The Evolution of Feminism as a Series of Cultural Movements

A concise summary of the emergence of Feminism in the United States.

Readership: All

It could very well be argued that the spiritual essence of Feminism is as old as the Garden of Eden, and has reared its head in various societies in turn down through the ages. The following essay is based on a comprehensive amalgamation of many sources in addition to those cited, and was written in an effort to deconstruct the American emergence of Feminism over the last 140 years.

gibson-girl-beauty-ages

The Gibson girl – Women’s ideal fashion at the onset of first wave feminism.

First Wave Feminism (1880-1920)

            Feminism began in the mid to late 19th century in the form of ‘Temperance’, a social movement aiming to outlaw liquor. At that time, liquor was ‘as American as apple pie’, and was a notable cause of domestic violence. The movement to ban liquor eventually ignited the movement to establish female suffrage. For decades, society resisted these changes, until a catastrophic change precipitated their acceptance. World War One, and the Spanish flu epidemic, together, consumed between 60 to 120 million people worldwide in only six years (1914-1920). The loss of men, husbands, and sons on a mass scale, with an especially high number between the ages of 20-35, upset the gender balance and the societal order. Many women lost the hope of ever marrying, and turned instead to a lifestyle of frequenting nightclubs and profligate romances. Women caught up in this status were called ‘flappers’, and were iconically known to cut their hair very short in a style known as a ‘bob’. A woman bobbing her hair was absolutely scandalous at that time because it advertised a woman’s sexual openness for all to see. Moreover, society had been irreversibly altered and as a consequence, the objectives of alcohol prohibition and female suffrage were reached around the same time in the early 20th century, effectively concluding what we now call ‘the first wave of feminism’.

flapper

The Flapper was the inflammatory feminine sex icon at the end of first wave feminism.

            The motivations of temperance and female suffrage behind the first wave of feminism are regarded as the purest, most legitimate, and most successful among all the waves of feminism. At the same time however, the 1st wave wasn’t even remotely about gender equality. While some feminists of the time did have this principle in mind, and showed it in their activism (i.e. Susan B. Anthony), the movement as a whole didn’t seem terribly interested in giving women the same standing as men, so much as an effort to address the specific grievance of alcoholism destroying families.

Second Wave Feminism (1950-1991)

            The second wave of feminism began about three decades later, and was a response to women being pushed out of the workforce by soldiers returning from World War Two. During this war, men were displaced to serve military objectives, and women were forced to take on jobs traditionally held by men, including construction and manufacturing.

rosietheriveter.jpg.pc-adaptive.full.medium

Female riveters building aircraft at Lockheed Martin.

Women found purpose and dignity in doing so (c.f. ‘Rosie the Riveter’). Many provisions were put into place to allow them to do so, such as childcare provisions provided by the government and employers. According to many feminists, when the soldiers came back from the war, they were discriminately pushed out of work in favor of male employees, especially in positions requiring hard labor, such as construction and manufacturing, but also in a few white collar professional jobs, such as small business management. The resulting discontent and indignation ignited the second wave of feminism, presumably spearheaded by war widows or never married’s who found less income and more free time on their hands without employment.

The second wave of feminism gained steam by the 1960’s, and tackled a much broader array of issues than the first, including the following.

  1. The passing of historic civil rights legislation, including The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  2. The legalization and public acceptance of racial miscegenation.
  3. Revoking the popular depiction of women as wives, mothers and homemakers.
  4. Female discrimination and favoritism in the work force.
  5. Establishing reproductive, marital, and divorce rights for women.
  6. Coming out with the previously subterfuged idea that sex and commitment are not concomitant, viz. ‘Free Love’, as popularized by the ‘Hippies’ of the Boomer Generation. Over time, and with popular acceptance, this allowed the expansion of female sexual hypergamy, and the ostracizing of lower SMV males from the SMP.
  7. The crowning ‘achievements’ of 2nd wave feminism were the widespread public recognition and increased acceptance of the pro-choice rationale, legalized abortion (Roe vs. Wade, 1973), and the late-term, and partial-birth abortion practices.

i do not regret my abortion

Also during their term, western society experienced several other social, legal and technological cofactors which supported the purposes of 2nd wave feminism [1,2].

