The Difference between Radical and Liberal Feminism

Aviana Brayden, Writer

Feminism as an entirety is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. Most people think that there is only one type of feminism, but they are very mistaken. There are radical and liberal feminists and although they seemingly have the same motive, they want slightly different things.

Most people that think of feminism (whilst not being a feminist) immediately associate feminism with radical feminism, not liberal. Radical feminism is a perspective of feminism that wants a radical reordering of society so male supremacy is eliminated as a whole specifically in social and economic means. They typically believe that women are/should be on a higher pedestal than men.

Liberal feminism is different, they are an individualistic form that focuses on women’s ability to maintain their equality through their own actions and choices. They emphasize making their legal and political rights equal to the rights of a man. They do not believe they are better then men, they strictly want to be equal to them, as they should be.

Ironically, only 20 percent of Americans- including 23 percent of women and 16 percent of men- consider themselves as feminists, according to the Huffington Post. But, when asked if they believe that “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals” 82 percent of these Americans said they should be equals. There are a lot of Americans that do not want to associate with the term “feminist” because they automatically assume its radical, or they truly do not know what it stands for.

A good handful of Americans believe men and women should be treated equally but will not deem themselves as feminists even though that is exactly what they are. They are considered Liberal Feminists. Now, if they believe women should be treated better than men then they are Radical Feminists. And if they do not think women are equal to men then they are not a feminist.

Most people do not know the terms or confuse the two. They are very different although they have the same motive. They want two completely different things in the end. So, ask yourself; Are you Radical, Liberal or not a feminist?