History of feminism
|Part of a series on|
The history of feminism is the chronological narrative of the movements and ideologies aimed at equal rights for women. While feminists around the world have differed in causes, goals, and intentions depending on time, culture, and country, most Western feminist historians assert that all movements that work to obtain women's rights should be considered feminist movements, even when they did not (or do not) apply the term to themselves. Other historians limit the term to the modern feminist movement and its progeny, and instead use the label "protofeminist" to describe earlier movements.
Modern Western feminist history is split into three time periods, or "waves", each with slightly different aims based on prior progress. First-wave feminism of the 19th and early 20th centuries focused on overturning legal inequalities, particularly women's suffrage. Second-wave feminism (1960s–1980s) broadened debate to include cultural inequalities, gender norms, and the role of women in society. Third-wave feminism (1990s–2000s) refers to diverse strains of feminist activity, seen as both a continuation of the second wave and a response to its perceived failures. Although the waves construct has been commonly used to describe the history of feminism, the concept has also been criticized for ignoring and erasing the history between the "waves", by choosing to focus solely on a few famous figures, and popular events.
People and activists who discussed or advanced women's equality prior to the existence of the feminist movement are sometimes labeled protofeminist. Some scholars, however, criticize this term's usage. Some argue that it diminishes the importance of earlier contributions, while others argue that feminism does not have a single, linear history as implied by terms such as protofeminist or postfeminist.
Around 24 centuries ago, Plato, according to Elaine Hoffman Baruch, "[argued] for the total political and sexual equality of women, advocating that they be members of his highest class, ... those who rule and fight".
French writer Christine de Pizan (1364 – c. 1430), the author of The Book of the City of Ladies and Epître au Dieu d'Amour (Epistle to the God of Love) is cited by Simone de Beauvoir as the first woman to denounce misogyny and write about the relation of the sexes. Other early feminist writers include Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Modesta di Pozzo di Forzi, who worked in the 16th century, and the 17th-century writers Hannah Woolley in England, Juana Inés de la Cruz in Mexico, Marie Le Jars de Gournay, Anne Bradstreet, and François Poullain de la Barre.
One of the most important 17th-century feminist writers in the English language was Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
18th century: the Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was characterized by secular intellectual reasoning and a flowering of philosophical writing. Many Enlightenment philosophers defended the rights of women, including Jeremy Bentham (1781), Marquis de Condorcet (1790), and, perhaps most notably, Mary Wollstonecraft (1792). Other important writers of the time that expressed feminist views included Abigail Adams, Catharine Macaulay, and Hedvig Charlotta Nordenflycht.
The English utilitarian and classical liberal philosopher Jeremy Bentham said that it was the placing of women in a legally inferior position that made him choose the career of a reformist at the age of eleven. Bentham spoke for complete equality between sexes including the rights to vote and to participate in government. He opposed the asymmetrical sexual moral standards between men and women.
In his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1781), Bentham strongly condemned many countries' common practice to deny women's rights due to allegedly inferior minds. Bentham gave many examples of able female regents.
Marquis de Condorcet
Nicolas de Condorcet was a mathematician, classical liberal politician, leading French Revolutionary, republican, and Voltairean anti-clericalist. He was also a fierce defender of human rights, including the equality of women and the abolition of slavery, unusual for the 1780s. He advocated for women's suffrage in the new government in 1790 with De l'admission des femmes au droit de cité (For the Admission to the Rights of Citizenship For Women) and an article for Journal de la Société de 1789.
Olympe de Gouges and A Declaration
Following de Condorcet's repeated, yet failed, appeals to the National Assembly in 1789 and 1790, Olympe de Gouges (in association with the Society of the Friends of Truth) authored and published the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in 1791, another plea for the French Revolutionary government to recognize the natural and political rights of women. De Gouges wrote the Declaration in the prose of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, almost mimicking the failure of men to include more than a half of the French population in egalité. While the Declaration did not immediately accomplish its goals, it set a precedent for a manner in which later feminists could satirize their governments for their failures in equality, seen in documents such as A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and A Declaration of Sentiments.
Wollstonecraft and A Vindication
Perhaps the most cited feminist writer of the time was Mary Wollstonecraft, often characterized as the first feminist philosopher. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) is one of the first works that can unambiguously be called feminist, although by modern standards her comparison of women to the nobility, the elite of society (coddled, fragile, and in danger of intellectual and moral sloth) may at first seem dated as a feminist argument. Wollstonecraft identified the education and upbringing of women as creating their limited expectations based on a self-image dictated by the typically male perspective. Despite her perceived inconsistencies (Miriam Brody referred to the "Two Wollstonecrafts") reflective of problems that had no easy answers, this book remains a foundation stone of feminist thought.
Wollstonecraft believed that both genders contributed to inequality. She took women's considerable power over men for granted, and determined that both would require education to ensure the necessary changes in social attitudes. Given her humble origins and scant education, her personal achievements speak to her own determination. Wollstonecraft attracted the mockery of Samuel Johnson, who described her and her ilk as "Amazons of the pen". Based on his relationship with Hester Thrale, he complained of women's encroachment onto a male territory of writing, and not their intelligence or education. For many commentators, Wollstonecraft represents the first codification of equality feminism, or a refusal of the feminine role in society.
The feminine ideal
19th-century feminists reacted to cultural inequities including the pernicious, widespread acceptance of the Victorian image of women's "proper" role and "sphere." The Victorian ideal created a dichotomy of "separate spheres" for men and women that was very clearly defined in theory, though not always in reality. In this ideology, men were to occupy the public sphere (the space of wage labor and politics) and women the private sphere (the space of home and children). This "feminine ideal," also called "The Cult of Domesticity," was typified in Victorian conduct books such as Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management and Sarah Stickney Ellis's books. The Angel in the House (1854) and El ångel del hogar, bestsellers by Coventry Patmore and Maria del Pilar Sinués de Marco, came to symbolize the Victorian feminine ideal. Queen Victoria herself disparaged the concept of feminism, which she described in private letters as the "mad, wicked folly of 'Woman's Rights'".
Feminism in fiction
As Jane Austen addressed women's restricted lives in the early part of the century, Charlotte Brontë, Anne Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot depicted women's misery and frustration. In her autobiographical novel Ruth Hall (1854), American journalist Fanny Fern describes her own struggle to support her children as a newspaper columnist after her husband's untimely death. Louisa May Alcott penned a strongly feminist novel, A Long Fatal Love Chase (1866), about a young woman's attempts to flee her bigamist husband and become independent.
Male authors also recognized injustices against women. The novels of George Meredith, George Gissing, and Thomas Hardy, and the plays of Henrik Ibsen outlined the contemporary plight of women. Meredith's Diana of the Crossways (1885) is an account of Caroline Norton's life. One critic later called Ibsen's plays "feministic propaganda".
Marion Reid and Caroline Norton
At the outset of the 19th century, the dissenting feminist voices were of little social influence. There was little sign of change in the political or social order, nor any evidence of a recognizable women's movement. Collective concerns began to coalesce by the end of the century, paralleling the emergence of a stiffer social model and code of conduct that Marion Reid described as confining and repressive for women. While the increased emphasis on feminine virtue partly stirred the call for a woman's movement, the tensions that this role caused for women plagued many early-19th-century feminists with doubt and worry, and fueled opposing views.
Caroline Norton advocated for changes in British law. She discovered a lack of legal rights for women upon entering an abusive marriage. The publicity generated from her appeal to Queen Victoria and related activism helped change English laws to recognize and accommodate married women and child custody issues.
Florence Nightingale and Frances Power Cobbe
While many women including Norton were wary of organized movements, their actions and words often motivated and inspired such movements. Among these was Florence Nightingale, whose conviction that women had all the potential of men but none of the opportunities impelled her storied nursing career. At the time, her feminine virtues were emphasized over her ingenuity, an example of the bias against acknowledging female accomplishment in the mid-1800s.
Due to varying ideologies, feminists were not always supportive of each other's efforts. Harriet Martineau and others dismissed Wollstonecraft's contributions as dangerous, and deplored Norton's candidness, but seized on the abolitionist campaign that Martineau had witnessed in the United States as one that should logically be applied to women. Her Society in America was pivotal: it caught the imagination of women who urged her to take up their cause.
Anna Wheeler was influenced by Saint Simonian socialists while working in France. She advocated for suffrage and attracted the attention of Benjamin Disraeli, the Conservative leader, as a dangerous radical on a par with Jeremy Bentham. She would later inspire early socialist and feminist advocate William Thompson, who wrote the first work published in English to advocate full equality of rights for women, the 1825 "Appeal of One Half of the Human Race".
Feminists of previous centuries charged women's exclusion from education as the central cause for their domestic relegation and denial of social advancement, and women's 19th-century education was no better. Frances Power Cobbe, among others, called for education reform, an issue that gained attention alongside marital and property rights, and domestic violence.
Female journalists like Martineau and Cobbe in Britain, and Margaret Fuller in America, were achieving journalistic employment, which placed them in a position to influence other women. Cobbe would refer to "Woman's Rights" not just in the abstract, but as an identifiable cause.
Ladies of Langham Place
Barbara Leigh Smith and her friends met regularly during the 1850s in London's Langham Place to discuss the united women's voice necessary for achieving reform. These "Ladies of Langham Place" included Bessie Rayner Parkes and Anna Jameson. They focused on education, employment, and marital law. One of their causes became the Married Women's Property Committee of 1855. They collected thousands of signatures for legislative reform petitions, some of which were successful. Smith had also attended the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention in America.
Smith and Parkes, together and apart, wrote many articles on education and employment opportunities. In the same year as Norton, Smith summarized the legal framework for injustice in her 1854 A Brief Summary of the Laws of England concerning Women. She was able to reach large numbers of women via her role in the English Women's Journal. The response to this journal led to their creation of the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women (SPEW). Smith's Married Women's Property committee collected 26,000 signatures to change the law for all women, including those unmarried.
Harriet Taylor published her Enfranchisement in 1851, and wrote about the inequities of family law. In 1853, she married John Stuart Mill, and provided him with much of the subject material for The Subjection of Women.
The interrelated barriers to education and employment formed the backbone of 19th-century feminist reform efforts, for instance, as described by Harriet Martineau in her 1859 Edinburgh Journal article, "Female Industry". These barriers did not change in conjunction with the economy. Martineau, however, remained a moderate, for practical reasons, and unlike Cobbe, did not support the emerging call for the vote.
The education reform efforts of women like Davies and the Langham group slowly made inroads. Queen's College (1848) and Bedford College (1849) in London began to offer some education to women from 1848. By 1862, Davies established a committee to persuade the universities to allow women to sit for the recently established Local Examinations, and achieved partial success in 1865. She published The Higher Education of Women a year later. Davies and Leigh Smith founded the first higher educational institution for women and enrolled five students. The school later became Girton College, Cambridge in 1869, Newnham College, Cambridge in 1871, and Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford in 1879. Bedford began to award degrees the previous year. Despite these measurable advances, few could take advantage of them and life for female students was still difficult.
