Nationalism North Korea

How Nationalism Impacts North Korea Politically

There are many nations in the world that have warring political parties, or nationalistic ideas that help shape the political system of the country, but North Korea is not like that. Instead the political system uses nationalism to help shape the views of the people in the country on what it is and what it should be like. In an interesting turn of events, the political system in North Korea is the cause of nationalism, and not the other way around, but it is this system that keeps North Korea in the favor of the people in the nation. This isn’t necessarily widespread love and acceptance, as many people in North Korea do not enjoy living in the country, but it does help solidify the fact that North Korea has a long standing political system that will not change, and people must find some way to express their love and acceptance of the nation whether they agree with it or not. The promotion of nationalism through the political system of North Korea has shaped the nation in a number of ways. It has led to a unique military system, eternal leaders, and a form of expression that constantly pushes the views and philosophies of the Korean people in a unique way.

The concept of North Korean nationalism is known as Juche or the Juche Idea. This idea promotes three key factors. These factors are Independence in politics, self-sustenance in the economy, and self-defense in national defense. It is this idea that promotes North Korea and it promotes nationalism in the country. There are no fighting parties in North Korea, there is simply one party, and it is that party that promotes absolute control over the nation. Through the implementation of its Juche Idea and propaganda, the political system of North Korea remains relatively unchanged, and it has a strong impact on the people around it.  Using the Juche Idea, North Korea remains under communist rule, and it has held onto that political system since its original institution. It was their initial resistance and freedom from Japan that led to the doctrine and political viewpoint of North Korea. It was and still is run by a small group of people that fought in the Japanese resistance. By the time the 1960s came around the Juche ideal had come into play, and it led to the people of North Korea being constantly fed the idea of self-sustainment. This idea help promoted the North Korea political structure today, and more importantly the nationalism that exists in the country today. Through the use of these ideals, and the forceful manner of the political structure of the government, a manner that promotes self-sustainment and patriotism, the political system is not so much structured by nationalism, but it has been allowed to remain intact due to the strong sense of nationalism by the people. Being as it that nationalism is something that is promoted constantly by the government it is clear that the end goal of the group is that being self-sufficient is the best way to be successful.

North Korea constantly uses sources of propaganda and other forms to promote the Juche idea presented by the government so long ago. Because of the fact that it is run solely by the government, there are no competing groups. Being a country founded by socialism and communism, there is no opportunity for there to be competing groups. If a group were to compete against the government, it would be fighting against the rules of the government and in turn it would soon be destroyed. Nationalism is used for one main purpose, and that is to keep the people of North Korea knowing and believing that the policies of the country are not only effective, but they are what’s best for the nation. It is this belief that propels North Korea to work in the manner that it does without any opposition from its people. In fact, all expressive aspects of the North Korea have some sort of Juche touch to it that helps promote the nationalistic views of the nation. North Korea, dominated by the communism and socialism, uses its arts and literature to help legitimate the thoughts of Juche and what the government believes. The artistic activities in the country are based on the Juche Thought of socialism.

There are many reasons as to why North Korea continues to push nationalism in the country. The nation has followed suit with communism and socialism despite it failing in many nations in the late 1900s. It is this nationalism that preserves the support of the people of the nation. This nationalistic view also allows North Korea to preserve its unique political system. The political system of this country focuses on centralization. Although the people of North Korea do have their basic human rights, it comes at a cost. When it comes to freedom of expression, the people do not have the ability to express themselves openly. In fact, people are watched very closely by the government. The Worker’s Part of Korea is the one and only political party that is legally allowed to exist, in essence there isn’t really a political party just one political system that cannot be argued against or contested by the people of North Korea.

Nationalism North Korea
Nationalism North Korea

This party has been in place since North Korea first existed in 1948. It is this concept of nationalism that has kept Korea from failing despite its many negative aspects. More importantly is the fall of the nation’s economy and the subsequent famine that occurred after the cold war. From 1994 to 1998 there was a severe food shortage, and several people died and experienced malnutrition. North Korea was heavily reliant at the time on Soviet Union aid, but when it collapsed, the North Korean economy collapsed as well. Without the fast response of the government, the North Korean economy continued to drop. Men, women, and children were facing malnutrition. Even the military, who received the military first treatment, were unable to get any rations, and if they did it was of the very basic amount. This lead to one of the most severe famines in the world, which concluded with an estimated three million people dying from starvation, but despite this famine the North Korean nation, still remained strong, and there was no talk or dispute of whether or not the nation would undergo any change. There was still strong nationalism in North Korea that helped hold up the nation and people’s view of the nation even during this time when there was constant starvation amongst the people of the country. Even today, after receiving constant aid from other nations, North Korea still stands at the precipice of widespread famine, and people still have trouble getting food.

