Monday, December 22, 2008

Waves of feminism

In response to a comment on my last post by Cindy, (it is well worth reading) here is a brief outline.

First wave feminism - 19th century and early 20th century
Second wave feminism - 1960's to 1980's
Third wave - 1990's to present
Fourth wave - some say we are entering that now

Brief notes. The dates are blurred since some writers moved ahead of their time. De Beauvoir wrote in the 1940's but was most influential in the 1960's so she is called a second wave feminist. However, those women who matured during the period of first wave feminism, the first half of the 20th century, and demonstrate a continuity of thought with them, can rightly be considered first wave feminists. I would count women such as Catherine Booth, Julia Smith, Helen Montgomery, and women preachers of the Salvation Army, Methodist church, Assemblies of God and so on, as in continuity with first wave feminism.

Grace Irwin, although a minister of a church, did not identify with feminism. I believe she was referring to second wave feminism. Her personal writings are deeply conflicted in my view, and I have learnt much about the dichotomies and inconsistencies of being human through her biography.

I have been deeply influenced by women writers of all kinds, and appreciate that I have been given a strong heritage of women's knowledge in a traditional way. I also deeply appreciate the many male professors, teachers, mentors and friends whom I have known. I feel no urgency now to learn from women rather than from men, as long as women have equal voice, or equal opportunity to have a voice. More later.

Yes, I write about sex and gender in that it is problematic. For me, the deepest happiness would be to feel a sense of siblinghood, of identity and commonality, of shared humanness with men.


Jane said...

Thanks for the lovely word siblinghood
and happy Christmas Suzanne

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hope your holidays are going well.