From its earliest beginnings, the women’s movement has evolved into a complex enterprise combining social, political, economic and academic organizations around the globe. The move into the academic scene (women’s studies, gender studies, etc.), in the past forty or so years, has given rise to debate about the purpose of feminism: what is feminism’s raison d’etre? Should feminism primarily be an advocate for political and social change, as it was in its early days, or should it focus on theoretical questions about women and their place in the world? The debate asks about method: what is the best way forward? How should we proceed? In response, my article explores Bernard Lonergan’s idea of Functional Specialization as a method that offers the potential to unify the global enterprise of feminism with the concrete and practical intent of improving women’s rights around the globe.
third-wave feminism. functional specialization