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Third Wave: An accurate and succinct rendering.

This is an excellent description of Third Wave; one of the most accurate and succinct I've seen. From the online version of the Encylcopedia Brittanica:

The third wave of feminism emerged in the mid-1990s. It was led by so-called Generation Xers who, born in the 1960s and ’70s in the developed world, came of age in a media-saturated, culturally and economically diverse milieu. Although they benefitted significantly from the legal rights and protections that had been obtained by first- and second-wave feminists, they also critiqued the positions and what they felt was unfinished work of second-wave feminism.

The third wave was made possible by the greater economic and professional power and status achieved by women of the second wave, the massive expansion in opportunities for the dissemination of ideas created by the information revolution of the late 20th century, and the coming of age of Generation X scholars and activists.

Some early adherents of the new approach were literally daughters of the second wave. Third Wave Direct Action Corporation (organized in 1992) became in 1997 the Third Wave Foundation, dedicated to supporting “groups and individuals working towards gender, racial, economic, and social justice”; both were founded by (among others) Rebecca Walker, the daughter of the novelist and second waver Alice Walker. Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, authors of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (2000), were both born in 1970 and raised by second wavers who had belonged to organized feminist groups, questioned the sexual division of labour in their households, and raised their daughters to be self-aware, empowered, articulate, high-achieving women.

September 4th, 2009


Comment #1 by SEO Workgroup on September 7, 2009 - 10:48am

Thanks for sharing. Really a good article.

Comment #2 by Super Amanda on September 7, 2009 - 8:35pm

Not so big on their pop culture references, Ani DiFranco should be first before Madonna who is owned by corporate live nation. Madonna is not my feminist icon. She pays for a younger guy and she exploits her children to the point of dressing Lourdes up as mini-me and cares more about making money and working out and creating a freakishly ugly body more than anything or anyone else.
Who adopts a child from another country and a different race than goes on yet another world tour a week later?

Her feminist status is mostly media driven and if one was to look at her legacy TRUTHFULLY she paved the way for Britney, Paris Hilton, The Hills, Reality TV, the makeover as career avatar and Girls Gone Wild vagina showing antics killing the work that Heart, Joan Jett and countless other feminist rockers blazed previously. Its just NEVER ok to criticize her as people are conditioned to defend her if ANYONE dare point out the truth, which is pathetic-no person, inescapably a famous person would EVER be beyond reproach and indulged to such a massive extent by the media and public.

Perhaps the desperate kootch showing antics can be perceived as empowering and third wave by some feminists but my take on third wave is far less image and mainstream media driven. Madonna is the LEAST empowered woman who is famous today. she has never had a loving relationship, she never looks like she has fun and her talent is still questioned after 30 years. Paglia has some 'splaining to do. She mentioned how Britney walking around with no underwear was NOT what "fought for as a feminist " and my response is "Yes you did!"

Apart from that it is a great article, but once again, until all woman stop hiring other woman to clean their homes, pick their fruit and care for their children for very low wages and when woman stop enjoying the hard work of other woman (and their children) via the purchase of cheap goods made overseas, feminism can't really move forward despite how much cooler, hip and flavafied it now is. Raise these subjects and criticize madonna and watch how most middle to upper class feminists over the age of 20 just don't wanna know .

Comment #3 by Internet Business on September 8, 2009 - 2:58am

Interesting read, very well written article. That would be the end of the long weekend for me.

Comment #4 by rebecca on September 8, 2009 - 5:30am
In rereading, realized I forgot to include the part that mentioned me as founder--one of the reasons I posted in the first place (replaced)! but overall--and i agree with you amanda (how is the baby?!)--i think i think it's a good piece.
Comment #5 by Super Amanda on September 8, 2009 - 2:49pm

Hi Rebecca!

Albie baby is great! He's grown a giant kissable melon head and he's grown into his huge feet a bit. He went for his first nature walk yesterday in the Bjorn and he's starting to enjoy solid peace and quiet when he sleeps. If music plays or there is a sudden loud noise, he stays asleep but his arms rise up suddenly as if to say "Basta!" I'm elated, in love , semi-tired. He did not latch but thankfully there are breast pumps and he's really happy with exclusive breast milk. He has his own Panchen Lama costume for Halloween too.

