3rd wave feminism rethinking activism and perceptions.docx
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3(26) 3rd wave feminism: rethinking activism and perceptions
Three feminist waves
Maternal (aka social) feminism
Equal rights feminism
1. Feminism has been conceptualized using ‘waves’. Three waves: first, second, third wave, moving
into the fourth.
2. Artificial approach: feminism is not null between waves.
3. Feminism is continuous, dynamic, and activist based.
4. Waves metaphor does allow us to note changes in approach, theoretical developments to
understanding oppression, and goals of various stages of the women’s movement.
5. Each wave of feminism has unique characteristics; grounded in particular political, social,
6. Third wave: shift from equality to equity.
7. Examines the outcome of existing laws, policies from a gendered perspective.
8. Third wave feminism has expanded our traditional notions of women, men, gender, race, power
9. Rejects women-are-always-victims-men-are-always-perpetrators gender ordering.
First Wave Feminism
1. 1.First wave: mid 19th century; American, British, Canadian movements.
3. 3.Tended to approach issues two ways: maternal feminism and equal rights feminism.
1. Used women’s supposedly “natural” instinct to mother as justification of gaining access to the
2. Maternal feminists argued women could “clean up” the ills of society (poverty, alcohol abuse,
3. Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) example of maternal feminism; drinking was a
male vice, which destroyed the family and caused violence against women. Prohibition was the
4. Needed the vote in order from women to have their concerns and voice taken seriously.
5. Tended to be: racist, elitist and grounded in religion.
Equal rights Feminism of First Wave
1. First wave equal rights feminists: wanted women to be treated the same as men.
2. Whatever rights, privileges men had access to, women also wanted them.
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