The Third Wave Of Feminism

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Every feminist has come across someone who just doesn’t understand feminism. The same questions about whether we hate men, are all lesbians, and more have always cropped up. So, when I went to the internet looking for people who just don’t understand, I wasn’t disappointed. However, I was disappointed by the amount of feminists whose response was “you just don’t understand!” and left it at that. Even worse were the scores of “feminists” threatening people with rape and other atrocities just because they didn’t consider themselves feminists. How do we, as a movement, expect to get anyone to understand our cause if we are rude and threatening? Also, the definition of feminism has changed so often that I doubt key feminists from the first and …show more content…
Sometimes, when looking at people who choose not to understand what feminism means, the response “women already got the vote, what else do we need?” This is a plain indicator that the person speaking has absolutely no idea what the goals are of the third-wave of feminism. First wave feminism focused on the voting rights, property rights, and influence within the family and society. For the beginning of feminism, these were direct and well-liked goals. According to the in-class textbook, In Their Time, first-wave feminism’s “participants were largely white and middle-class, their goals reflected their desire for self-fulfillment and for greater influence in both family and in public life.” (LeGates 198). It is easy now for everybody to understand what feminism meant back then; …show more content…
Some were so firm in their belief of emancipation while others were not, leading to group factions, and the inevitable crumbling of the entire group. The second-wave of feminism, starting in the 1960s, was more convoluted and inclusive than the first wave. There was more of a focus on women’s sexuality, workplace rights, and reproductive rights. There was also the increased focus on the Equal Rights Amendment. There was staunch opposition to the second-wave of feminism, possibly because it was more aggressive in it’s campaign and in it’s goals. A favorite opposing quote directed at the second-wave says; "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."(Pat Robertson) This is a lot to do in one lifetime, and any historian will tell you that capitalism, however shaky, is here to stay for a while and can take a beating. I would venture to argue that second-wave feminists, such as Gloria Steinem or Dorothy Pitman-Hughes would not have recognized first-wave feminism as feminism at all. Sure, they were winning the vote, but it was such a predominately ethnocentric movement, that is barely fits today’s definition of feminism, let alone the second-wave. Betty Friedan, a feminist

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