The Three Waves of the Feminist Movement (almost) First Wave

The Three Waves of the Feminist Movement (almost)
First Wave 1848-mid-1920s
Seminal text: “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions”
• Suffrage
• Creation of social and child-labor laws
• Start of campaign for legalized birth control
• Equal Rights Amendment (1923) is drafted
Second Wave rises out of anti-war and civil-rights movements
Seminal text: The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan 1963
• predominately white, middle class American-based, educated women; eventually moves into the
academy (National Women’s Studies Association)
• organization of women’s liberation groups in major US cities
• activist activities: consciousness-raising (CR) groups and speak-outs occur in major cities across the US
• women step into male-dominated political arenas
• ERA moves to Congress (loses by three votes)
• successful passing of Title IV (equal funding for boys and girls activities in educational settings that are
federally funded)
• women’s health issues are recognized: Our Bodies, Ourselves, 1971
• legal and social recognition of: domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, child sexual
abuse, women in the workplace, women in the military, women’s reproductive rights, rape, pornography,
Third Wave late 1980s to present
Seminal Text(s): Manifesta: Young Women, Feminisms and the Future, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy
Richards, 2000; ‘zines created by the Riot Grrrl movement
• broader inclusion of recognition: women of color, sexual diversity, age (recognition of young girls and
older women), and men
• inclusion becomes more transglobal; activist activities becomes a fight for all women everywhere, beyond
US borders (Transnational/Global Feminism)
• volunteerism is new force for activist activities
• CR groups form through new texts: the ‘zine movement gives way to the use of writing, new technologies
(Internet, filmmaking, music)
• women begin stepping into male-dominated cultural arenas
• women’s health issues are recognized through activist activities: reproductive health rights marches on
DC in 1989, 1992 and 2004
• legal and social recognition of: date rape, sexual identity issues (custody battles, gender reassignment,
marriage rights), reclamation of language (cunt, bitch, slut), objectification (body image is major issue)
• shifting of Second Wave ideals on “proper” feminism: marriage, pornography
• voter registration among women becomes driving force for many activist activities