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#REDIRECT [[What was the Second Wave Feminist Movement]]
[[File:Leffler_-_WomensLib1970_WashingtonDC.jpg|left|400px|thumbnail|Women's Liberation March in Washington, D.C. in 1970]]
 
Today, feminism is an ideology/theory that most people fail to understand fully. Feminism has been described as having three separate waves. [[What was the First Wave Feminist Movement?|The First Wave Feminist Movement]] started in the mid-19th Century and culminated with the women's suffrage movement. 2nd wave feminism started in the late 1950s moved into the 1980s. Finally, Third Wave feminism is bit more nebulous and less defined. It essentially started with the Anita Hill hearings before the Senate Judiciary Hearings for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and "the riot grrl groups in the music scene of the early 1990s." Kimberle Crenshaw and Judith Butler were the intellectual theorists who helped ground the movement and incorporate intersectionality and embrace transgender rights.<ref>https://www.vox.com/2018/3/20/16955588/feminism-waves-explained-first-second-third-fourth</ref>
 
 
 
Historians and feminist/gender scholars describe today’s feminist theory, ideology, and social/political movement as the [[What was the Third Wave Feminist Movement?|''Third Wave'' of feminism]]. The ‘’second wave’’ of feminism started after the women were forced out of the workplace after the end of World War Two and essentially ended with the failure to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Second-wave feminism splintered after criticism grew that the movement had focused on white women to the exclusion of everyone else.
 
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== When did the Second Wave Feminist Movement Start? ==
 
The women's movement before the 1920s was characterized by the suffrage movement that led to women gaining the right to vote. From the 1890s and early part of the 20th century, much of the women's movement focused on general societal inequalities and, such as poor working and housing conditions, while also focusing on social ills such as alcoholism and prostitution.  Black women in the Southwest of the United States, during the 1930s, for instance, joined labor unions such as the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) to protest poor wages and work environments they had to endure. <ref>Ruíz, Vicki. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0826309887/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0826309887&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=7979bf4a8ff003689e7f9d58a2862cd2 Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950]</i>. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1987.</ref>  Apart from this general social activism and gaining the right to vote, gender-specific topics, including equality in work and pay, were not major focus areas.
 
 
 
In the 1940s, women gained increasing employment as men left overseas to fight in World War II. It was World War II that can be argued as the primary trigger for the second wave feminist movement that occurred after the war. During the war years, the labor unions that had grown in the 1930s became even stronger as women became increasingly employed, particularly in manufacturing jobs required to support the war effort.
 
 
 
During the 1940s, new work benefits became available to women, including maternity leave, daycare, and counseling. These benefits developed more substantially in Europe, as many countries there were devastated by war, where much of the male population was reduced.<ref> Laughlin, Kathleen A., and Jacqueline L. Castledine. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415874009/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415874009&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=6b8857f4b500c32da5bf87aac9369b9c Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985]</i>. New York: Routledge, 2011, 4. </ref>
 
 
 
Nevertheless, in the United States, women's participation in the labor force in World War II created a feeling among many women, after the war ended, that they also deserved the same types of rights as men in jobs they filled. This was highlighted by the fact that many men who came back and retook their old jobs from women who were doing them during the war also were given higher salaries, further highlighting this inequality.<ref>Milkman, Ruth, <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0252081773/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0252081773&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=69155be1a38d6dea3b598cf2d3940b8f On Gender, Labor, and Inequality, Working Class in American History]</i>. Urbana, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016. Pg. 83.</ref>
 
 
 
