Showing posts with label Female. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Female. Show all posts

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.

Third Wave Of Feminism - Feminism And Disability Rights

The confluence of disability studies and feminist philosophy is another key discovery in current third wave feminism. 

Disability studies, like feminism, opposes ‘normative' notions of the body: beliefs that assert that there is a normal body. 

When societal perceptions of a normal body prevail, departures from that standard are labeled as impairments, and a person is labeled handicapped. 

However, new research in the field of disability studies casts doubt on that notion. 

Disability, on the other hand, is caused by societal systems that make it more difficult for certain bodies to operate than others. 

Consider the difference between vision impairment and motility. 

  • The normative definition of vision is very broad, and society (represented here by signs, insurance companies, societal norms of attractiveness, and so on) allows for defective eyesight. 
  • Unless a visual impairment is severe, a person may operate in the same way as others who do not have a "vision issue." In other words, it is a socially acceptable "disability." 
  • However, not all impairments are so easily accommodated. 

A excellent counter-example is mobility. 

  • If a person's capacity to move and get about in society is hampered by a body that differs from the bodies of the majority of people, or at least those in positions of power, that individual may not be able to operate as well as others who do not have this distinct body. 

Working on the intersections of disability and feminism, feminists contend that pathologizing the nonnormative body misrepresents disability. 

  • They believe that disability is a social system failing rather than a fault in a specific body. 
  • The social system maintains a hierarchy of bodies that approach the norm, and it often fails to invest in structural improvements that would enable those bodies furthest from the standard to operate effectively and meaningfully contribute to the social total. 

Wheelchair users are essentially denied entry when university and government building entrances are only accessible via steps. 

  • When communication or discussion takes place via a phone line, a deaf person is left out of the dialogue, information, or communication. 

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which went into effect in December 2006 (and was preceded by the Declaration of the Rights of Disabled Persons in 1975), has made significant progress in altering the societal view of disability. 

  • Rather of considering persons with disabilities as objects in need of help, the United Nations Convention stresses their rights and subjectivity. 
  • The Convention emphasizes the social obligation to provide accessible buildings, phone lines equipped with technology for the hearing impaired, and numerous other changes to ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society by shifting thinking about disability away from an individual with a physical problem to a society with an accommodation problem. 

Similarly, the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 26: Integration of Persons with Disabilities) and national laws encourage a change in thinking about disability. 

  • Feminists contribute to this study by applying feminist ethics, epistemology, and other ideas to disability studies, as well as borrowing or discovering new ways to think about feminism from disability studies. 
  • Many feminist theorists utilize feminist ethics of care to explain some of the problems that handicapped people and their carers face on a personal level, in the medical system, and in society at large. 

Feminist bioethics, which is often founded on an ethics of care and other feminist ethical frameworks, discusses and examines problems concerning the handicapped in a similar way. 

  • The techniques utilized as well as the substance of the problems are what make these issues feminist. 
  • The approaches rely on nonhierarchical ethical concerns, a relational view of the self, and personal story to elucidate ethical arguments. 
  • Relationships between caregivers and the cared for, sexuality and disability, rights to carry and raise children, and rape and abuse of the handicapped are only a few of the numerous feminist concerns. 

Feminist epistemology is helpful in communicating the needs and aspirations of individuals from various backgrounds. 

  • Remember how one feminist epistemological suggestion was to attempt to view the world through the eyes of the other. 
  • When confronted with a handicap in another person, it's natural to envision what it's like to be that person and extrapolate from one's own experience. 
  • If an able-bodied person observes someone who is unable to use her arm, that able-bodied person may recall how it felt to live with a sprained wrist and envision the other's handicap based on that limited experience. 

Feminist epistemology, on the other hand, proposes that we conceive her impairment via her experience. 

  • This entails listening to and learning from the individual in order to comprehend the role of disability in her life, as well as the true role of disability in one's own life. 

What impact does your perception of her handicap have on her life? 

Is she aware of an able-bodied person's pitying gaze? 

Is she relegated to her useless arm? 

If anything like an appropriate knowledge of disability is conceivable, these and other issues must be addressed. 

  • Of course, feminism isn't alone in its quest to better comprehend others' experiences; comparable discoveries can be found in oppression studies in general, as well as moral philosophy. 

