Sunday, May 11, 2008

So, What IS a 3rd Wave Feminista?

First, we need to go back in time for a history lesson.....

The 1st Wave:
In the most simple of terms, the suffragettes were the first wave. The first wave basically fought for the right for women to be seen as human. Amazing. The right to vote, the right to own property. The right to higher education. Women were not formally given the right to study in the United States until 1868! Not surprisingly, the first wavers were also often times abolitionists. My personal favorite first-waver is Victoria Woodhull. She was the first woman (with her business partner and sister) to work on Wall Street. She was a newspaper editor who advocated free love, birth control, suffrage, vegetarianism, freedom of attire....And best of 1872 she ran for president!

then came...
The 2nd Wave:
We owe so much to the 2nd wave. Legal abortion. Birth control for unmarried women. Daycare. Women in the workforce. Women in politics. No longer can bars hang "men only" signs. No longer are help wanted ads divided into "male" and "Female." No longer can a woman be fired for being married or pregnant. No longer can a rape victim's sexual history be presented in court by the defense. The most famous 2nd-wavers? Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. My favorite 2nd-waver? My mom. In fact, since it's Mother's Day, let's all call our moms and thank them for raising us as feminists.

and now, here we are:
The 3rd Wave:
Me. You. Riot Grrls. We read Bust instead of Ms., but we still have a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves on our bookshelf. We have reclaimed the word cunt. We don't think that painting our toenails makes us bad feminists. We flaunt our sexuality, because we own our sexuality. Or, we don't flaunt it because we don't need to do so to be noticed. Some of us are straight. Some of us are dykes. Some of us are bi. Some of us are trans. Some of us are even men. We confront the more subtle forms of sexism, within the media, and within our own relationships. We think that a man telling us we shouldn't wear makeup is as bad as a man telling us we should. We don't think that feminism is a dirty word, in fact, we wear it proudly, but we think "feminista" is more fun. We make our own rules about feminism and we don't apologize. My favorite 3rd waver? ME!

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