The Feminist Movement

Topics: Women's rights, Women's suffrage, Feminism Pages: 3 (888 words) Published: November 13, 2011
The Feminist Movement
Feminism can be defined as the promotion of women's rights in the areas of political, cultural opportunities, social, and economic standing as men’s equals. The feminist movement was a social movement that was aimed gaining equal rights for women in society. The feminist movement is categorized in waves. The first wave was during the 19th and early 20th centuries focused on women's legal rights, such as the right to vote, education, employment and marriage laws.  During the whole of the nineteenth century, women had no political rights though there had been some movement in other areas to advance the rights of women. In 1839, a law was passed which stated that if a marriage broke down and the parents separated, children under seven years of age should stay with their mother. In 1857, women could divorce husbands who were cruel to them or husbands who had left them. In 1870, women were allowed to keep money they had earned. In 1891, women could not be forced to live with husbands unless they wished to. Second wave of feminism occurred during the 1960’s where women wanted to liberate themselves from the orthodox roles of mothers and housewives. This wave of feminism dealt with a wider range of issues as opposed to the first wave. This wave mainly dealt with reproductive rights, sexuality, workplace and family roles. One of biggest events of the feminist movement was the “Miss America Protest.” Where at the Miss America Pageant that took place on September 7, 1968, Hundreds of feminist activists showed up on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and the women threw bras, mops, girdles, high-heeled shoes, cosmetics, pots and pans, and Playboy magazines, items they called "instruments of female torture" into a big garbage can called the freedom trash can since they placed items they believed were a symbol of male oppression into that trash can. The protesters also crowned a live sheep and compared the beauty pageant to livestock competitions at county...
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