The First Wave Of The Second Wave Movement

1949 Words Apr 21st, 2016 8 Pages
“Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns…in 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong” (Kessler). Nearly every American has heard this claim, or at the very least, others like it. So widespread is the sentiment, that even President Obama himself has repeated it. Many contemporaries point to the widespread availability and acceptance of facts such as these as one of the major accomplishments of modern feminism. However, within the apparent shining bastion of social justice lies a dark shadow; a truth that many would prefer go ignored. Third wave feminism, as a movement, in contrast to first and second wave feminism, is a failure because of its lack of a central, uniform, well defined platform, its inability to win popular support, and its focus on social aspects rather than legal or political ones.
To understand why modern, third wave feminism is a failure, one must first understand why the first and second wave movements were successful. First wave feminism first became prominent as a movement in the 1890s under the banner of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, or NAWSA, in response to the redefining of the social and economic role of women in the time during and immediately after the Civil War (The National).The objective of first wave feminism was clear and well defined: to obtain suffrage on a national level for all women. After a few minor successes in New England, securing state-level voting rights, the…
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