In the 1883 Ilbert Bill controversy, a British India bill that proposed Indian judicial jurisdiction to try British criminals, Bengali women in support of the bill responded by claiming that they were more educated than the English women opposed to the bill, and noted that more Indian women had degrees than British women at the time.
As part of the continuing dialogue between British and American feminists, Elizabeth Blackwell, one of the first American women to graduate in medicine (1849), lectured in Britain with Langham support. They also supported Elizabeth Garrett's attempts to receive a British medical education despite virulent opposition. She eventually took her degree in France. Garrett's very successful 1870 campaign to run for London School Board office is another example of a how a small band of very determined women were beginning to reach positions of influence at the local government level.
Campaigns gave women opportunities to test their new political skills and to conjoin disparate social reform groups. Their successes include the campaign for the Married Women's Property Act (passed in 1882) and the campaign to repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1866, and 1869, which united women's groups and utilitarian liberals like John Stuart Mill.
Generally, women were outraged by the inherent inequity and misogyny of the legislation. For the first time, women in large numbers took up the rights of prostitutes. Prominent critics included Blackwell, Nightingale, Martineau, and Elizabeth Wolstenholme. Elizabeth Garrett, unlike her sister, Millicent, did not support the campaign, though she later admitted that the campaign had done well.
Josephine Butler, already experienced in prostitution issues, a charismatic leader, and a seasoned campaigner, emerged as the natural leader of what became the Ladies National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts in 1869. Her work demonstrated the potential power of an organized lobby group. The association successfully argued that the Acts not only demeaned prostitutes, but all women and men by promoting a blatant sexual double standard. Butler's activities resulted in the radicalization of many moderate women. The Acts were repealed in 1886.
On a smaller scale, Annie Besant campaigned for the rights of matchgirls (female factory workers) and against the appalling conditions under which they worked. Her work became a method for raising public concern over social issues.
19th to 21st centuries
Feminists did not recognize separate waves of feminism until the second wave was so named by journalist Martha Lear, according to Jennifer Baumgardner. Baumgardner reports criticism by professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of the division into waves and the difficulty of categorizing some feminists into specific waves, argues that the main critics of a wave are likely to be members of the prior wave who remain vital, and that waves are coming faster. The "waves debate" has influenced how historians and other scholars have established the chronologies of women's political activism.
The 19th- and early 20th-century Anglosphere feminist activity that sought to win women's suffrage, female education rights, better working conditions, and abolition of gender double standards is known as first-wave feminism. The term "first-wave" was coined retrospectively when the term second-wave feminism was used to describe a newer feminist movement that fought social and cultural inequalities beyond basic political inequalities.
In the United States, feminist movement leaders campaigned for the national abolition of slavery and Temperance before championing women's rights. American first-wave feminism involved a wide range of women, some belonging to conservative Christian groups (such as Frances Willard and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union), others resembling the diversity and radicalism of much of second-wave feminism (such as Stanton, Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and the National Woman Suffrage Association, of which Stanton was president). First-wave feminism in the United States is considered to have ended with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1920), which granted white women the right to vote in the United States.
Activism for the equality of women was not limited to the United States. In mid-nineteenth century Persia, TahirihTáhirih was active as a poet and religious reformer, and is recorded as proclaiming the equality of women at her execution. She inspired later generations of Iranian feminists. Louise Dittmar campaigned for women's rights, in Germany, in the 1840s. In 1886 a German colonist couple, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche and Bernhard Förster, emigrated to the Paraguayan rainforest and founded Nueva Germania to put to practice utopian ideas about feminism, vegetarianism and the superiority of the Aryan race, though the feminist aspect would prove to be short-lived.:345–358 Although slightly later in time, Fusae Ichikawa was in the first wave of women's activists in her own country of Japan, campaigning for women's suffrage. Mary Lee was active in the suffrage movement in South Australia, the first Australian colony to grant women the vote in 1894. In New Zealand, Kate Sheppard and Mary Ann Müller worked to achieve the vote for women by 1893.
In the United States, the antislavery campaign of the 1830s served as both a cause ideologically compatible with feminism and a blueprint for later feminist political organizing. Attempts to exclude women only strengthened their convictions. Sarah and Angelina Grimké moved rapidly from the emancipation of slaves to the emancipation of women. The most influential feminist writer of the time was the colourful journalist Margaret Fuller, whose Woman in the Nineteenth Century was published in 1845. Her dispatches from Europe for the New York Tribune helped create to synchronize the women's rights movement.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott met in 1840 while en route to London where they were shunned as women by the male leadership of the first World's Anti-Slavery Convention. In 1848, Mott and Stanton held a woman's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, where a declaration of independence for women was drafted. Lucy Stone helped to organize the first National Women's Rights Convention in 1850, a much larger event at which Sojourner Truth, Abby Kelley Foster, and others spoke sparked Susan B. Anthony to take up the cause of women's rights. Barbara Leigh Smith met with Mott in 1858, strengthening the link between the transatlantic feminist movements.
Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage saw the Church as a major obstacle to women's rights, and welcomed the emerging literature on matriarchy. Both Gage and Stanton produced works on this topic, and collaborated on The Woman's Bible. Stanton wrote "The Matriarchate or Mother-Age" and Gage wrote Woman, Church and State, neatly inverting Johann Jakob Bachofen's thesis and adding a unique epistemological perspective, the critique of objectivity and the perception of the subjective.
Stanton once observed regarding assumptions of female inferiority, "The worst feature of these assumptions is that women themselves believe them". However this attempt to replace androcentric (male-centered) theological tradition with a gynocentric (female-centered) view made little headway in a women's movement dominated by religious elements; thus she and Gage were largely ignored by subsequent generations.
By 1913, Feminism (originally capitalized) was a household term in the United States. Major issues in the 1910s and 1920s included suffrage, women's partisan activism, economics and employment, sexualities and families, war and peace, and a Constitutional amendment for equality. Both equality and difference were seen as routes to women's empowerment. Organizations at the time included the National Woman's Party, suffrage advocacy groups such as the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National League of Women Voters, career associations such as the American Association of University Women, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, and the National Women's Trade Union League, war and peace groups such as the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the International Council of Women, alcohol-focused groups like the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform, and race- and gender-centered organizations like the National Association of Colored Women. Leaders and theoreticians included Jane Addams, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Margaret Sanger, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
The women's right to vote, with its legislative representation, represented a paradigm shift where women would no longer be treated as second-class citizens without a voice. The women's suffrage campaign is the most deeply embedded campaign of the past 250 years.
At first, suffrage was treated as a lower priority. The French Revolution accelerated this, with the assertions of Condorcet and de Gouges, and the women who led the 1789 march on Versailles. In 1793, the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women was founded, and originally included suffrage on its agenda before it was suppressed at the end of the year. As a gesture, this showed that issue was now part of the European political agenda.
German women were involved in the Vormärz, a prelude to the 1848 revolution. In Italy, Clara Maffei, Cristina Trivulzio Belgiojoso, and Ester Martini Currica were politically active in the events leading up to 1848. In Britain, interest in suffrage emerged from the writings of Wheeler and Thompson in the 1820s, and from Reid, Taylor, and Anne Knight in the 1840s. The Australian State of South Australia was the first place in the world to officially grant full suffrage to women.
The Langham Place ladies set up a suffrage committee at an 1866 meeting at Elizabeth Garrett's home, renamed the London Society for Women's Suffrage in 1867. Soon similar committees had spread across the country, raising petitions, and working closely with John Stuart Mill. When denied outlets by establishment periodicals, feminists started their own, such as Lydia Becker's Women's Suffrage Journal in 1870.
Other publications included Richard Pankhurst's Englishwoman's Review (1866). Tactical disputes were the biggest problem, and the groups' memberships fluctuated. Women considered whether men (like Mill) should be involved. As it went, Mill withdrew as the movement became more aggressive with each disappointment. The political pressure ensured debate, but year after year the movement was defeated in Parliament.
Despite this, the women accrued political experience, which translated into slow progress at the local government level. But after years of frustration, many women became increasingly radicalized. Some refused to pay taxes, and the Pankhurst family emerged as the dominant movement influence, having also founded the Women's Franchise League in 1889, which sought local election suffrage for women.
The Isle of Man was the first free standing jurisdiction to grant women the vote (1881), followed by New Zealand in 1893, where Kate Sheppard had pioneered reform. Some Australian states had also granted women the vote. This included Victoria for a brief period (1863–5), South Australia (1894), and Western Australia (1899). Australian women received the vote at the Federal level in 1902, Finland in 1906, and Norway initially in 1907 (completed in 1913).
Early 20th century
The early 20th century, the Edwardian era, saw a loosening of Victorian rigidity and complacency: women had more employment opportunities and were more active, leading to a relaxing of clothing restrictions.
Books, articles, speeches, pictures, and papers from the period show a diverse range of themes other than political reform and suffrage discussed publicly. In the Netherlands, for instance, the main feminist issues were educational rights, rights to medical care, improved working conditions, peace, and dismantled gender double standards. Feminists identified as such with little fanfare.
The charismatic and controversial Pankhursts formed the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903. As Emmline Pankhurst put it, they viewed votes for women no longer as "a right, but as a desperate necessity". At the state level, Australia and the United States had already granted suffrage to some women. American feminists such as Susan B. Anthony (1902) visited Britain. While WSPU was the best-known suffrage group, it was only one of many, such as the Women's Freedom League and the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) led by Millicent Garrett Fawcett. WSPU was largely a family affair, although externally financed. Christabel Pankhurst became the dominant figure and gathered friends such as Annie Kenney, Flora Drummond, Teresa Billington, Ethel Smyth, Grace Roe, and Norah Dacre Fox (later known as Norah Elam) around her. Veterans such as Elizabeth Garrett also joined.
In 1906, the Daily Mail first labeled these women "suffragettes" as a form of ridicule, but the term was quickly embraced in Britain to describe the more militant form of suffragism visible in public marches, distinctive green, purple, and white emblems, and the Artists' Suffrage League's dramatic graphics. Even underwear in WPSU colors appeared in stores. They feminists learned to exploit photography and the media, and left a vivid visual record including images such as the 1914 photograph of Emmeline. As the movement gained momentum, deep divisions separated the former leaders from the radicals. The splits were usually ideological or tactical. Even Christabel's sister, Sylvia, was expelled.
The protests slowly became more violent, and included heckling, banging on doors, smashing shop windows, and arson. Emily Davison, a WSPU member, unexpectedly ran onto the track during the 1913 Epsom Derby and died under the King's horse. These tactics produced mixed results of sympathy and alienation. As many protesters were imprisoned and went on hunger-strike, the British government was left with an embarrassing situation. From these political actions, the suffragists successfully created publicity around their institutional discrimination and sexism.
Feminist science fiction
At the beginning of the 20th century, feminist science fiction emerged as a subgenre of science fiction that deals with women's roles in society. Female writers of the utopian literature movement at the time of first-wave feminism often addressed sexism. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915) did so. Sultana's Dream (1905) by Bengali Muslim feminist Roquia Sakhawat Hussain depicts a gender-reversed purdah in a futuristic world.
