Three waves of feminism and Feminist ideologies and Discourses

“Feminism is not about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength”.   – G.D. ANDERSON

waves of feminism


 It is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal economic, political and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminists believe that the power structure of male domination with persistent social practices and institutions are responsible for the marginalized position of women. So they fight for securing equal rights to women. That does not mean that they were anti-men.

       The history of modern western feminist movements is dived into three waves/aspects of the following:

This movement occurred between 1860-1920 against Urban industrialism. This is based on liberal socialist principles. And mainly focused on securing political and legal rights.
This wave is also termed as socialist Marxist feminism, that occurred between 1960-1990 and emerged mainly in response to the unfolding of anti-Vietnam war and civil rights movements.
It evolved in response to the postcolonial and postmodern living.
Focused mainly on moderate and conservative ideals.
Main focus areas are to remove discrimination in the workplace, security, reproductive rights, Right to abortion, etc
The focus was on individual identity with less focus on law and the political process.
Examples: Germanys guarantee of the right to vote for women, the acceptance of female students into the Peking University ( CHINA)
The major that happened is the formation of The American Radical organization Redstockings beginning of the second wave in Muslim countries as well
Forming the fourth world conference on women in China, violence against women act law to a passage in the US can be termed as examples.


 There were different feminist ideologies like liberal feminism, radical feminism, conservative feminism, Lesbian feminism, Marxist feminism, etc
 In the same way, there were different discourses on feminist discourses like

1.   PATRIARCHY: It is a social system in which the role of the male as the primary authority figure is central to social organization and where fathers hold authority over women, children, property. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege and is dependent on female subordination.

Reactions to feminism: There evolved different reactions to feminism like PRO-FEMINISM, ANTI – FEMINISM, HERSTORY. It is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny. It is the political defense of women-hating.

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