  1. An increase in the number of working women, thereby allowing them to support themselves financially and assume real independence.
  2. No-fault divorce, giving women greater opportunity to sacrifice their marriages for the sake of their own interests.
  3. The birth control pill and other modern contraceptives, allowing women greater latitude in their sexual choices.
  4. Many drugs were introduced for the treatment of STD’s, thus expanding women’s sexual proclivities.
  5. Widespread pornography, and increasing sex and violence in media, which reinforced the feminist argument that women are objectified and abused by sex addicted men.

In practice, the combination of all the above factors led to a drastic increase in the divorce rate, which interestingly enough, happened to coincide with women’s use of the birth control pill [3,4].

impact of divorce on young children

Despite what some would consider the positive effects that 2nd wave feminism had on western society as a whole, the leadership was deeply corrupt and had strong and extreme leanings toward what could be called ‘Gender Marxism’. Gender Marxism is defined as the application of Marxist Principles to the discussion on gender relations. For instance, ‘capitalism’ is replaced by ‘patriarchy’, the ‘bourgeoisie’ is replaced by ‘men’, and the ‘proletariat’ is replaced by ‘women’, within the relative arguments. By extension, many in the feminist leadership based their ideology around the view that western society consists of an ‘oppressor/oppressed dichotomy’, where all men oppress all women, which is a perspective that encouraged their followers, either directly or indirectly, to hate and distrust men.

After the civil rights movement ended, these ‘gender marxists’ (many of whom were Boomers) went to school, got Ph.D.’s, and secured positions of power for themselves in government and academia. Thus, the proponents of the second wave of feminism gained significant power over society, and fostered the political environment which gave birth to the third wave of feminism.

Third Wave Feminism (1991-2007)

            The third wave of feminism began with the formation of a sophisticated political and philosophical voice. Many late second wave artists, writers, and social activists fashioned a dark, faddish, alternative subculture, manifested in the grunge and punk social scenes in the mid 1990’s, which seduced the minds of young women to adopt their views of explicit sexual freedom and the caddish stereotype of men. Lower middle class adolescent girls formed the bulk of their age cohort at that time, and were highly susceptible to the voguish propaganda, peer pressure and cheap fashion talk, which discussed female sexuality in explicit details (although just shy of enough details to give away the secrets of the Feminine Mystique).

Grunge-Style-Outfit-Inspiration-Layering

1990’s Grunge – The curse of fashion.

            The nature of third wave feminism could be described as a deep, but profound ideological shift, governing the values, norms and expectations of men and women in society. Many of the core ideologies of modern feminism, such as ‘individualism’ and ‘diversity’, were born from the 3rd wave, which coincided with, and was reinforced by, the rise of the ‘Politically Correct” (PC) sentiment, which served to defend the lifestyle choices of those who deviated from the acceptable norms of the time.

The 1st and 2nd waves of feminism cleared up the vast majority of concrete institutional and prejudicial problems that women faced in society. Thus, in the absence of immediate, real grievances, third wave feminism focused on more abstract and systemic problems faced by post-modern women, such as the social nuances of their sexual liberties, reproductive ‘rights’, and how women, especially those sexually liberated, are perceived by society. Third wave feminists embraced the new ideologies, and sought to redefine what it meant to be a feminist. Where the second wave expressed the rejection of traditional female roles, the third wave feminism taught young women to scorn the natural life phase of women being young brides, wives and mothers as a form of ‘institutionalized bondage’. Thus, sexual promiscuity became the norm, even reaching within very conservative and traditional communities. Eventually, the idea that sex (and later on, procreation) should be unique to marriage, was totally eradicated.

