Researchers
August 26, 2020

Understanding Your Research Contributions Through a Feminist Lens

Feminist criticism is a form of analysis of research and literature that has been officially accepted as a theory since the 1960s. Whether a researcher agrees with it or not, they have to filter their work through the lens of a potential feminist reviewer as part of their audience to see how their outcome could be taken. Before you submit your work for publishing, it’s important to understand how your research contributions could be seen from a feminist perspective.

Theoretical perspectives in research have gone through evolutionary shifts over the millennia as societies form and reform. One of the more recent perspectives officially accepted as a theory is that of feminist criticism, adopted in the 1960s as a legitimate viewpoint from academics around the world.

The rise of feminism e of feminism as an accepted theory of science perspective has been controversial for decades, but whether you as a researcher accept it or not, it’s necessary to filter your work through the lens of someone who could be reviewing your work as a feminist critique or part of your audience who does perceive scholarly work through that lens. Before you submit your final publication for public review, make sure you understand how your important research contributions could be analyzed and seen through the lens of a feminist perspective.

Basic Tenets of Feminism

The overall general perspective of feminist criticism is considered to be a viewpoint of how literature and societal norms work to reinforce or tear down women through oppression. Criticism is addressed in major aspects of cultures like social, psychological, economic, and political norms. The feminist lens approaches certain aspects of culture through literature as they are seen through a male-dominated society and serves to point out any of these implicit or explicit variations in writing.

Some of the commonly accepted tenets of feminism include ideas like:

●      Oppression of women economically, socially, psychologically, and politically from a patriarchal society

●      Patriarchal practices ensure that women are not considered as equal and are marginalized

●      Western ideologies have roots in patriarchal norms

●      Feminist activity is performed with the ultimate intention of gender equality

These tenets are how feminist critiques and your audience may see your work, and you must be able to defend your research through this lens.

Challenges to Balancing Your Work Through a Feminist Viewpoint

When you’re working on your research in order to stay completely neutral, it’s difficult to see it through every perspective possible. This remains true even if you’re purposely looking through a feminist lens if it’s not your authentic viewpoint.

Feminist researchers and critiquers look at literature in terms of how power is wielded - how institutions and their heads continue to promote gender inequality, mostly in how this inequality level affects females detrimentally. Because of the wide subject area power encompasses, it’s not easy for researchers to visualize every aspect of where feminism can be seen. Mainstream societal values often contextualize gender inequality in ways that make it difficult for people to realize that their biases are encouraging this patriarchal perspective.

Using Self-Reflection and Other Strategies Before Publishing

Like many biases, patriarchal viewpoints could be portrayed through your work without you realizing it. To this end, self-reflection strategies should be a normal part of your process as you complete your research and reach the next step. Before you move on, check your work to consider questions as they’d be seen through a feminist lens, such as:

●      Are there any interactions or implicit relationships between men and women, and if so, how are they established?

●      Who are the defining power relationships in your paper? Are men and women represented in a balanced fashion? Do they portray stereotypical roles?

●      How are the roles of those in your research defined? Is there an expectation of dominant traits that define masculine or feminine characteristics?

●      What economic, political, societal, and psychological norms are revealed through your work? Are these patriarchal in nature?

●      Are women reflected as being creative, logical, and in leadership roles in your work?

●      How does your research further goal of equality between both genders or break from traditional viewpoints?

These questions through honest self-reflection or as experienced through a peer review process can help you to address feminist criticisms before your work is published.

Display Your Results with Impactio

Part of demonstrating your unbiased results as seen through an approach that would be feminist-approved is to use professional programs to format your report. Impactio lets you build your academic resume with text, graph, and tables, then present your findings as a professional-looking PDF file or a web-based report. You can then share your work with your target audience or the entire Impactio community of expert researchers just like you, and use your findings to help make a gender-equality impact in society today!

Tags Research Contributions Self-Reflection Feminism
Jason Collins
Writer
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.

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