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Comparison of Second and Third Wave Feminism

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Comparison of Second and Third Wave Feminism A historical Social Movement that had major implications for the future was the Feminist movement during the 1960s-1970s often referred to as the Second Wave of feminism. This movement’s peak was during these two decades although it lasted until the 1980’s. This historical social movement is interesting because it was almost immediately followed by what is referred to as the third wave of feminism, which began in the 1990’s and still exists today. Both movements focused on aspects of women’s rights although they differ in rhetoric. The emergence and decline of second wave feminism was a necessary event which led to the third wave of feminism. The term second-wave feminism refers mostly to the radical feminism of the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Second-wave feminism grew out of leftist movements in postwar Western societies, such as student protests, the anti–Vietnam War movement, the lesbian and gay movements, and, in the United States, the civil rights and Black power movements (Krolokke, Sorensen, p. 8). During this period other movements that were critical of capitalism and imperialism focused on the interest of oppressed groups: working classes, minorities, women and homosexuals. Even during this period of social upheaval women found themselves servicing the revolution, cut off from real influence and thus, once again, exposed to sexism (p. 9). To combat this, women began to form consciousness-raising groups. By doing this they sought to empower and educate women on social issues. The second-wave feminist were characterized by a claim for sisterhood and solidarity, despite differences among women. Many slogans were created such as “woman’s struggle is class struggle” and “the personal is political,” which served to direct the feminist agenda and attempted to combine…...

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