The way that nationalism is strengthened in North Korea is through propaganda. People are constantly being shown pictures and videos that demonstrate what the leaders of the nation are doing or how they feel about the country or how they plan on helping out others. During the food shortage mentioned earlier, there were pictures of Kim Jong-il choosing to eat the same meals as other people in North Korea. In fact, the entire famine was called a food shortage that was due to bad weather and a failure for people to implement the teachings of Kim, but still stated that the situation was better than being outside of the nation. There were even attempts to urge people to eat things that were non-nutritious and harmful to the body. Everything about the North Korean culture has some sort of propaganda aspect to it. The art features militaristic themes usually, and it helps promote the military first ideals of the country. Music involves songs being dedicated to the leaders of the nation. Korean films have the central theme of showing how good Korean life is, and how bad western life tends to be.

Nationalism is a strong driving force in North Korea. It serves as a way for people to keep their faith in the nation, no matter what situation may occur. It did not just lead to the institution of the current political system, but it also has kept that political system alive, even in recent years as the nation experiences issues in malnutrition and economic problems. North Korea has received a lot of bad publicity and press within other nations, which include South Korea and the United States, but the propaganda and growth of North Korea in terms of nationalism and pushing its Juche ideas have continued to rise. Even now, the country has created social network accounts and media in order to reach out to more people and promote the belief and ideals of North Korea for its people. It is these accounts that promote the state of North Korea whether it is doing well or doing poorly, and it helps keep the political system alive, by force feeding the people in the country specific view and ideals.


Yim, Haksoon. “Cultural identity and cultural policy in South Korea.” International journal of cultural policy 8.1 (2002): 37-48.

Frank, Ruediger. “Economic reforms in North Korea (1998–2004): Systemic restrictions, quantitative analysis, ideological background.” Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy 10.3 (2005): 278-311.

Lee, Sook-Jong. “The rise of Korean Youth as a Political force.” Bookings Northeast Asia Survey 2003-2004 (2004).

Harvey, Robert. “Global disorder.” African Security Review 14 (2005): 1.

Buzo, Adrian. The Guerilla Dynasty: Politics and Leadership in North Korea. IB Tauris, 1999.

Simone, Vera, and Anne Thompson Feraru. The Asian Pacific. Longman, 1995.

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International Relations Theory

International Relations Theory

The theories of international relations try to find out the key patterns of interaction between parties involved in international politics and provide a framework to explain the underlying structure and nature of these interactions (Nye, 2004). The theories generally state the manner in which international politics should be carried out and how the world should look like. According to Nye (2004) the theories have historically been viewed as unequal and competing with each individual theory providing its own alternative explanations to the nature of international relations. The historical evolution of the theories is that they try to critique the flaws of each other in providing an alternative explanation. The international relations field has evolved over time and has many theories which use different approaches, methodologies and explanations to explain interaction between nations (Nye, 2004). This paper tries to predict how states and other international actors would respond to an invention of reliable fusion energy technology which is cheap, abundant, safe, clean and carbon emission free by the scientists of one country’s government using neo-realism and neo-liberalism theories of international relations.

The availability of energy is critical to the running of every country. Many people therefore agree that the issue of energy security has been a very important for many countries since the energy crises that affected many countries in the 1970’s (Wenger, Robert & Jeronim, 2009). The oil consuming countries have experienced shortages in the past since they depend on oil imports from producing countries for supplies to meet their energy needs. The issue of energy security has therefore been very important in international relations debates. The energy debate has therefore been mostly shaped by the inequality between the oil producing and oil consuming countries. Oil supply has become a subject of both real and perceived susceptibility for different states (Wenger 2009). Different studies have been carried out in relations to the increased rate of energy consumption and increased dependency on energy imports by different countries. The studies have also focused on the contribution of competition for energy to different conflicts. The international relations theories can be directly applied in understanding the forms of collaboration, competition and conflicts relating to energy. This paper seeks to try and explain the underlying theoretical assumptions the neo-realism and the neo-liberalism theories provide for understanding what would happen if one country discovered a new and more efficient fusion energy technology.