The confluence of disability studies and feminism is also useful for considering how transgendered individuals have been treated in the past and what kinds of alternatives might be imagined. 

  • Instead of attempting to ‘fix' the transgendered person by forcing them to adhere to one of just two gender options that also corresponds to a supposed biological sex, we could strive to repair the societal expectations and conventions that assume gender and sex fall along such simple boundaries. 

We can think about individuals in terms of various genders and sexes without having to name or categorize them. 

  • Of fact, a person may choose to be different genders at different times in their lives. 
  • This kind of dramatic shift isn't simple to achieve; for starters, we'd have to give up our gendered pronouns. 
  • Language, on the other hand, is extremely flexible and reacts quickly to social changes.

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

Third Wave Of Feminism - Ecofeminism And Birth Of Ecofeminists

Fighting racism and sexism in culture necessitates combating racism and sexism in environmental laws and regulations as well. 

Environmental racism refers to environmental activities that are more or less overtly discriminatory. 

A classic example is the proximity of large hazardous emitters near mainly black or Latino communities. 

  • Environmental racism may be evident in anything from the exporting of trash from the developed world to trade agreements that have resulted in significant outsourcing of manufacturing employment requiring hazardous production techniques to countries without regulatory laws and bodies. 
  • The hundreds of maquiladoras in northern Mexico are one such example that feminists are particularly interested in since it combines racism, sexism, and environmental concerns. 
  • Maquiladoras are primarily export-oriented manufacturing plants.
  • Because of their desire to remain near to home and because they are considered to be more docile than male workers, women are recruited to work long hours for low compensation. 
  • Workers and the surrounding populations are exposed to hazardous chemicals and inadequately disposed toxic waste, making working conditions unpleasant. 

Issues of race, class, gender, and the environment are often interwoven, as this case demonstrates.

  • Ecofeminism examines the intersection of oppressive systems, with a focus on our relationships with the environment and the non-human world. 
  • Ecofeminism may be generally defined as a fusion of environmental and feminist issues. 
  • However, this straightforward statement conceals a sophisticated corpus of thought that encompasses the nonhuman world as well as whole ecosystems in its notion of oppression. 
  • The ethical, philosophical, and theological aspects of ecofeminism are all present. 
  • Ecofeminist utopias envisage a future in which people see themselves as part of nature rather than apart from it, and in which social interactions are non-hierarchical and non-competitive. 

Some ecofeminists search for goddess worship practices or remains of matriarchal civilizations' mythologies. 

  • The awareness that people need to look at the planet differently is one of ecofeminism's contributions to moral theory and practice. 
  • The majority of ecofeminists base their ethics on an ecological movement philosophy. 

Some feminists, for example, may use the concept of "deep ecology," which argues that every living thing has inherent worth. 

  • Others may base their ecofeminist ethics on ‘social ecology,' which differentiates between a biological ‘first nature' and a human social ‘second nature.' 
  • Others believe that the whole planet is alive, rejecting mechanical or utilitarian views of humanity's connection with the world in favor of a notion of human connectivity with non-human nature. 
  • Humans are part of an interwoven web of life, not necessarily the center, according to ecofeminists or feminists concerned with the natural world. 

Aside from ethics, some ecofeminist ideologies provide non-dualistic metaphysical concepts. 

  • They promote a fresh, new study of human identity, politics, and religion by rejecting the nature/human dichotomy. 
  • Furthermore, the dominance of nature often has a negative impact on women and the impoverished initially. 

Ecofeminists push the ecology movement to consider how environmental issues should also include gender, racism, and class. 

  • This is what distinguishes this hypothesis from others in that it draws similarities between human dominance of the planet and masculine dominance of females. 
  • Indeed, a simple examination of how the planet is often portrayed reveals similar connections. 

For example, we refer to ‘Mother Earth' and ‘Mother Nature,' and we refer to ‘the rape of nature' when people do significant damage to this ‘Mother.' 

  • The similarity between these two systems of dominance shows that targeting individual instances of dominance, as certain sections of the feminist and environmental movements have done, is inadequate. 
  • Instead, we must broaden our thinking and ethical responsibilities to encompass a confrontation with all systems of dominance and hierarchy. 

