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The history of the feminist movement

Feminism has its origins in the early epochs of human civilization, believing in the political, physical, and cultural rights of women. Generally, feminism movement is split into three waves: feminism first wave demanded proprietorship and the right to vote, feminism second wave, centred on equity and non-discrimination, and third feminism wave asserted equality for all. The historical record of feminism is fascinating. It started with women's suffrage in ancient Greece to the struggle of the #MeToo movement.

Early stages of feminism

Plato argued in his universal constitution that women had "normal abilities" equal to men to rule and protect ancient Greece. Not all accepted the idea of Plato; as early Women in Rome organized massive protests against the Law of Oppi, limiting women's access to jewellery and other commodities. Marcus Porcius, the roman diplomat, stated, "Women will become your superiors as soon as they become equals. Author Christine de Pizan of the 15th century opposed sexism and female participation in the middle Ages in the Book of the City of Ladies. Long later, authors and thinkers such as Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Mary Wollstonecraft, the writer of A Vindication of Women's Rights, strongly argued in favour of the women's equality during the Renaissance.

Abigail Adams, President John Adams ' first lady, has seen women's freedom vital rights directly to employment, land and the vote. Abigail Adams cautioned John Adams that if the women have been granted no special love and attention, they were prepared to support the revolt, not keeping them constrained by rules under which they have little voice. "The uprising" which Adams anticipated, started in the 19th century in seeking more freedom for women, together with the demand for the abolition of slavery. Most female leaders of the civil rights movement considered an injustice that they could not appreciate the freedom of the African-Americans.

First Wave Feminism

The Seneca Falls Conference of 1848 proclaimed courageously in their already-famous Declaration of Attitudes, Abolitionists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, that "These truths must remain self-evident; every man and woman must become equal."

Many of the participants thought voting powers for women were baseless. Still, they were convinced after Frederick Douglass claimed that if women were unable to assert that privilege, he would not be capable of accepting voting powers as black men. The women's political movement started immediately when the declaration was enacted and for decades, controlled other feminists.

In the United States, many have argued that women's involvement in the First World War warranted equal representation. Throughout 1920, the nineteenth amendment came into effect largely thanks to Suffragan efforts such as Susan B. Anthony as well as Carrie Chapman Catt. U.S. women eventually earned voting rights. Feminists embarked with these freedoms on something some historians term the "second phase" of emancipation.

Women and jobs

After the Great Depression, several women started to seek employment, pushing women to find a "female job," such as housework, teacher and secretarial positions, in a less paid but more lucrative profession.

During the Second World War, several women took an active interest in the army or served in human-made factories, turning Rosie the Riveter into a feminist icon. Females wanted to participate further, with pay equality at the centre, amid the civil rights struggle. One of the first attempts to address this still significant problem was the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

The Second-wave feminism

Nevertheless, societal barriers exist, Betty Friedan, who eventually established the National Organization for Women's publication The Feminine Mystique in 1963, believed that women had still been restricted to non-compliance positions in homework and childcare. In 1971 the conservative Gloria Steinem with Bella Abzug supported the creation of the National Women's Political Caucus, where they were sometimes named "feminism emancipation." In 1976 Steinem's Ms Magazine was the first magazine to portray feminism.

The 1972 version (but never adopted by appropriate States after a backlash by conservatives) of the Equal Rights Amendment, demanded women's equality and banned segregation on the grounds of gender. A judicial decision was made which guaranteed women the right to choose abortion.

Third Wave feminism

Third Wave Feminism is a rendition of the women's rights movement that started in the early 1990s and lasted until 2010 when the fourth wave grew. The Third Wave focused on individualism and individuality and attempted to redefine what they implied to be a woman, built on the civil-rights development of the second wave. The confusion what defines the third wave in some ways is its characteristics contrary to feminism theorist Elizabeth Evans. The third wave of feminism was not only a response but also a phenomenon itself because the feminist movement succeeded ahead of time. In 1989, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw launched the term inter sectionalism — to define the concept of people having "different shades of injustice,” caused by sex, race and gender. As feminists went online at the ending of the 1990s and early 2000s and entered a global public through forums and e-zines, the ambitions of these people were expanded to include individuals of varied cultural and racial backgrounds, to eliminate gender stereotyping through feminism. In the third wave, new women and women's ideologies, including intersectionalism, sex-positive attitude, organic green feminism, transfeminism and postmodern feminism, arose.

Conservatives claimed that feminism's gains, and in particular the second wave, were primarily limited to people of white age trained by college, and the interests of glamorous youth, gays, refugees and minority groups were not answered by feminism. Sojourner Truth spoke even in the 19th century about ethnic differences in the status of women, by asking for "Ain't I a woman?" at the 1851 Ohio Convention on the Rights of Women, in its emotional speech.

#Me Too and Marches for Women

Previously, activists have responded to notable cases of sexual abuse and "rape culture" as examples to combat sexism and to ensure equal rights for women. In October 2017, the New York Times released a scathing report into accusations of sexual misconduct against prominent film producer Harvey Weinstein, which brought new attention to the #Me Too movement. A large number of other influential figures, including President Donald Trump, faced charges.

Hundreds of thousands have supported the Washington March on 21 January 2017, the first official day of Donald Trump's presidency, a massive protest directed at the current government, and the potential threat to economic, human and civil rights that it serves. Not restricted to Washingtonfeminist, more than 3 million people in cities worldwide demonstrated simultaneously and gave feminists a prominent platform that advocated full rights for all women worldwide.

Author: Frank Taylor


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