Feminism And The Second Wave

1351 Words 6 Pages
Feminists and scholars have divided the feminist movement 's history into three "waves". The first wave refers mostly to the women 's suffrage movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The second wave contains the ideas and actions associated with the women 's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s, campaigning for legal and social rights for women. The third wave consists of the reactions and results of the second wave’s ideas beginning in the 1990s. Although the terms "feminism" and "feminist" did not gain widespread use until the 1970s, they were already being used in the everyday language much earlier. As a result of these three waves, women today are flourishing in ways never before possible and inch closer and closer …show more content…
Countless females admitted to feeling bored with staying home all day unable to achieve the dreams they once had. Women began to seek change from their strict lifestyle and gain equality between men and women. These beginnings are known as the “First Wave”. Mostly marked by the fight for suffrage, the First Wave included many other issues including ownership of women by their husbands and property rights. This movement was retrospectively named after the term second-wave gained popularity. The official origins of the First Wave began with The First Women’s Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 led by activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The convention consisted of 300 men and women rallying for the cause of equality for women. Following this convention, hundreds of organizations like it began to flourish from The Married Women’s Property Committee in 1855 to The Society for Promoting The Employment of Women in 1859. The First Wave is believed to have ended with the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when women were granted the right to vote and to run for office. The efforts of Margaret Sanger towards family planning and abortion rights following women gaining the right to vote were some of the most influential of the time. The blurred line between the First and Second waves begins with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s …show more content…
Published in 1963, during the early years of the Second Wave, The Feminine Mystique has been referred to as the most important text of the women’s liberation movement. This “feminine mystique” she describes can be defined as the idea that women should be content with devoting their lives to being perfect wives and mothers. Beginning with “the problem that has no name” referring to the popular unhappiness of women in the 1950s-1960s and the lives they were living despite their comfortable lives. The book goes on to discuss the personal issues these women were feelings and many statistics of the history of these issues. She provides studies who have gone against the feminine mystique and her ideas of how other women can do the same. Friedan’s book created social uproar that has yet to be matched since. The frustrations of these women that were previously unknown and, more specifically, unacceptable were now recognized to the public and influenced the many forms of legislation passed in favor of women in the following years. Futurist Alvin Toffler describes the movement Friedan inspired to have “pulled the trigger on history.” Friedan went on to found the National Organization for Women (mentioned above) and propose ideas still discussed today

Related Documents