Neo-Realism and Energy

Neo-realism is one of the general schools of thought within international relations and was put forward by Kenneth Waltz (Nye, 2004). The theory is a specific variant of realism. In the neo-realist theory waltz classified the actors in international relations into three levels. These levels include the individual, the state and the interstate system. According to this system the interstate system is the most important in international relations. According to this theory the interstate system comprises of states actors which compete with each other to fulfil their own self-interests (Nye, 2004).

The neo realist theory makes three important assumptions about the states and the characteristics of the international system in which they belong. First the interstate system is anarchical in nature with each state being sovereign from each other and therefore chaos is expected since no state can control the others. According to Walt (1998) “the international system consisted of great powers each seeking to survive and because the system is anarchic each state has to survive on its own”. In this system the survival of any state is not guaranteed and in order to survive each state is driven to accumulate power in order to provide for its own security. According to Wendt (1992) “Each country in this system acts in its own self interest in order to maximize its own survival and is therefore driven to accumulate as much power as possible”. Conflict may therefore arise as there is no supreme authority to prevent way between states due to a breakdown in international relations.

Another assumption of the neo-realist theory is that the functions of each state within the system are not differentiated. Each state is tasked with providing security for its citizens from external threat and ensuring there is law and order internally. The final assumption is that the distribution of resources between the similar countries determines the balance of power between these countries. This means that each country has its own resources and capabilities to counter the resources of another country. The status quo in the system is therefore that no one country can be able to dominate all the other countries and therefore each country tries to be better than the other rather than better than all of them put together.

The three assumptions about the nature of the international system lead to a number of hypothesis on how countries are likely to behave within the system. One of the most important hypotheses about the behaviour of states within such a system is that states are more likely to balance against the rising powers and growing threats rather than bandwagon with these states. The balance of power theory provides that each state is independent to choose whether to balance internally by allocating more resources to economic security and the military or to balance externally by forming alliances with states with similar interests and therefore similar enemies. The neo-realist theory is concerned more with power over morality, stability over justice and continuity over change.

International Relations Theory
International Relations Theory

Predicting what would happen if a new energy technology was invented using the neo-realist approach requires understanding how this new energy would affect the existing balance of power within the energy sector. There is a balance which exists internationally between the energy producing countries and the consumers. However this balance is threatened by the issue of energy security. After the oil shocks of the 1970’s the security of supply of oil became a matter of security concern for many developed countries. Security can be defined from an offensive or defensive point of view. According to the neo-realist security is from the defensive point of view due to the anarchy structure of the society. According to the neo-realist theory, states struggle to survive within an international system that does not have a worldwide authority to controls what happens. To maximize their chances of survival states therefore try to rise to power by accessing the required resources and therefore influence their relationship. Energy security is the only vulnerability point for many developed countries and therefore they sometime prefer to use an offensive strategy to secure the source.

According to the neo-realist theory security is not considered to be as a result of the direct threat but the political interpretation of the threat. The international relations theory considers anarchy as part of the international system which is why states are very concerned about security. In the international arena there are energy related interactions between states which involve an energy dependency between the states. In the international system the energy interaction involves export, import and transit of energy resources. Energy security between states   can be measured using the strength of dependence which is determined by factors such as possibility of diversification, level of domestic resources and the energy trade balance. The dependence of a state on energy from another state is perceived as a threat. A good example is the European countries which depend on Russia for their gas supply. Russia uses manipulation of gas supply and prices as a tool for political influence. Many countries therefore realise that there can be no energy security if one of the energy supplying nations is willing and able to use energy resources as a weapon of influence.

From the above analysis and using the neo-realist theory the states and other international actors would respond in different ways to an invention by one government scientist of a new reliable energy solution. The first way in which the state actors would respond to the invention is through cooperation. The state and international actors with similar interest would form an alliance to protect their own interests. As the States and international actors which currently supply energy would try to maximize their chances of survival in the new order they would form alliances to counter the new country which is rising due to supplying alternative source of energy.

