Confusing Social Concepts: Feminism

(I originally posted this article on my other blog, The Bamboo Post, but I thought I should post it here too because it is a sociological topic.)

Admit or not, feminists have a bad rep. They tend to be seen as crazy women who want to kill masculinity and will scream and bark false facts at all those who oppose them or deny their equal rights. But this is simply not true. Not all feminists are loud, scary, and evil, and I’m willing to bet that there are more nice feminists than there are mean ones.

However, this post isn’t about the visuals of feminists. Rather, it is about what feminism is and what most feminists fight for because it gets misconstrued quite a bit by the media.

So let’s travel back into history and look at the 3 waves of feminism.

First Wave (1830’s-early 1900’s):
In this wave, feminists dealt with issues concerning property rights and the right for women to vote in political elections (women’s suffrage).

Second Wave (1960’s-1980’s):

In this wave, feminists broadened the debate and expanded their fight to deal with issues in the workplace, sexuality, family, and reproductive rights, and also raised concerns about domestic violence and marital rape.

Third Wave (1990’s-today):

In the earlier part of this wave, feminists’ main concerns were about integrating the issues of minority and LGBT women to their fight.

However, nowadays, though there are some feminists who are still fighting for the integration of racial issues into feminist theory, the main issues that they deal with are equal pay, domestic labour, media representation, violence against women, victim blaming (rape culture), and rights to control their own body (abortion, contraception).

Additionally, there are issues that some feminists fight for, but others will fight against. An example of this would be women in pornography. Some feel that it is up to the individual to make their own choices (as long as it doesn’t harm others) and that female porn stars should not be shamed for their career choice. Others, however, feel that women shouldn’t go into porn because it exploits women and creates a false image of them, where they are viewed only as sexual things.

Another issue that feminists often disagree on is the right for women to dress as they please. Some say women should be able to dress however they want (show as much skin as they want/show as little skin as they want). However, there are some feminists who believe that women should show as little skin as possible because if they show too much, they’ll be viewed as sexual objects (or sluts) rather than, for a lack of a better word, a “normal” person.

So, that is what feminism is all about –their main goal is pretty much just equality. How do you feel about feminism? Share your thoughts below in the comments.

Here are the sources and some additional readings if you’re interested:

First Wave Feminism (via wiki):

Second Wave Feminism (via wiki):

Third Wave Feminism (via wiki):

A Brief History: The Three Waves of Feminism:

The Five Main Issues Facing Modern Feminism:


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