First Wave Feminist Movemnt
Submitted By tanyajohnson
First Wave Feminist Movement
Introduction Feminism is considered a political concept. It is an analysis of why and how women are oppressed. It is a vision of a society where women are liberated and sex role stereotypes are no more. It is also a conviction that oppression of women is a contradiction in society. Women feminists fought for their right to not be property, rights to their inheritance, rights to an education and to a religion that was not patriarchal. Even though feminism had been seen for quite some time, the actual term "feminist" was not first used until 1912. "The modern feminist movement began a as result of sweeping social, political and industrial changes in Europe and the United States" (Conger). Many suffragists did not refer to themselves as feminists. They advocated only for voting rights, not complete equality.
Oppression as an Obstacle for Women Women advocated against a mindset, an entire system of socialization. "Women were socialized, both in their minds and in the minds of men, that their sole role in society was reproduction" (Fisher). "The average married female gave birth to seven children" (Conger). If a woman was engaging in public activities then "she was ignoring her biological weaknesses - a smaller brain and a more fragile physique - which she was supposed to protect in order to ensure her reproductive abilities" (Krolokke, 5). Women had little control over their life. Women were considered to be property of either their fathers or husbands. Women's value and role in society was framed as the "question of women". The question addressed education, marriage and social mobility as it related to women. Higher education was off limits for women. "Wealthier women could exercise limited authority in the domestic sphere but possessed no property rights or economic autonomy"...