home what'snew resources ask amy news activism antiviolence events marketplace aboutus
Ask a Question!
Meet Amy!
Amy's Resource Guide
Ask Amy Main
TOPICS
Feminism
Girls/Children
Health
International
Media
Miscellaneous
Most Asked Questions
Politics
Reproductive Rights
Sexual Harassment
Violence Against Women
Women's History
Work/Career
   
 


 
Feminism

Good Day,

I was wondering what criticisms there are of second wave feminism? I've heard about the discrimination against minorities, low-income women, and transgender people.

What happened and what effects can still be seen today?

Denise

 

Denise,

I'm not sure those attacks are entirely accurate, or more so that they are in the right context. For instance, transgender-ism wasn't really a second wave issue, so though some second wave feminists might have been "slower" to respond more positively or inclusively, I don't know they "failed" on this issue.

On race and other issues of inclusivity, I think that most second wave feminists would admit they could have done a better job and recognize gaps now, but I think they did better than most other social justice movements and so at least diversity was on their radar. And if you are talking about second wave feminism today compared to third wave feminism today, yes, I think that third wave feminists are better on these issues, but it's more so because these are the issues of our time. It's the same reason we aren't "as good" on the abortion issue, it was more their issue and these are our unique ones to contend with.

My personal criticism against many second wave feminists today is many of their inability to see how people are uniquely being feminist and making a contribution that was unimaginable in other generations. I also think that focusing on legislative changes undermined how deep these problems were.

Hope that helps. Good luck,

-- Amy