The history of feminism is a long and complex subject. It can be hard to trace the exact point when the first feminist movements began, but it is commonly believed that they started in the early 1900s.
➡️ The first wave began in response to women gaining the right to vote and continued until the 1920s.
➡️ The second was a result of women seeking economic rights and equal participation in society. This wave lasted from the 1920s until the 1960s.
➡️ Third-wave feminism takes a more detailed, in-depth look at gender issues, analysing positive and negative views around the topic.
Different people have different opinions about feminism. This makes it a hot topic. Some people don't believe in the movement and think that it has gone too far. They say that feminism has turned women into ruthless, man-hating creatures who burn their bras. Well, did you ever receive an invite to a bra-burning ritual? Neither did I!
The narrative that all feminists burn their bras out of resentment for the patriarchal society is a myth. This narrative dates back to a protest, organized by a small group called New York Radical Women, against a Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 7, 1968. A group of women threw lipsticks, high heels and also underwear, including bras, into a “Freedom Trash Can”. According to Robin Morgan, one of the organisers, the idea was to symbolically throw away things that oppresses women. Passers-by were invited to join in (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-45303069).
What got stuck in the public consciousness was the image of the “bra-burning feminist”, which never actually happened.
Fast-forward to the present. There is a lot of confusion over what feminism is and what it entails. In its core, it’s about equality - not sameness of the sexes. Feminism means equality for all genders; that includes men as well as women. Feminism is often misunderstood with a lot of people being unfamiliar with the real meaning of the term. Many men call themselves feminists, because they also support gender equality.
The goal of feminism is to give women equal rights, and not to take anything away from men. Feminism is a movement to end sexism, discrimination, and oppression. It is not about hating men. It's not about women wanting to be like men. It's not about women wanting to gain power at the expense of men. Feminism can be seen as a movement that calls for society to value the contributions of all genders equally and provide equal opportunities in education, health, employment, housing, government, and any other place where systemic inequality persists.
Are you open about your feminism? Or do you still use phrases like: "I'm not a feminist, but..." or "I believe in equality, but I'm not a feminist.”?