The aim is to create a life-affirming, long-term existence free of oppressive institutions. Animal rights ecofeminists, for example, may choose to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. 

  • Vegans do not consume or utilize animal products in any way. 
  • Vegetarians provide moral reasons for their stance, which vary from the animal's right not to be hurt by humans to resource allocation in society. 
  • One pound of beef requires sixteen pounds of grain, and the wealthiest nations consume much more grain and meat than they need. Ecofeminists, on the other hand, adopt a different approach. 
  • Some of these additional reasons for vegetarianism could be included in an ecofeminist rationale for vegetarianism, but it would almost certainly incorporate feminist analysis as well. 
  • Many ecofeminist vegans believe that eating dairy and eggs contributes to the exploitation of women. 
  • After all, milk and eggs are produced by women, and since environmental issues are linked to feminist concerns, it is necessary to pay attention to this reality. 

Other feminists and non-feminists have criticized ecofeminism for 

(1) drawing what appear to be rather speculative conclusions about matriarchal goddess societies; 

(2) lacking credibility in positing the intrinsic value of inanimate objects and the earth; and 

(3) combining ecology and feminism in a way that at times appears to assert women's moral superiority or exclude men from ecolog. 

While condemning men for the environment's mechanical, instrumental misuse, some ecofeminism seems to reject men's involvement in the revaluation of the planet and its resources. 

Despite these critiques, ecofeminism's findings appear especially pertinent in the present era of global climate change, which coincides with the realization that we humans are at least partly responsible. 

Ecofeminists have long advocated for the interconnectedness of people and the nonhuman environment. 

  • We are now seeing some of the harmful consequences of our failure to recognize that reality.

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

Third Wave Of Feminism - Feminism Theorizing About Queer Human Beings

A movement among academics to reclaim the term "queer" from its negative connotation. 

  • Queer theory advocates for a radical kind of liberation. 
  • Making all those things that are identifications of what is ‘normal' queer - odd, surprising, and unpredictable – is what ‘queering norms' implies. 
  • Everything is susceptible to performativity and parody, from self-identity to conduct to physicality. 
  • Gender and sexuality are also separated by queer theorists. 
  • Both are socially created in different ways and may change over time. 
  • All sex and gender dichotomies, as well as all identity ascriptions, are challenged by queer theory. 
  • The differences between woman and man, as well as female and male, heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual, and gay and lesbian, are all irrelevant. 

Because queer theory opposes identity politics, it differs from lesbian ethics and other gay rights groups. 

  • Traditionally, gay rights activists make claims on behalf of a specific community. 
  • However, ‘queering the norm' undermines the group since there is no coherent or consistently held identity to make claims about. 
  • Take the topic of transgender marriage, for example. 
  • In most cultural settings, the dominant political environment is slightly equivocal regarding same-sex marriage. 

However, transgender marriage presents an intriguing issue. 

  • Transsexuals do not identify with their biological sex at birth, and they often undergo medical procedures to change their biological sex. 
  • Some people just change a portion of their biological sex. 

How can we decide who counts as a man and a woman if marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman? 

  • If genders and bodies are not rigidly determined by biological sex, or if a transsexual chooses to only undergo a partial sex change (for example, a woman who wants to be a man but only has top surgery, keeping her female genitals), determining who is that one man and one woman for the purposes of legal marriage becomes more difficult. 
  • According to queer theory, sex may take many diverse forms and take place in many different places, not simply heterosexual genital intercourse in a private house. 
  • As a result, sex is neither a simple biological binary difference between male and female, nor is it reducible to heterosexual or gay relations. 

Intersexual, transsexual, transgendered, old, young, multiracial, wealthy, poor, and each of these in various ways at different times, the sexed body may be intersexual, transsexual, transgendered, old, young, multiracial, rich, poor, and each of these in different ways at different times. 

  • No type of sexuality is favored as "good sex," while others are condemned as "perverse," and people who aren't usually thought of as having sex do have sex (elderly, sick, mentally ill, etc.). 
  • Importantly, queer theorists do not confine themselves to the study of sex, gender, and sexuality. 
  • All sorts of conventions and identities, including race, class, and country, are destabilized by queer theory. 
  • The dominant culture's norms and identity are visible. According to queer theory, liberation implies a complete rejection of such identities. 

