LIBERAL FEMINIST THOUGHT AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSICAL MUSIC
JoIan HsIeh(Graduate student, Arizona State University, USA)
Liberal feminists consider that men’s and women’s human nature are basically the same: individualistic, rational, selfish and competitive. They argue that women are not given the same opportunities as men to pursue their individual interests. Basically, liberal feminists view women as a group primarily blocked by informal and formal discrimination, and also by socialization that prepares women differently from men. They believe that the privileges, rights, and powers that give individuals the chance to pursue fulfillment are necessary for women as well as for men. To achieve this goal, liberal feminists encourage women to become more like men, that is, to become more assertive, competitive, and individualistic; this should then enable women to enjoy the same privileges.
This paper will illustrate the sources, major focuses, goals, and shortcomings of liberal feminist thought. Then through brief case studies on the lives of Ethel Smyth and Amy Marcy Beach, I will attempt to interpret how they successfully entered a traditionally male dominated field through liberal feminists avocation. The impact of liberal feminism, undoubtedly, has effected the recognition of more female artists in the music field.
liberal feminism, human nature, public/private sphere, equal opportunities.