During the 1920s, writers such as Clare Winger Harris and Gertrude Barrows Bennett published science fiction stories written from female perspectives and occasionally dealt with gender- and sexuality-based topics while popular 1920s and 30s pulp science fiction exaggerated masculinity alongside sexist portrayals of women. By the 1960s, science fiction combined sensationalism with political and technological critiques of society. With the advent of feminism, women's roles were questioned in this "subversive, mind expanding genre".
Feminist science fiction poses questions about social issues such as how society constructs gender roles, how reproduction defines gender, and how the political power of men and women are unequal. Some of the most notable feminist science fiction works have illustrated these themes using utopias to explore societies where gender differences or gender power imbalances do not exist, and dystopias to explore worlds where gender inequalities are escalated, asserting a need for feminist work to continue.
Women entered the labor market during the First World War in unprecedented numbers, often in new sectors, and discovered the value of their work. The war also left large numbers of women bereaved and with a net loss of household income. The scores of men killed and wounded shifted the demographic composition. War also split the feminist groups, with many women opposed to the war and others involved in the white feather campaign.
Feminist scholars like Francoise Thebaud and Nancy F. Cott note a conservative reaction to World War I in some countries, citing a reinforcement of traditional imagery and literature that promotes motherhood. The appearance of these traits in wartime has been called the "nationalization of women".
In the years between the wars, feminists fought discrimination and establishment opposition. In Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, Woolf describes the extent of the backlash and her frustration at the waste of so much talent. By now, the word "feminism" was in use, but with a negative connotation from mass media, which discouraged women from self-identifying as such. In 1938, Woolf wrote of the term in Three Guineas, "an old word ... that has much harm in its day and is now obsolete". When Rebecca West, another prominent writer, had been attacked as "a feminist", Woolf defended her. West has perhaps best been remembered for her comment, "I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute." Woolf's writing also examined gender constructs and portrayed lesbian sexuality positively.
In the 1920s, the nontraditional styles and attitudes of flappers were popular among American and British women.
The United Kingdom's Representation of the People Act 1918 gave near-universal suffrage to men, and suffrage to women over 30. The Representation of the People Act 1928 extended equal suffrage to both men and women. It also shifted the socioeconomic makeup of the electorate towards the working class, favoring the Labour Party, who were more sympathetic to women's issues. The following election and gave Labour the most seats in the house to date. The electoral reforms also allowed women to run for Parliament. Christabel Pankhurst narrowly failed to win a seat in 1918, but in 1919 and 1920, both Lady Astor and Margaret Wintringham won seats for the Conservatives and Liberals respectively by succeeding their husband's seats. Labour swept to power in 1924. Constance Markievicz (Sinn Féin) was the first woman elected in Ireland in 1918, but as an Irish nationalist, refused to take her seat. Astor's proposal to form a women's party in 1929 was unsuccessful, which some historians feel was a missed opportunity, as there were only 12 women in Parliament by 1940. Women gained considerable electoral experience over the next few years as a series of minority governments ensured almost annual elections. Close affiliation with Labour also proved to be a problem for the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship (NUSEC), which had little support in the Conservative party. However, their persistence with Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was rewarded with the passage of the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928.
European women received the vote in Denmark and Iceland in 1915 (full in 1919), the Russian Republic in 1917, Austria, Germany and Canada in 1918, many countries including the Netherlands in 1919, Czechoslovakia (today Czech Republic and Slovakia) in 1920, and Turkey and South Africa in 1930. French women did not receive the vote until 1945. Liechtenstein was one of the last countries, in 1984.
The political change did not immediately change social circumstances. With the economic recession, women were the most vulnerable sector of the workforce. Some women who held jobs prior to the war were obliged to forfeit them to returning soldiers, and others were excessed. With limited franchise, the UK National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) pivoted into a new organization, the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship (NUSEC), which still advocated for equality in franchise, but extended its scope to examine equality in social and economic areas. Legislative reform was sought for discriminatory laws (e.g., family law and prostitution) and over the differences between equality and equity, the accommodations that would allow women to overcome barriers to fulfillment (known in later years as the "equality vs. difference conundrum"). Eleanor Rathbone, who became a British Member of Parliament in 1929, succeeded Millicent Garrett as president of NUSEC in 1919. She expressed the critical need for consideration of difference in gender relationships as "what women need to fulfill the potentialities of their own natures". The 1924 Labour government's social reforms created a formal split, as a splinter group of strict egalitarians formed the Open Door Council in May 1926. This eventually became an international movement, and continued until 1965. Other important social legislation of this period included the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 (which opened professions to women), and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1923. In 1932, NUSEC separated advocacy from education, and continued the former activities as the National Council for Equal Citizenship and the latter as the Townswomen's Guild. The council continued until the end of the Second World War.
Laws prevented feminists from discussing and addressing reproductive rights. Annie Besant was tried under the Obscene Publications Act 1857 in 1877 for publishing Charles Knowlton's Fruits of Philosophy, a work on family planning. Knowlton had previously been convicted in the United States. She and her colleague Charles Bradlaugh were convicted but acquitted on appeal. The subsequent publicity resulted in a decline in the birth rate. Besant later wrote The Law of Population.
In America, Margaret Sanger was prosecuted for her book Family Limitation under the Comstock Act in 1914, and fled to Britain until it was safe to return. Sanger's work was prosecuted in Britain. She met Marie Stopes in Britain, who was never prosecuted but regularly denounced for her promotion of birth control. In 1917, Sanger started the Birth Control Review. In 1926, Sanger gave a lecture on birth control to the women's auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey, which she referred to as a "weird experience". The establishment of the Abortion Law Reform Association in 1936 was even more controversial. The British penalty for abortion had been reduced from execution to life imprisonment by the Offences against the Person Act 1861, although some exceptions were allowed in the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929. Following Aleck Bourne's prosecution in 1938, the 1939 Birkett Committee made recommendations for reform that were set aside at the Second World War's outbreak, along with many other women's issues.
In the Netherlands, Aletta H. Jacobs, the first Dutch female doctor, and Wilhelmina Drucker led discussion and action for reproductive rights. Jacobs imported diaphragms from Germany and distributed them to poor women for free.
In most front line countries, women volunteered or were conscripted for various duties in support of the national war effort. In Britain, women were drafted and assigned to industrial jobs or to non-combat military service. The British services enrolled 460,000 women. The largest service, Auxiliary Territorial Service, had a maximum of 213,000 women enrolled, many of whom served in anti-aircraft gun combat roles. In many countries, including Germany and the Soviet Union, women volunteered or were conscripted. In Germany, women volunteered in the League of German Girls and assisted the Luftwaffe as anti-aircraft gunners, or as guerrilla fighters in Werwolf units behind Allied lines. In the Soviet Union, about 820,000 women served in the military as medics, radio operators, truck drivers, snipers, combat pilots, and junior commanding officers.
Many American women retained their domestic chores and often added a paid job, especially one related to a war industry. Much more so than in the previous war, large numbers of women were hired for unskilled or semi-skilled jobs in munitions, and barriers against married women taking jobs were eased. The popular Rosie the Riveter icon became a symbol for a generation of American working women. In addition, some 300,000 women served in U.S. military uniform with organizations such as Women's Army Corps and WAVES. With many young men gone, sports organizers tried to set up professional women's teams, such as the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which closed after the war. After the war, most munitions plants closed, and civilian plants replaced their temporary female workers with returning veterans, who had priority.
"Second-wave feminism" identifies a period of feminist activity from the early 1960s through the late 1980s that saw cultural and political inequalities as inextricably linked. The movement encouraged women to understand aspects of their personal lives as deeply politicized and reflective of a sexist power structure. As first-wave feminists focused on absolute rights such as suffrage, second-wave feminists focused on other cultural equality issues, such as ending discrimination.
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, and Women's Liberation
In 1963, Betty Friedan's exposé The Feminine Mystique became the voice for the discontent and disorientation women felt in being shunted into homemaking positions after their college graduations. In the book, Friedan explored the roots of the change in women's roles from essential workforce during World War II to homebound housewife and mother after the war, and assessed the forces that drove this change in perception of women's roles.
Over the following decade, "Women's Liberation" became a common phrase and concept.
The expression "Women's Liberation" is sometimes used to refer to feminism throughout history, but the term only became widespread recently. "Liberation" has been associated with feminist aspirations since 1895, and appears in the context of "women's liberation" in Simone de Beauvoir's 1949 The Second Sex, which appeared in English translation in 1953. The phrase "women's liberation" was first used in 1964, in print in 1966, though the French equivalent, libération des femmes, occurred as far back as 1911. "Women's liberation" was in use at the 1967 American Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) convention, which held a panel discussion on the topic. In 1968, the term "Women's Liberation Front" appeared in Ramparts magazine, and began to refer to the whole women's movement. In Chicago, women disillusioned with the New Left met separately in 1967, and published Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement in March 1968. When the Miss America pageant took place in Atlantic City in September 1968, the media referred to the resulting demonstrations as "Women's Liberation". The Chicago Women's Liberation Union was formed in 1969. Similar groups with similar titles appeared in many parts of the United States. Bra-burning, although fictional, became associated with the movement, and the media coined other terms such as "libber". "Women's Liberation" persisted over the other rival terms for the new feminism, captured the popular imagination, and has endured alongside the older term "Women's Movement".
1960s feminism, its theory, and its activism was informed and fueled by the social, cultural, and political climate of that decade. This time was marked by increased female enrollment in higher education, the establishment of academic women's studies courses and departments, and feminist ideology in other related fields, such as politics, sociology, history, and literature. This academic shift in interests questioned the status quo, and its standards and authority.
The rise of the Women's Liberation movement revealed "multiple feminisms", or different underlying feminist lenses, due to the diverse origins from which groups had coalesced and intersected, and the complexity and contentiousness of the issues involved. bell hooks is noted as a prominent critic of the movement for its lack of voice given to the most oppressed women, its lack of emphasis on the inequalities of race and class, and its distance from the issues that divide women.
Empowered by The Feminine Mystique, new feminist activists of the 1970s addressed more political and sexual issues in their writing, including Gloria Steinem's Ms. magazine and Kate Millett's Sexual Politics. Millett's bleak survey of male writers, their attitudes and biases, to demonstrate that sex is politics, and politics is power imbalance in relationships. Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex described a revolution based in Marxism, referenced as the "sex war". Considering the debates over patriarchy, she claimed that male domination dated to "back beyond recorded history to the animal kingdom itself".
Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch, Sheila Rowbotham's Women's Liberation and the New Politics, and Juliet Mitchell's Woman's Estate represent the English perspective. Mitchell argued that the movement should be seen as an international phenomenon with different manifestations based on local culture. British women drew on left-wing politics and organized small local discussion groups, partly through the London Women's Liberation Workshop and its publications, Shrew and the LWLW Newsletter. Although there were marches, the focus was on consciousness-raising, or political activism intended to bring a cause or condition to a wider audience. Kathie Sarachild of Redstockings described its function as such that women would "find what they thought was an individual dilemma is social predicament". Women found that their own personal experiences were information that they could trust in formulating political analyses.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., women's frustrations crystallized around the failure to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment during the 1970s. Susan Brownmiller's 1975 Against Our Will introduced an explicit agenda against male violence, specifically male sexual violence, in a treatise on rape. Her assertion that "pornography is the theory and rape the practice" created deep fault lines around the concepts of objectification and commodification. Brownmiller's other major book, In our Time (2000), is a history of women's liberation.
Feminist views on pornography
Susan Griffin was one of the first feminists to write on pornography's implications in her 1981 Pornography and Silence. Beyond Brownmiller and Griffin's positions, Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin influenced debates and activism around pornography and prostitution, particularly at the Supreme Court of Canada. MacKinnon, a lawyer, has stated, "To be about to be raped is to be gender female in the process of going about life as usual." She explained sexual harassment by saying that it "doesn't mean that they all want to fuck us, they just want to hurt us, dominate us, and control us, and that is fucking us." Some see radical feminism as the only movement that truly expresses the pain of being a woman in an unequal society, as it portrays that reality with the experiences of the battered and violated, which they claim to be the norm. Critics, including some feminists, civil libertarians, and jurists, have found this position uncomfortable and alienating.
Third-wave feminism began in the early 1990s in response to what young women perceived as failures of the second-wave. It also responds to the backlash against the second-wave's initiatives and movements. Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid second-wave "essentialist" definitions of femininity, which over-emphasized the experiences of white, upper middle class women. A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality, or an understanding of gender as outside binary maleness and femaleness, is central to much of the third wave's ideology. Third-wave feminists often describe "micropolitics", and challenge second-wave paradigms about whether actions are unilaterally good for females.
These aspects of third-wave feminism arose in the mid-1980s. Feminist leaders rooted in the second wave like Gloria Anzaldúa, bell hooks, Chela Sandoval, Cherríe Moraga, Audre Lorde, Luisa Accati, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many other feminists of color, called for a new subjectivity in feminist voice. They wanted prominent feminist thought to consider race-related subjectivities. This focus on the intersection between race and gender remained prominent through the 1991 Hill–Thomas hearings, but began to shift with the Freedom Ride 1992, a drive to register voters in poor minority communities whose rhetoric intended to rally young feminists. For many, the rallying of the young is the common link within third-wave feminism.
Lesbianism during the second wave was visible within and without feminism. Lesbians felt sidelined by both gay liberation and women's liberation, where they were referred to as the "Lavender Menace", provoking The Woman-Identified Woman, a 1970 manifesto that put lesbian women at the forefront of the liberation movement. Jill Johnston's 1973 Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution argued for lesbian separatism. In its extreme form, this was expressed as the only appropriate choice for a woman. Eventually the lesbian movement was welcomed into the mainstream women's movement. This union's threat to male normativity was substantiated by the male backlash that followed.
In reproductive rights, feminists sought the right to contraception and birth control, which were almost universally restricted until the 1960s. Feminists hoped to use the first birth control pill to free women to decide the terms under which they will bear children. They felt that reproductive self-control was essential for full economic independence from men. Access to abortion was also widely demanded for these reasons, but was more difficult to secure due to existing, deep societal divisions over the issue.
Third-wave feminists also fought to hasten social acceptance of female sexual freedom. As societal norms allowed men to have multiple sexual partners without rebuke, feminists sought sexual equality for that freedom and encouraged "sexual liberation" for women, including sex for pleasure with multiple partners, if desired.
Following World War II, the United Nations (UN) extended feminism's global reach. They established a Commission on the Status of Women in 1946., which later joined the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In 1948, the UN issued its Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which protects "the equal rights of men and women", and addressed both equality and equity. Starting with the 1975 World Conference of the International Women's Year in Mexico City as part of their Decade for Women (1975–85), the UN has held a series of world conferences on women's issues. These conferences have worldwide female representation and provide considerable opportunity to advance women's rights. They also illustrate deep cultural divisions and disagreement on universal principles, as evidenced by the successive Copenhagen (1980) and Nairobi (1985) conferences. Examples of such intrafeminism divisions have included disparities between economic development, attitudes towards forms of oppression, the definition of feminism, and stances on homosexuality, female circumcision, and population control. The Nairobi convention revealed a less monolithic feminism that "constitutes the political expression of the concerns and interests of women from different regions, classes, nationalities, and ethnic backgrounds. There is and must be a diversity of feminisms, responsive to the different needs and concerns of women, and defined by them for themselves. This diversity builds on a common opposition to gender oppression and hierarchy which, however, is only the first step in articulating and acting upon a political agenda." The fourth conference was held in Beijing in 1995, where the Beijing Platform for Action was signed. This included a commitment to achieve "gender equality and the empowerment of women" through "gender mainstreaming", or letting women and men "experience equal conditions for realising their full human rights, and have the opportunity to contribute and benefit from national, political, economic, social and cultural development".
The fourth wave of feminism is a recent development within the feminist movement. Jennifer Baumgardner identifies fourth-wave feminism as starting in 2008 and continuing into the present day. Kira Cochrane, author of All the Rebel Women: The Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism, defines fourth-wave feminism as a movement that is connected through technology. Researcher Diana Diamond defines fourth-wave feminism as a movement that "combines politics, psychology, and spirituality in an overarching vision of change."
Arguments for a new wave
In 2005, Pythia Peay first argued for the existence of a fourth wave of feminism, combining justice with religious spirituality. According to Jennifer Baumgardner in 2011, a fourth wave may exist, dated as beginning in 2008; is in her view important; was inspired partly by Take Our Daughters to Work Days; incorporated online resources such as social media; in turn inspired the Doula Project for children's services and inspired after-abortion talk lines, pursuit of reproductive justice, plus-size fashion support, transgenderism support, male feminism, and sex work acceptance; and led to developing media including Feministing, Racialicious, blogs, and Twitter campaigns.
In 2012–2013, in the U.K. and some other nations, according to Kira Cochrane, a fourth wave was active. In an article she wrote, Kira describes that the fourth wave focuses on inequality manifesting in "street harassment, sexual harassment, workplace discrimination[,] ... body-shaming", media images, "online misogyny", "assault[s] on public transport", and intersectionality, relying on social media technology for communication and online petitioning for organizing, and sharing with prior waves a perception that individual experiences are shared and thus can have political solutions. According to Cochrane, organizations and websites included the Everyday Sexism Project and UK Feminista, events included Reclaim the Night, One Billion Rising, and "a Lose the Lads' mags protest", and "many of [the leaders] ... are in their teens and 20s".
In 2014, Betty Dodson, who is also acknowledged as one of the leaders of the early 1980s pro-sex feminist movement, expressed that she considers herself a fourth wave feminist. Dodson expressed that the previous waves of feminist were banal and anti-sexual, which is why she has chosen to look at a new stance of feminism, fourth wave feminism. In 2014, Dodson worked with women to discover their sexual desires through masturbation. Dodson says her work has gained a fresh lease of life with a new audience of young, successful women who have never had an orgasm. This includes fourth-wave feminists - those rejecting the anti-pleasure stance they believe third-wave feminists stand for.
In 2014, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett and Holly Baxter released their book, The Vagenda. The authors of the book both consider themselves fourth wave feminists. Like their website "The Vagenda", their book aims to flag and debunk the stereotypes of femininity promoted by the mainstream women's press. One reviewer of the book has expressed disappointment with The Vagenda, saying that instead of being the "call to arms for young women" that it purports to be, it reads like a joyless dissertation detailing "everything bad the media has ever done to women."
The Everyday Sexism Project
The Everyday Sexism Project began as a social media campaign on 16 April 2012 by Laura Bates, a British feminist writer. The aim of the site was to document everyday examples of sexism as reported by contributors around the world. Bates established the Everyday Sexism Project as an open forum where women could post their experiences of harassment. Bates explains the Everyday Sexism Project's goal, ""The project was never about solving sexism. It was about getting people to take the first step of just realising there is a problem that needs to be fixed."
The website was such a success that Bates decided to write and publish a book, Everyday Sexism, which further emphasizes the importance of having this type of online forum for women. The book provides unique insight into the vibrant movement of the upcoming fourth wave and the untold stories that women shared through the Everyday Sexism Project.
Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution
In November 2015, a group of historians working with Clio Visualizing History launched Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution. This digital history exhibit examines the history of American feminism from the era of World War Two to the present. The exhibit has three major sections: Politics and Social Movements; Body and Health; and Workplace and Family. There are also interactive timelines linking to a vast array of sources documenting the history of American feminism and providing information about current feminist activism.
National histories of feminism
The 18th century French Revolution's focus on égalité (equality) extended to the inequities faced by French women. The writer Olympe de Gouges amended the 1791 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen into the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, where she argued that women accountable to the law must also bear equal responsibility under the law. She also addressed marriage as a social contract between equals and attacked women's reliance on beauty and charm as a form of slavery.
The 19th century, conservative, post-Revolution France was inhospitable for feminist ideas, as expressed in the counter-revolutionary writings on the role of women by Joseph de Maistre and Viscount Louis de Bonald. Advancement came mid-century under the 1848 revolution and the proclamation of the Second Republic, which introduced male suffrage amid hopes that similar benefits would apply to women. Although the Utopian Charles Fourier is considered a feminist writer of this period, his influence was minimal at the time. With the fall of the conservative Louis-Philippe in 1848, feminist hopes were raised, as in 1790. Movement newspapers and organizations appeared, such as Eugénie Niboyet's La Voix des Femmes (The Women's Voice), the first feminist daily newspaper in France. Niboyet was a Protestant who had adopted Saint-Simonianism, and La Voix attracted other women from that movement, including the seamstress Jeanne Deroin and the primary schoolteacher Pauline Roland. Unsuccessful attempts were also made to recruit George Sand. Feminism was treated as a threat due to its ties with socialism, which was scrutinized since the Revolution. Deroin and Roland were both arrested, tried, and imprisoned in 1849. With the emergence of a new, more conservative government in 1852, feminism would have to wait until the Third French Republic.
The Groupe Français d'Etudes Féministes were women intellectuals at the beginning of the 20th century who translated part of Bachofen's canon into French and campaigned for the family law reform. In 1905, they founded L'entente, which published articles on women's history, and became the focus for the intellectual avant-garde. It advocated for women's entry into higher education and the male-dominated professions. Meanwhile, the Parti Socialiste Féminin socialist feminists, adopted a Marxist version of matriarchy. Like the Groupe Français, they toiled for a new age of equality, not for a return to prehistoric models of matriarchy. French feminism of the late 20th century is mainly associated with psychoanalytic feminist theory, particularly the work of Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Hélène Cixous.
