Social Work and Feminist Theory

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Waves = movement
* Reference points
* Come and go; something causes it
* Helps and hinders
****Time reference = "too western"
1st wave (1896 to 1920s)
* women's right to vote
* economic and political equity
**racial history as well
Dramatic increase in women working...
2nd wave (1950's to 1980's)
* civil rights empowered women, especially women of color civil rights welcomed women...
* sexuality
* Kinsey report
* Forced sterilization
* Female mutilation
* Women's health issues
* Freud
* Family
* Traditional; nuclear ---> 2nd wave criticized this * Rise of critical analysis of family dynamics
* Workplace
* Women were a great part of the work force during WW2 * Roles and characteristics assigned to genders are socially constructed * Legal inequalities
* Property ownership
* Business, housing
* Divorce
* Abortion laws
* Family laws
* Sexual assault laws
* Rule of thumb
* reproduction rights
* Pill
* Abortion
* It's the husband/man who gets to decide whether to keep baby or not * Women’s voices presented as ‘the other’ in relation to men * 1950's "decade of the housewife"
* Huge propaganda
* Men want their jobs back
* Personal is political slogan
* The ‘sisterhood’ of the 2nd wave seen as a façade, why? Interesting disconnect between 2nd wave and 3rd wave
* What was achieved? Pay equity, employment, sexual assault laws, reproductive rights (pill, abortion), political and social supports, organizations, women’s health care, rape crisis centers, transitions houses and divorce law  

3rd wave 1990 to present
* Arose out of backlash of 2nd wave
* Men-haters, bra-burners
* Identity confusion
* Women versus women
* Men were left lost, not knowing what to do
* Embrace contradictions, conflict and irrationality to explore diversity and change  
* Rejects the notion of an essential definition of feminine or masculine (gender binary) * Queer theory
* Transgender issues
* Incorporating your own identity into feminism
* No one true reality, every voice is worthwhile
* Post-modern theory; post-modern feminism
* Truth is relative
* “I posit that we're free to seize a word that was kidnapped and co-opted in a pain-filled, distant, past, with a ransom that cost our grandmothers' freedom, children, traditions, pride, and land” Igna Muscio  

* Reclaiming derogatory terms such as bitch, spinster, whore and cunt * LANGUAGE IS A BIG ISSUE here
* It is powerful; it creates reality
* Reproductive rights, race, social class, sexuality and international women’s issues * Pro-choice and pro-life = the way it is framed

4th wave = ???
Historical Perspective on Women’s Role in Social Work
* Men and women were inherently different. Sexual differences resulted in opposite, though complementary, personalities and abilities  
* Women were labelled as nurturing, moral and altruistic; men were labelled as rational, competitive and individualistic * Rigid boundaries
* Women’s behaviour was biologically determined, whereas men’s behaviour was under their intellectual control * Success = intellect = success
* Women’s sphere was private, home and family; men’s sphere was public, the world beyond the confines of the family * stereotypes
* It was important for the maintenance of social stability that women’s primary role remain in the home and family  
historically , Social work primarily focused on child welfare and the poor  
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