Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Introduction, a Little Late

It was noted to me by a friend, that I never discussed what feminism was. So I suppose, I'll give you a rough definition from the good people at ;

"Feminism comprises a number of social, cultural and political movements, theories and moral philosophies concerned with gender inequalities and equal rights for women .In the United States, according to some, the history of feminism consists of three waves.[1][2] The first wave in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the second in the 1960s and 1970s and the third from the 1990s to the present.[3] Feminist Theory developed from the feminist movement.[4][5] It takes a number of forms in a variety of disciplines such as feminist geography, feminist history and feminist literary criticism. Feminism has changed aspects of Western society. Feminist political activists have been concerned with issues such as a woman's right of contract and property, a woman's right to bodily integrity and autonomy (especially on matters such as reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, access to contraception and quality prenatal care); for protection from domestic violence; against sexual harassment and rape;[6][7] for workplace rights, including maternity leave and equal pay; and against other forms of discrimination"

That I suppose in a nut shell is feminism but so much more. Many people don't understand the three waves of feminism, which is really very important and a key issue. So F-ing look it up. I'm kidding, here is a very basic explanation. First wave feminism, was simple basic human rights women were lacking, very early 19 century. Second wave was more radical from 1960-1980. The third wave is present day, trying to further the rights that second wave failed at.
I know many don't understand the feminist geography and feminist history aspects. Which is a bit more complicated to understand and I get asked about it a lot. Women aren't traced as individuals through history, they are traced through men. Many very important women are left out of the history books or simply understated as individuals. Why? Simple, men write 90% of school history books. In the early 90's this was called to the attention of makers of high school scholastic books, they did nothing to change it. It wasn't until I got to college that I learned how many women in history were left out or simple abandoned all together by historians.
For those interested in read the "The Feminine Mystic," can further explain all these points.

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