Dynamics: Feminism and Women Essay

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Selena Dotson New waves; New Tides Feminism, in the simplest form, is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, and organized activity on behalf of women's rights and common interests. There are many “feminists” with many different theories. As a result, feminism is broken up into three waves; first-wave spans from the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, second-wave which spans from the early 1960's through the late 1980's, and the third-wave started in the early 1990's, and is continuing through present time. The first wave began in the United States around the 19th century ending in the early 20th century. Many people believe the first wave ended after it had achieve the goals of; granting women the right to vote, reforms in the workplace, health care, and education system. Following was the creation of the second wave of feminism, which were created to combat the unfinished business of the first wave. The second wave of feminism began in the early 1960’s extending to the late 1980’s. This wave an advocate for encouraging women to understand aspects of their personal lives and deeply politicized, and reflective of a sexists structure of power. Basically, it was an extension of the first wave with new ways added to combatting women’s issues. However, unlike the first wave, the second wave had not achieved its set goals. On the other, there is an undeniable idea that this wave had failed. Therefore, this lead to the birthing of yet another wave; known as the third wave. Third wave came into existence in the 1990’s and is continuing today. Unlike the other two, the third wave has its own distinct phenomenon, which makes it the topic of discussion when feminism is discusses. The failure of the second wave, forced third wave feminist to step in and clean up their mess. Though, some consider the third wave as the turn of the century, because it created conflict within feminism. Issues arose amongst the waves; first and second wave feminist felt their traditions had been devalued. As a result, this hostility between the feminist Waves has created divisions among women that must be overcome if we are ever to hope to continue moving feminism forward. The task of the second wave was to combat the issues of education, women and men. Their main objective was to identify and end sexist oppression. Though this was no easy task, second wave feminist attempted the challenge. Women turned to the use of media outlets i.e. Books, Newsletters, and Magazines. These outlets were used as mechanism to spread the word about the sex oppression women face[d] daily. As a result, they were able to pinpoint actual problems and protest for social change. The feminist would attend different events protesting for women equality. The most memorable was the Miss America protest, which had a major impact on the movement. Deborah Siegel explains, the protest and the effect it had on not just the second wave but other movements as well. Sigel states, “Following the Miss America protest, radical feminists who had been busy theorizing the movement from within their individual cells quickly woke up to the fact that this was a movement worth fighting for on a large scale”(Siegel, 50). Though, it was a powerful protest, it created conflict amongst the women socially. Some expressed that following this protest rose, the problem of control, because the women would fight against who should be in charge. Issues as this is the reason why second wave feminist struggled to reach its goals. They were too busy fighting against one another, instead of conquering battles as a whole. As a result, a strain was put on the movement, which detoured it from its reaching its main objective. Aside from the setbacks they were able to bring other women into the world of feminism. However, this seems to not have been enough to keep the