Monday, April 4, 2016

Suffrage and Waves

Many people have qualms about the idea that feminism is separated into waves.  They agree that suffrage and then the second wave were both their own entities, but after that they have trouble calling the third and fourth wave their own movements.  In the article written by Jennifer Baumgardner she discusses how some second wave feminists feel that the term wave pits the different generations of the movement against each other.  I think that it is okay to separate Feminism into these sub-movements because each of these subdivisions has a large differentiation that has to do with motivation and thought.  The suffrage movement focused on the right to vote, whereas the second wave focused on civil liberties and the equality of men and women from a legal standpoint.  The third and fourth waves focus on the social consciousness, trying to change the discrimination that is innate in so many people.  Because of these vast differences it is okay to separate feminism, because I don't think it is creating a rift, rather it is acknowledging the differences in generation and helping us move toward our goal of equality.

I enjoyed in Ms. O'Connell's presentation and reading as I learned a lot that I had not previously known about feminism. I especially liked at the start of class how she told us how she asks each of her students if they are a feminist and why many people, including females, say no.  I think it is important to come up with an operational definition of feminism that allows women to be strong and fight for their rights without being viewed as scary, or man-hating.  This lesson also made me realize how little is taught in U.S. History about women's suffrage throughout elementary, middle and even high school.  This is a very important part of the history of our country and I know some girls who don't even know how recently we didn't have the right to vote.  I think it's is a very important subject that should be resigned to only electives of women's studies and people who already know enough about it to choose to learn more.  In middle schools instead of teaching the revolutionary war for the sixth time they could teach about suffrage, or fit a suffrage unit into the subject of the civil war because the two were tied together.  Earlier this year we discussed how micro-histories give the chance for the voices of the minority to be heard in the broader spectrum of history.  I think women's suffrage was a big enough and important enough movement to not be only a micro-history.

I found the cookbooks really fascinating, yet kind of ironic.  The motto "give us the vote and we will cook", made me cringe a little bit, but they were fighting the battle in a way that would gain support and help them win.  I owe a lot to the suffragettes,  I was recently allowed too vote in the primary and being politically aware and active is important to me.  I thought it was funny how many of the counter arguments to suffrage were saying that men would have to boil water, and that's absurd.  then I come home on Thursday night and my father is struggling with cooking pasta,  the first step to which, is boiling water.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think about this issue?