The Neo-realist theory also suggests that the new technology would provide, power, influence status, security, respectability and prestige on both the regional and international stage. The fact that one country owns the technology will increase the worries and fears of the neighbouring states. This would be construed as a threat to the states in the region which may spiral out of control in the form of a regional wide race for the new technology. The neo-realists argue that the states will try to balance internally by allocating more resources in this case to researching the new energy technology.

Neo-liberalism and international energy politics

New liberalism is another widely used theory to explain state behaviour in international relations. This theory emerged in the 1970’s and 1980’s (Baldwin,1993). The neo-liberalist theory was developed as a response to the neo-realist theory. The neo-liberalist accepted the neo-realist argument that states operate in a state of anarchy. However, the neo-liberalists argue that even in the anarchic international system made up of independent states, cooperation can be possible through building institutions, norms and regimes which will bring about positive results for everyone.

According to Peet (2003) “neo-liberals states are not supposed to attack each other but should consider each other as legal and non-threatening”. They believe that global economic ties and international organizations act to strengthen peace. The neo-liberalists believe that the rule of law and the strengthening of democracy make it easier for states to cooperate. The theory advocates that having economic interdependence helps countries meet their needs better than through war. The main tools of this theory are international institutions and free international trade which allows for free movement of goods, ideas and resources which allows people to find affordable resources and to maximize their profits. The neo-liberals also believe that the state should not control the market but let the market forces control the market. The European Union a regional institution has been a good example of how sovereign states can cooperate through economic and political interdependence making war unthinkable in the region (Pease 2012).

The neo-liberal approach can be used to explain what could happen in international energy politics if a new sustainable energy technology is developed. In order to understand what would happen if a more sustainable energy source was invented by one state from a neo-liberal perspective it is important to understand what the current situation is from a neoliberal explanation. Currently the energy market is a less liberalised and is mostly controlled by states and international actors. This allows many illiberal practices to take place in relation to international relations of the energy industry. Some of the notable illiberal practices in the energy sector are secret deals between international companies and oil producing countries which have led to underdevelopment, resource conflicts and support of authoritarian governments (Wenger 2009). A Neo-Liberal approach would aim at eliminating all the illiberal practices which occur in the market due to control by the state.

From a neo-liberal perspective state and other actors would respond in different ways to the invention of a new energy solution. First states would respond by promoting regional and worldwide energy organization and institutions. From the liberal perspective the development of a big organization with many members would allow members to cooperate and benefit from the new energy technology. A big energy organisation would ensure that the whole market is controlled by one organization which would make liberalising the market easier.

Another way that the state would respond is through greater liberalisation of the economy to eliminate the imperfections within the energy market. Allowing the market forces to determine who provides the energy solution would ensure that only the most economically efficient institution provide the energy solution eliminating the threat of war and conflicts often associated with other forms of energy. This is essential to promote healthy international relations.

Another possible response by state and international actors is international regulation which would deter illegal trade and practices which often lead to conflicts. A nice example of this is the international regulations of diamonds which were seen as the major cause of conflict in different parts of Africa. The regulations require the global diamond industry to commit them to an international process of diamond certification. A similar regulation would be made for the sector.

Another likely way the actors would respond is by promoting good governance in different states to eliminate the illegal practises such as rent seeking and distortions by the rent seeking states. The international actors are likely to demand for more transparency, fairness and accountability in order to ensure that price of the new technology is managed in a more efficient way. The states would respond by demanding more transparency to avoid secret deals which strengthen illiberal practices and undermine international relations. Openness would be one of the preconditions for the different state and international actors to cooperate.


International relations theories provide good models for explaining the nature of international relations in different sectors. The theories offer alternative explanations for the interactions. The neorealist theory view states as competing against each other. It can therefore be conclude that the states would respond in a way that best meets their own self interest. On the other hand the neo-liberal argue that the states will respond in such a way that the cooperation brings positive results for everyone.


Barkin J. Samuel, (2002) “Efficiency and ideas,” in international relations: The Key Concepts. New York: Routledge.

