Three Major Waves Of Feminism

1525 Words 7 Pages
Feminism as an ideology is a difficult concept to define because it tends to shift and changes as conditions change and as more focus is placed on one approach or another, one objective or another, and one counter-attack or another. Despite the shifting, there is one idea that has provided a steady foundation for the various major and minor waves of feminism that have taken place through history. This is the idea that there should be greater equality between the genders in the home, at work, and is social/political life and that the way to do this is by providing women with greater control over their own lives and greater flexibility to express their rights as humans. There have been at least three major waves of the feminist movement, commonly …show more content…
“There have always been men who agreed on the importance of those women’s issues, and some who spoke up, but never in such numbers or with such effect” (Sobut 2014). “Those women’s issues” are broadly defined in the article as being issues of violence and discrimination against women which are done to women mostly by men. With mostly male legislators attempting to control women’s medical procedures through laws, cases of violence against women consistently high, and even women’s career opportunities continuing to be limited, it is hard to argue that the feminist movements of the past have made much progress. In a poll conducted by the Roper Center this year, women’s perceptions of discriminations against them in obtaining higher level positions in business have increased since 1970 from 50 percent of women feeling discrimination has held them back from achieving higher paying jobs in 1970 to 57 percent of women feeling their failure to advance is caused by discrimination in 1999 (Roper 2015). Other professions and the military have the worst discrimination reports, increasing from less than half of women feeling discriminated against in achieving higher positions when the category was first added (1970 for other professions, 1985 for military) to quickly topping 50 percent by 1999, 66 percent for the …show more content…
While it is important for men to speak out and speak up, Sobut and others make the point that more important than speaking out, it is important for men to model for other men more appropriate, non-violent, respectful behavior toward women. However, there are good ways to do this and not so good ways. After providing an example of what she terms ‘allies’ to the movement, Sobut describes several ways in which men get it wrong. “They enter the conversation about feminism with factually challenged assertions ... they try to refocus anything said about women’s woes on men’s woes ... sometimes, men insist ‘fairness’ means admitting that men suffer from women just as women do from men, or even that they suffer more” (2015). This is also a warning offered by Van Deven (2009) when she points out that all male groups, as in groups comprised solely of men, attempting to combat feminist issues run the risk of still existing with a patriarchal system designed to determine ‘right’ social behavior without the input or feedback of half of the population that social code will govern. Instead of attacking individual people, Van Deven recommends men should be more focused on questioning the fundamental systems that define individuals in terms of dominance and

Related Documents