Topic 4 Radical feminism

For radical feminism, which played an important role in the second feminist wave, the division of the sexes pre-existed the division of social classes as patriarchy is observed in all socialist and non-socialist societies (Frosi et al., 2001). A key position of radical feminism is the treatment of women as a social class, which is oppressed by men as they are the dominant class. Therefore, patriarchy is a universal and timeless phenomenon. That is why the goal of radical feminism is to overthrow patriarchy because it is believed that social justice and gender equality cannot arise within the framework of the social norms that exist within it. Therefore, what is required is the existence of alternative schemes in the social organisation (Tsaousi-Hatzi, 2015).

For radical feminism, the school plays an important role in the reproduction of patriarchy and the oppression of girls. This manages to achieve social control and the manipulation of women through a variety of tools and practices, such as the division of labour and the roles of women and men in school communities, the small participation of women in decision-making about education, the maintenance of stereotypes about gender, the hidden curriculum and gender practices in the educational process (Kantaraki, Pagaki & Stamatelopoulou, 2008). In addition, Deligianni-Kouimtzi (2007) emphasises, radical feminists believe that the knowledge presented at school as human knowledge is masculine, while the female experience has been set aside. This has the consequence that girls’ perception of the world and themselves is formed through the language of men (Frosi et al., 2001). Frosi et al. (2001, p. 10) point out the seminal role of radical feminism in education as it proposes specific solutions aimed at improving the position of women. These proposals focus on “producing and introducing new, authentic knowledge for women”, which will aim at empowering girls.