In the 1950s, the economy began to expand, and the height of the red scare or anti-communist sentiment began to diminish feminist organization. <ref> Laughlin, Kathleen A., and Jacqueline L. Castledine. <i> [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415874009/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415874009&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=6b8857f4b500c32da5bf87aac9369b9c Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985]</i>. New York: Routledge, 2011, 90. </ref> However, by the early late 1950s and 1960s, as prolonged prosperity took hold, there was greater interest to explore new ideas and movements emerged, including the civil rights movement, that began to question establish social constructs such as segregation and inequality in the workplace. By the early 1960s, the social atmosphere began to be conducive for a major feminist movement.<ref>Gilmore, Stephanie, ed., <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0252075390/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0252075390&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=53a802ecde3a40d4fda23475f8d008a1 Feminist Coalitions: Historical Perspectives on Second-Wave Feminism in the United States, Women in American History].</i> Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008.</ref>
 
 
 
== What were the Goals of the 2nd Wave of Feminist Movemen? ==
 
[[File:The_Second_Sex.jpg|thumbnail|left|300px|<i>The Second Sex</i> by Simone de Beauvoir]]
 
After World War II, some writers began to question how women in society were perceived and the role they played, particularly as the war had shown women made valuable contributions and in many cases performed tasks equally to me. In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir published <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307265560/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307265560&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=f9a9c302f5b6ddd567059a2383502e0d The Second Sex]</i>, a groundbreaking book that questioned how society viewed women and the role in which they played. In her work, Beauvoir writes, “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” This quote represents how society fosters the idea of what a woman should do and act, where gender roles are learned and forced upon women. <ref> Vasilopoulou, Angeliki. "Woman by Choice:’ A Comment on Simone De Beauvoir’s Famous Phrase ‘One Is Not Born a Woman, but Becomes One'" <i>Journal of Research in Gender Studies</i> 4, no. 2 (2014), 489-490. </ref> Where World War II showed that women could break out of their gender roles as was required; the book questioned then why should women's roles that saw them as secondary to men in the workplace and home be perpetuated when this was not the case during the war.
 
 
 
After some time, the movement gained greater traction through more authors in the 1960s. Betty Friedan was perhaps one of the most influential writers at this time. After surveying her classmates, Friedan noticed that many of her classmates were unhappy in their marriages where their lives revolved around childcare and housework. This realization prompted her to write <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393346781/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0393346781&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=d6e4ecbac3092d2eb858479ab01a3368 The Feminine Mystique]</i> in 1963 where she questioned white, middle-class ideals of family life and motherhood. She focused mainly on domestic life because she believed it had stifled women and their aspirations.
 
 
 
In her book, Friedan includes interviews with women who were unhappy in their home life, debunking the ideals of the 1950s that often showed a happy family with men at work and women focused on housework. The book fundamentally questioned if the 1950s ideals were in the best interest of women.<ref> Ryan, Barbara. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415905990/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415905990&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=34aceed5c84e53b28e7bf3a238700625 Feminism and the Women's Movement: Dynamics of Change in Social Movement Ideology, and Activism]</i>. New York: Routledge, 1992, 42. </ref>
 
 
 
The book and politics in the 1960s led to some initial victories for the emerging second wave women's movement. These successes include the establishment of the National Organization for Women, where Friedan joined the organization, and the first great legislative victory, which was the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This made it law for women to have an equal right to equal pay for the same jobs that men did. It made it now possible for women to now not be prevented from joining the labor force due to depressed wages.<ref>Herman, Alexis M, <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0788189824/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0788189824&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=c95c84f3c729e211488024345b3d47c5 Equal Pay: A 35-Year Perspective].</i> (Place of publication not identified: Diane Pub Co, 1998.</ref>
 
 
 
Other changes, including the introduction of the contraceptive pill and the introduction of abortion in Europe, began to have political ramifications. The pill, on the one hand, allowed women to delay childbirth and establish careers in many cases. Abortion also gave women greater choices about rearing children.<ref>Norgren, Christiana A. E., <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0691070059/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0691070059&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=bf43bcb707350c972852ae8f8c2c3e1a Abortion before Birth Control: The Politics of Reproduction in Postwar Japan].</i> Studies of the East Asian Institute. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2001.</ref>
 
 
 
