The development of feminism
Feminists argue that gender inequalities form the major division in society. Most feminists also see gender relationships as being based on conflict and exploitation of women by men. They believe that much of the culture has been shaped by men and neglects the contribution that women have made in society.
The first wave of feminism emerged in the mide-1800s aiming to change the social and legal inequalities effecting women to achieve universal female suffrage, which is the right to vote for all women. It was led by middle-class women, known as the suffragettes. As well as campaigning for the right to vote, they were also worried about the poor ...view middle of the document...
The following demands were added in 1978; legal and financial independence fir all women, an end to discrimination against lesbians, freedom for all women from intimidation by the threat or use of violence or sexual coercion regardless of marital status and an end to all laws, assumptions and institutions that perpetuate the male dominance and men’s aggression towards women. The second wave of feminism achieve some success, however it wasn’t enough.
The third wave of feminism developed from the mid-1990s onwards. It is seen as a much more diverse and individualistic form of feminism which came into existence in the context of globalization and an increasingly digital information society. It focuses less of laws and political processes and more on individual identity. It acknowledges that women come from many ethnicities, nationalities, religions and cultural backgrounds so there can be no single approach to feminism. The third wave of feminism happens to criticize the second wave of feminism as it mainly expresses the interests of white middle-class women’s. Third wave feminists say that they want women to define feminism for themselves in a way which reflects their own identities and beliefs. The third wave feminist’s distinct goals are to focus on making changes to traditional ideas about sexuality and abolishing gender roles and stereotypes, including the ones seen on media.