Second Wave Feminism

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Differences of approach are prevalent in regards to first and second wave feminism. First of all, through the 19th and 20th centuries first wave feminists focus on specific basic rights such as women’s suffrage and property rights, through the lens of human individuality, viewing humans as free and disinterested. By contrast, second wave feminists of the 1960s through the 1980s advocate for liberties more relevant for their time, such as sexual, reproductive and workplace rights, then they contrast the first wave approach by demolishing the ideas of personal freedoms set in place by a patriarchal society. Indeed, first wave feminists believe in working within a patriarchal system to achieve true equality and autonomy since we are equal in …show more content…

Most importantly the second wave feminist approach avoids seeing morality as a contract, instead relying on the context of the matter, and instead of viewing reason as the main determinant of inquiry, rationality and morality, they use empathy. Indeed, second wave feminists view any previous moral frameworks as male biased, negligent approaches to women’s issues. Here, second wave feminists critique thinkers like Aristotle, Rousseau and Kant as denying that women have the ability to reason, not only this, but these thinkers are devaluing female values and experiences. According to the second wave feminists. an ethics of care is the most reasonable approach, to them, love and empathy are the determinants of flourishing and minimization of any suffering and …show more content…

It is true that an ethics of care is desirable, as empathy should be a factor to consider when determining morality, however, empathy and reason should not be at odds with one another, instead empathy should be a characteristic of reason. For instance, Mills greatest happiness principle could be applied to the second wave feminist approach, as the most reasonable thing to do in a situation would be to maximize happiness and minimize suffering by showing empathy for refugees, the poor and animals. One can get to the best outcomes for humankind by reason and empathy, as reason should bring about human and animal rights. Reason brings about the best possible outcomes and is the most reliable tool in bringing about equality. It is through reason that we understood that blacks and whites are equal and that we are all one species that deserve freedom, property and

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