The Evolution Of Feminism
The feminist movement begun as a political idea of the eighteenth-century French Revolution; this gave rise to the principle that all human beings have fundamental rights, because we are rational creatures and must have equal standing in society. The movement better known as equal-rights feminism was born and the popular list of grievances was later presented to the Estates General to express the demands which benefit the women and their welfare.
The movement in France soon became a worldwide movement, and various leaders like that of England’s Mary Wollstonecraft and Germany’s Theodore Gottlieb von Hippel started their own movement based on that same principle: “The Equal Rights of Women.” Although the feminist movement was later banned in France under the Emperor Napoleon’s Civil code of 1804, which implemented in continental Europe. Women were denied of legal rights, access to divorce, and rights over their income, which later was placed in the control of their husbands. They were confined to a more domestic role at home as housewives, or a subordinate at work.
The Women in Public
The women’s movement later emerged in different parts of the western world, which the same battle cry – equal rights and equal opportunity for women in all sections of society. The movement was slowly developed in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Scandinavian countries. The movement had a unique feature – which pave the way for women in the public arena. Women participated in various activities in several Christian groups like the Unitarians and Quakers; this provided them the opportunity to start moral reform campaigns such as temperance societies, abolition of the slave trade and international peace.
In the United States, an anti-slavery convention was conducted in 1840, but female delegates were not allowed to take their seats. This treatment resulted in various negative issues, and women revolted and reiterated their legal status as well as their legal standing in proceedings. Even after the civil war, white women continued to be excluded from exercising their rights to suffrage.
The Emergence Of The Feminist Movement
The appearance of the feminist movement in the United States was first dated during the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. It was at this convention that women’s pressure groups appeared under the leadership of Barbara Leigh Smith and Bessie Rayner Parkes, both associates the well-known movement – The Ladies of Langham Place.
Women under this movement were largely drawn from the middle-class section of society. They maintained a women-only movement, which cooperated with men to achieve their ultimate goal of having equal rights. In Great Britain, the National Society for Women’s suffrage, even employed men and other MPs like John Stuart Mill and Jacob Brith to present their petitions in parliament, which introduced the “Women’s Regular Suffrage Bill.”
Later that year, both Socialist and Radical Liberal politicians supported the feminist movement. However, in Norway and Denmark, the campaign for women’s vote were largely bound up by both Labor and Liberal parties. Although in Britain, domestic politics complicated and delayed the female enfranchisement. The feminist movement was supported by Radical Liberals, and they’ve adjusted the unexpected dominance of Conservatism in the Victorian era.
The feminist movement’s first agenda is to challenge patriarchy, and it uses several arguments like social, political contest, power analysis, and other other arrangement of domination based on gender. Their main objective is to solidify women’s reproductive rights. In Uganda, Aili Mari Tripp’s research had distinguished women’s rights to autonomous leadership, financing, agendas and the right to take public office.
Women have the right to participate in political issues and be represented in the media.They were pluralistic in both the formation of alliances, especially when it comes to various affiliations – political and ethnic groups.
The resistance to patriarchy spread like wildfire to different parts of the world. It went hand in hand with other opposition to colonialism. Women fought for freedom alongside men, but they were often left out in transitional negotiations. That is why the movement was created to fight against sexism and colonialism. The movement struggles to get their issues and policies at the negotiation table.
The Women’s Movement After World War II
After World War II, women in developing countries have experienced a revolution in homemaking; household technology improved dramatically, and it changed the way they managed their homes. Life expectancies increased dramatically and the service sector opened up hundreds of opportunities that were not dependent on physical strength.
However, the rights of women were still not fully realized even with the socioeconomic transformations, cultural revolution, and legal precedents – sexual inequalities are still prevalent. A plea for change appeared in 1949, which appeared in a book by Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex. It became a worldwide bestseller that brought feminist consciousness to the public. It stresses the equal rights of women in all sections of society.
The imminent change came in 1963 when a magazine published under Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, which spoke of the problems that lay buried in the minds of the suburban housewife. The lack of fulfillment, utter boredom, and repetitive routines takes its toll on women during those times. They’ve been told that they had everything in their lives – lovely children, nice houses, responsible husbands, but these factors didn’t stop the movement to pursue its goals in society.
The Future Of Feminism
Today, some of the most powerful leaders of the feminist movement are females who aren’t old enough to drive. They even are not old enough to get into clubs to order a drink or see their favorite bands, but they are putting all their efforts in support of sexual expression, reproductive justice, and political accountability. It’s truly a commendable act even for their young age.
It’s clearly and slowly becoming apparent that the younger generation of women are not only relevant to the feminist movement, but they are shaping the future of feminism. As a matter of fact, the online space has exploded with several blogs that tackles feminism and it brought the ideals of the movement to feminist teens.