Unsurprisingly, some feminists see queer theory as a natural extension of feminism, while others believe it is anti-feminist. 

  • When a transgendered individual, for example, embraces conventional notions of femininity, at least some feminists see this as problematic rather than liberating. 
  • Allowing males to be more like women, to put it bluntly, does not seem to be a benefit. 
  • Some feminists believe that feminism's (and vice versa's) use of queer theory is androcentric. As the experiencing subject, it largely depends on the self-determining person. 

However, at least one major school of feminism rejects the idea of the self-determining person in favor of relational self-conceptions. 

Nonetheless, both queer theory and feminism agree that strict gender standards — and most other kinds of norms – hurt the most vulnerable.

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

Third Wave Of Feminism - The Sex Vs. Gender Debate!

Like second wave feminism, third wave feminism questions sex and gender conceptions. 

Many third-wave feminists, on the other hand, oppose such structures by embracing them. 

  • This is also a rejection of gender norms in the sense that anybody may accept a variety of apparently conflicting gender conceptions. 
  • As a result, a woman may be both girlish and powerful, or feminine and self-assuredly powerful. Some third-wave feminists support women's use of cosmetics and cosmetic surgery as a form of self-expression (whereas second wave feminists likely see in both a manifestation of oppressive beauty standards). 

As you would expect, some feminists, particularly those who identify as second wave feminists, find this troublesome. 

Third-wave feminists support the practice as a means to give individual girls and women the freedom to choose what they want to be and who they want to be. 

Gender as performance is another facet of third-wave feminism. 

Judith Butler argues in Gender Trouble (1990) that gender performativity, 

– acting out gender in a continuous sort of process

– actually creates the illusion of stable gender identities, 

Despite the fact that some of the themes she discusses fall more naturally under the cluster of topics described as second wave. 

Her work on performativity has been picked up and expanded upon by theorists both within and outside of feminism. 

  • Butler dismisses French feminism (such as that of Irigaray and Cixous) as essentialist because it uses a concept of the feminine to articulate feminine writing or the "feminine feminine." 
  • Gender as performance refers to the artificial creation of all gender via social activities that determine what constitutes gender. 
  • Butler uses drag to demonstrate how putting on gender is essentially embracing the societal conventions that determine what gender involves. 

Some people take Butler's statement to mean that he rejects the category of sex and replaces it with gender as performance. 

  • However, in a subsequent book, Bodies that Matter (1993), she refutes this view, claiming that sex, as a biological category, is likewise molded by material conditioning. 
  • In other words, just as there are no natural men and women, there are no natural males and females. 
  • The bodies we postulate as existing independently of the discourse that creates them are a product of discourse. 

Some third-wave feminists contend, in a similar vein, that desire is also manufactured rather than inherent. 

  • The theory argues that people aren't "naturally heterosexual" or "naturally gay." 
  • Acts and expressions are produced in accordance with societal standards that define a particular spectrum of wants, thus sexual identities are assumed via their performance. 

Third-wave feminists open the way for flexible wants and what Butler refers to as "subversive repetition" by deconstructing natural desire. 

  • Despite being constrained by societal norms that define acceptable kinds of want, a person may experiment with new forms of desire and discreetly challenge the rules. 
  • This draws on the French postmodern feminists' ideas of autoeroticism and the diversity of sexual organs or female pleasure sites, as well as the second wave feminism's Our Bodies, Ourselves movement. 

The focus is on enabling or empowering women to pursue their own sexual satisfaction in their own way.

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

Third Wave Of Feminism - Feminist Language

The ability of language to influence reality – or at least how we think about reality – has been recognized by theorists from a variety of fields. Feminists are no different. 

Overtly sexist, inadvertently patriarchal, or symbolically hegemonic language are all possibilities. 

  • Some liberal and socialist feminists have advocated for reforms in public language to promote gender neutrality and non-discrimination, while postmodern feminists have proposed l'écriture féminine – feminine writing – and new forms of linguistic logic to counter phallocentrism. 
  • Other feminist schools of thought provide their own analyses and suggestions for combating sexism in language and thinking. 
  • Overtly sexist language is pretty simple to spot, but the issue is that some sexist language has been reappropriated for various purposes in situations where the meaning has been altered. 