Modern feminism in Germany began during the Wilhelmine period (1888–1918) with feminists pressuring a range of traditional institutions, from universities to government, to open their doors to women. The organized German women's movement is widely attributed to writer and feminist Louise Otto-Peters (1819–1895). This movement culminated in women's suffrage in 1919. Later waves of feminists continued to ask for legal and social equality in public and family life. Alice Schwarzer is the most prominent contemporary German feminist.
The Iranian women's rights movement first emerged some time after the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, in the year in which the first women's journal was published, 1910. The movement lasted until 1933, when the last women's association was dissolved by the Reza Shah's government. The status of women further deteriorated after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Many of the rights women gained under Shah were systematically abolished through legislation, elimination of women from work, and forced hijab (veils for women). The movement later grew again under feminist figures such as Bibi Khanoom Astarabadi, Touba Azmoudeh, Sediqeh Dowlatabadi, Mohtaram Eskandari, Roshank No'doost, Afaq Parsa, Fakhr ozma Arghoun, Shahnaz Azad, Noor-ol-Hoda Mangeneh, Zandokht Shirazi, Maryam Amid (Mariam Mozayen-ol Sadat).
In 1992, Shahla Sherkat founded Zanan (Women) magazine, which covered Iranian women's concerns and tested political boundaries with edgy reportage on reform politics, domestic abuse, and sex. It is the most important Iranian women's journal published after the Iranian revolution. It systematically criticized the Islamic legal code and argued that gender equality is Islamic and religious literature had been misread and misappropriated by misogynists. Mehangiz Kar, Shahla Lahiji, and Shahla Sherkat, the editor of Zanan, lead the debate on women's rights and demanded reforms. On August 27, 2006, the One Million Signatures Iranian women's rights campaign was started. It aims to end legal discrimination against women in Iranian laws by collecting a million signatures. The campaign supporters include many Iranian women's rights activists, international activists, and Nobel laureates. The most important post-revolution feminist figures are Mehrangiz Kar, Azam Taleghani, Shahla Sherkat, Parvin Ardalan, Noushin Ahmadi khorasani, and Shadi Sadr.
In 1899, Qasim Amin, considered the "father" of Arab feminism, wrote The Liberation of Women, which argued for legal and social reforms for women. Hoda Shaarawi founded the Egyptian Feminist Union in 1923 and became its president and a symbol of the Arab women's rights movement. Arab feminism was closely connected with Arab nationalism. In 1956, President Gamal Abdel Nasser's government initiated "state feminism", which outlawed gender-based discrimination and granted women's suffrage. Despite these reforms, "state feminism" blocked feminist political activism and brought an end to the first-wave feminist movement in Egypt. During Anwar Sadat's presidency, his wife, Jehan Sadat, publicly advocated for expansion of women's rights, though Egyptian policy and society was in retreat from women's equality with the new Islamist movement and growing conservatism. However, writers such as Al Ghazali Harb, for example, argued that women's full equality is an important part of Islam. This position formed a new feminist movement, Islamic feminism, which is still active today.
A new generation of Indian feminists emerged following global feminism. Indian women have greater independence from increased access to higher education and control over their reproductive rights. Medha Patkar, Madhu Kishwar, and Brinda Karat are feminist social workers and politicians who advocate for women's rights in post-independence India. Writers such as Amrita Pritam, Sarojini Sahoo, and Kusum Ansal advocate for feminist ideas in Indian languages. Rajeshwari Sunder Rajan, Leela Kasturi, and Vidyut Bhagat are Indian feminist essayists and critics writing in English.
Feminism in China began in the late Qing period as Chinese society re-evaluated traditional and Confucian values such as foot binding and gender segregation, and began to reject traditional gender ideas as hindering progress towards modernization. During the 1898 Hundred Days' Reform, reformers called for women's education, gender equality, and the end of foot binding. Female reformers formed the first Chinese women's society, the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge among Chinese Women (Nüxuehui). After the Qing Dynasty's collapse, women's liberation became a goal of the May Fourth Movement and the New Culture Movement. Later, the Chinese Communist Revolution adopted women's liberation as one of its aims and promoted women's equality, especially regarding women's participation in the workforce. After the revolution and progress in integrating women into the workforce, the Chinese Communist Party claimed to have successfully achieved women's liberation, and women's inequality was no longer seen as a problem.
Second- and third-wave feminism in China was characterized by a re-examination of women's roles during the reform movements of the early 20th century and the ways in which feminism was adopted by those various movements in order to achieve their goals. Later and current feminists have questioned whether gender equality has actually been fully achieved, and discuss current gender problems, such as the large gender disparity in the population.
Japanese feminism as an organized political movement dates back to the early years of the 20th century when Kato Shidzue pushed for birth control availability as part of a broad spectrum of progressive reforms. Shidzue went on to serve in the National Diet following the defeat of Japan in World War II and the promulgation of the Peace Constitution by US forces. Other figures such as Hayashi Fumiko and Ariyoshi Sawako illustrate the broad socialist ideologies of Japanese feminism that seeks to accomplish broad goals rather than celebrate the individual achievements of powerful women.
Norwegian feminism's political origins are in the women's suffrage movement. Camilla Collett (1813–1895) is widely considered the first Norwegian feminist. Originating from a literary family, she wrote a novel and several articles on the difficulties facing women of her time, and, in particular, forced marriages. Amalie Skram (1846–1905), a naturalist writer, also served as the women's voice.
The Norwegian Association for Women's Rights was founded in 1884 by Gina Krog and Hagbart Berner. The organization raised issues related to women's rights to education and economic self-determination, and, above all, universal suffrage. The Norwegian Parliament passed the women's right to vote into law on June 11, 1913. Norway was the second country in Europe (after Finland) to have full suffrage for women.
The development of feminism in Poland (re-recreated in modern times in 1918) and Polish territories has traditionally been divided into seven successive "waves".
Radical feminism emerged in 1920s Poland. Its chief representatives, Irena Krzywicka and Maria Morozowicz-Szczepkowska, advocated for women's personal, social, and legal independence from men. Krzywicka and Tadeusz Żeleński both promoted planned parenthood, sexual education, rights to divorce and abortion, and equality of sexes. Krzywicka published a series of articles in Wiadomości Literackie in which she protested against interference by the Roman Catholic Church in the intimate lives of Poles.
After the Second World War, the Polish Communist state (established in 1948) forcefully promoted women's emancipation at home and at work. However, during Communist rule (until 1989), feminism in general and second-wave feminism in particular were practically absent. Although feminist texts were produced in the 1950s and afterwards, they were usually controlled and generated by the Communist state. After the fall of Communism, the Polish government, dominated by Catholic political parties, introduced a de facto legal ban on abortions. Since then, some feminists have adopted argumentative strategies from the 1980s American pro-choice movement.
Histories of selected feminist issues
The sexuality and gender historian Nancy Cott distinguishes between modern feminism and its antecedents, particularly the struggle for suffrage. She argues that in the two decades surrounding the Nineteenth Amendment's 1920 passage, the prior woman movement primarily concerned women as universal entities, whereas over this 20-year period, the movement prioritized social differentiation, attention to individuality, and diversity. New issues dealt more with gender as a social construct, gender identity, and relationships within and between genders. Politically, this represented a shift from an ideological alignment comfortable with the right, to one more radically associated with the left.
In the immediate postwar period, Simone de Beauvoir opposed the "woman in the home" norm. She introduced an existentialist dimension to feminism with the publication of Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex) in 1949. While less an activist than a philosopher and novelist, she signed one of the Mouvement de Libération des Femmes manifestos.
The resurgence of feminist activism in the late 1960s was accompanied by an emerging literature of what might be considered female-associated issues, such as concerns for the earth, spirituality, and environmental activism. The atmosphere this created reignited the study of and debate on matricentricity as a rejection of determinism, such as with Adrienne Rich in Of Woman Born and Marilyn French in Beyond Power. For socialist feminists like Evelyn Reed, patriarchy held the properties of capitalism.
Ann Taylor Allen describes the differences between the collective male pessimism of male intellectuals such as Ferdinand Tönnies, Max Weber, and Georg Simmel at the beginning of the 20th century, compared to the optimism of their female counterparts, whose contributions have largely been ignored by social historians of the era.
- History of brassieres
- List of suffragists and suffragettes
- List of women's rights activists
- List of women's organizations
- New Woman
- Timeline of women's suffrage
- Timeline of women's rights (other than voting)
- Victorian dress reform
- Women's music
- Women's suffrage organizations
- Women's rights in 2014
- 1975 Icelandic women's strike
- Walters, Margaret (October 27, 2005). Feminism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-157803-8. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Kinnaird, Joan (1983). "Mary Astell: Inspired by Ideas (1668–1731)". In Spender, Dale. Feminist Theorists: Three Centuries of Key Women Thinkers. Pantheon Books. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-394-53438-1. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Witt, Charlotte (2012). "Feminist History of Philosophy". In Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2012 ed.). Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Allen, Ann Taylor (1999). "Feminism, Social Science, and the Meanings of Modernity: The Debate on the Origin of the Family in Europe and the United States, 1860–1914". The American Historical Review. 104 (4): 1085–1113. doi:10.1086/ahr/104.4.1085. PMID 19291893. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Woolf, Virginia (December 27, 1989). A Room of One's Own. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-54440-3. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Botting, Eileen Hunt; Houser, Sarah L. (2006). "'Drawing the Line of Equality': Hannah Mather Crocker on Women's Rights". The American Political Science Review. American Political Science Association. 100 (2): 265–278. doi:10.1017/s0003055406062150. ISSN 0003-0554. JSTOR 27644349.
- Humm, Maggie (1990), "wave (definition)", in Humm, Maggie, The dictionary of feminist theory, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, p. 251, ISBN 9780814205075.
- Rebecca, Walker (January 1992). "Becoming the Third Wave". Ms. New York: Liberty Media for Women. pp. 39–41. ISSN 0047-8318. OCLC 194419734.
- Krolokke, Charlotte and Anne Scott Sorensen, "From Suffragettes to Grrls" in Gender Communication Theories and Analyses: From Silence to Performance (Sage, 2005).
- Nicholson, Linda (2010). McCann, Carole; Seung-Kyung, Kim, eds. Feminism in "Waves": Useful Metaphor or Not? (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge. pp. 49–55.
- Cott, Nancy F. "What's In a Name? The Limits of ‘Social Feminism’; or, Expanding the Vocabulary of Women's History". Journal of American History 76 (December 1989): 809–829
- Urbanski, Marie Mitchell Olesen (1983). "Margaret Fuller: Feminist Writer and Revolutionary (1810–1850)". In Spender, Dale. Feminist Theorists: Three Centuries of Key Women Thinkers. Pantheon Books. pp. 75–89. ISBN 978-0-394-53438-1. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Ferguson, Margaret (March 2004). "Feminism in Time". Modern Language Quarterly. 65 (1): 7–8. doi:10.1215/00267929-65-1-7.
- The Columbia Encyclopedia (Columbia Univ. Press, 5th ed. 1993(ISBN 0-395-62438-X)), entry Plato.
