Feminism essay

Women have come a long way and traversed a difficult route to the social and economic liberties that they now enjoy (Dicker, 2016). Though the history of feminism has been recognized in other countries such as Greece, it is most firmly established in the United States and the Netherlands. This paper investigates the three waves of feminism.
Feminism’s First Wave
While women had been battling for their rights for a long time, it wasn’t until the late 18th century that a healthy and genuine feminism movement emerged (Bennett, 2006). The first wave comprised of a group of women such as Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, as well as Victoria Woodhull, and Matilda Joslyn Gage who have different religious and political beliefs (Tandon, 2008). However, the first agenda on their minds was attaining the right to vote and some elements of the abolition of slave trade. It is during the same phase that their concerns expanded to matters relating to sexual, reproductive, and economic rights.
The Second Wave of Feminism
The second wave came between the 1920s and 1960s after the suffrage rights had been granted through the nineteenth amendment in 1919 that allowed women to vote, marking a turning point in the American political landscape (Bennett, 2006). The concerns of the women in the second wave involved equal employment and education opportunities so that women could break away from the traditional role of cooking and taking care of children (Dicker, 2016). Consequently, the wave informed changes that saw prestigious higher education institutions such as Harvard admit women for education as opposed to the historical trend when they only admitted men. It was the same period that women got the freedom to express their views especially on sexuality such as lesbianism freely. Moreover, the period was characterized by gay rights movements.
The Third Wave of Feminism
The wave began in the 1990s when a critical psychological thought was assigned to the feminism issue in a manner that would later shift it from a wave into a perpetual rights movement. The phase saw feminism comprehensively analyzed and put into perspective (Dorey-Stein, 2015). The analysis involved giving insights into the behavior of men and women and the rationale behind their relationships. Consequently, just like civil rights issues, feminism movement turned into a subject that informs everyday debates until when they shall be fulfilled in line with the objectives set by the founders of the movement (Dicker, 2016). For instance, the wave saw the power of a girl child sweep across the U.S. and England in a record rate.
In conclusion, the fight for equal rights and opportunities for women has been a long and tedious journey. However, the gains that have been achieved so far have come bit by bit over a relatively long time (Bennett, 2006). Today, women can enjoy various rights especially in different developed and developing democracies on matters relating to jobs, voting as well as reproductive and sexual rights. It is critical to acknowledge that most of such democracies condemn all attempts that any jurisdiction may take that has the potential of eroding the gains attained during the three waves of feminism.

Bennett, J. M. (2006). History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Dicker, R. C. (2016). A History of U.S. Feminisms. Seal Press.
Dorey-Stein, C. (2015). A Brief History: The Three Waves of Feminism. Retrieved from https://www.progressivewomensleadership.com/a-brief-history-the-three-waves-of-feminism/
Tandon, N. (2008). Feminism: A paradigm shift. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors.

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