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Chapter Critical Terrain Readings, pages 656-668

WGST 1F90 Chapter Notes - Chapter Critical Terrain Readings, pages 656-668: Third-Wave Feminism, Umbrella Organization, Radical Feminism

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Jenny Janke
Critical Terrain Readings, pages 656-668

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Critical Terrain
Week Two Reading
Page | 1
Chapter 65, The Womens Movement in Canada
Jacquetta Newman and Linda White
Page 656
Waves Eroding the Shores of Male Domination: Women’s Struggles, Politics, and Movements
First Wave
Late 19th Century in Britain and North America.
Demand for the right to vote.
Fundamental challenges to the denial of womens autonomy.
o Efforts to effect social change by campaigning for reproductive control.
o Better working conditions in female trades.
Second Wave
Emergence of the modern womens liberation movement at the end of the 1960s.
o Reaction to the perceived middle-class.
o Reaction to the institutionally focused liberalism of the first wave suffragists.
o Reaction to the inequality women experienced in civil rights and as students.
o Reaction to new left movements of the 1960s.
Stressed a more personal” politics that recognized the structurally limited nature of
women’s lives.
o Protesting inequality in the family.
o Claiming control over women’s bodies through sexual emancipation.
o (page 657) Continuity between the two waves as the struggle continued to involve
demands for access to political decision making and issues of workplace and eco-
nomic rights.
Page 657
Third Wave
Presents a reaction to the Second Wave.
o Unrepresentative conception of womanhood or sisterhood.
o Stressed the differing identities of women and recognition of the new complex
webs of oppression many women experience.
o Requires recognition that many other women have been explicitly involved in ac-
tions to achieve an end to their opposition.
The First Wave: Political and Civil Rights
Traditional views of the division of the sexes and sexual inequality were maintained
Women were not seen as public persons in their own right either legally or politically.
Husbands had the right to control the wife’s person.
Father had a right to control the daughter’s person until marriage.
When rape occurred redress was not for the victim but for the father or husband since
his goods had been spoiled.”
Characteristics of the first wave feminism were social and maternal.

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Critical Terrain
Week Two Reading
Page | 2
Page 658
Changes in Canada’s social make up and atmosphere
Large issue public drunkenness.
Drunkenness associated with socially unacceptable behaviours.
o Domestic violence.
o Prostitution.
o Desertion.
o Alcoholism.
All threatened the family structure and the perceived threat to its mainte-
Social Reforming Feminists
Belief that since women had the maternal instincts and morality/grace they would bring
virtue and morality to decisions made in the public sphere.
Significant feature of the First Wave Charity.
o Women’s organizations focusing on good works.
o Created networks of women barred from public political and economic work.
o Provided space for women to work for social reform.
o Reformist impulse led to political action for suffrage and the right to political par-
o Women realized that in order to make changes with temperance (drinking) and
political participation the vote was needed to create political pressure.
o Upper middle-class women.
o Still exclusive to race and class.
o Middle and lower class women still worked.
Teachers, laundresses, boarding house operators, manufacturing, home
workers paid by the piece.
Abused in industrial work outside the home, especially the textile industry.
Ruled by men and paid extremely less, barely a living wage.
Working women suspicious of the upper-middle-class women and their desire for reform.
o Saw this as class domination.
o Some women’s unions formed or participation in other unions.
Bell Telephone strike of 1907.
Eaton’s Factory Strike of 1912
Limitations to union abilities.
o Difficult to organize women scattered among small shops
or in home-based manufacturing.
o Unionization efforts focused on organizing skilled male
o Male unions suspicious/hostile to women in the labour
force accusations of taking the jobs and keeping wages
o Domestic obligations limited women’s freedom to attend
union meetings.

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Critical Terrain
Week Two Reading
Page | 3
Social Reforming Feminists
Smaller group of women in the First Wave that pushed for equal rights.
o Wanted political rights.
o Wanted political, economic, and social equality.
o Arguments of simple justice.
o Viewpoint of how similar women and men are and unjustness to not being treated
Page 659
National Council of Women (NCW) - 1893
National network of women’s organizations that formally advocated for the voting rights
of women.
Umbrella organization with a diverse range of women’s organizations that chose to affili-
Broad focus.
o Suffrage and temperance through prohibition.
o Better working conditions for female domestic and factory workers.
o The rights of married women to property.
o Public health rights.
Dominated by upper-middle-class urban social feminists and radical feminists regarding
the militancy or lack of militancy of the suffrage campaigns.
o Further class tensions arose.
o Significant urban/rural differences between Western Canada and the East.
o Movement white and Anglo-Saxon.
o Suffrage was not the main or only goal.
o Movement did not present a single unified face but instead its strength was in
its diversity.
o The Canadian struggle for suffrage focused on the less militant and less vio-
lent activities of petitioning, lobbying public appeals and education using pri-
vate connections with politicians.
Largely a result of Social Feminists dominating the movement.
Social norms began to change.
o Large numbers of women entered the labour force.
o Creation of women’s paramilitary organizations and their admittance into the
armed forces.
Still no equity.
Placed I subordinate positions.
Traditional attitudes prevailed.
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