Baldwin, David A. 1993. Neo-realism and Neo-liberalism: The Contemporary Debate, New York: Columbia University Press.

Nye, Joseph S. 2004. Soft Power in International Relations: the means to success in world politics. New York: Public Affairs

Peet, Richard. (2003) “Neoliberalism and Nature: The Case of the WTO”. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol 590 p188–211.

Pease, Kelly-Kate, (2012) “Critical Theories and Approaches,” in International Relations and Organizations: Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Longman.

Walt, Stephen M., (1998), “International Relations: One world, Many theories,” Foreign policy Vol 110 p29-46.

Wendt, Alexander. 1992. ‘Anarchy is what states makes of it: the social construction of power’, International Relations Organization, vol 41 (3) p50-57.

Wenger, Andreas; Robert W. Orttung, Jeronim Perovic. (2009). Energy and the Transformation of International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Ontology and Epistemology

Ontology and Epistemology

Ontology is the branch of metaphysics. Ontology exists since the beginning of the universe. The most famous example of Ontology and Epistemology was the dialogues of Plato and Aristotle. Ontology is the enquiry of existence. To inquire about universe, existence of God, matter, and after death happenings is some of the questions ( According to Marsh et al (2002), the theory and science of being is ontology. Ontology tells us how the world has come into existence. Moreover, it also provides us the information of other world. However, its political implication is also possible because regarding the political and social contest and its nature it satisfies us (Hay, 2002). The world is always there beyond our knowledge and life exists since unknown times; however, this is one phenomenon. The other shows us that in real world is nothing instead time and culture provide a base and it is constructed obliquely and socially.

The question “What is there?” is the core concern of ontology. The relevant material regarding ontology was acquired from Aristotle and Plato’s dialogues. Aristotle defines at great length the general topic in his dissertation about things or natural things. Metaphysics, which is the source of ontology, clearly defines ontology. Therefore, to understand ontology the understanding of metaphysics is necessary. The process of thinking regarding things and defining them in words is metaphysics.

The implications of ontologies are beyond the human understanding. Presently, several breakthroughs have been observed in desktops of domain experts and Artificial-Intelligence laboratories. Moreover, the World-Wide Web is taking great advantages through the utilization of ontology. On WWW, it is being utilized to categorize large taxonomies and classifications of products to enhance their features for sale Yahoo! In addition, is the prominent benefiter of ontology. In addition, great work is under progress for the Resource Description Framework (Brickley and Guha 1999).

The recognition of truth and falsehood, and the means of obtaining knowledge is the core focus of epistemology. It is an investigative science. Priori and posteriori knowledge and its practice is an inseparable part of epistemology. Epistemology teaches us how we can get knowledge by simply improving our thinking. It describes how to learn things without seeing them. Therefore, epistemology is an indivisible segment of our thinking process. The opposite of epistemology is ontology. If ontology is religion, than epistemology is science. Religion describes that God exists but epistemology wants proofs, scientific and concrete, rational and logical evidence of God’s presence. Therefore, all the atheists are the great lovers of epistemology.

Ontology and Epistemology
Ontology and Epistemology

The role of Durkheim is very significant in the development of sociology. His social cohesion and provocative theories and his social facts concept provided a base for future research work. Durkheim differentiated sociology methodologically and theoretically from present schools of philosophy and history because they also consider social issues. His most famous theory of social facts is acknowledged globally (Durkheim 2012).

Durkheim’s renowned words are still the base of sociology’s objectivity “a matter of treating ‘social facts as things.” In other words, Durkheim suggests the sociologists to treat ‘social facts’ as facts. These facts can only be proved by empirical examination or by peripheral inspection through the utilization of statistics, legal codes indicators. Moreover, the wills of individuals and their demonstration underpinning through moral or legal rules are important for social facts. In addition, in infinite forms that composes a fixed object through a stable attribution, which facilitates the observer; thus, for personal observation or subjective impressions no room is left (Durkheim 2012).

Durkheim Emile: Edited with an Introduction Steven Lukes: Translated by W. D. Halls: The rules of sociological methods, (1982).

