Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Joint Effort

As I've been doing some research for the Junior Theme research paper, which I am writing on why the amount of people who identify as feminists is decreasing, I've noticed a trend that was apparent in an article that I read by Martha Rampton. It seems as though the three waves of feminism and their movements seems to coincide with other popular movements for the rights of minority groups.

The first wave of feminism took place in the late 19th and early 20th century, formally beginning with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. This earliest wave "was interrelated with the tempereance and abolitionist movements" (Rampton). Abolitionist and feminist figures often overlapped, such as  Sojourner Truth, who is remebered when saying "ain't I a woman?".

The second wave of feminism took place from the 1960's through the 1990's, which encompassed the Vietnam War, therefore the strong anti-war efforts as well. There were also large civil rights movements as there was a "growing self-consciousness of a variety of minority groups" (Rampton).

The third wave of feminism emerged in the 1990's and continues to the present. This wave rose with the fight for gay rights. The gay right movement's new era began in the 80's with the emergence of AIDS, but the 90's brought new youth movements and organizations. Progress has been seen fairly recently, for in 1994, the first Gay Pride March happened, taking place in the Philippines, and in 2001 the Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage. The 90's also created a push for a transgender movement, which went along with the third wave feminsms beliefs that "shuns simple answers to artificial catergories of identity, gender, and sexuality" (Rampton).

We obviously see this connection throughout all three waves of feminism; womens rights movements cannot stand alone and must be joined with another movement. I think this could be because the cause of women's rights tends to be marginalized and disregarded, for it has been a struggle for women's ideas and opinions to be taken seriously. Why is it that a feminist movement cannot get attention without joining with another movement?

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