The idea of women being equal to men has been debated for a very long time. Even when civilizations were just starting, most women were treated very differently from men. When women started fighting against this oppression they were called feminists. Feminism can be separated into three waves. The first wave of feminism was from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. The second wave was from the 1960s to the 1980s. The third wave of feminism started in the 1990s, but its end is unclear. Some people believe it has ended and the fourth wave of feminism has started, but others believe it continues today. The different waves have been very different in some aspects, but very similar in others. The main differences between the first and third wave of feminism are what they fought for, how they protested, and society’s reaction to their cause.
First wave feminism addressed many issues including employment, marriage laws, and education. Voting rights were later embraced the voting rights movement.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the early feminists’ focal concern was women’s suffrage. During this time, most women in the United States did not have many economic and political rights. Back then priorities of women were to take care of their homes, families, and husbands. These earlier feminists, also known as the first wave feminists, simply wanted a voice and this led to the women’s suffrage movement. By 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment finally passed and gave women the right to vote (Kotef). This successful movement influenced women everywhere in the world and continued to powerfully inspire women throughout the 20th century (Kotef). By the latter half of the century, the second wave of feminism arose. It included the voice of African-American women because this wave occurred during the civil rights movement. Second wave feminism also included important issues such as sexual and reproductive rights, legal abortions, birth control pills, and the passing of the Equal Pay Act (1963). All feminists live to create ideologies and movements that support the equality of women, but it is clear that second wave feminists were substantially different in their aims than earlier feminists (Gizberg). The goal of this paper is to analyze the main elements of second wave feminism and compare it to the works of earlier feminists. This will show the multifaceted development of second wave feminism.
This essay examines the question, “To what extent was the second wave of feminism (in the 1960’s and 1970’s) successful in achieving equality for women?” The essay is introduced by describing why the second wave of feminism developed and the aims of this second wave of feminist. The essay is broken into two parts. The first part of the essay discusses the impact of women 's rights activist on legislation. It is argued that the second wave feminist were unsuccessful in gaining equality in terms of obtaining equal wages and opportunities for women in the workplace. They however were successful in obtaining equal rights laws and reproductive laws for women. The feminist of the 1960’s and 70’s were victorious in securing for many american women the right to have easy access to contraceptives and abortion. The second part of the essay focuses on the extent that the second wave feminist were successful in changing the mindset of Americans. These feminist wanted the view of women to be one that portrayed women less as only a housewife and more as a women who can lead a life that could involve a career in any field. Success ranged in this area. On one side there was women becoming more independent and free as they embarked the sexual revolution while in other regards such as film and music women still held an inferior role to men. The second wave of feminism achieved great success in attaining equality for women however this success was not as far ranging as these mid 20th century
In the early 19th century, women were expected to have at least seven children. Higher level education was very unlikely. Women could not own property. American women were restricted in about every aspect of life. Their one goal was to marry well and start a family. Wages for women, if they did worked, were very, very low. It was not until the Married Woman’s Property Act, (1860) which legalized property ownership, joint custody and wage retention for women. The Seneca Falls convention was the first women’s right convention, which all attention to unfair treatment of women. First wave feminists were everything from radical liberals to conservatives. They got past their differences in the spirit of working together for womens’ rights. They were very willing to work within the political system and they understood
Although much has changed, feminists, regardless of which wave or gender they claim to belong to, still fight for the equality of women everywhere. From the 19th century to the 21st, feminism has helped shape western society. From the first wave, granting women the right to vote to the second wave were oral contraceptives were made available to women, to the third wave which help give women different colors, cultures, nationalities, and ethnicities a voice to be
The suffragists were the first wave of the feminist movement. The declaration was the beginning of women 's rights movement, the demand for equal legal, social, political and local rights. The women 's suffrage began to form protests, write and send letters to the Congress, and organize the political convention. The pioneers of Women Suffrage worked hard and assisted each other. Linda K. Kerber states in her work, No Constitutional Rights to be Ladies: Women and the obligations of citizenships, that the Women’s movement after the Nineteenth Amendment involved “capacious understanding of the possible ingredients of politics that includes petitioning, testifying and mobilization of themselves and others” (Kerber, 15). In 1878, Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony proposed a national women’s suffrage amendment granting women the right to vote. The second wave of the suffrage focused on reproductive rights, domestic violence, and marital rape issues. The second wave women 's movement used different means to strive for equality: lobbying Congress to change laws; publicizing issues like rape and domestic violence through the media, and reaching out to ordinary women to both expand the movement and raise their awareness of how feminism could
The definition of feminism is very elusive. Maybe because of its ever-changing historical meaning, it’s not for certain whether there is any coherence to the term feminism or if there is a definition that will live up to the movement’s variety of adherents and ideas. In the book “No Turning Back,” author Estelle Freedman gives an accurate four-part definition of the very active movement: “Feminism is a belief that women and men are inherently part of equal worth. Because most societies privilege men as a group, social movements are necessary to achieve equality between women and men, with the understanding that gender always intersects with other social hierarchies” (Freedman 7).