To replace the crumbling system of ethical morality, 3rd wave feminism bought into the value for higher education widely held among Gen X’ers, and introduced a new template for female young adulthood, characterized by getting an education, and establishing a career. The proposed motivations were presented as, ‘becoming a strong and independent woman’, while subtly reinforcing the conflicting notions that men are not to be depended upon, but are to be objectified as a provider of sex and resources. The pseudo-spiritual mantra, ‘finding one’s self’ was introduced, which was for women, more often than not, a polite euphemism for indulging in sexual promiscuity until emotional complacency and sexual annui sets in. As a consequence, the average age of marriage was severely delayed during this time period. [5-8]

Over time, the 3rd wave brought the emergence of new feminist currents and theories, such as ‘intersectionality’, ‘womanism’ (within black feminism), ‘sex positivity’, ‘vegetarian ecofeminism’, ‘transfeminism’, and ‘postmodern feminism’, thereby producing an atomization, and arguably the obliteration, of sexual norms. Late third wave feminists especially sought to destroy deeply entrenched impressions of sexually liberated women as being ‘immoral sluts’. Towards this effort, they proactively owned derogatory terms, such as spinster, whore, cunt and bitch, and attempted to reclaim them as ‘positive’ female attributes.

slutwalk

A slutwalk demonstration.

            Because of its philosophical nature, the 3rd wave was unsuccessful in obtaining significant media attention, and it is often overlooked as an individual movement. Even many feminists tend to neglect the influence of this time period, and thereby regard the current fourth wave of feminism as ‘third wave feminism’.

Fourth Wave Feminism (2007-present) [9]*

The current wave of feminism, also known as ‘intersectional feminism’, originated from an online culture war between Atheists and Christians [10]. After winning the culture war, the online atheist community began to splinter and split into two factions, and infighting ensued. One side was atheist due to their Gender Marxist/Feminist values, and the other side was atheist due to their more liberal values. Soon afterwards, the Occupy Wallstreet movement [11] introduced the concepts ‘intersectionality’, the discussion of how intersecting ‘oppressions’ affect one’s life, and ‘progressive stack’, an activism tactic that regulates free speech by favoring people based on how intersectional they are (in other words, how many intersecting ‘oppressions’ they have). The atheist/Marxist/Feminist community banded together, incorporated these ideas, and established the fourth wave of feminism.

The primary focus of fourth wave feminism is to deconstruct gender (specifically maleness), and to arbitrate and incorporate all aspects of social justice, including gender, gender identity, race, and sexuality. The new feminist social order places the most ‘oppressed’ people, including women and the non-binary engendered, at the top of the ‘social virtue hierarchy’, and those entrenched in traditional majority blocks, namely straight, white, middle class, protestant males, at the bottom.

The platform for fourth wave feminism has primarily been blogging websites such as Tumblr and the notorious Everyday Feminism. Its focus on feigned indignification as a virtue signal, online ‘outrage’, a technique in which blustering anger is used to silence or control those who diverge from the established Marxist narrative, and ‘callout culture’, in which dissenters are strategically targeted, doxxed and shamed, has allowed it to force its way into mainstream acceptance, as more and more of the mainstream media is sucked into a pursuit of ideological purity for the sake of maintaining PC dignity.

virtue signaling good person

According to fourth wave feminism, social virtue is attained not by acts of valor, but by virtue signaling; condemning and ostracizing those who are perceived to have ‘privilege’.

            Meanwhile, the average age of marriage continues to be pushed out, and marriage as an institution has become marginalized. Men and women alike, deeply fear traditional matrimony for all the social and legal risks it entails, and choose cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births instead [12].

Conclusions

After analyzing all four feminist movements, the incontrovertible conclusion is that it is not only a very corrupt ideology that takes the worst and most hateful pages out of Marx’s book, but it also doesn’t even stay true to its expressed platform of gender equality. Feminism in its current state has, in full, taken on the form of what the leaders of the second wave intended, an equitarian ideology that sees any area in which men excel over women as an injustice that needs to be addressed, and actively oppresses men to those ends. Yet, intersectional oppression fails to ascribe virtue to oppressed men, especially white men. It is also obvious that each successive movement is carefully constructed to dispatch the following wave, bringing with it an increased degree of political anarchy, and the widespread destruction of young women, marriages and families.

Notes and References (clickable links)

* Dante Emerson contributed to this section.

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About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
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2 Responses to The Evolution of Feminism as a Series of Cultural Movements

  1. Pingback: Bards, Jesters, and Kings | Σ Frame

  2. Pingback: Women’s choice to be relevant | Σ Frame

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