Evolutionary Feminism

Do you know the 10 variations of Feminism?
The following entries are from the academically acclaimed book by Anne Campbell,
Oxford University Press, March, 2002:
A Mind of Her Own: The Evolutionary Psychology of Women
who gives us the nine variations (all entries on pp. 30 & 31, plus the new one presented here: Evolutionary feminist.

Afro-American feminists
: Reject the Eurocentric approach to knowledge embodied in individualism and positivism. They maintain that race is the primary oppression and that gender is secondary to this. They are particularly critical of scientific work that under-emphasizes the impact of social and economic inequalities between the races. They deplore the failure of mainstream feminism to address the problems of women of color. Also sometimes referred as "Hip-Hop" Feminism -- a "sassy" brand of African-American form of social, and polirtical view from the black female perspective.

Essentialist feminists: argue that women by virtue of their biological and psychological qualities are equal to or superior to men. Although originally rejecting any implication of biological differences as 'a tool for conservatives who wished to keep women in the home,' they have now rethought their position 'with a recognition that biologically based differences between the sexes might imply superiority and power for women in some areas'[Rosser, S.V. (1997) Possible implications of feminist theories for the study of evolution. In P.A. Gowarty (ed.), Feminism and evolutionary biology: boundaries, intersections and frontiers. New York: Chapman & Hall].

Evolutionary feminists: based on the evolutionary selection pressure dictating that responsiblity of passing genes through birth and nurturing is soley a fuction of the female of our species. It has its solid foundation on empirical evidence that female mamals do not wage war. Of the 4,000 or so mammal species on the planet, only two form alliances to attack their own species: chimpanzees and humans. The importance of this fact is given even greater strength when we acknowledge the emperical fact that only the males of both species are involved in this social behavior (if you want to call war a "social behavior.") This link to the primates gives rise to this unique view of the evolutionary perspective to feminism. Much of the new insight into of this evolutionary perspective was formed within the emerging science of evolutionary psychology.

On March 9th, 2008, a New York Times reporter by the name of Emily Bazelon was reviewing the book, The Sexual Paradox: Men, Women, and the Real Gender Gap, by Susan Pinker. Let me quote: "Thus, Pinker parks herself firmly among "difference" feminists. Women's brains aren't inferior, she argues, but they vary considerably from men's, and this is the primary explanation for the workplace gender divide." The phrase "difference" feminist therefore falls under the evolutionary feminist umbrella, as the basis for the movement is the recognition of the evolutionary biological forces at work in the conscious mind's creation. Evolutionary feminists also believe that social forces such as culture are about of 60% of human behavior. They understand that nature and nurture are linked in a intricate dance reinforced by location, location, location on the planet.

Existential feminists: emphasize the ways in which women are raised to see maleness as the natural human state in which women form the objectified 'other.' It is the importance that society accords to biological sex, rather than sex itself, that forces women into playing the role of the Other.

Liberal feminists: argue for the advantages of psychological androgyny, the establishment of a gender-blind society with equal opportunities for men and women, and are unique among other feminists in continuing to accept traditional scientific method.

Marxist feminist: argue that gender oppression can be traced to capitalism as a means of production and to the power structures reproduced by class in capitalist societies. Freedom from gender role constraints can best be sought in a Marxist economy.

Psychoanalytic feminists: Use neo-Freudian theory to argue for the unconscious internalization of female powerlessness. Psychoanalytic feminists trace gender differences to the distinct ways of dealing with psychosexual development. Although they reject the 'biological determinism' of Freud, they trace male dominance to the fact that women are the chief care-takers of infants and children, resulting in boys distancing themselves from their mother and adopting independent and autonomous styles while girls become enmeshed in over-dependent relationships with their mothers.

Post-modern feminists: reject the notion of a stable and unified self but rather see the self as a product of ideology, discourse and language. Equally, they reject the idea that women can speak with a unified voice. They argue against grand theoretical narratives and contend that gender, like the self, is neither real nor fixed but variously socially constructed in different contexts.

Radical feminists: believe that men's oppression of women is the most fundamental and widespread oppression in society. They urge women to reject all theories developed by men including Marxism, psychoanalysis, positivism and existentialism. Women can gain true knowledge only by using and reflecting on their own personal experiences and those of other women. Lesbian separatists allege that compulsory heterosexuality and engagement in patriarchal society makes it impossible for women to understand their own oppression. Women must refuse to collaborate with men in any way that oppresses women, lesbianism is the preferred sexuality and artificial insemination the preferred means of reproduction.

Socialist feminists: seek to give a more equal weighting to class and gender. Socialist feminists integrate material, social and unconscious processes in explaining how race, gender, class and sexuality produce power relations that disadvantage women.


For further information regarding evolutionary feminism, I strongly suggest that you read my book review of Charles Darwin: The Power of Place. The reason being is that I argue that Darwin may have "shifted" his theory of sexual selection, first presented in his "animal book," Origin of Species, in which he emphasised that it was the female that choose the male in which to mate, -- to the male choosing the female, in his "man" book, The Descent of Man. However, with his book, Descent of Man, in 1871, he changes direction and declares, that because of the all the magnigicint things that we see all around us -- art, music, politics, architecture, etc., are products of the male's superiority over women. In sexual selection, it is the male that choices the female.


You may also be interested in reading my short essay titled: Cheryl and Leona An Almost Typical American Couple:
A Short Piece That Understands That Political Power is Used as an Instrument of Subspecies Control in the Quise of "Morality" written in February 2003.

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