The Three Waves of Feminism

three waves of feminism

The idea of having equal rights for all women has been around for a very long time, but many leaders and social movements did have a negative attitude towards it. However, the revolutionary concept of women having the same rights as men did manage to take the world by storm. As you know, this happened in progressive waves, also known as the waves of feminism. But how did these impact our lives and society?

The first wave of feminism

One of the first waves of feminism started in the early 19th century. At that time, women started to ask for legislative rights that were similar to what men would get at that time. They didn’t agree with the image of second citizens, and they wanted to get the right to vote and express their ideas. In 1848, around 300 women took part in the Seneca Falls convention rally. This was a political movement started by Elizabeth Candy Stanton with the focus on helping women showcase their ideas and expectations for their society. Even if it was focused mostly on the middle class, westerners and white people in general, it was a great beginning. 

The second wave of feminism

The second wave started in the 20th century and more specifically in the 60s. Women started to protest against the beauty pageant Miss America. They didn’t agree with having women objectified, and that’s why the Redstockings group crowned a sheep as Miss America, and they threw heels, makeup and bras in the trash.

This situation was mostly fueled by the unfair way women were treated at that time, not to mention that women in other countries soon went ahead and agreed with this. They created their own marches in countries all over the globe.

However, the Redstockings group and their followers were a bit radical. Creating women-only environments may not be the best idea here, and they did have to deal with quite the hassle because of that. Yet this goes to show the tremendous challenges people had to deal with at that time. While the concept didn’t become a success, many women did receive support from shelters, health clinics and so on.

The third wave of feminism

The third and final one in these waves of feminism took place during the 90s. As you can imagine, it did have a rather modern approach towards the idea of women having equal rights with men! Things that were considered objectifying years ago came back on trend, with lipsticks, bras and healed becoming a part of a woman’s identity. During this particular wave, women weren’t victims. Instead, they just wanted equality between genders! Gender equality was and still is a problem, so in many ways, we are still trying to solve the issues in this third wave. 

As you can see, the waves of feminism were focused mostly on women being accepted by the society as they try to have a great contribution to it. Thankfully, a lot has happened in the past 200 years, and we do have a much better situation in this regard. But there’s still a lot to do in regards to women having equal roles and benefits when compared to men, so we can expect move waves of feminism in the long run!