- Baruch, Elaine Hoffman, Women in Men's Utopias, in Rohrlich, Ruby, & Elaine Hoffman Baruch, eds., Women in Search of Utopia, op. cit., p.  and see p. 211 (Plato supporting "child care" so women could be soldiers), citing, at p.  n. 1, Plato, trans. Francis MacDonald Cornford, The Republic (N.Y.: Oxford Univ. Press, 1973), Book V.
- de Beauvoir, Simone, English translation 1953 (1989). The Second Sex. Vintage Books. p. 105. ISBN 0-679-72451-6.
- Schneir, Miram, 1972 (1994). Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings. Vintage Books. p. xiv. ISBN 0-679-75381-8.
- "Hannah Woolley b. 1623, England; d. c. 1675, England". Dinner Party Database of notable women. Brooklyn Museum. March 20, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Majfud, Jorge (February 25, 2007). "The Imperfect Sex: Why Is Sor Juana Not a Saint?". Mr Zine. Monthly Review. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- [Kegl, Rosemary. “'The World I Have Made': Margaret Cavendish, feminism and the Blazing World", in Valerie Traub, M. Lindsay Kaplan, and Dympna Callaghan (eds), Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 119-141.]
- Martin Griffiths 31 August 2008. The feminism, fiction, science and philosophy of Margaret Cavendish
- Lisa T. Sarasohn, "A Science Turned Upside down: Feminism and the Natural Philosophy of Margaret Cavendish". Huntington Library Quarterly. Vol. 47, No. 4 (Autumn, 1984), pp. 289-307.
- Tomalin, Claire. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft. 144–155. Rev. ed. 1974. New York: Penguin, 1992. ISBN 0-14-016761-7
- Walters 2005, p. 30.
- Miriam Williford, Bentham on the rights of Women
- Miriam Williford, Bentham on the rights of Women, Journal of the History of Ideas, 1975.
- Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, On the Admission of Women to the Rights of Citizenship (1790), The First Essay on the Political Rights of Women. A Translation of Condorcet’s Essay “Sur l’admission des femmes aux droits de Cité” (On the Admission of Women to the Rights of Citizenship). By Dr. Alice Drysdale Vickery (with preface and remarks) (Letchworth: Garden City Press, 1912).
- David Williams,"Condorcet, Feminism, and the Egalitarian Principle." Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 5 (1976): 151+.
- Barbara Brookes, "The feminism of Condorcet and Sophie de Grouchy." Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 189 (1980): 314+
- "LES DROITS DE LA FEMME - Olympe de Gouges". www.olympedegouges.eu. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- Carla Hesse, The Other Enlightenment: How French Women Became Modern(2001), 42.
- Alexander, Meena. Women in Romanticism: Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Mary Shelley. NY: Rowman and Littlefield (1989), 40
- Brody, Miriam (1983). "Mary Wollstonecraft: Sexuality and Women's Rights (1759-1797)". In Spender, Dale. Feminist Theorists: Three Centuries of Key Women Thinkers. Pantheon Books. pp. 40–59. ISBN 978-0-394-53438-1. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Prose, Francine. The Lives of the Muses. New York: Harper Collins, 2002, pp. 29-56.
- Mandell, Laura. "The first woman (psycho)analysts; or, the friends of feminist history". Modern Language Quarterly 2004 March 65(1): 69-92.
- For the centrality of "equality" and "difference" feminism and their mutual metamorphosis, see Schiebinger, Londa: Has feminism changed science? Harvard: 1999, 1-18
- Abrams, Lynn (2001). "Ideals of Womanhood in Victorian Britain". BBC.
- Blair, Emily (2008). Virginia Woolf and the Nineteenth-Century Domestic Novel. State University of New York Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-7914-7120-9.
- Jagoe, Elizabeth (1994). Ambiguous angels: gender in the novels of Galdós. University of California Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-520-08356-3.
- Crawford, Elizabeth (2013). Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866–1928. London: Routledge. p. 10. ISBN 9781135434021.
- Grayling, A. C. (2007). Toward the Light of Liberty. New York: Walker & Co. p. 212. ISBN 9780802716361.
- Shields, Carol (2001). Jane Austen (Penguin Lives). Viking Adult. p. 38. ISBN 0-670-89488-5.
- "Fiction by Victorian Women: George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell... (Online)". University of Oxford. 2010.
- Fern, Fanny (1855). Ruth Hall: a domestic tale of the present time in History of women. Mason Brothers.
- Canada, Mark. "Antebellum and Civil War America, 1784-1865". University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- King, Stephen (September 10, 1995). "Blood and Thunder in Concord". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- Bicknell, Kent (ed.) in Alcott, Louisa May (1996). A Long Fatal Love Chase. Dell. pp. 348–349. ISBN 0-440-22301-6.
- Heilbrun, Carolyn (1993). Toward A Recognition of Androgyny. W. W. Norton. p. 70. ISBN 0-393-31062-0.
- Morgan, Rosemarie (1988). Women and sexuality in the novels of Thomas Hardy. Psychology Press.
- Moses, Montrose Jonas (1908). Henrik Ibsen: the man and his plays. Kennerley. p. 401.
- Chambers, Robert; Patrick, David (1903). Chambers's cyclopaedia of English literature: a history critical and biographical of authors in the English tongue from the earliest times till the present day, with specimens of their writing. W. & R. Chambers. p. 386.
- Heilmann, Ann; Sanders, Valerie (May–June 2006). "The rebel, the lady and the 'anti': Femininity, anti-feminism, and the Victorian woman writer". Women's Studies International Forum, special issue: Feminisms and Print Culture, 1830-1930s, in the Digital Age. Elsevier. 29 (3): 289–300. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2006.04.008.
- Reid, Marion (1988) . A plea for woman. Edinburgh: Polygon. ISBN 9780948275562. Pdf of extracts.
- Crawford, Elizabeth (2006), "Scotland", in Crawford, Elizabeth, The women's suffrage movement in Britain and Ireland: a regional survey, London: Routledge, pp. 225–226, ISBN 9780415477390.
- Ockerbloom, Mary Mark (ed.). "Caroline Norton (1808-1877)". Penn Libraries (University of Pennsylvania). Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- Norton, Caroline. "A Letter to the Queen: On Lord Chancellor Cranworth's Marriage and Divorce Bill". Ockerbloom, Mary Mark (ed.). Penn Libraries (University of Pennsylvania). Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- Bradshaw, David J.; Ozment, Suzanne. The voice of toil: nineteenth-century British writings about work. Ohio University Press. p. 393. ISBN 0-8214-1293-0.
- Nightingale, Florence. "Cassandra", in Suggestions for Thought (1860). Poovey, Mary (ed.) Pickering and Chatto 1992, ISBN 1-85196-022-8
- Popular image described in chapter 10: Bostridge, Mark (2008). Florence Nightingale: The Making of an Icon (1 ed.). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 251. ISBN 0-374-15665-4.. Today's image described in: "Nurses ditch Florence Nightingale image". BBC. April 27, 1999.
- Sanders, Valerie (ed.) (2005). Introduction to Deerbrook. Penguin Classics. p. xvii–xix. ISBN 0-14-143939-4.
- Martineau, Harriet (1840). The martyr age of the United States of America: with an appeal on behalf of the Oberlin Institute in Aid of the Abolition of Slavery. Finlay and Charlton.
- Martineau, Harriet (1837). Society in America. 1. Saunders and Otley.
- Dooley, Dolores, Equality in Community: Sexual Equality in the Writings of William Thompson and Anna Doyle Wheeler (Cork University Press), 1996.
- Dooley, Dolores (ed.), William Thompson: Appeal of One Half of the Human Race (Cork University Press), 1997.
- Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith and Lacey, Candida Ann (ed.) (2001). Women's Source Library: Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and the Langham Place Group. 3. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 0-415-25688-7.
- Full text from Victorian Women's Project, Indiana University Archived January 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- Reina Lewis, Sara Mills (2003). Feminist Postcolonial Theory: A Reader. Taylor & Francis. p. 453. ISBN 0-415-94275-6.
- Waldron, Jeremy. Mill on Liberty and on the Contagious Diseases Acts. in, Urbinati, Nadia and Zakaras, Alex (eds), J. S. Mill's Political Thought: A bicentennial reassessment. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
- Jordan, Jane and Ingrid Sharp. Josephine Butler and the Prostitution Campaigns, Diseases of the Body Politic. Taylor and Francis, 2003, ISBN 0-415-22684-8
- Kent, Susan Kingsley. Sex and Suffrage in Britain 1860-1914, Princeton University, 1987.
- Records of the Ladies National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. London Metropolitan University, Women's Library. Archives in London
- Baumgardner, Jennifer, F'em!: Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls (Berkeley, California: Seal Press, 2011 (ISBN 978-1-58005-360-0)), p. 243 (author teacher, The New School).
- Baumgardner, Jennifer, F'em!, op. cit., pp. 244 & 252.
- Baumgardner, Jennifer, F'em!, op. cit., p. 244.
- Táhirih mentioned on PBS NewsHour - Mention of Táhirih as founder of Persian feminism by renowned scholar Azar Nafizi in a discussion on PBS about Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
- Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions, Louise Dittmar http://www.ohio.edu/chastain/dh/ditt.htm
- Riniker, C., "Autorschaftsinszenierung und Diskursstörungen in Christian Krachts und David Woodards Five Years (2011)," in J. Bolton, et al., eds., German Monitor 79 (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2016).
- Bauer, K., "The Domestication of Radical Ideas and Colonial Spaces," in M. Schulze, et al., eds., German Diasporic Experiences (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008), pp. 345–358.
- Barbara Leigh Smith: An American Diary 1857-58 (excerpts)
- Gage, Matilda Joslyn. "Woman, Church, and State", in Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (eds.), History of Woman Suffrage. 3 vols. Rochester, N.Y. 1881–82. 1: 753–99.
- Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. "The Matriarchate or Mother-Age", in Avery, Rachel Foster (ed.), Transactions of the National Council of Women of the United States. Philadelphia, 1891.
- Stanton Matriachate op.cit. at 218.
- Murphy, Cullen. The Word According to Eve, First Mariner Books, 1999, pp. 21–23. ISBN 0-395-70113-9
- Library of Congress. American Memory: Votes for Women. One Hundred Years toward Suffrage: An Overview, compiled by E. Susan Barber with additions by Barbara Orbach Natanson. Retrieved on October 29, 2009.
- Cott, Nancy F., The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven: Yale University Press, [2d printing?] pbk 1987 (ISBN 0-300-04228-0)), p. 13 (cloth ISBN 0-300-03892-5) (author prof. American studies & history, Yale Univ.) (book is largely on U.S. feminism in 1910s–1920s).
- Cott, Nancy F., The Grounding of Modern Feminism, op. cit., passim.
- Enfranchising Women: The Politics of Women's Suffrage in Europe 1789-1945. Trinity & All Saints College, University of Leeds
- Sweeney, Brian (ed.), 2000, "OPTIMISTS: Kate Sheppard – Suffragist". Accessed May 23, 2006, from http://www.nzedge.com/heroes/sheppard.html.
