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First-Wave Feminism

The personal is political.

The Second Wave Feminism

1960s to 1980s, began in the US but eventually
spread worldwide (Europe and Asia) and broadened
the debate to a wide range of issues
focused on passing the Equal Rights Amendment to
the Constitution
Womens struggle is class struggle.
Second wave of feminism was marginalized and
viewed as less pressing to other social movements
at the time (i.e. Black Power and the effort to end
the war in Vietnam) leading to the formation of
women-only organizations and consciousness
raising groups.
Second wave was increasingly theoretical, based on
a fusion of neo-Marxism and psycho-analytic theory
and creating the associations of the subjugation of
women with broader critiques such as patriarchy,
capitalism, normative heterosexuality, and the

The Second Wave Feminism

Differentiation of sex (biological) and gender (social
construct varying from culture to culture over time)
Development of women-only spaces and the notion that
theres a special dynamic between women working together
that would work for the betterment of the entire planet.
Women were thought to be more humane, nurturing, peaceful and
holistic in problem-solving compared to men.

The term eco-feminism was coined to depict women as

natural advocates of environmentalism and biological
connection to the earth and to lunar cycles.

What started
the second

What started the second wave?

grew out of leftist movements in postwar Western

societies such as student protests, the antiVietnam War
movement, the lesbian and gay movements, and, in the
United States, the civil rights and Black power
movements. ---- these movements criticized
capitalism and imperialism and
focused on the notion and interests
of oppressed groups: the working
classes, Blacks, and in principle,
also women and homosexuals.

What started the second wave?

Radical second-wave feminism was outlined by
feminist scholars like Juliet Mitchell in The Subjection
of Women (1970) and Shulamith Firestone in The
Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution
Claimed that:
Patriarchy is inherent to bourgeois society; sexual difference is
more fundamental that class and race differences
Women constitute a class economy on their own based on
maternal investments and as a workforce reserve

What started the second wave?

Kate Milletts book, Sexual Politics (1969) insisted on
womens right to their own bodies and a sexuality of
their own
Sheila Rowbotham in her book Women, Resistance, and
Revolution (1972) explored issues of dual work-load for
women both inside and outside the home, equal pay for
equal work and and gendered division of the
educational system and labor market while Angela Y.
Davis Women, Race and Class (1981) looked into the
gender, race and class

What started the second wave?

Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde claimed that
heterosexuality is compulsory institutions
desired to perpetuate the social power of men
across class and race
Richs On Lies, Secrets and Silence (1980) and
Lordes Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984)
explored how heterosexual imperative made sexism,
racism and classicism function

Both of them concluded that the emancipation of

women would only be possible with the

Issues faced by second wave


Issues faced by second wave

oppressive beauty
America Pageant)
A woman reading
little like a Jew

Issues faced by second wave



deep-rooted traditional division of

labor between men and women, from
the home to the factory
women were not given reproductive
rights such as safe abortion, etc.
insisted upon their right to participate
with complete equality in all forms of
political, social, economic, and
cultural activity-equal education,
equal access to jobs, equal pay for
equal work
issues of sexism

feminists ways of
addressing their
Theatrical Activism

Crowning a sheep
Ms. America

carrying posters--- Cattle

Parades Are Degrading to Human
Beings, Boring Job: Woman
Wanted, and Low Pay: Woman



Make up


d is


To be able to live, a woman has to agree to serve, honor,
and obey a man and what she gets in exchange is at best a
shadow life. Bitches refuse to serve, honor or obey anyone.
They demand to be fully functioning human beings, not just
shadows. They want to be both female and human. This
makes them social contradictions. The mere existence of
Bitches negates the idea that a woman's reality must come
thru her relationship to a man and defies the belief that
women are perpetual children who must always be under
the guidance of another - Jo Freeman,

What kind of feminist

are you?

Liberal Feminists
Western liberal feminists maintained that the
discontent experienced by many middle-class
women in postwar Western societies was due to
their lack of social power and political
solution they advocated was not necessarily paid
work outside the home; indeed, one of their
demands was payment for housewivesa kind of
citizens incomealong with representation in
public institutions
Typical liberal feminist concerns during the
second wave were documenting sexism in
private as well as public life and delivering a
criticism of gendered patterns of socialization.

Radical Feminists
protest to show how women in pageant competitions were paraded like cattle, highlighting the
underlying assumption that the way women look is more important than what they do, what they
think, or even whether they think at all
women found themselves reduced to servicing the revolution, cut off from real influence and thus,
once again, exposed to sexism.
key to this branch of feminism was a strong belief that women could collectively empower one
Sexual difference is more fundamental than class and race
womens right to their own bodies and a sexuality of their
owna sexuality that is disconnected from the obligations of
marriage and motherhood.
sisterhood and solidarity, despite differences among women
Womans struggle is class struggle and The personal

Example: Redstockings
influential but short-lived
radical feminist groups of
the 1960 to 1970s
produced many of the
expressions that have
become household words
in the United States:
Sisterhood is powerful,
consciousness raising,
The personal is political,
the politics of housework,