My only post partum oddity is that I keep recalling snippets of older dreams from as long as five years ago throughout the day. Four to five times, flashes of older dreams just pop through my head. Bardo stuff perhaps? It is actually cool, as if Albie baby helped me "clean house" and find a kaleidoscope of memories.

I'm glad Third Wave has a solid standing. Post Feminism equals Post Modernism which, to me, opens the door for cynicism and Ayn Rand style morality. And I'm so glad it opened the doors for women and girls of color to have a say in the future of Feminism without explanation or apology.

The wikipedia article needs some POVs removed, i'll try to clean it up in between diaper changes and naps! xoxox

Comment #6 by Yachts on September 10, 2009 - 1:35am

Nice blog, keep up the good work and post regularly...


Comment #7 by waLlpaPer on September 10, 2009 - 11:59am

"Third wavers inherited a foothold of institutional power created by second wavers, including women’s studies programs at universities, long-standing feminist organizations, and well-established publishing outlets such as Ms. magazine and several academic journals." ......

I liked that Thanx

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Thanks for sharing. Really a good article.

Comment #9 by meg on September 12, 2009 - 12:17am

This was really helpful. Thanks.

Comment #10 by Tiffany on September 12, 2009 - 10:06pm

I enjoyed this article a lot and I've bookmarked it.

Comment #11 by Corinna on September 21, 2009 - 5:02am

that's an interesting article, written in a nice way.

Comment #12 by Karen on October 9, 2009 - 11:58pm

Frankly, I don't think a 'Third Wave' of American feminism exists. I can name the monumental achievements of First and Second Wave feminism, but what are the accomplishments of Third Wave Feminism? The Vagina Monologues? I hear the term 'Third Wave' thrown around a lot, but it seems to resonate more with academics than with the general population.

In my opinion, Second Wave Feminism ended the day Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic primary. During the bruising primary campaign, we saw first hand that sexism is still accepted in America.

I would love for young women to find their own leaders, define some goals, and begin a real Third Wave of feminism. Unfortunately, whenever the topic of feminism comes up, somebody either changes the subject to racism, or tries to conflate sexism and racism. While they are both systems of oppression, they are NOT the same, and different strategies are needed to dismantle each one.

Until women stop deferring to men, and to those who would hijack feminism and turn it into something else, women will continue to lose ground.


Comment #13 by Shelly Parry on December 4, 2009 - 6:56pm

this is great. America is so messed up when it comes to social justic it is just a shame that a free country that we live in is so corrupt. Sorry, i had to vent because of the way my family has been treated due to certain social economic reasons. We need more female leaders to stand up. Thats all im saying.

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Comment #16 by multinivelero on February 25, 2010 - 2:15pm

There's a lot of women of this third wave, but the problem is that they were born watching "Sex in the city"...well, a not very good school to be a feminist...
I think there are not visible leaders on this third wave and the second wave still on the fight...

Comment #17 by Rich on April 28, 2010 - 10:53pm

My idea is its all happening by means of choices. Everyone has its own decision making attitude which is a privilege to select which side she wants to belong. A woman will always have the power of greatness when its properly being justify by our peers and society.

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The third wave was made possible by the greater economic and professional power and status achieved by women of the second wave, the massive expansion in opportunities for the dissemination of ideas

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Comment #47 by drivers on October 10, 2010 - 8:55pm

Great post. Third Wave. The third wave was made possible by the greater economic and professional power and status achieved by women of the second wave, the massive expansion in opportunities for the dissemination of ideas created by the information revolution of the late 20th century.

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Comment #49 by Melville on November 10, 2010 - 9:09pm

In expressing more recent concerns, third-wave feminists actively subverted, co-opted, and played on seemingly sexist images and symbols.

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Comment #50 by vishesh on November 16, 2010 - 6:28pm

The third wave was made possible by the greater economic and professional power and status achieved by women of the second wave

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