- Aletta H. Jacobs: De vrouw, haar bouw en haar inwendige organen, Deventer, Kluwer. 1899.
- Aletta H. Jacobs, Het doel der vrouwenbeweging, De Gids, March 1899 and Bespreking van het prostitutievraagstuk op de Openbare Vergadering van den Nationalen Vrouwenraad van Nederland, Rotterdam, 2 April 1902. Nationalen Vrouwenraad van Nederland, 1902. Lezingen van Aletta Jacobs e.a.)
- M. Bosch, Aletta Jacobs 1854-1929, Amsterdam, Balans, 2005.
- Gipsy, pseudonym for Wilhelmina Drucker, Mammon, een kerstavond in het rijk Fantasie, 1888.
- Deanna te Winkel-van Hall, Wilhelmina Drucker. De eerste vrije vrouw (Amsterdam, 1968).
- W. H. Posthumus-van der Goot en A. de Waal (editors), Van moeder op dochter (Leiden, 1948), reprint Nijmegen, SUN, 1977).
- Olf Praamstra: Een feministe in de tropen. De Indische jaren van Mina Kruseman, Leiden, KITVL, 2003, ISBN 90-6718-207-9
- Clute, John (1995). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. "Martin's Griffin", 1344.
- Clute, John (1995). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. "Martin's Griffin", 424.
- Elyce Rae Helford, in Westfahl, Gary. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Greenwood Press, 2005: 289-90.
- West, Rebecca. "Mr. Chesterton in hysterics", in The Clarion 1913
- Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Flappers in the Roaring Twenties". About.com. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Representation of the People Act 1918 Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "AROUND THE WORLD; Liechtenstein Women Vote for First Time". NYTimes/Reuters. 1986-02-03. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Records of the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship. London Metropolitan University, Women's Library. Archives in London
- Offen, Karen. Women in the western world. Journal of Women's Studies 1995 Summer 7(2):145
- Records of the Open Door Council. London Metropolitan University, Women's Library. Archives in London
- Chandrasekhar, S. "A Dirty, Filthy Book": The Writing of Charles Knowlton and Annie Besant on Reproductive Physiology and British Control and an Account of the Bradlaugh-Besant Trial. University of California Berkeley 1981
- Manvell, Roger. The trial of Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh. Elek, London 1976
- Banks, J. A. and O. "The Bradlaugh-Besant Trial and the English Newspapers". Population Studies 1954 July 8(1):22-34
- Balaram P. "Population". Current Science 2003 August 85 (3: 233-4)
- Besant, Annie. The Law of Population: Its consequences and its bearing upon human conduct and morals. London: Freethought Publishing, 1877.
- The Margaret Sanger Papers.
- Sanger, Margaret (1938). Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography. New York: W. W. Norton. pp. 361, 366–7.
- Education for choice: History of UK abortion law Archived October 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- Abortion Rights Archived March 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Stephen. "'A New World for Women'? Abortion Law Reform in Britain during the 1930s". The American Historical Review 106(2) 2001
- Lucy Noakes, Women in the British Army: war and the gentle sex, 1907-1948 (2006), p. 138.
- James Ciment and Thaddeus Russell,eds. The Home Front Encyclopedia: United States, Britain, and Canada in World Wars I and II (2007), vol. 1, p. 950.
- "Der Jungmädeldienst", published February 1940, Berlin.
- Krylova, Anna, "Soviet Women in Combat Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2010).
- D'Ann Campbell, Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era (1984), ch. 8.
- Freedman, Estelle B., No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women (London: Ballantine Books, 2003).
- Moulton, Ruth (1972). "Psychoanalytic Reflections on Women's Liberation". Contemp. Psychoanal. 8: 197–223. doi:10.1080/00107530.1972.10745235.
- Shanley, Mary Lyndon (1993). Feminism, marriage, and the law in Victorian England. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691024875.
- Shapiro, Fred R. "Historical Notes on the Vocabulary of the Women's Movement". American Speech. 1985 Spring 60(1): 3-16.
- Sarachild, Kathie. "Consciousness-Raising: A Radical Weapon", in Sarachild, K, Hanisch, C., Levine, F., Leon, B., Price, C. (eds), Feminist Revolution. NY: Random House, 1978, pp. 144-50.
- Mitchell, Juliet. "Women: The longest revolution". New Left Review, 1966 Nov-December 11–37.
- Buisson, Ferdinand (1911). Le Vote des Femmes (in French).
- Hinckle, Warren and Marianne Hinckle. "Women Power". Ramparts 1968 February 22–31
- "People & Events: The 1968 Protest". PBS. PBS.
- Staggenborg, Suzanne. "Stability and Innovation in the Women's Movement: A Comparison of Two Movement Organizations". Social Problems, 1989 February 36(1): 75-92.
- Greenfieldboyce, Nell (September 5, 2008). "Pageant Protest Sparked Bra-Burning Myth". National Public Radio (NPR). Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- Freeman, Jo. The Politics of Women's Liberation. NY: David McKay, 1975.
- Howe, Florence. Politics of Women's Studies: Testimony from the Founding Mothers. Feminist Press, 2000, ISBN 1-55861-241-6.
- Tarow, Sydney. Power in Movement. Cambridge University, 1994.
- Bunjun, Benita. "Feminist Organizations and Intersectionality: Contesting Hegemonic Feminism". Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Biography - bell hooks". The European Graduate School. The European Graduate School. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Setch, Eve (2002). "The Face of Metropolitan Feminism: The London Women's Liberation Workshop, 1969–79". Twentieth Century British History. 13 (2): 171–190. doi:10.1093/tcbh/13.2.171.
- Echols, Alice. Daring to be bad: Radical feminism in America 1967-1975, University of Minnesota, 1989.
- Tisdale, Sally Nussbaum, Martha C. Soble, Alan, in Soble, Alan (ed.), The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary readings. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002, ISBN 0-7425-1346-7, pp.369-434.
- Fredrickson, Barbara L. and Tomi-Ann Roberts. "Objectification theory: Toward Understanding Women's Lived Experiences and Mental Health Risks". Psychology of Women Quarterly 1997 June 21(2):173-206
- Catherine A MacKinnon. University of Michigan Law School.
- MacKinnon, Catherine. Only Words. London: Harper Collins, 1995. ISBN 0-674-63933-2
- MacKinnon, Catherine. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. 1987, ISBN 0-674-29874-8
- Bart, Pauline B. "Feminism Unmodified", The American Journal of Sociology. 1989 September 95(2): 538-539
- Ciulla, Joanne B. "Feminism unleashed". Psychology Today. 1987 September 21(9): 68
- Strossen, Nadine. "A Feminist Critique of 'the' Feminist Critique of Pornography". Virginia Law Review 1993 August 79(5): 1099-1190.
- Chasteen, Amy L (2001). "Constructing rape: feminism, change, and women's everyday understandings of sexual assault". Sociological Spectrum. 21 (2): 01–139.
- Henry, Astrid, Not My Mother's Sister: Generational Conflict and Third-Wave Feminism (Indiana University Press, 2003), ISBN 978-0-253-21713-4
- Gillis, Stacy, Gillian Howie & Rebecca Munford (eds), Third Wave Feminism: A Critical Exploration (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), ISBN 978-0-230-52174-2
- Faludi, Susan, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women (Vintage, 1993), ISBN 978-0-09-922271-2
- Winslow, Anne, ed. (1995). Women, Politics, and the United Nations. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9780313295225.
- Short History of the Commission on the Status of Women
- Osmańczyk, Edmund Jan (2003). Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. Oxfordshire, UK: Taylor & Francis. pp. 924–925. ISBN 9780415939225.
- Catagay, N.; Grown, C.; Santiago, A. (1986). "The Nairobi Women's Conference: Toward a Global Feminism?". Feminist Studies. 12 (2): 401–412.
- Sen, G., Grown, C. Development, Crisis and Alternative Visions: Third World women's perspectives. NY: Monthly Review Press, 1987.
- Moser, Caroline; Moser, Annalise (2005). "Gender mainstreaming since Beijing: a review of success and limitations in international institutions". Gender and Development. 13 (2): 11–22. doi:10.1080/13552070512331332283.
- Fourth World Conference on Women. Beijing, China. September 1995. Action for Equality, Development and Peace
- CIDA. CIDA's Policy of Gender Equality. Hull, Quebec, Canada, 1999.
- Baumgardner, Jennifer (2011). "Is there a fourth wave? Does it matter?". Feminist.com. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Cochrane, Kira (2013). All the rebel women: the rise of the fourth wave of feminism. London: Guardian Books. ISBN 9781783560363. OCLC 915373287.
- Baumgardner, Jennifer (2011). F 'em!: Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls. Berkeley CA: Seal Press. p. 250.
- Cochrane, Kira (10 December 2013). "The fourth wave of feminism: meet the rebel women". The Guardian.
- Diamond, Diana (2009). The fourth wave of feminism: psychoanalytic perspectives. pp. 213–223.
- Peay, Pythia (March–April 2005). "Feminism's fourth wave". Utne Reader (128). pp. 59–60.
- Baumgardner, Jennifer, F'em!, op. cit., pp. 250–251.
- Cochrane, Kira (10 December 2013). "The fourth wave of feminism: meet the rebel women". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2013. (Cochrane is also the author of All the Rebel Women: The Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism (Guardian Shorts Originals series ebook 2013).
- Smith, Lydia. "Betty Dodson and Fourth-Wave Feminism: Masturbation is Key to Longer Life". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Sanghani, Radhika. "My generation of feminists is depressing me". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Everyday Sexism Project
- Aitkenhead, Decca. "Laura Bates interview: 'Two years ago, I didn't know what feminism meant'". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Bates, Laura. Everyday Sexism. Simon and Schuster.
- Scott, Joan W. (1996). Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-63930-8., ch. 2.
- Moses, Claire Goldberg (1984). French Feminism in the 19th Century. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780873958592.
- Spencer, MC. Charles Fourier. Twayne's World Author's Series 578, Boston, 1981.
- Bachofen, Johann Jakob. Les droits de la mère dans l'antiquité: Préface de l'ouvrage de J-J Bachofen. Groupe Français d'Etudes Féministes (trans., ed.), Paris, 1903.
- Klejman, Laurence and Florence Rochefort. L'égalite en marche: Le féminisme sous la Troisième République, Paris, 1989.
- Valette, Aline. Socialisme et sexualisme: Programme du Parti Socialiste Féminin Paris 1893
- Boxer, Marilyn. "French Socialism, Feminism and the Family in the Third Republic". Troisième République Spring–Fall 1977: 129–67.
- Vanda Zajko and Miriam Leonard (eds.). Laughing with Medusa. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-927438-X.
- Sanasarian 136
- Sanasarian, Eliz. The Women's Rights Movements in Iran, Praeger, New York: 1982, ISBN 0-03-059632-7.
- Afary, Janet. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906–1911, Columbia University Press, 1996.
