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By Valerie Bryson

Feminist Political concept presents either a wide-ranging background of western feminist concept and a lucid research of up to date debates. It bargains an obtainable and thought-provoking account of complicated theories, which it pertains to 'real-life' concerns suc

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Sample text

Nineteenth-century feminism was also in many ways more radical than many accounts suggest. The writers to be considered in this section were essentially 'reformist' in that they did not seek to deny the rule of law but rather to extend legal protection and rights to women, neither did they provide a systematic attack on the socio-economic system, or on marriage and the family. Nevertheless, their sense that women were a separate group in society with shared interests and experiences led them at times to an analysis in which women were seen as a class with interests distinct from and opposed to those of men.

It was this experience, coupled with Stanton's personal frustrations with the demands of domesticity, that provided the direct inspiration for the first ever women's rights convention - the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, which Stanton later claimed represented 'the inauguration of a rebellion such as the world had never seen' (quoted in Rossi, 1973, p. 144). The Seneca Falls Convention At one level the Declaration of Sentiments and the Resolutions resulting from the convention (which were signed by 68 women and 32 men) can be seen as a straightforward demand that the principles of liberal repUblicanism be applied to women as well as to men.

For the next 150 years, liberal campaigns for political and legal rights were largely separate from socialist preoccupations with the class struggle, while the idea of personal oppression frequently disappeared from the agenda; it is only in the work of some modern feminists that these separate strands are being drawn together again. 2 Liberalism and beyond: mainstream feminism in the nineteenth century During the nineteenth century, earlier feminist demands were increasingly translated into mainstream political action, inspiring movements for educational, legal and political reform and culminating in the mass campaign for the vote.

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