There’s even a Feminist academia geared to open the mind of teens towards the subject, and the issues surrounding the feminist movement. Young girls from Afghanistan to Austin are very vocal and adamant in expressing their rights by simply defending – and living – their convictions. Feminism is NOT dead, because killing the very idea would jeopardize the movement that defended the rights of women, and it will foster patriarchy which encourages sexism.
Female Friendship Is a Feminist Act
You don’t have to march at a rally to show your feminism (though it certainly doesn’t hurt): Lady-power starts with empowering fellow women in their time of need. Here, our writers share some of their favorite female-friendship moments …
“Really? I told you to download ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’?” asks Anna, laying her set of Cynthia Rowley china on the counter in our new kitchen. “Was I drunk?”
“I don’t think so. You told me to download that and ‘Engine Driver.’ These cups are great, by the way.” The porcelain is illustrated with cartoonish naked ladies, dirty dishes printed on the bottom. “I thought it was really deep,” I tell her. “I wanted Sam, but I didn’t need him. You get what you need.”
“That’s hilarious. Sam.”
“Why did I like him?” I make room for the dishes in the cupboard.
“Oh, he was cute.”
“Yeah, he was.”
Anna and I met in the spring of my sophomore year, her junior year, of college. We were fast friends, commiserating over her heartbreak for her on-again-off-again guy and mine over a boy I wanted to date who thought of me as just a good friend. But it wasn’t until the following year—around the time I was dating Sam—that I realized Anna was the one who was sticking around. Despite different graduation dates, apartments at opposite ends of New York, my semester abroad, and the season I spent working at a regional theatre in Cincinnati, the years have only brought us closer. This August we finally moved in together.
Since high school, my dating choices have ranged from not-quite-right to airport-romance-novel ridiculous, and I think they’re slowly getting better. But my taste in friends has always been excellent. The guys, even when they’re pretty great, tend to disappear if things don’t work out. Anna and I aren’t planning to live together forever, but I’m pretty confident that whenever we do leave this apartment, the main thing I’ll loose will be those dishes—not her friendship.
– Lily Blau
Just this week a friend mentioned off-handedly that a woman had approached her on the subway, pointing out that her purse was naughtily pulling up her dress in the back. This made me consider all the times I’ve been stopped, always by a fellow lady, and informed of a slight wardrobe malfunction (of which there are apparently a lot). One woman in Philly literally chased me down the sidewalk to alert me that my shirt’s tag was sticking up. Though always a bit awkward, there’s something warm and motherly about these exchanges—female strangers grooming and fixing each other, making sure we’re walking around looking as non-ridiculous as possible.
– Julia Bartz
A Man’s Work
A Chicago event, the launch party for Bound to Struggle, a zine devoted to kink and radical politics. Hudson Cole doesn’t feel he’s out of place, but everyone else seems to think so. The others in the circle are watching him. A few are perplexed, more are suspicious, and some have outright resentment in their eyes. Cole looks around. He is the only guy in the discussion group. No, wait, there are a few other men, but they’re all transgender. As for straight white guys, he’s definitely in a camp by himself. Book by it’s cover, he doesn’t belong. Though not tall, Cole is broad-shouldered and handsome.With a shock of dark brown hair and an engaging smile, he looks like the all-American poster boy.
“I was really scared to talk,” Cole admits, thinking back on the event. But Bound to Struggle is right up his alley, its subject is one he knows a good deal about. Still, when he finally saw an opening to speak, Cole knew he needed to prove he wasn’t the typical straight white male.
“I needed to show some sort of awareness before I could even be allowed to have a voice in the group,” explains Cole. “It’s the same with sex writing.” And he would know. When he’s using the pen name Hudson Cole, it’s what he does.
Hudson Cole is an advice columnist, one of three regular columnists writing for the website Early 2 Rise (early2rise.net). His views certainly aren’t something he’s trying to hide. But they’re not what you’d expect to look at him.
Lingerie: Who’s It For, Anyway?
When things were not going well between my mother and father, she says, his best friend took him out to help him buy her a gift. An academic type, my father could have a very robust and seductive conversation on anything from Imperial China and the State Cult of Confucius to the connection between Marxism and the science fiction of H.G. Wells. But the art of romancing a woman with presents that would tickle her fancy eluded him.
Previous gifts to my mother included an Indian arrowhead he had excavated himself on a dig in the Southwest, a piece of turquoise from the same dig, and a silver necklace that wouldn’t lie flat. He desperately needed an upgrade in the luxury gift department. But his friend thought what my parents needed was to get their libidos buzzing.
My father picked out some intimate apparel. Or, rather, his friend did. Black, cheap, sleazy stuff, according to Mom. My mother is a chic woman, and being raised by nuns does not necessarily make you naughty or kinky. (How to explain the Kama Sutra I found in her drawer after she married the Italian trumpet player?) The black sleazy stuff did not improve their relationship, and, in fact, my parents soon—as soon as I was born — separated. (“Why, why that when he knew I’d rather have opera tickets?” she lamented.)
Underwear is very, very tricky.