Consider the term "pimp." A pimp is a person who exploits and often abuses women, men, and children by selling them as prostitutes, which is a behavior that all feminists oppose. 

  • In recent years, however, the term "pimp" has taken on new connotations. 
  • It's used to describe vehicle upgrades and as a stand-in for anything "amazing" or "great" (two words that also have multiple slang meanings). 
  • Is every usage of the term pimp linked to sexist exploitation, or can it have neutral or mild connotations? 

Adjectives used to describe male and female youngsters are another example of blatantly sexist language. 

  • Girls are delicate, gentle, pleasant, quiet, and lovely. Boys are energetic, powerful, rugged, and serious. 
  • Adult females are often addressed as ‘Miss' or ‘Mrs,' depending on their marital status, while adult males are addressed simply as ‘Mr.' Masculine and female professions have different names, with the feminine being a diminutive of the male, as in actress/actor, waitress/waiter, and stewardess/steward. 
  • Many of these diminutives are becoming obsolete as a result of the work of feminist campaigners. 
  • The use of masculine pronouns to describe a member of a historically male-dominated industry, such as "A professor constantly has his scholarship on his mind," is an example of unintentionally patriarchal language. 
  • When the sex of the subject is unknown, the apparent gender neutrality of using the pronoun "he" reflects the patriarchal social connections of the time. 

Changing gender dynamics in mainly male professions necessitates a shift in how we refer to such professions. 

  • Patronymic names, which follow the father's line, are common and frequently represent a lengthy series of dads and sons, such as the name "Johnson," which derives from "John's son." 
  • The grammatical patterns of queries asked to women vs those posed to males may also be shown to be inadvertently patriarchal. 

For example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau recommends asking boys and girls two distinct kinds of questions on moral behavior. 

  • The good of an action is questioned of boys, whereas the impact of an action is asked of females. 
  • This may seem harmless, but when we consider that Rousseau prioritizes the intentions of moral acts above the results, the many questions indicate a perception of women's inferiority. 

Postmodern feminists believe that language is hegemonic, dominating, or phallocentric/phallogocentric as a symbolic system. 

According to Jacques Lacan (1901–1981), society maintains itself via the 'Symbolic Order,' which consists of rituals and signals. 

Language is used to teach this Symbolic Order. 

  • In other words, language teaches us how to function in society, what roles are acceptable for us, and who we are. 
  • Luce Irigaray, on the other hand, claims that the Symbolic Order is phallocentric, that it is a male order, and that women appear in it as the'masculine feminine' or women-as-men-understand-women-to-be. 
  • Looking to Lacan's evolutionary stage previous to the Symbolic Order, the Imaginary, Irigaray argues for a liberation from phallocentrism and the Symbolic Order. 
    • She argues for the development of a female language that is based on feminine sexual pleasure rather than objectivity as a goal. 
    • In her work, This Sex Which is Not One, Irigaray challenges the singularity of phallocentric thinking by using the metaphor of female sexual pleasure and the diversity of female sexual organs. 
    • Her book's title alone tells something about her project: this is a sex that isn't "one." Hélène Cixous, a postmodern feminist, proposed a concept of feminine writing, or writing women's bodies, based on the logic of plurality and fluidity as it relates to women's embodiment and sexuality. 

Female writing is non-linear and unafraid of inconsistency. 

  • It opposes the male hegemonic notion of language and logic, in other words. 
  • There are a variety of approaches to confronting and altering sexist language. 
  • The most frequent methods include using gender-neutral language and avoiding sexist language, although some feminist linguists have also looked at women's communication habits or patterns. 

Women, for example, often add a tag question to declarative statements, while men prefer to say things more authoritatively,

For example, woman: ‘The economy is extremely terrible today, isn't it?' vs. man: ‘The economy is horrible'. 

  • This may be attributable in part to the similar trend that Carol Gilligan saw in the evolution of care ethics. 
  • Men may be expressing their knowledge claims and faking impartiality while women are trying to establish and sustain connections. 
  • Avoiding the tag question or other kinds of hedging in communication settings may be one method for women to demonstrate their assertiveness and authority. 

Feminists have already had a profound impact on language and reality, and we have every reason to think they will continue to do so in innovative and exciting ways.

