We should stop referring to feminist “waves”

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way people often describe feminism as occurring in “waves” and associate certain individuals, ideologies, and issues with each period of time.  Although I understand why this may be appealing, I think it is a huge limitation of the movement to periodize feminism in this way.  All of the so-called waves simultaneously reveal change and growth, while expressing continuity, as pertinent issues during past waves are still relevant today.  Rather than using this as a reason to separate and compartmentalize feminism, we should see this as a natural progression of any social movement.

To assume that certain periods of time were more important than others privileges a very specific definition of activism based on widespread media coverage, large protests, and major legislative changes such as the right to vote.  This also implies that certain years were more important than others, when in reality feminism has been present during all of these time periods.  

Feminist activism is about so much more than rallying and reforming legislation; it is also about breaking silences, finding and using your voice, raising consciousness, and surviving oppression.  We should not keep dividing ourselves from others because of these arbitrary categories of time, when there is already so much standing in the way of our unity and solidarity, such as racism, cissexism, heterosexism, classism, and ableism.

  1. hethran reblogged this from mylifeasafeminista
  2. gcvsa reblogged this from boredangry and added:
    See that? Every once in awhile, she says something that reminds why I adore her so. "Their hearts were mostly in the...
  3. oldrebelpachelbel reblogged this from boredangry and added:
    Also: this is very much centred in the American and British feminist movements. Which is beyond fucked up. When American...
  4. electra-descending reblogged this from boredangry and added:
    For all of the scurrilous hatred I often spout about the Second Wave, we wouldn’t be where we are today without it. And...
  5. ghost-of-algren reblogged this from mylifeasafeminista and added:
    I guess I’m at a disadvantage in reading your post since my knowledge of feminist history mostly comes from non-academic...
  6. mylifeasafeminista reblogged this from ghost-of-algren and added:
    Well, not to state the obvious or anything, but of course my post is inanimate; it is a collection of words on a...
  7. fromonesurvivortoanother said: "To assume that certain periods of time were more important than others privileges a very specific definition of activism" — yes. The peggy mcintosh pyramid structure— turning the ordinary into the extraordinary
  8. glompcat reblogged this from mylifeasafeminista
  9. fearandwar reblogged this from mylifeasafeminista