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Second Wave Feminism - Essay Example

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Each wave of feminism becomes increasingly broader in terminology, and in goals. The first wave called for suffrage for women. For equality under the law. The second wave called for economic equality. Equal pay for equal work. The right to equal opportunities in education…
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Second Wave Feminism
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Download file to see previous pages The third wave stands on the shoulders of the second wave, finishing what they began, while creating a legacy for the next generation to come. The second wave stood on the shoulders of the first, recognizing the distance that women still had to go to find equality. The third wave fights the battles the second wave began. Second wave feminism has just ended, but already has made a profound impact on society. It is especially clear in literature. In the book Finding Fran by Lois Banner, the personal becomes political, as the reader sees how women in the 1950's find feminism, and how they react. In Rubyfruit Jungle, by Rita Mae Brown, the reader is taken on a journey to how lesbians had to live before the second wave, and why fighting for equality became so important to them. In Scars of Sweet Paradise, by Alice Echols, the reader is able to see how Janis Joplin lived, and died, because she did not fit into the mold society had created for women. And in Women in Modern America, also by Lois Banner, the reader sees how feminism has touched the lives of millions, and has become a fight for equality for everyone, not just radicals. Through these four books, the reader is able to see the many facets of second wave feminism, and is able to better understand the reasons behind the movement.
The 1960's were a time for free love, revolution, and war protests. ...
Women began the sexual revolution, demanding the right to choose their fate and sexual identities. Judy Chicago took her Dinner Party out into the world, demanding that women deserve a place at the table, and in the conversation. In New York, gays and lesbians demanded rights after Stonewall. Title IX allowed girls equal opportunities for sports in schools (Banner 2004). The National Organization of Women put out their statement of purpose, demanding
We, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National Organization for Women, believe that the time has come for a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place within and beyond our national borders. (Banner 2004)
These changes help define the second wave as women and men who are unwilling to allow the country to stay the way it is. They insisted that things must change, and that everyone deserves a voice.
For Rita Mae Brown, and other queer individuals, it was also time to take a stance. Second wave feminism allowed for not just the female majority to demand rights, but also the minority. The lesbians, the American Indian women, and the disabled were all actively involved in demanding rights. In discovering her sexual identity, Brown learned more about herself then she could have imagined. Her parents (Carrie and Carl) had adopted her, and from the beginning she knew she was a bastard. Her sexuality did not bother her, but it bothered others. "So now I wear this label 'Queer' emblazoned on my chest. Or I could always carve a scarlet "L" on my forehead. Why does everyone have to put you in a box and nail the lid on it" (Brown 1973). In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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