With the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the 1920s, various feminism-based ideologies began to arise. The two main sectors of feminist thought have become liberal and radical feminism. Liberal feminism’s main goal has been the continual push for equality between men and women when it comes to individual rights. Liberal feminism surpasses the traditional concept of “feminism” by advocating the equality of all citizens. It just happens to advocate on the side of women because out of the two sexes, women are far more oppressed than men in societies accross the globe. A liberal feminist would not necessarily push for liberation on behalf of women specifically, but instead would push towards giving women an equal connotation as men in relation to status and individual rights. In essence, a liberal feminist does not want to propel women above men, as that would result in the same injustice (except in reverse) that they are fighting so adamantly against, but instead want men and women to be viewed with equal connotation and power.
Radical feminism, as the name entails, has a more radical stance on the inequality between men and women. A radical feminist would argue that the favoring of men over women in modern society can not be quickly fixed due to the long rooted mindset of male superiority that has plagued the human race since the beginning of time. With that said, and in contrast to liberal feminism, a radical feminist would argue that a widespread social revolution on behalf of women can be conquered through the liberation of all women. In order to accomplish this goal, a fundamental change in values will need to be set in motion. Women will need to be given equal respect and credit for their traditional role in the home as men are given for their role in the public realm as government officials and professionals of society. Put more simply, women should not need to change their traditional role to that of a man’s in order to achieve equality, but should instead be valued for the roles that they do traditionally hold.
In conclusion, the main difference between the two competing views on feminism is the method of which the equality of women is accomplished. For liberal feminists, equality is achieved by simply advocating the equality of men and women in society. Radical feminism, on the other hand, seems to aim at changing the negative connotation of a woman’s role in society into a more positive and accepting connotation, thus making the roles of men and women equal in the human mind. Both methods will result in a similar end product, the difference being the paths taken to get to that final goal of equality among the sexes.