Understanding Feminism Essay

965 words - 4 pages

Women have not always been thought as inferior, actually in early societies where hunting and gathering took place women done about 60% of the work needed for survival. As the society and civilization progressed women were expected to care more for the family and the home.It was hard for a woman to nurture and care for an infant while doing manual labor that took strength and force to do. The woman's responsibility became the domestic chores. This is when men were thought to be superior to women because of their strength; they were able to leave camp to hunt and trade, leaving the women at camp to care for the children and home. If a woman took a job outside the home it was always a job that was inferior to a man. For example: women were nurses, secretaries, teachers, etc… which all were led by a man. For a long time women accepted this as their duty or job. But as time past and women were expected to do the job and duties of both herself and the men, such as during war times, when women left their homes to go to the factories, plus take care of their home, they started to feel like a minority and wanted more for their efforts and hard work. This is when they began to take a stand for their own rights and decided they liked the choices of a working person, women can do the same jobs as a man most of the time. This led to the rise of feminism.Defining feminism can be challenging, but according to Wikipedia, it is a broad understanding of it includes women and men acting, speaking and writing on women's issues and rights and identifying social injustice in the status quo. Feminists have divided feminism's history into three 'waves.' The first-wave refers to the feminism movement of the nineteenth through early twentieth centuries, which dealt mainly with the Suffrage movement. The second-wave (1960s-1980s) dealt with the inequality of laws, as well as cultural inequalities. The third-wave (1990s-present), is seen as both a continuation and a response to the perceived failures of the second-wave.The first wave refers to feminist activity which originally focused on equal rights and ownership of married women by their husbands but eventually focused primarily on gaining political power, the right of women's suffrage. The main goal achieved during this wave was women's right to vote. Leaders of this movement include Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who each campaigned for the abolition of slavery prior to championing women's right to vote. The first wave was considered to have ended when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote.The second wave encouraged women to understand aspects of their own personal lives. These feminists were concerned with issues of inequality such as putting an end to discrimination. This is where the phrase "Women's Liberation" was born but eventually was used describe the movement as a whole. Bra burning became...

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