In 1969, Katy Millett wrote <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/023117425X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=023117425X&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=2fe4ee2d4947098dbd51cc06640451a6 Sexual Politics]</i> and wrote about the patriarchal structure of society that controls sex, sexual expression, and ultimately politics and the narrative of political discourse. Sex and gender oppression are common because of political discourse found in society. Millets argued that before any other type of oppression existed, elite men first oppressed people based on sex and gender, extending later to race and class. <ref>LeGates, Marlene. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415930987/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415930987&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=62b570a5374aa4b505b21eaac8d210d2 In Their Time: A History of Feminism in Western Society]</i>. New York: Routledge, 2001, 361.</ref>
 
 
 
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In the 1970s, the second wave feminist movement expanded and continued to gain momentum. Carol Hanisch published an essay in 1970 titled "The Personal is Political.”  Hanisch argued that everything was political, including the division of household labor, gender roles, and other day-to-day activities. If a woman decided to have an abortion and get a job as a woman in a male-dominated industry, then that decision has political consequences and became politicized in society. Women had to bring their private, household problems into the public sphere because issues were politicized and had consequence far outside of an individual. <ref>Lee, Theresa Man Ling. "Rethinking the Personal and the Political: Feminist Activism and Civic Engagement." <i>Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy</i> 22, no. 4 (2007): 163-79. doi:10.2979/hyp.2007.22.4.163. </ref>
 
 
 
== Was the Second Wave Feminist One Movement or Two? ==
 
Increasingly in the 1960s and 1970s, second-wave feminism diverged into two separate ideological movements: Equal rights feminism and radical feminism. Within equal-rights feminism, the objective sought equality with men in political and social spheres, where legislation and laws such as legalization of abortion and efforts to make women more established on the workforce equal to men were the primary goals. <ref> LeGates, Marlene. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415930987/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415930987&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=e53f80fa20839cdc10f02dea9ceef4a7 In Their Time: A History of Feminism in Western Society]</i>. New York: Routledge, 2001, 347.</ref>
 
 
 
Radical feminism, on the other hand, wanted much more radical change to the society that fundamentally saw it as patriarchal and needed to be altered if women were to escape its oppression.<ref>LeGates, Marlene. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415930987/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415930987&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=e53f80fa20839cdc10f02dea9ceef4a7 In Their Time: A History of Feminism in Western Society],</i>. New York: Routledge, 2001, 357. </ref> There were age and racial differences within the wider feminist movements at the time. The equal-rights feminists were largely white, older in age, and most came from affluent backgrounds. Radical feminists were made up younger white, affluent women, and minority women of all ages who were active in the Civil Rights movement as well. <ref> LeGates, Marlene. In Their Time: A History of Feminism in Western Society. New York: Routledge, 2001, 352.</ref>
 
 
 
== What role did Minority Women play in the Second Wave Feminist Movement? ==
 
Women of color found themselves underrepresented in both the racial and gender movements that were simultaneously fighting for greater equality. While Black, Latina/Chicana, Asian, and Native American women were active in feminist agendas at the time, there were tensions within the broader feminists movements because a large percentage of the leaders were white and the agenda had some stark racial contrasts. Some non-white feminists criticized the wider feminist movement for failing to be equal in the movement's representation and incorporating racial and other issues.<ref>West, Lois A., ed., <i> [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415916186/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415916186&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=bcbac0f9737db4403babf8c44b46d2c7 Feminist Nationalism]</i> (New York: Routledge, 1997.</ref>
 
 
 
Across the United States, minority women began the fight against racial and gender oppression by creating their organizations. Some had already existed due to greater women participation in the workforce during the 1940s, such as the National Council of Negro Women. Other organizations developed during the 1960s and 1970s, including the Third World Women’s Alliance. The Third Women's World Alliance worked to expose the relation between race, sex, sexuality, gender, and class oppression. <ref>Aguilar, Marian. "Third World Women's Alliance." <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0231138113/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0231138113&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=a77dfd3c3570e2d6b8f931caf2af94bc Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History]</i>. Edited by Colin A. Palmer. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, 2191-2192. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 June 2016.</ref> Such views by minority women proved to be influential in the ‘’third wave’’ of feminism that emerged later in the 1970s and into today, as feminist movements now incorporate broader racial and social inequality issues.
 
