Feminism in America

Feminism is a collection of movements that defined equal political and social rights of American women. Feminism allows us to take a look as to whether or not women are treated equally in the United States and we are currently ranked 20th in gender equality according to the World Economic Forum in 2014.

The first wave of feminism began at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York in July of 1848. This all came about because Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were not permitted a seat at the World Anti-Slavery convention as delegates due to their gender. These women decided then would be a good time to address these issues at a convention for women.  300 men and women attended this convention where the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions was then created.  And by the year 1870 women were allowed the right to vote in general elections.

The second wave of feminism occurred in the 1960s. Journalist Gloria Steinem gained a lot of press when and popularity when she authored a diary of her undercover work as a Playboy bunny and was published. By 1968 she had become arguably the most influential figure in the feminist movement.  She supported legalized abortion and free daycares. Victories such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped the movement flourish. Many people will say that the second wave of feminism did not end until the early 80s with the Feminist Sex Wars.

The third wave of feminism in the US began in the 90s with the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill case. Thomas was in the Supreme Court and was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill. Even though Thomas won the case, this sparked the third wave of the feminist movement. Also in the 1990s was the riot girl movement in Washington state that sought to give women power over their voice and expression. Third wave feminists sought to redefine the ideals and gender roles of women, so the riot girl movement was mirrored more to the second wave of feminism.

There are many other historical events that helped pave the way for women in America. Even today women are still fighting for equal rights in the workplace as well as freedom of expression and other rights. These are just some of the events that helped pave the way for women today.

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