- Women's movement: Zanan magazine
- Stange, Mary Zeiss, Carol K. Oyster, Jane E. Sloan, Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, SAGE, 2011, ISBN 1-4129-7685-5, ISBN 978-1-4129-7685-5
- Golley, Nawar Al-Hassan, Reading Arab women's autobiographies: Shahrazad tells her story, University of Texas Press, 2003, ISBN 0-292-70545-X, 9780292705456
- Badran, Margot, Feminists, Islam, and nation: gender and the making of modern Egypt, Princeton University Press, 1996, ISBN 0-691-02605-X, 9780691026053
- Smith, Bonnie G., Global feminisms since 1945, Psychology Press, 2000, ISBN 0-415-18491-6, ISBN 978-0-415-18491-5
- International Congress on Islamic Feminism Archived December 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Chaudhuri, Maitrayee, Feminism in India (Zed, 2005)
- Ko, Dorothy, JaHyun Kim Haboush, Joan R. Piggott Women and Confucian cultures in premodern China, Korea, and Japan. University of California Press, 2003, ISBN 0-520-23138-4, ISBN 978-0-520-23138-2
- Ma, Yuxin Women journalists and feminism in China, 1898-1937 Cambria Press, 2010, ISBN 1-60497-660-8, ISBN 978-1-60497-660-1
- Farris, Catherine S., Anru Lee, Murray A. Rubinstein, Women in the new Taiwan: gender roles and gender consciousness in a changing society M. E. Sharpe, 2004, ISBN 0-7656-0814-6, ISBN 978-0-7656-0814-7
- Dooling, Amy D. Women's literary feminism in 20th-century China, Macmillan, 2005, ISBN 1-4039-6733-4, ISBN 978-1-4039-6733-6
- Buckley, Susan, Broken Silence: Voices of Japanese Feminism (University of California Press, 1997), ISBN 978-0-520-08514-5
- Mackie, Vera, Feminism in Modern Japan Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality (Curtin University of Technology, 2003), ISBN 978-0-521-82018-9
- Andersen, Arlow W., Rough Road to Glory: The Norwegian-American Press Speaks Out on Public Affairs 1875 to 1925 (Balch Institute Press, 1990).
- Łoch, Eugenia (ed.) 2001. Modernizm i feminizm. Postacie kobiece w literaturze polskiej i obcej. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu M.Curie-Skłodowskiej.
- Śleczka, Kazimierz, 1997. "Feminizm czy feminizmy". In: Zofia Gorczyńska, Sabina Kruszyńska, Irena Zakidalska (eds.). Płeć, kobieta, feminizm. Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego.
- Cott, Nancy F. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.
- Marler, Joan. "The Myth of Universal Patriarchy: A Critical Response to Cynthia Eller's Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory". Feminist Theology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 163-87 (2006). For an earlier version of this article, see Marija Gimbutas.
- Eksteins, Modris. Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, Boston, 1989, xiv.
- Hughes, H. Stuart. Consciousness and Society: The Reorientation of European Social Thought, 1890–1930, New York, 1958.
- Cott, Nancy F. The Bonds of Womanhood. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.
- Cott, Nancy F. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.
- Duby, George and Perrot, Michelle (eds). A History of Women in the West. 5 vols. Harvard, 1992-4
- I. From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints
- II. Silences of the Middle Ages
- III. Renaissance and the Enlightenment Paradoxes
- IV. Emerging Feminism from Revolution to World War
- V. Toward a Cultural Identity in the Twentieth Century
- Ezell, Margaret J. M. Writing Women's Literary History. Johns Hopkins University, 2006. 216 pp. ISBN 0-8018-5508-X
- Foot, Paul. The Vote: How it was won and how it was lost. London: Viking, 2005
- Freedman, Estelle No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women, Ballantine Books, 2002, ISBN B0001FZGQC
- Fulford, Roger. Votes for Women. London: Faber and Faber, 1957
- Jacob, Margaret C. The Enlightenment: A Brief History With Documents, Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001, ISBN 0-312-17997-9
- Kramarae, Cheris and Paula Treichler. A Feminist Dictionary. University of Illinois, 1997. ISBN 0-252-06643-X
- Lerner, Gerda. The Creation of Feminist Consciousness From the Middle Ages to Eighteen-seventy. Oxford University Press, 1993
- McQuiston, Liz. Suffragettes and She-devils: Women's liberation and beyond. London: Phaidon, 1997
- Mill, John Stuart. The Subjection of Women. Okin, Susan M (ed.). Newhaven, CT: Yale, 1985
- Prince, Althea and Susan Silva-Wayne (eds). Feminisms and Womanisms: A Women's Studies Reader. Women's Press, 2004. ISBN 0-88961-411-3
- Radical Women. The Radical Women Manifesto: Socialist Feminist Theory, Program and Organizational Structure. Red Letter Press, 2001. ISBN 0-932323-11-1
- Rossi, Alice S. The Feminist Papers: from Adams to Beauvoir. Boston: Northeastern University, 1973. ISBN 1-55553-028-1
- Rowbotham, Sheilah. A Century of Women. Viking, London 1997
- Schneir, Miriam. Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings. Vintage, 1994. ISBN 0-679-75381-8
- Scott, Joan Wallach Feminism and History (Oxford Readings in Feminism), Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN 0-19-875169-9
- Smith, Bonnie G. Global Feminisms: A Survey of Issues and Controversies (Rewriting Histories), Routledge, 2000, ISBN 0-415-18490-8
- Spender, Dale (ed.). Feminist Theorists: Three centuries of key women thinkers, Pantheon, 1983, ISBN 0-394-53438-7
- Allen, Ann Taylor. "Feminism, Social Science, and the Meanings of Modernity: The Debate on the Origin of the Family in Europe and the United States, 1860–1914". The American Historical Review, 1999 October 104(4)
- Cott, Nancy F. "Feminist Politics in the 1920s: The National Woman's Party". Journal of American History 71 (June 1984): 43–68.
- Cott, Nancy F. "What's In a Name? The Limits of ‘Social Feminism’; or, Expanding the Vocabulary of Women's History". Journal of American History 76 (December 1989): 809–829.
- Hicks, Philip (13 August 2014). "Women Worthies and Feminist Argument in Eighteenth-Century Britain". Women's History Review. 24 (2): 174–190. doi:10.1080/09612025.2014.945795.
- Offen, Karen. "Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach". Signs 1988 Autumn 14(1):119-57
- Parpart, Jane L., Conelly, M. Patricia, Barriteau, V. Eudine (eds). Theoretical Perspectives on Gender and Development. Ottawa: IDRC, 2000. ISBN 0-88936-910-0
- Anderson, Bonnie S. and Judith P. Zinsser. A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present, Oxford University Press, 1999 (revised edition), ISBN 0-19-512839-7
- Offen, Karen M. European Feminisms, 1700–1950: A Political History. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2000
- Caine, Barbrara. Victorian Feminists. Oxford, 1992
- Chandrasekhar, S. "A Dirty, Filfthy Book": The Writing of Charles Knowlton and Annie Besant on Reproductive Physiology and British Control and an Account of the Bradlaugh-Besant Trial. University of California Berkeley, 1981
- Craik, Elizabeth M. (ed.). "Women and Marriage in Victorian England", in Marriage and Property. Aberdeen University, 1984
- Forster, Margaret. Significant Sisters: The grassroots of active feminism 1839-1939. Penguin, 1986
- Fraser, Antonia. The Weaker Vessel. NY: Vintage, 1985. ISBN 0-394-73251-0
- Manvell, Roger. The Trial of Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh. London: Elek, 1976
- Pankhurst, Emmeline. My Own Story. London: Virago, 1979
- Pankhurst, Sylvia. The Suffragette Movement. London: Virago, 1977
- Phillips, Melanie. The Ascent of Woman – A History of the Suffragette Movement and the ideas behind it, London: Time Warner Book Group, 2003, ISBN 0-349-11660-1
- Pugh, Martin. Women and the Women's Movement in Britain, 1914 -1999, Basingstoke [etc.]: St. Martin's Press, 2000
- Walters, Margaret. Feminism: A very short introduction. Oxford, 2005 (ISBN 0-19-280510-X)
- Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, Liberazione della Donna. Feminism in Italy, Wesleyan University Press, 1986
- Maitrayee Chaudhuri (ed.), Feminism in India, London [etc.]: Zed Books, 2005
- Edward G. Browne, The Persian Revolution of 1905-1909. Mage Publishers (July 1995). ISBN 0-934211-45-0
- Farideh Farhi, "Religious Intellectuals, the "Woman Question," and the Struggle for the Creation of a Democratic Public Sphere in Iran", International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 15, No.2, Winter 2001.
- Ziba Mir-Hosseini, "Religious Modernists and the 'Woman Question': Challenges and Complicities", Twenty Years of Islamic Revolution: Political and Social Transition in Iran since 1979, Syracuse University Press, 2002, pp 74–95.
- Shirin Ebadi, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope, Random House (May 2, 2006), ISBN 1-4000-6470-8
- Vera MacKie, Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality, Paperback edition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-52719-8
- Nancy Sternbach, "Feminism in Latin America: from Bogotá to San Bernardo", in: Signs, Winter 1992, pp. 393–434
- Brownmiller, Susan. In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution, Dial Books, 1999
- Cott, Nancy and Elizabeth Pleck (eds), A Heritage of Her Own; Toward a New Social History of American Women, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979
- Echols, Alice. Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975, University of Minnesota Press, 1990
- Flexner, Eleanor. Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States, Paperback Edition, Belknap Press 1996
- Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth., "Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life": How Today's Feminist Elite Has Lost Touch With the Real Concerns of Women, Doubleday, 1996
- Keetley, Dawn (ed.) Public Women, Public Words: A Documentary History of American Feminism. 3 vols.:
- Vol. 1: Beginnings to 1900, Madison, Wisconsin: Madison House, 1997
- Vol. 2: 1900 to 1960, Lanham, Md. [etc.]: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002
- Vol. 3: 1960 to the present, Lanham, Md. [etc.]: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002
- Messer-Davidow, Ellen: Disciplining feminism: from social activism to academic discourse, Duke University Press, 2002
- O'Neill, William L. Everyone Was Brave: A history of feminism in America. Chicago 1971
- Roth, Benita. Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America's Second Wave, Cambridge University Press, 2004
- Stansell, Christine. The Feminist Promise: 1792 to the Present (2010). ISBN 978-0-679-64314-2, 528 pp.
- Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality. Random House, New York, 1978
- Soble, Alan (ed.) The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary readings. Lanham, MD: & Littlefield, 2002. ISBN 0-7425-1346-7
- Browne, Alice (1987) The Eighteenth-century Feminist Mind. Brighton: Harvester
- Swanwick, H. M. (1913). The Future of the Women's Movement. London: G. Bell & Sons Ltd.
- Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution
- UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for the Advancement of Women
- Timeline of feminist history in the USA
- The Women's Library, online resource of the extensive collections at the LSE
- The history of poetry in the women's movement by Honor Moore in the Boston Review