Second Wave Feminism

Improved Essays
Feminism, the belief and promotion of equality between the sexes politically, socially, and economically, is a widespread movement throughout the Americas. This movement, while generally seen as one large and homogenous effort, is quite diverse in the goals, views, challenges, achievements, and people involved. By the late 1950 's, the majority of the nations in North, Central, and South America had granted women voting rights. (Infoplease). These early 20th century suffrage movements were the first real cause that united women into what today would be considered a feminist movement. The suffrage movements for women sparked an ideology that would grow and develop throughout the century. The use of the word feminism to describe the ideology …show more content…
The period from the 1960 's to the mid-1990 is known today as second wave feminism. The beginning of this much more radical wave of feminism is often cited to have begun with the late 60 's protests in Atlantic City against the Miss America Pageant. The pageant had induced outrage in many women because was objectifying to women and degraded them, seeing them as just beautiful and nothing else. It was felt that this attitude contributed to the idea that women belonged at home or in "appropriate" and usually low-paying jobs like a secretary of school teacher. The second wave of feminism brought an idea that seeing women only as objectified, beautiful things was inherently harmful. This idea resulted in the creating of a loosely formed group in New York called the Restockings. (Pacific University). When most Americans today think of feminism in the 1960 's and 70 's, or even very often feminism in general, it is the Restockings that they think of, remembered for their practice of burning and throwing away objects they say as oppressive and objectifying, like bras, makeup, and high heels. While the Redstocking 's achieved much in starting a conversation against the objectification of women, they also brought about one of the feminist movements greatest ongoing challenge, which is the stereotype of feminists as overly radical, ugly, and man hating individuals. The early stages of the second wave of feminism is also heavily criticized for its, however unintentional, exclusionary nature towards anyone other than upper middle class white women. Orgainizations like the National Organization for Women (NOW), where a step forward for organized advocacy of women 's rights, they were excluded for their exclusion of the working class, and in particular, black women. (Pacific University). This issue brought about the formation of seperate black feminist organizations, such as

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