Third Wave Of Feminism - Poverty, Women, And Youth Culture



The term "feminist" was enthusiastically used by second-wave feminists, but not all third-wave feminists want to call themselves feminists or even consider themselves to be part of the feminist movement. 


  • Rather, many young women embrace what they refer to as "female culture" or "youth culture." 
  • They recognize the power of being a female, not in terms of sexual attractiveness, but in terms of personal strength and the ability to achieve anything you want. 
  • Some boldly wear pink hair ribbons and knee socks, carry handbags designed for very young girls, and flaunt their own flair. 


While it may be tempting to dismiss such acts as infantilizing or even complicit in women's oppression, youth culture feminists view them as a kind of self-determination and confidence in one's own power. 


  • Grrl power praises the strength of adolescent culture while also adopting a moniker that some feminists consider degrading or infantilizing. 
  • Grrl's double r also denotes fury and aggressiveness. 
  • Grrl power is a movement that seeks to assert agency and efficacy in the face of a society that devalues young people's contributions. 

By breaking feminism out of the ranks of upper and middle class educated women, third wave feminism aims to attract girls and women into the fold. 


  • Youth, impoverished women, women from rural regions, and a slew of other women and groups formerly excluded from feminist thought and activist ranks all contribute to the third wave of feminism. 
  • Of course, feminist victories have given rise to youth culture and grrl power. 
  • Many young men and women in the United States and Europe now think that women are equal — not only that they are seen to be equal, but also that they are legally equal. 



Many third-wave feminists believe that if they start there, they may accept any personal identity – feminine or not – and transform themselves into anything they choose. 


However, women are not treated equally everywhere, even in the United States and Europe. 


The sexualization of younger and younger girls is a kind of antithesis to youth culture feminism. 


  • On the one hand, this may indicate a societal acceptance of women asserting their sexual enjoyment rights. 
  • On the other side, sexually objectifying extremely young children may be a retaliation for feminist achievements. 



Some feminists may view sexually explicit clothes for adolescent girls as empowering and grrl power, while others will decry the sexist fashion industrial complex. 


  • Some feminists, both within and outside of the third wave youth culture, have said that third wave feminism lacks a clear political goal and that third wave feminists are unpolitical. 
  • One of the counter-arguments is that third-wave feminism utilizes cultural production and conscious consumption as a political weapon, as we've previously seen. 
  • Even if young girls from relatively affluent backgrounds believe they are not oppressed and thus feel excluded from other feminist agendas, there are still social justice causes worthy of coalitional politics to bring about social change – many of which are relevant to their own lives as females or sexual beings. 



Finally, feminist theory has traditionally been the domain of university-educated women and academic women. 

  • However, even if some of this activity and other acts of resistance are not usually recognized as feminist, that has not been the site of much feminist activism. 
  • Academic feminist theory has been chastised for neglecting to recognize the contributions of women from various socioeconomic backgrounds — not only the young, but also the poor and disadvantaged. 



Poor women have always been engaged in action and resistance, but theory has always had a classist tint to it - ‘theorists' are only those who have the time to think and write. 

Deconstructing that myth reveals fresh feminist ideas and tactics. 



You may also want to read more about Feminism and Activism here.





No comments:

Post a Comment