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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.

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September 4th, 2009

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Women have often been relegated to the footnotes of history, and even those are highly selective. As Sandra Cisneros wrote of her search for Latina sheroes, "We are the footnotes of the footnotes." Yet the heritages of women of color, especially the indigenous cultures, supply the most dramatic examples in recent history of open embrace of female power.

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Women's history demands a global perspective. There's far more to it than Queen Elizabeth I or Susan B. Anthony. We need to refocus historical attention from the school of "famous women" (often royal females) to encompass broader groupings of women with power: clan mothers and female elders; priestesses, diviners, medicine women and healers; market women, weavers, and other female arts and professions.

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Comment #18 by Andrea on May 1, 2011 - 2:06pm

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I wasn't aware that there was a 'third wave', but I guess it's never too late to learn. I just hope that it continues to grow instead of leading to a fourth wave...

Comment #19 by Naveed Paj on May 2, 2011 - 5:15am

There are many people in my life who will benefit from reading this post. I will pass it on to them. I hope this evolving history is documented in school text books.

Comment #20 by Donna on May 2, 2011 - 4:37pm

I'm inspired to read more about all three waves. I guess I know very little about feminism, and I'd like to be more educated.

Comment #21 by Sandra on May 6, 2011 - 2:54pm

Great article. It's too bad that feminism happens in waves, and doesn't just continue to progress to the point where both genders are truly equal.

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Comment #23 by Chaser Cruz on May 26, 2011 - 1:49pm

We are entitled to choices of our own. We can make our decisions what we want to prefer and it is a privilege which side we want to belong. A woman has its own power and it is proven to our society as a proof. Woman have their own power to choose what they want to be.

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Comment #27 by edmonton psychologists on July 25, 2011 - 6:34pm

Rebecca,

I am humbled when reading your name in the Encylcopedia Brittanica entry. How wonderful to have an online outlet like this for women involved in the Third Wave.

Comment #28 by Kerry Enser on August 21, 2011 - 8:52pm

I really appreciated reading this post as I know very little about feminism in general, other than the idea itself. I feel like I should become more involved as it is something I feel strongly about, but I have never been active in any sense.

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