Socialist/Marxist Feminists
the criticism of the dual workload for
women working outside as well as
inside the home, the demand of
equal pay for equal work, and a
breakdown of the gendered division
of the educational system and the
labor market.
the emancipation of women would
occur only with the destruction of
capitalism and the rise of
socialism, when women would be
freed from dependency on men and

Difference Second-Wave Feminists

highlight womens productive
capacities in terms of motherhood
and caretaking, understood as
sources of knowledge, know-how,
and empowerment.
difference feminism claims that
sexual difference is universal, though
in its particular manifestation as
gender also historical and social and
therefore both contextual and

Identity Second-Wave Feminists

Grew out from difference feminism
Marked by a growing criticism from Black, working-class, and lesbian feminists
gyno-criticism or as womanism, in an African American context signaled, on
one hand, a search for authenticity and continuity in womens cultures and, on
the other, an interest in understanding differences among women as
The method is improved to expand the analysis from merely describing the
similarities and differences that distinguish the different systems of oppression
according to gender, class, and raceto focusing on how they are interlocked.
lcriture feminine in European context, explored Western universalism and its
paradoxical articulation through dualisms such as mind/body, man/woman, and
White/Black and their hierarchical ordering, in which one element is not only
different from but also less than the other.

Second-wave feminisms have been highly

theoretical and consequently have had strong
affiliations with the academy.


Beginnings - early 1990s to present (exact boundaries
in feminism's history are unknown)
Some say mid 1990s
"Third-wave feminism" - coined by Rebecca Walker,
1992 essay

The second wave feminism during 1960s, -70s and 80s:
Had determined positions about women in
pornography, sex work and prostitution.
During the second wave of feminism, women protested
against the Miss America pageants (Atlantic City, 1968 and
1969) because the pageant was said to objectify women,
that a womans worth is measured by her outer appearance.

Redstockings (a radical group based in New York) crowned a

sheep as the new Miss America and women threw oppressive
feminine artifacts such as bras, girdles, high-heels, make-up and
more into the trash can.
Crowning a sheep
Ms. America


Make up

So how is the second

wave different from the
third wave?

Third-wave includes
queer, non-white
women, were ambiguous
about women fields such
as prostitution, sex
work, pornography

[Its] possible to
have a push-up
bra and a brain at
the same time."
- Pinkfloor

Motivated by the need to develop a feminist theory and
politics that honor contradictory experiences and
deconstruct categorical thinking.
Born with the privileges that first- and second-wave
feminists fought for, thirdwave feminists generally see
themselves as capable, strong, and assertive social
agents: The Third Wave is buoyed by the confidence
of having more opportunities and less sexism
(Baumgardner & Richards, 2000, p. 83).

Characterized by local, national, and transnational
activism, in areas such as violence against women,
trafficking, body surgery, self-mutilation, and the overall
pornofication of the media.
It criticizes earlier feminist waves for presenting
universal answers or definitions of womanhood and for
developing their particular interests into somewhat
static identity politics.

Post-structuralist interpretation of gender and
words and texts have no fixed or intrinsic
that there is no transparent or self-evident
relationship between them and either ideas or things,
no basic or ultimate correspondence between
language and the world.
To simplify, language has been used to create
binaries (male/female) but binaries are artificial
constructs created to maintain power of dominant

celebrates ambiguity!
Some don't even want to identify themselves as
"feminists" at all because the word feminist can
be misinterpreted as insensitive to the fluid
notion of gender and the potential oppressions
inherent in all gender roles
also according to some critics is elitist

abolishing gender role expectations and
Common denominator of third-wave feminism:
redefine feminism by bringing together an
interest in traditional and stereotypically
feminine issues
flaunt femininity and seek to reclaim former
derogatory labels such as slut and bitch

Queer and transgender politics

interested in intersections of gender and
gender as a discursive practice that is both a
hegemonic, social matrix and a performative

gender as a discursive practice that is both a

hegemonic, social matrix and a performative gesture
Defined by the use of performance, mimicry, and
subversion as rhetoric strategies
cyborg (cyberfeminism)
heteronormativity -> transfeminism
Transversal Politics


Women are overly

emotional and cant
make sound and
rational decisions.

Not to be sexist, but I cant vote

for the leader of the free world to be
a woman, T.I. told Vibe magazine.
Just because, every other position
that exists, I think a woman could do
well. But the president? Its kinda
like, I just know that women
make rash decisions emotionally
they make very permanent,
cemented decisions and then
later, its kind of like it didnt happen,
or they didnt mean for it to happen.

Women watch sports because the

athletes are hot.

Women cant drive.

Revolution Girl-Style Now

lipstick feminism, girlie feminism, riot grrl
feminism, transfeminism
Reclaiming the term girl while engaging
in a new, more self-assertive and
aggressive but also more playful and less
pompous kind of feminism

Following in the footsteps of Queer Nation and Niggers

with Attitude, feminists condemn stereotypes used
against them and exaggerate them (girl, bitch, slut)
Karen McNaughton (1997) And yes thats G.r.r.l.s which
is, in our case, cyber-lingo for Great-Girls. Grrl is also a
young at heart thing and not limited to the under 18s.

Bilyana Vujick: I live by my own standards. I

am my own judge and jury. I refuse to
look/do/say whatever it is Im supposed to.