Emile Durkheim studied various subjects from crime and suicide, native religious totems and insignias and other phenomena to find the answer of the question what adhesive force bind together social groups and societies. Moreover, he wanted to know how people in industrial and modern societies are bound together despite they do not have acquaintance with each other. In addition, despite their social positions and experiences’ dissimilarities they are within the fold of similar society. Obviously, it is a surprising thing in a growing world of individualistic; the base of society social ties is adhered.


In the current essay ontology, epistemology and social facts theory of Durkheim have been discussed briefly. Ontology and epistemology are reciprocals and their utilization has increased widely in several scientific and rational sciences. Durkheim was a rationalist and great believer of epistemology; however, in later life he transformed towards ontologism.


Durkheim, E. (2012) The Elementary Forms Of The Religious Life. Courier Dover Publications.

Hay, Colin (2002) Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Marsh, David and Furlong, Edward (2002): ‘Ontology and Epistemology in Political Science’ in

Marsh, David and Stoker, Gerry (eds.): Theory and Methods in Political Science, 2nd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Brickley, D. and Guha, R.V. (1999) Resource Description Framework (RDF) Schema Specification. Proposed Recommendation

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Feminist Movement

Feminist Movement


In the beginning of the sixties, feminist movement emerged as a social movement which concentrates on dealing with issues related to women. It sought to tackle issues such as abortion, domestic violence, sexual assault, voting issues, violence against women, sexism, etc. it influenced all spheres of life and concentrated on removing sexism and male chauvinism from society. Similarly, it has influenced the field of arts, which was also dominated by males. According to researchers, dealers and curators mostly consisted of males and they preferred male artists. This trend had negatively influenced women artists and they were excluded from major art events and exhibitions. Consequently, they did not get the chance to get acknowledged for their work and skills. During the time of discrimination against women and in the such an environment, where women were not acknowledged for their work and skills along with male chauvinism, female artists expressed their views through art in order to deal with patriarchal society. According to scholars, feminist art is defined as the art which concentrates on tackling patriarchy and to define and pave way for social creation of feminism. Several feminist artists came into view to deal with male chauvinism. The aim and objective of this research article is to explore true feminism.

This article will concentrate on discussing feminism and feminism movement. It will provide an overview on what feminism is all about and how it influenced art. At the same time, it will concentrate on feminism art of the sixties. It will also explore feminism and feminism art in today’s time. The main aim of this research article is to explore the topic of true feminism art of the sixties and feminism art of the twenty first century in the lights of broad and diverse academic resources. This article will employ the use of various journals, books, encyclopedias, magazines and electronic resources to discuss the topic of feminism art of sixties and twentieth first centuries. It will concentrate on discussing the works of prominent feminist artists and the events, which gave rise to feminism movement.

Feminist Movement: Overview

The feminist movement is also called the Women’s liberation movement which sought to deal and tackle with issues such as abortion, maternity leave, harassment and violence against women, domestic violence, genital mutilation of females, honour killings, etc. Scholars and academic have divided feminist movements into three waves, which have dealt with several aspects of feminism but in a different way. The first wave feminist had initiated between the nineteen and twentieth centuries and it was mainly concerned with Suffrage movement. The second wave of feminism was the period between sixties and eighties in which feminists sought to deal with discrimination against women in society and law. It had the basic ideas of first wave feminism. The basic idea behind these movements was to struggle and to improve the conditions of women. According to researchers, feminism is defined as the continuous battle against the oppression and suppression of females. It was essential to initiate the feminist movement because women were subjugated at all levels in the Western society. The feminist movement aimed at removing this bias and concentrated on removing sexism from society so that women would also get a chance to develop their careers. It is one of the most influential and long lasting social movements which have influenced women in all spheres of life.

