Essay about The Dinner Party And Second Wave Feminism

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The Dinner Party and Second Wave Feminism The 1960’s and 70’s was a period defined by change. During the civil rights movement, the American population became increasingly aware of the struggles of minority groups. This newfound awareness paved the way for second wave feminism. The objective of second wave feminism was the liberation of women, with respect to reproductive rights and sexuality among other things, and the primary means of expression of these ideals were through protest, literature, and art. One piece of art that truly embodies the ideals of second wave feminism is Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party (fig #1), in that it reflects the political environment of the era, and makes commentary on female sexuality, domestic dynamics, and the role of women in history.
The political environment of the 1960’s and 1970’s was in a state of flux. The civil rights movement gave a voice to African Americans, who had historically been silenced. The civil rights movement also drew attention to the intersectionality of racial issues and women’s issues. Women’s studies professor Nancy A. Hewitt states that “It is impossible to write about the civil rights movement without recognizing the centrality of women.” (397) Women were integral in the struggle for civil rights. Rosa Parks, for instance, challenged both gender roles and discriminatory laws by refusing to give up her seat in the white-only section of the bus. It is immediately obvious what role her refusal played on the…

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