Essay on Wave Feminism

Submitted By mathyou
Words: 637
Pages: 3

Feminism is a series of movements dedicated to gaining equal political, economic, and social rights for women and men. Feminism strives for change in all of the aforementioned aspects to ensure that women not only have these rights, but have access to information to enable women to make well-informed choices concerning their rights. The history of the Feminist movement in Western Culture is divided into three basic waves: First Wave, Second Wave, and Third Wave. Feminist theory is an examination of gender inequality in an attempt to understand and overcome its presence. Activism is very important for change in the feminist culture, and their campaigns have affected Western policy greatly. Women’s suffrage, reproductive rights, gender neutrality, and access to contraceptives and abortion are but a few of the rights won through feminist activism. Feminism permeates every aspect of our society, as well as other societies across the world. Although many countries do not have as much freedom for women as the United States, it is important for everyone to understand Feminism and it’s positive effects on society.

First wave Feminism is a period of feminist activity in the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States, the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands. Their main cause was gaining women’s suffrage, but this wave of feminists also focused mainly on officially mandated policies promoting inequalities. This wave formally began at the famous Seneca Fall Convention of 1848 where 300 women and men rallied for equality. In its infancy, feminism was intertwined with the temperance and abolitionist movements. After World War I, more women began entering the workforce and gaining more positions of power in society. As gender roles became slightly deconstructed, a more liberal political environment allowed for the emergence of what would later be known as the foundation for modern day feminism.

The second wave of feminism started in the 1960’s and continued on into the 90’s. This anti war and civil rights movement were a catalyst for this next wave of feminism. This wave is known for being more radical that the first. Sexuality and reproductive rights were the dominant issues as well as a considerable amount of attention and energy focused on passing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, although it was eventually not ratified. This movement also protested the Miss America pageants and compared the pageant to a “cattle parade”