Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1

Political Science

Department 2

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Throughout its history, feminism has manifested in myriad ways; indeed, there are more than ten different categories of feminist thought, all of which seek to define the tenets and objectives of feminism as a movement. These groups include, but are not limited to: radical feminism, eco feminism, third wave feminism, postmodern feminism, liberal feminism, and psychoanalytic feminism. It is important to note that these divisions are not mutually exclusive - one can identify with multiple types of feminist thought at the same time. Given the variety of beliefs attached to the notion of feminism, academic scholarship on the subject is naturally diverse and sometimes contradictory. In fact, both ideological and strategic debates have always existed within the movement, though their content has changed as feminism has evolved and adapted to modern circumstances. Today, a vibrant discourse exists concerning the differences between liberal feminism and neo-liberal feminism. This modern perspective on feminism questions neo-liberal feminism’s necessity as well as its potentially damaging implications. In addition, this conversation also inquires into the relationship between conservatism and feminism, and whether or not it is possible to be a conservative feminist. A case study in which 8 subjects of varying political affiliations were interviewed about these topics suggests support for neo-liberal feminism’s market-based approach as well as an acceptance of a new category of feminist thought: conservative feminism


Written for POL 382: Feminist Theory in American Politics.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.