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

Third Wave Of Feminism - A Feminist Approach, Methodology Or Technique?

Third wave feminism's tactics are often distinct from those of second wave feminism, and there has been genuine hostility between second and third wave feminists at times. 

There is no universally accepted "third wave technique," although there are some clear patterns. 

There are four trends: 

(1) plurality and rejection of norms, 

(2) criticism of consciousness structures, 

(3) popular culture usage, and 

(4) political coalition building despite ideological disagreements. 

Even within an individual, third wave feminists accept radical diversity. 

  • Postmodern feminists, for example, reject an essentialist concept of self identification, influenced by late-twentieth-century postmodern and deconstructionist thinkers. 
  • From moment to moment, the self changes or is never the same. 

To support this viewpoint and critique phallocentric or phallogocentric society, some people turn to psychoanalysis. 

  • Whereas,
    • the first wave of feminism criticized the unequal distribution of rights in favor of men, and 
    • the second wave emphasized other ways in which society is structured to favor men (particularly white upper-class men), 
    • the third wave of feminism demonstrates how even seemingly gender-neutral concepts (such as equality and freedom) can be built on masculinist thought structures. 
  • Women's status as a subordinate class or caste may be concealed when male domination is entrenched in conventions, values, language, and awareness. 

The third wave of support for radical multiplicity aims to get us to not just think differently, but to think differently: 

to reject (or at least question) the singular way of thinking dedicated to phallocentricism in favor of discovering multiple non-domineering ways of thinking, writing, and living in society. 


This brings us to another third-wave feminist methodological thread: the rejection of norms. 

  • This is most obvious in the rejection of sex and gender norms, but it may also be seen in the rejection of standards or regulations in sexuality, politics, ethics, language and literature, bodies, brains or awareness, and desires. 
  • Norms attempt to impose a universally recognized and "good" manner of existing in the world, participating in society, or inhabiting one's body. 
  • Norms, on the other hand, often inscribe repressive identities on individuals who live on the periphery or stray from the norm. 
  • As we've seen, second wave feminism recognized that oppression; third wave feminism attempts to reverse the issue of norms, eliminating all the restricting standards that place certain individuals in the center while others are on the outskirts. 

In other words, we make everyone distinct and other by rejecting conventions and supporting diversity. 

  • Norms, on the other hand, are more difficult to eradicate from our minds. We learn them via language, which is how awareness is structured. 
  • Our thoughts are organized in a certain manner by language. This holds true for all of the categories we use to categorize ourselves and others. 
  • We must disturb the architecture of awareness in order to go beyond these categories that view certain events as normal and others as odd, abnormal, or in need of fixing. 
  • Playing with words is one way to do this. Another is to examine what constitutes knowledge and what constitutes truth sources. In the next two parts, I go through them in more detail. 

Third-wave feminism's involvement in and use of popular culture is one of its distinguishing features. 

  • Third-wave feminists, like many current thinkers and activists, broaden the definition of politics and the forms of political action. 
  • Politics is no longer limited to formal government institutions or even more casual social interactions between individuals working together or in opposition. 
  • Third wave feminist theorists see individual activities in the marketplace, the university, and even inside one's own thinking as political, while previous waves of feminist theorists value collective action. 
  • Some third-wave feminists see this as a rejection of collective, group-based political activity, while others interpret it as individuals engaging in collective activities despite their individualism. 
  • Politics can be present in virtually every activity, and the use and production of popular culture is an essential political tactic due to its psychological impacts. 


    • The ‘Stitch and Bitch' clubs, based on Debbie Stoller's knitting books of the same name, are an example of exploiting popular culture for feminist goals. 
    • Knitting was formerly considered to be a grandmotherly hobby, and although young people and feminists may have learned to knit, they typically kept it hidden to avoid being categorized or participating in such a gendered activity. 

No more! Many young knitters now not only support the hobby, but also participate in it socially, in public, and even engage in "guerilla knitting," which involves knitting for no apparent purpose and exhibiting knit items in public (around telephone poles or parking meters). 

