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Feminism

Hello. My name is Elizabeth and I attend Council Rock High School. I am currently working on a project about Feminist Movements of the 1960's through the 1990's. I believe that women's rights are extremely important and I would like to learn as much as I can. I would greatly appreciate any information you could send me about recent Feminist Movements, your idea of the definition of Women's Rights, opinions on the greatest accomplishments of women over the last few decades, main reasons why women were motivated to begin the fight for rights, what women and organizations are doing now, how movements have affected society and government, and/or info. about your organization. I will surely tell my friends and family about your organization. I love your web site! Thank you so much for your time and consideration!

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com. Thanks, too, for your enthusiasm about the site.

If you look under Feminism, I'm hoping that you will find some of what you are looking for--i.e. definitions of feminism and ways to "be a feminist." In terms of information about the feminist movement--in this country we are in the midst of the "second wave of feminism" with an emerging "third wave." The first wave was that of the suffragists and abolishionists who secured basic rights for women--the right to vote; to own property; to inherit property. The second wave came about during the 1960s and has fought to give a name and a value to women's experiences. In the 1960s and 1970s, the feminist movement fought to--- legalize birth control; unionize female workers; value women's work as "homemakers" and "mothers;" secure reproductive freedom; for equal access to education and jobs. The feminist movement also coined terms like "domestic violence;" "sexual harassment" etc...Before this, these experiences in the words of Gloria Steinem "were just called life."

The feminist movement obviously fought for women's rights, but the misleading part comes with the latter. Many people forget that all issues are women's issues. For instance, not only have women fought against the glass ceiling and for welfare, but feminists have also been at the forefront on the child rights movement; the peace movement; the civil rights movement and so much more.

Most women were motivated to fight for women's rights during this time through "consciousness raising groups" and the discovery that the "personal is the political." CR groups were basically women sitting around and talking about their own experiences. Soon many women discovered that what they thought only they experienced was in fact something most of their female contemporaries also experienced.

Many women's organizations were formed in response to this: i.e. Ms. Magazine was formed, because there was no other magazine "telling the truth about women's lives" (Ms. is still doing that today); the National Council for Research on Women was founded to put some validity behind women's experiences--and they are still doing that today; the American Association of Univerisity Women was founded to make women more visible in all levels of education--and they are still doing that today; the National Black Women's Health Project was founded to give black women the information they needed about their bodies--and they, too, are still doing that today. There are so many more examples. And each one not only helps individual women, but collectively these organizations have a powerful voice in Washington and, therefore, make sure that women's rights are not overlooked.

I hope this helps--good luck--and thanks for your support. Let me know if you need more information.


Amy

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