Feminism has a very long history dating back to the early 1900’s. “The history of feminism is, in fact, political history, or it is (to put it another way) a more expansive history of politics that incorporates women and analyzes gender politics” (Offen). It has had three very distinguishable movements otherwise called waves.
”First wave feminism grew from women activists involvement in nineteenth century movements such as the anti-slavery movement. After passage of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawed discrimination in voting on the basis of race, woman’s movement activists coalesced around campaigns to secure woman suffrage. By 1923, three years after passage of the universal suffrage 19th Amendment, some suffragists National Womens Party leader Alice Paul, for instance began pushing for an Equal Rights Amendment to outlaw all forms of discrimination based on sex, an ultimately unsuccessful campaign that lasted until 1983” (Feminism and the Women's Movement).
These three waves have created the equality between men and women that exists today. Each wave built momentum until Feminists started the Feminist movement which set the ball rolling. It changed the lives of women forever.
Feminism had major effects on different aspects of a women’s daily life. It affected birth rates, their home life, the workplace, and caused friction between genders. Birth rates were affected because “more than 80 percent of wives of childbearing age were using contraception after the federal government in 1960 approved a birth control pill” (Walsh). This allowed women to have more freedom in society. It “freed many women from unwanted pregnancy and gave them many more choices” (Walsh). Before the Feminist Movement of the 60’s women did not do much more than chores around the house. They “had been relegated to a single career path (homemaking) and that had to change” (Mother Superior). Women “despite their economic contributions and employment freedom, were still expected to shoulder the lion's share of work in the home” (Mother Superior). This meant that women were expected to be a wife, professional, mother, and home-maker. The women had a more difficult time after they gained their freedom because “women had gained new jobs, but had been forced to continue doing the old as well” (Mother Superior). The workplace was significantly changed after the Feminist Movement