How Feminism Has Developed Through Many Forms And Transformations

1802 WordsMay 13, 20178 Pages
Feminism has developed through many forms and transformations, but the most impactful change has been the inclusion of both women of color and woman and men of alternative sexualities and genders. The beginning of this change can be seen with the second and third waves of feminism. Merle Woo, an Asian-American author wrote “Letter to Ma” in 1980, during this important shift of ideals. Woo’s distinct theme is the broad focus of privilege within the world and how it effects woman of color and people of varying sexualities. The struggles that white woman faced were simply neither the same or as severe as the struggles that woman of color faced. She also expresses repeatedly throughout the letter her devotion to both the LGBTQ community and…show more content…
However, in her writing, the audience can also detect the shift from second wave feminism to third wave feminism. For example, Woo argues that universal is another word for white: “When universal is used, it is just a euphemism for white: white themes, white significance, white culture” (Woo 163). The idea of dismissing a type of universal commonality between woman and focusing more on acknowledging privilege is distinctly a third-wave feminism staple. Rampton discusses this when she says, “In this phase many constructs were destabilized, including the notions of universal womanhood” (1). Woo uses her context as a woman color during both second-wave feminism and the transition to third-wave feminism to express her strong views on dismantling the idea that feminism is for white, straight woman only. Unequivocally, the biggest focus for Woo is systematically commenting on the unfair treatment of woman of color in historical feminism, and the struggle for a woman of color to break into the feminist discussion when her family accepts the mistreatment. Chow explains in “Asian American Feminist Consciousness” that “white feminists do not fully understand or include issues and problems that Asian American women confront” (292). Merle Woo’s theme in “Letter to Ma” reflects this argument completely. Most of Merle’s letter she affirms that

More about How Feminism Has Developed Through Many Forms And Transformations

Open Document