Her along with many other First Wave Feminist paved the way so we could live as equals in the world. The first wave of feminism began with the Women’s Suffrage movement and the struggle to extend the right to vote to women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, one of the first known feminist works, was a treatises written by Mary Wollstonecraft. In the exposition she writes about the social and moral equality of the sexes, stating that all men and women are created equally and neither should be treated higher than the other. Susan B. Anthony, a very notable woman during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, helped Stanton and many others during the time period with gaining the right to vote. The First Wave Feminists accomplished many things and paved the way for other waves of feminism to get stuff
The First Wave of Feminism is thought to have begun during the early 1800’s and lasted through the early 20th century. Much of the First Wave of Feminism aimed toward women gaining the ability to vote. This time period is also often referenced as the Suffrage Movement. During this time period of the First Wave of Feminism women were restricted in many ways and not seen as equals or individuals. Rather, they were more less thought of as a piece of property. It was in fact illegal for women to own property, execute wills or sign any documents, serve on juries, vote in elections, including local meetings. The legal restrictions put on women went so far as to say that she was not allowed to divorce her husband or refuse him of sex. Also, even
Feminism can be defined as the belief that women and men should have equal rights. This is an incredibly simple premise in theory; however, as soon as one starts to unpack exactly what it would take for equality of the sexes many other inter-related issues arise. One of the main issues is that there are many different types of oppression including, but not limited to, gender, race, sexuality, sexual orientation, ethnicity and socio-economic background. All of these factors and more must be taken into consideration when discussing systemic privilege and oppression. This essay will mainly be focused on American feminism and there will be particular care paid to how first wave feminism treated and seemingly forgot about women of color in its quest for recognition.
Although the first two waves of feminism in the United States, the first from 1848 to the 1920s and the second from the 1960s to the 1980s, had similar causes, the other influences in society and politics at the time gave the two women’s movements different motives, leading to different effects and accomplishments from each wave. Simply put, first-wave feminism and second-wave feminism have similar causes but differ based on their motives and effects. According to several sources, including Robinson1, Stanton2, Zinn6, and a mathematical analysis of the causes of social movements by several professors9, first-wave feminism was caused by women being introduced to the workforce with the Industrial Revolution, and the effects of World War I. Similarly,
As Third Wave feminism is currently unfolding before us, and its aims encompass a wide array of complex issues, it is often hard to describe what Third Wave feminism is. The feminist theories, mainly associated with First and Second Wave feminism attempt to describe the power imbalances that are found in society, and while doing so expose other oppressions, such as discrimination based on race or sexual orientation. As this essay attempts to place a clear definition to Third Wave feminism, feminists are concurrently trying to deconstruct old definitions and open it up for women to determine what feminism means to them. In other words, no clear definition on what is meant to be a feminist is sufficient, as the Third Wave is about
Although feminism in the United States can be dated back to the early 18th century, any movements or advocates during that time were scarce, and the societal influence accomplished was little to none. The feminist movement didn’t really start to get started until the 19th century. 19th century through mid 20th century feminism is considered First-wave feminism, which includes the suffrage movement, education reform, workplace reform, and the beginning of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) movements (Harding, 1981). The first wave of feminism peaked and is said to have ended with the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, and putting an end to the highly influential suffrage movement. Second-wave feminism is the period of the feminist movement which took place from mid to late 20th century into the 21st century (Harding, 1981). This period
Women’s rights has been a problem for a very long time and still is today. Some of the biggest movements to fight for women 's equalities happened in the 20th century. People like Betty Friedan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony helped to make it possible. In the 20th century there were two waves of feminism and third started in the 80’s but still continues today. I talk about the first and second wave in this essay. Then how these waves have changed the role of women in society.