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Women’s Studies. History and Theory. History of Women’s Movement. In the United States Three Waves Suffrage Civil Rights and the Political Micro-politics and the experiential; transnational. Suffrage. The head of the woman suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the US

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Women s studies

Women’s Studies

History and Theory

History of women s movement
History of Women’s Movement

  • In the United States

    • Three Waves

      • Suffrage

      • Civil Rights and the Political

      • Micro-politics and the experiential; transnational


The head of the woman suffrage parade

down Pennsylvania Avenue from the US

Capitol to the White House.March 3, 1913, Washington, D.C.

Mary Church Terrell, in a photograph taken between 1880 and 1900 and published later. She organized African American women who lived in and near Washington, D.C. to join the march, although all African American participants were asked to march at the rear of the procession.


Civil rights and the political
Civil Rights and the Political

  • January 15, 1968

    • Jeannette Rankin Brigade

  • Some Achievements

    • Rape rights

    • Divorce Rights

    • Contraception rights

    • Property rights

    • Educational rights

      • Women’s Studies

    • Professional rights

Third wave
Third Wave

  • Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave's “essentialist" definitions of femininity, which (according to the third wave) often assumed a universal female identity and over-emphasized the experiences of upper middle class white women.

  • A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality is central to much of third wave ideology. This accounts for the heightened emphasis on the discursive power and fundamental ambiguity inherent in all gender terms and categories.

  • Third-wave theory usually encompasses queer theory, women of color consciousness, womanism, post-colonial theory, critical theory, transnationalism, ecofeminism, and new feminist theory.

  • Third wave feminists often focus on "micropolitics," writing about forms of gender expression and representation that are less explicitly political than their predecessors. They also challenged the second wave's paradigm as to what is, or is not, good for females.

Women s studies1
Women’s Studies

  • The Academic Arm of the Second Wave

  • At UD

    • Began in the mid-1970s

    • Some examples

  • A Feminist Base

    • How do we understand “feminism”?

    • Sheila Ruth—pages 5-7

  • Goals

    • Ruth, page 14

    • Consciousness Raising


  • Liberal Feminism

  • Marxist Feminism

  • Socialist Feminism

  • Radical Feminism

  • Existentialist Feminism

  • Identity Feminism

  • Postmodern Feminism

Liberal feminism
Liberal Feminism

  • Mary Wollstonecraft

  • Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill

  • Liberty of the individual

  • Extending to women the full opportunities and rights that men have

Marxist feminism
Marxist Feminism

  • Critique of Capitalism

  • Economics and class structure the basic problem

    • But must address the material conditions of women

Socialist feminism
Socialist Feminism

  • Shares some of the theoretical basis of Marxist Feminism

  • Places emphasis on social structures and how they contribute to both freedom and oppression of women

Radical feminism
Radical Feminism

  • Patriarchy is flawed

  • Women need their own independent power base from which to develop

    • Often separatists

    • Often lesbian

Existential feminists
Existential Feminists

  • De Beauvoir, The Second Sex

  • Importance of freedom and choice

  • Women are complicit

  • We must make our own clothes

Identity feminism
Identity Feminism

  • Standpoint

  • Multicultural

  • Intersectional: race, class, sexual identity, ethnicity, age, etc

Postmodern feminism
Postmodern Feminism

  • Plurality of discourses

    • Dominant and oppositional

    • Shape our identities