Essay On Second Wave Feminism

Words: 1303
Pages: 6

The second wave of feminism in America began in the 1960s, and manifested itself into a global phenomenon. That movement looked different depending on which part of the world you were in, and America’s take on second wave feminism was no different.1 As more women began to enter the workforce in the 1960s, the foundation for a new movement in feminism began to establish itself.2 By 1963, second wave feminists had their “bible” of sorts in The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, and they had their policy-pushing coalition by 1966 with the National Organization for Women.3 The stars began to align, and the time was just right for a feminist uprising.
In 2002, historian Becky Thompson looked to challenge the typical timeline of second wave feminism in her paper Multiracial Feminism: Recasting the Chronology of Second Wave Feminism. Her main critique was on how the typical timeline of second wave feminism focuses too much on “hegemonic feminism,” which is feminism which is “white led, marginalizes the activism and world views of women of color, focuses mainly on the United States, and treats sexism as the ultimate oppression.”4 As a
…show more content…
In most cases, hegemonic feminism implies that black feminist organizing was an afterthought, and only came after the prominence of white feminism.6 If anything, black feminism came before the mainstream white feminism, because it’s so intertwined with the civil rights movements of the era.7 Assata Shakur, leader of the Black Liberation Movement, noted that “the revolutionary struggle of Black people had to be against racism, classism, imperialism and sexism for real freedom…”.8 When historians analyze second wave feminism through the lens of white women, it discounts all of the struggles that women of color went through and the efforts they made to right the wrongs done to