Marina Strinkovsky at the Forth Valley Feminist 2023 Woman’s Festival

Marina Strinkovsky is a feminist thinker and writer, who blogs at Not A Zero Sum Game. She spoke about the history of feminism at the Forth Valley Feminist 2023 Woman’s Festival.

Feminism, as described by Marina Strinkovsky, is the largest and most radical movement in the world. The aim of feminism is to change social institutions and free half of the population, giving women the ability to participate in male-dominated institutions and build an intellectual framework to repair societal inequalities. Throughout history, there have been four distinct epochs in the feminist movement, each building upon the previous one and striving towards greater equality for women.

  1. The first epoch was the demand for moral equality, where women began to see themselves as individual moral agents with the right to have rights. This was tied to the Reformation and the encouragement to read the Bible.
  2. The second epoch was the demand for intellectual equality, where women staked their claim to education and the capacity to have rights. This was tied to the Enlightenment.
  3. The third epoch was political equality, where women fought for legal rights and the ability to use those rights. This was tied to the French Revolution and the works of Olympe de Gouges, who inspire those writers like Mary Wollstonecraft.
  4. The fourth epoch was the struggle for the right to hold rights independently of men, which was the most visible change to society and tied to World War I.

According to Marina, these epochs should not be referred to as “waves” as it is misleading. Rather, they are more like steps on a spiral staircase, striving ever upwards and finding the same problems in new guises. Although progress has been made in the fight for equality, feminism can never be over as women will always have to “protest this shit.” However, it is important to step back and admire the design of the feminist tapestry so far, recognizing the progress that has been made in 250 years of analysing, critiquing, and overturning oppression.

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