Feminist Movement

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History of the feminist movement

The feminist movement, or simply feminism, is a name given to designate movements and ideologies which are intent on achieving equal rights for women and men. While feminists around the world have undertaken diverse measures and have set themselves different goals, varying from one country to another and changing through time, most Western feminist theorists agree that all the movements aimed at the improvement of women's condition should be classified as feminist, whether or not they refer this term to themselves (Walters 2005).
Although many researchers, including the authors of A Feminist Reader, Sharon M. Harris and Linda K. Hughes, claim that the origins of the feminist movement could be observed as early
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It is inspired by and bound to a generation of the new post-colonial world order and heavily influenced by the fall of communism, religious and ethnic fundamentalism, and the fast-developing info- and bio-technologies. It is informed by the post-structuralism and the post-modern thought. In the US third-wave feminism is commonly referred to as “grrl feminism,” whereas in Europe the term “new feminism” is preferred.
Third-wave feminism is characterized by local, national and international activism. The main issues addressed by the activists of “new” feminism are violence against women, human trafficking, body image, self-mutilation and the so-called “pornofication” (vulgar sexualization) of the media (Krolokke 2006).
The third wave criticizes earlier feminist waves for their attempts to provide universal solutions for complex issues and standardized definitions of womanhood, thus failing to include some groups, especially teenage, non-heterosexual and transgender women or marginalizing others (women of different ethnic backgrounds, women of color). It also reappropriates the artifacts of femininity, such as lipsticks, body hugging clothing and high heels, earlier rejected by the radical second-wave feminists as symbols of male oppression. This new position was expressed in the statement of one of the prominent third-wave activists, Pinkfloor: “It’s possible to have a push-up bra and a brain at the same time.”
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They challenged deeply-rooted social identities and crossed virtually all boundaries, tending to be global and multicultural. They refused the previously inherent in the feminist thought assumption of the binary division “us-them” (us – for feminists and them – for non-feminists), sometimes rejecting the word “feminism” at all.
Third-wave feminism is far from being homogeneous and clashes or tensions within the movement may be observed. It reflects the diversification of women's interests and perspectives throughout the globe. Moreover, thanks to the globalization, virtually all of the third wave's countless facets are voiced through new means of mass communication, especially via social networks. Paradoxically, the media serve purposes of the new feminism, despite being at the same time deplored for their many a time sexist
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