The three waves of feminism were first introduced to me in an art lecture about polymorphous perverts and voyeurs, along with the male gaze.
The first wave of feminism, and where it all began, was with the Suffragettes. These were women who were predominantely over the age of 30, in the upper- and midde-class, with an education. In 1918 they gained the vote.
The second wave of feminism was in the 60’s and 70’s, where society is believed to be run on behalf of men, and women are second in the chain. ‘The Second Sex’ by Simone De’Beauvoir highlighted this – “one is not born a woman, rather one becomes a woman”. Within the second wave, there is also a belief that there is a difference between sex and gender. The concept of woman is socially constructed in a mans world and even with gifts, our genders are constructed. Even now, men and women fall in his construct and abide by it.
The second wave of feminism is also very radical with some women arguing for women-only groups, and that all men are rapists. Often in this wave, there would be a rewriting and reconstruction of what it means to be a woman. It was also believes that men who had transitioned into a woman should not have the same rights because they got there without the fight.
The third wave, which is where we are now, is less essentialist and takes into account the intersection of gender, class and ethnicity. The third wave of feminism also integrates other voices.