Feminism for Dummies

There is an erroneous belief that feminists think women are the superior sex. The belief that women are better than men is known as hembrismo, which is the opposite of machismo.  As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once said, “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”  Feminism is all about gender equality and wanting the same opportunities for everyone regardless of their gender identity.

First-wave of feminism

The first wave of feminism took place in the 19th and 20th centuries and mainly dealt with gaining women’s suffrage or the right to vote. The National Woman Suffrage Association was funded by feminists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  It is often criticized that this movement did not include all women. It is said to have been a movement for upper-class white women only.

Second-wave of feminism

The second wave of feminism began in the 1960’s and focused on a broader range of issues including civil rights movements, sexuality and reproductive rights, family, and the workplace. Feminists sought to be freed from the traditional roles of being a wife and mother. There were also protests against the Miss America pageant where women threw bras, makeup, girdles, and other products into their very own “freedom trash can” to criticize society’s beauty standards. Important feminist literature was published such as The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedman and The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.

Third-wave of feminism

The third wave of feminism is currently taking place! These modern day feminists are beginning to include issues that involve women of different ethnicities, races, sexual orientation, and backgrounds. Important issues that are being discussed are reproductive rights, rape culture, the media’s portrayal of women, gender violence, and the workplace.

Basically, feminists want women to be themselves and do what they want! Even if that means lipstick and high heels, being a stay-at-home mom, or being the second female governor.  We all have the right to do what makes us happy. It's time to say goodbye to those gender stereotypes that hold us back so often.