Feminism and Art

The feminist art is considered to be the hard work and achievements of feminists, who worked hard to use art as a medium to represent the lives and experiences of women so that they can bring change in society as well as in contemporary art. Feminism art main aim was to ensure that women become more visible in the history and practice of art.  The feminist movement started somewhere in the sixties and continued to develop in the seventies. Consequently, it gave rise to the notion “second wave of feminism”, which is persistent in today’s time. It was in the California State University of Fresno, where the first feminism art education program was started. The number of students was not more than fifteen and their instructor was Judy Chicago. She helped in the influencing the early feminism art and employed the use of costumer, video, performance in order to express feminism. In Los Angeles, Judy Chicago founded the art program. Together with Miriam Schapiro, they created Woman House in the early seventies. With the popularity of feminism movement, women emerged as separate and distinct individuals of society and started working with men. Artists such as Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, Suzanne Lacy, Faith Wilding, June Wayne, Mary Kelly, Dara Birnbaum, etc emerged in the world of art and brought piece of art to represent feminism. In the seventies and eighties, the Women’s Building was considered to be the essential hub for feminist artist to gather and exchange views. In the same arena, conferences, conventions, workshops and exhibitions were held to discuss and promote feminist art. At the same time, Women’s Video Festival was introduced in order to promote feminist art.

Feminist Movement
Feminist Movement

Feminism History

According to researchers, feminism is considered to be theory which concentrates on political, economic and social equality of genders. As a social movement, it is considered to be the organized movement, which strives to work for women rights and interests. The history of feminism has been divided and classified by academics and researchers in three waves, first wave, second wave and third wave. The third wave feminism starts from nineteenth century to early twenty first century. The second wave starts from late sixties and late eighties. The third wave starts from nineties till recent times. The first wave feminism had started in the United Kingdom and United States. It concentrated on removing the inequalities which were officially mandated. Feminists of this time included Mary Wollstonecraft, Lucy Stone, Helen Pitts, Olympia Brown, etc.  According to researchers, the first wave ended when the U.S Constitution allowed the women to vote. It was considered to be big step for women. Other significant victories of this first wave included new reforms in education, healthcare and other professions. However, the second wave of feminism concentrates on the unofficial inequalities and it was important to tackle them. It created a link with issues, which had to be addressed in order to change the present situation of women. This wave allowed women to understand their lives personally and politically.

History of First Wave Feminism

In the 1800, women did not have any control in their life. During this time, an average married female was the mother of seven children. They could not get higher education. In wealthy families, women interfered in domestic issues but did not have any property rights. At the same time, religious restrictions also hindered with the growth and development of women. In the 1790, the Second Great Awakening had started which allowed women to show their leadership skills outside the domestic sphere. Several movements were started. Angelina and Sarah Grimke are considered to be famous and prominent abolitionists who had criticized and defied social customs. They publicly addressed the American Anti-Slavery Society and were severely criticized. In order to respond to criticism, Sarah Grimke wrote “Letters of Equality of the Sexes.”

First wave feminism is considered to be the era in which the feminism activities were started during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It started in United States and United Kingdom and aimed at removing gender discrimination. It concentrated on women’s suffrage because women were not allowed to vote during those times. From Miriam Schneir perspective, the first wave of feminism was the time when woman had taken her pen to protect herself from male chauvinism and gender discrimination. According to historians, Mary Wollstonecraft was the first female who had published the very first feminist treatises. The name of her treatises was, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In it, she expressed her views of current situation of women and supported the fact that there should be gender equality. In her uncompleted work, by the name of Maria or Wrongs of Woman, she had extensively discussed and explored the topic of sexual desires of women. It was criticized severely because it sought to talk on female sexuality. British feminists consider Wollstonecraft as the founder of British feminism. It was because of her ideas; feminists in Britain strived and campaigned for the right to vote. After continuous efforts, some women were given the privilege to vote in the year 1918. During the same time, Maria Stopes emerged and wrote a sex manual by the name of Married Love. The basic aim of this manual was to concentrate on the issue of equality in marriage. It also talked about female sexuality and its importance.

In the United States, Margaret Fuller was considered to be the pioneer of feminist work. She had written Woman in the Nineteenth Century. In United States, several prominent and well known feminist activists emerged. Active feminist movement members included women such as Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, etc. these women were also the same individuals who made continuous efforts to remove slavery from the American society. Other prominent activist includes Victoria Woodhull and Matilda Gage, who worked hard to ensure that women get the right to vote. Several of these women had to face charges because of the fact that they had raised their voices. Carrie Chapman, Alice Paul, Sarah Grimke, etc are the name of some of the woman who violated the laws so that their voices could be heard. The first wave feminism consisted of women who belong from orthodox Christian groups. According to researchers, first-wave feminists are considered to be sensible and moderate and were ready to work within the system of politics.

