……..they just become an embarrassment.
It is a good thing that those First Wave Feminists are all dead now. You know, those women who, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, put everything on the line, including their lives, to get women the vote? They would be an embarrassment, and obsolete, to boot, in today’s feminism.
Why do I say this? Because, apparently, the Second Wave Feminists, those from 1960’s to the mid-1980’s are an embarrassment to both Third Wave Feminists and what, I suppose are the current Fourth Wave Feminists.
Second Wave tends to be feminists of a *certain age*, and they know who they are. They came of age during anti-war protests, the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement and women, not only coming out of their 1950’s homes, but coming out of the closet in truth and in force, to protest. They wanted sexual equality, they wanted sovereignty over their own bodies and lives, not much different from what feminists, in theory, want now. The marched in protest; they burned their bras; NOW (National Organization of Women) and Ms. Magazine were started. They fought hard from the Equal Rights Amendment, an amendment that we still do not have. They were the ones who brought the Goddess back into our consciousness. They were the ones who realized that feminism was more than just equal rights for women; they understood that the way women were treated is the way the planet and ALL of its’ creatures were treated. They knew, deep within them, that the “personal was political” and began to get involved with politics on a national stage to bring about the change they felt should be coming. The patriarchal system in which we all lived needed to be changed. Women, such as Gloria Steinem and Shirley Chisolm, rose to the forefront. They fought and they fought hard.
Now, it appears that it is THESE feminists who hate men, who have no sense of humor, who are always angry , who don’t understand that things “are different now”. It is these women, who fought so hard, who have become jokes within the current feminist ideology. Do they understand why some Third Wave and current feminists hesitate to even identify as feminists? No, I don’t think so, because they were and are damn proud of what was done and is continuing to be done. Most of them, all these years later, are still fighting the same fight, albeit maybe in smaller ways. Yes, some may actually hate men, for whatever reason, but younger women have not lived their lives or walked in their shoes of 50-60 years ago. In my experience, though, it is not men that they hate, but the patriarchal culture that abounds in this country and around the world. Younger women do not understand what was closed to women due to the simple fact that they were women, but if this country continues in the way it is going, they may learn soon enough.
One of the things that they hear now is that patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women, it also hurts men. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement; however, while they may agree that yes, it does, they would counter with, “but you don’t see any of them fighting it because they benefit from it enormously and want to continue to benefit from it”. In my personal experience, I have met a handful of men (this includes online) who would bring down the patriarchy if they could. In the scheme of things, that’s not much.
There is also the fact that most older feminists have difficulty embracing intersectionality. I have spoken to many to get their opinions as to why this is; the majority felt the same way, that the plight of a small number of people is erasing the plight of women, the same women who have been erased their entire lives, the same women who have been erased, ignored and degraded for centuries. The rights of one should not come at the expense of the rights of others and that goes for ANY human/civil rights movement.
Most Second Wavers do not see prostitution and porn as a choice and a way to empowerment. They see it as another way the patriarchy keeps women in their place and on their knees.
In the long view, these disagreements are minor. The long view is equal rights for all, regardless of gender, sex, color, religion, as well as caring for the environment, animal rights and our Mother Earth. THESE are what is important in that long view, and this is what should not be forgotten.
In the current atmosphere, equal rights for all is now further away that it has been in a long time. We have a narcissistic, bullying, hate-filled dictator wanna-be as a presidential candidate. We have police officers murdering young black men. Women are on the verge of losing their sovereign right to make choices for their own bodies. Terrorists, taking a Goddess’s name in vain is wreaking fear, havoc and death around the world with impunity. These are the things that should be important, not disagreements between women on how to best accomplish goals that will be good for all.
This country and world, are on a slippery, downward slope. Maybe the older feminists have something they can teach the younger ones; and maybe, the younger ones should listen, because they have already been where you are headed. *******
********DISCLAIMER — NOT ALL SECOND WAVE FEMINISTS THINK THE SAME WAY; NOR, DO ALL THIRD WAVE FEMINISTS THINK THE SAME WAY. THESE ARE GENERALITIES ONLY, BECAUSE, REALLY, NOT EVERYONE IN ANY PARTICULAR GROUP HAS THE SAME THOUGHTS, EVER. THANK YOU.