as to make your point valid. The conclusion should also aim at motivating the reader to do research in the future. The conclusion is related to the argumentative introduction as the topic as well as the thesis statement is restated in a more convincing manner. The conclusion also gives you a platform of illustrating your decision concerning the argument in the article and why you have settled on that particular decision. Try not to introduce new ideas as they will give the readers an ideology that the article is not comprehensive enough.

Argumentative Essay Outline (sample)

Summarizing:

The above-mentioned topic selection can give you a clear understanding of what to write about. All you need to do is to pick the topic you are comfortable with and elaborate on it: develop a thesis and fully open it up. Please remember to write a strong conclusion to your paper. This will help sum everything up. Thank you.

Bonus: Examples Of An Argumentative Essay Writing

Topic “Euthanasia”

Topic “Water Shortage”

Topic “Argumentive essay on gmf (genetically modified foods)”

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