 
 
== What were the Accomplishments of Second Wave Feminist Movement? ==
 
<div class="portal" style='float:right; width:35%'>
 
 
 
====Related Articles====
 
{{#dpl:category=Women's History|ordermethod=firstedit|order=descending|count=7}}
 
</div>
 
The ‘’second wave’’ feminist movement proved to be a major social transition for Western countries and the United States from the 1960s and later. Major social changes, such as women's participation in the labor force, and increased prosperity forced a major social awareness movement that questioned the roles of gender in society. Major works of literature began to question perceived traditional gender roles and exposed social problems created by such roles on women. Two movements emerged within the broader second-wave feminist movement, which was the more mainstream and radical elements of feminism.
 
 
 
While one worked to change society from within, using legislation and social pressure, the other, radical movement questions fundamentally if society's hierarchical and patriarchal nature were the main problem. Both these movements made major contributions, however, through their influence on society in general, where today many things we take for granted, such as women in the workforce, only became increasingly acceptable after the 1960s.
 
 
 
== Conclusion ==
 
Today, a woman delaying raising a family is not often questioned by society for such a choice, but this was not the norm in the pre-1960s US and parts of Europe. Later, the merger of racial and other social inequality was seen as part of broader social struggles in society. Ultimately, the second wave feminist movement gave women the opportunity to start conversations about how social inequality and begin to think about gender, identity, sexuality, race, and class as all equally important factors. The so-called third wave focused more on gay/lesbian and racial issues, but it can be argued that it was informed by the second wave rhetoric that had emerged late in the 1970s as race and broader social inequality issues emerged.
 
 
 
====Suggested Readings====
 
* Palmer, Colin. editor, <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0231138113/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0231138113&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=a77dfd3c3570e2d6b8f931caf2af94bc Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History]</i>. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006
 
* Ruíz, Vicki. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0826309887/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0826309887&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=7979bf4a8ff003689e7f9d58a2862cd2 Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950]</i>. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1987)
 
* Gilmore, Stephanie, ed., <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0252075390/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0252075390&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=53a802ecde3a40d4fda23475f8d008a1 Feminist Coalitions: Historical Perspectives on Second-Wave Feminism in the United States, Women in American History].</i> Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008
 
* <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415916186/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415916186&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=bcbac0f9737db4403babf8c44b46d2c7 Feminist Nationalism]</i> (New York: Routledge, 1997)
 
* LeGates, Marlene. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415930987/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415930987&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=e53f80fa20839cdc10f02dea9ceef4a7 In Their Time: A History of Feminism in Western Society],</i>. New York: Routledge, 2001
 
* Herman, Alexis M, <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0788189824/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0788189824&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=c95c84f3c729e211488024345b3d47c5 Equal Pay: A 35-Year Perspective].</i> (Place of publication not identified: Diane Pub Co, 1998
 
* Milkman, Ruth, <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0252081773/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0252081773&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=69155be1a38d6dea3b598cf2d3940b8f On Gender, Labor, and Inequality, Working Class in American History]</i>. Urbana, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016
 
* Laughlin, Kathleen A., and Jacqueline L. Castledine. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415874009/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415874009&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=6b8857f4b500c32da5bf87aac9369b9c Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985]</i>. New York: Routledge, 2011
 
 
 
====References====
 
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[[Category:United States History]] [[Category:Women's History]][[Category:Feminist History]] [[Category:Civil Rights History]][[Category:European History]][[Category:20th Century History]]
 
Updated January 28, 2019
 

Latest revision as of 02:17, 29 June 2021