  • Knitting exemplifies third-wave feminist ideas by demonstrating how one may behave in ways that defy gender expectations while still accepting gendered conventions. 
  • Knitting in public adds to culture, but it also poses a challenge to our understanding of what constitutes culture. 
  • Knitting may not be easily linked with ‘culture' due to its utilitarian origins, but that is exactly the purpose. 
  • Third-wave feminism recognizes the importance and potential of formerly marginalized or disparaged crafts in the creation of culture. 

This may also be seen in ‘zines,' which are self-published, self-distributed booklets on whatever subject one wants. 

Blogs, too, demonstrate how anybody with a computer can produce culture. 

  • Individuals' ability to contribute significantly to culture and society may be seen in both zines and blogs. 
  • These instances also demonstrate how individuals may utilize popular culture to effect societal change via modest acts. 
  • Self-motivated political activities include zines, blogging, knitting, indie music, and other third wave initiatives. 

Selective consumerism is the same way. 

  • How one invests money, what one buys or does not purchase, who or what one donates to, or even how one handles money and economic problems in society are all ways to show one's political affiliations or convictions. 

Third wave feminism has been accused for emptying politics of substance or ignoring collective action to effect social change by identifying politics in every activity. 

  • This flaw may also be a strength in the sense that one can act politically to bring about social change alone or with others, and in virtually any action one does as long as it is done deliberately and freely. Critics will, of course, dispute the efficacy of such measures. 

The last methodological thread I'll discuss may seem to contradict some of the preceding ideas, but third wave feminists aren't afraid of contradiction. 

  • Some postmodern feminists accuse logic of being phallocentric as well.
  • Like second wave feminism, third wave feminism seeks a means to conceive collaborative action. 
  • However, since identity is a normalizing notion, most of third-wave feminism rejects it. 

Instead, non-normative elements such as choice or the necessity for a collective political solution to a social issue may be used to build political coalitions across or in spite of ideological divides. 

  • These alliances are often goal-oriented and only endure as long as the objective is met. 
  • The goal is not to form a group, but rather to effect societal change. 

These methodological strands emerge in the issues addressed in the following sections in different ways. 

Feminists, on the other hand, do not always agree and do not have to agree. In some ways, demanding that all feminists agree on what they want is an oppressive norm that has to be overturned.

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

Women have the Right to Control their Fertility and Fate

             This is in response to a post on Capitalism Institute,

Here's the original post,

"Birth control isn't a right. Having sex whenever you want isn't a right. Putting a gun to a rich stranger's head so you can force him to give you money to buy birth control to have sex with another man also isn't a right.

If you can't afford to buy some birth control, you have no business risking a pregnancy. And you definitely have no business forcing me to pay for it all. Abstinence is free.

That I have to write this out is sad. That the man occupying the White House doesn't agree with me is just pathetic."


My response,

             I agree that forcing others to pay for someone else's birth control isn't fair. I hope and wish this is made clear that efforts to assist birth control is not restricted to this Nation alone, there is a very urgent need all around the Globe to ensure that both men and women have access to these. 

I know it's not possible for any of us to argue with the rest of the world or reason with them as to why they should abstain or shouldn't concern themselves with reproduction. 

The big problem is even the most impoverished person in the poorest countries of the world seems to have needs and is also managing to reproduce to a certain extent. 

What comes after a child is born is even harder for any form of welfare to manage. Please make an effort to understand why   birth control is both beneficial and fundamentally essential.  

A video message all the way from down under,


Cottingham et al. (2012) writing in The Lancet put forth seven measures required by the human rights standards of international law for governments to eliminate unmet need for family planning and achieve universal access to contraceptive information and services:
       Governments have a formal legal obligation to do all they reasonably can to put these measures in place as a matter of urgent priority, and failing to do so without a compelling reason places them in breach of binding international treaty obligations pertaining to health and human rights. 

Cottingham et al. recommend that governments, NGOs, health-care providers and citizen advocates act to compel enforcement of these obligations to secure the existence and support of effective and inclusive birth control policies, improve the quality of reproductive health services, and achieve universal access to reproductive health including family planning. Guidance and assistance are available to help meet these obligations. 

For example, a World Health Organization publication can help identify inconsistencies between national laws and international human rights obligations (e.g., denying unmarried women contraceptive services.) 

       WHO staff can assist with removal of such barriers to access to and the provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services, which can help meet the considerable remaining need for family planning.


Jai Krishna Ponnappan