Chapter 2: A History of Gender & Differences
Waves of Feminism:
First Wave: Late 19 and early 20 centuries. Women from Great Britain,
Canada, and US, fight for suffrage, righs equal to men, and question immigration
and settlement policies.
Second Wave: Began in 1960s, stereotypes about women’s political activisim,
causes and meanings. Women fight against oppression and for liberation of men,
women, and children.
Third Wave: feminist movement comprised of US born women after 1970
growing up with the ideas of feminism and want to define what feminism means
to them in their own terms.
Women’s Global Activism:
Mexican American Protest Movement Houston TX, concerns Mexican women
oppressed by race, class and gender. Chicana liberation movements increased. Women
fought alongside men but also joined together to contrast male domination and sexism.
European women lobbied for equal pay, easier divorces, legal abortions, and access to
contraceptives. Latin American women protest rape, battering, and reproductive control.
Women protest war worldwide, Women’s activism is global, comes in various forms.
Roots of U.S Women’s Movement: Women denied equal opportunities and rights as
activists, wage earners, spouses, parents, students and citizens. Spread rise of women’s
Rigid Gender Expectations: Women expected to remain at home as housewives
without roles that had economic significance. Others forced to enter the labor force could
not have families and viewed as less feminine and inferior.
All aspects of US society seemed to conform to ridgid gender expectations for women.
Women who wanted to obtain degrees or didn’t want limitations were viewed as
‘abnormal and neurotic’
Women’s Rising Dissatisfaction with Inequality:
Cold War Politics Anxiety linked to the soviet threat made family stability seem critical and linked
womens domestic roles to national security in the country. Anticommunist
ideology praised women for their roles in shaping and maintaining a household.
Deviance from typical male and female behaviors was seen as unpatriotic and was
thought to tear apart families and the nation similar to the way the soviet union
White Middle Class Women and The feminine Mystique
Betty Friedan discovers discontent among women and their hatred toward
magazines and books that attribute this to womens shortcomings. Friedan
identified narrow society definitions of gender roles that confined many
women as the reason behind their discontent.
Recognizing oppression by class, race and sexual diversity
JFK commissions cause women to form National Organization for Women
adovocating women’s rights. White middle class women undertake traditional
notions of femeninity and masculinity and fight for power and equality thru
Women of Color take inspiration for challeneging unequal gender
rights from a long history of oppression and racism. . Women fought for
freedom from colonial regimes which provided a basis for transnational
Civil Rights Movement Women organized against racial
discrimination and racism alongside men. Also came together as women to help
deconstruct gender and rethink roles African American women played.
Emma Goldman Proponent of anarchism defended labor rights,
free speech, womens freedm and right to birth control. Critiqued marriage as an
oppressive institution for women. Protested lesbianism from a sexual choice to a
political choice. More people began to fight against gender inequality of women.
Conservative opponents negatively stereotyped single mothers, lesbians, and gay men.
Portrayed as ‘dangerous’ to ‘american family values’ . Negative portrayals of femenists
degrade and demonize women who try to combat myths and show feminism positively.
Characterizing Feminism: with myths and realities:
Negative Stereotypes of Feminism
‘women libbers’ who burned under garments as a symbol of desire for freedom. Women
linked to trivial concerns such as clothing and beauty. Women rebelling against being sex objects are seen as ‘man haters’, women objectified unfairly in the workplace because
they have limited career advancement.
Describes some women and their activities to those who have taken part in political