According to researchers, the first wave of feminism was very different from second wave of feminism because of several issues. Firstly, it did not deal with social issues such as abortion, etc. They did not talk about the reproductive rights, which women have. According to researchers, feminists of that time did give views on marriage and asserted that woman has the right to refuse sex. However, marital rape had no legal recourse. During that time, feminists also talked on unwanted pregnancies and birth control pills. In the year 1860, Married Women’s Property Act was passed. It allowed women the authority and power to voice their opinions in the wills of their children. It also gave them inheritance laws. It was in the year 1920, when women were given the permission to vote. This was a major event and a big victory for feminists because it influenced the lives of women and gave the place for second wave feminist movement.

History of Second Wave Feminism

The second wave feminism movement is considered to be the feminist movement which took place from early sixties and continued to develop in the seventies. The first wave feminist movement concentrated mainly on the legal equality. However, second wave feminism concentrated on several social issues such as abortion, domestic violence, work discrimination against women, violence against women, reproductive rights of women, marital rape, etc.  This second wave of feminism emerged in the late forties in which patriarchal concepts emerged. Television shows such as Father knows Best, etc are the male chauvinist programs which concentrated on the fact that woman are best to be housewives and mothers.

The Second Sex has been written by Simone de Beauvoir. In her work, she explained that women were considered to be ‘other’ in the male dominated society. She came to the conclusion that male dominance has taken roots in the entire world and it is accepted as a norm. Women are viewed as objects and their work is to become pregnant, look after their children and menstruate and there is no valid justification to categorize them as the ‘second sex’.

According to Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Betty Friedan had openly criticized and protested against the image of women, which was depicted in the media. Women were placed at homes, to do house-chores and take care of children. This image was publicized and hindered in the development and growth of women. It showed that women did not have talent. The concept of perfect family consisted of husband, who was the bread earner and the wife, as the home maker and caregiver of children. This concept did not show happiness but rather degraded women.

During this movement, President Kennedy had appointed Esther Peterson to occupy one a high post in his administration. He also founded the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. Eleanor Roosevelt was the chairperson of the Commission. Betty Friedan released, Feminine Mystique in the year 1963. In the same year, President John F Kennedy administration released a report which demonstrated that women were subjected to severe and harsh discrimination in United States. With Friedan book and report, several housewives criticized and show discontent and dissatisfaction on the present condition of women. This led to the development and formation of several local and government feminist organizations, which concentrated on liberating women from male oppression and subjugation. This was the starting point of the movement.

The movement grew and prospered and won several legal cases. These achievements include Equal Pay Act of 1963, Amendments in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, etc. Friedan joined forces with several women and men to lay down the foundations for NOW: National Organization for Women. Other significant victories of the movement are as follows:

  • Formation of Executive Order
  • Women’s Educational Equity Act
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • Illegalization of marital rape
  • No-fault divorce legalization
  • Allowing women to enter the military

The above are some of the major achievements of the second wave feminism. The second wave of feminism assisted women to become aware of them and gave them the opportunity to look at their personal lives. According to researchers, the goal of the second wave feminism was to remove the negative images of the women and to create their positive images in order to respond to these negative images. At the same time, it concentrated on removing oppression.

Abortion Act of 1967

The Abortion Act of 1967 was introduced in the year 1967 by the Parliament of United Kingdom. It made abortion legal if practiced by registered and authorized practitioners. David Steel was responsible for introducing this Act. It was subjected to heavy criticism and became one of the most debatable and controversial subject of all times. However, it was passed on twenty seventh of October in the year 1967. David Steel supported this Act because there were several women who had died because of illegal abortion practices. At the same time, such unwanted children were sent to orphanages or were looked after by relatives. They were also sent abroad. The act ensured that abortion remained legal in the United   Kingdom. It ensured that abortion was legal up to twenty eight weeks of pregnancy.

Sisters of 77

Sisters of 77” is considered to be an important documentary which concentrated on giving insight on the history of women. It was shown on the first National Women’s Conference and sought to end the discrimination and oppression of women. It concentrated on removing gender inequality. This was the first conference which was funded by the federal government and it was brought by more than twenty thousand men and women.

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