Young Women and Feminism in Australia Argumentative Essay by shiouxyum

Young Women and Feminism in Australia
This essay analyses why young women frequently ridicule the feminism movement which has brought so much improvement to their lives.
# 147672 | 2,990 words | 33 sources | APA | 2011 | AU

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This paper discusses feminism in post-modern, neo-liberal, post-feminist Australia. The paper argues that while many women in Australia have benifited from feminism, this is not true across all socio-economic, generational and ethnic groups. The paper discusses a variety of reasons that in spite of gender inequality young women deride feminism.

From the Paper:

"The current political economy of post-modern, neo-liberal, post-feminist society is imbedded with reaffirmation of masculine hegemony, where feminism is ridiculed, feminists are stigmatised and everything is relative to nothing. The changing face of femininity is most commonly represented by a newly empowered young womanhood that is, above all else, imbued with post-feminist agency and distanced from outmoded notions of female disadvantage. However, many groups of women are still subordinated by their unequal power relationships with men, and the extent to which young women have benefitted from the feminist movement, varies greatly between socio-economic and cultural groups. In reality, young women may deride feminism, due to ignorance of the complexities of the movement, as they have little access to various feminist discourses, which may, in fact, be consistent with their own beliefs and ideology. Internal disputes within the movement have also contributed to its demise from the public sphere, as its power to defend itself from opposition reduced. On top of that, there has been a backlash against feminism from the beauty industry and many young women hold anxiety that being a feminist means they will be less likely to have a successful relationship. This article argues that the discourse of such a highly individuated new femininity leaves little room to raise questions of gender inequality, to articulate the experience of difficulty and disadvantage, or to compose a powerful collective identity. The central argument of this essay is that the current political economy is detrimental to the women's movement as it transfers the onus back to individual women, where many of these young women do not have the power to create change in their lives."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Andrew, M. and Maddison, S., (2010), 'Damaged but Determined: The Australian Women's Movement, 1996-2007', Social Movement Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, April, Pp. 171 - 185.
  • Bacci, C., (2005), 'Affirmative Action for Men: "A test of common sense"', Just Policy, Vol. 1, No. 36, June, Pp. 5-10.
  • Baker, J., (2010a), 'Great expectations and post-feminist accountability: young women living up to the successful girls discourse', Gender and Education, Vol. 22, No. 1, January, Pp. 1-15.
  • Baker, (2010b), 'Claiming Volition and Evading Victimhood: Post feminist obligations for young women', Feminism and Psychology, Vol. 10, No. 186.
  • Budgeon, S., (2001), Emerging Feminist Identities: Young women and the practice of micro-politics, European Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1, Pp. 7-28.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Young Women and Feminism in Australia (2011, June 07) Retrieved January 24, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Young Women and Feminism in Australia" 07 June 2011. Web. 24 January. 2022. <>