Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Feminism First Wave of Feminism Reply To: First Wave of Feminism

Semantee Chattopadhyay
Not Helpful

Let’s start with the definition of feminism. Feminism is a movement that aims at defending, establishing and providing equal social, political and economic rights for women as well as equal opportunities for them. A movement begins when there comes a gap in the answers to two questions:
1. What ought to be?
2. What is?
The feminism movement began when people started questioning the treatment of women in our society and how they should be viewed and treated. The answers to these two questions have gaps but vary from society to society. Women have been facing subordination, discrimination and oppression throughout the ages. They have faced such circumstances because of an age-old view that we mean by nature are weak and irrational. According to Aristotle, the relation of male to female is by nature a relation of superior to imperial and of the ruler to ruled. According to Thomas Jefferson, a woman’s position is in the house not in politics and public office. According to Charles Darwin, men are intellectually superior to women. Due to social and economic changes in the US, these theories started to change. Liberal ideas like liberty, equality and dignity spread in the USA and Europe. When democratic norms were being established in the US and UK things seemed to change. Monarchy was being challenged. People were given citizenship rights and political rights. Women’s suffering continued because all rights were limited to men only. Women were not given the right to citizenship. Devar called second rate citizens. They were not given political rights. They kept on facing social, political and economic discrimination. The divine right of the king had been challenged, but the divine right of the father or husband was still not challenged. Society was first challenged by Mary Wollstonecraft. He wrote a book titled “Vindication of rights of women” in 1792. In this book, he mentioned that women are equally capable as men. The publication of this book was an informal beginning of the first wave of feminism. The demand for equality and the end of discrimination cut the shape of an organised movement in 1848 when the convention was held in America. Declaration of sentiments of women was fast in which it was said that men and women are equal. The first wave of feminism started with the Seneca Falls convention in 1848. The period of the women’s movement between 1848 to 1920 is called first-wave feminism. The main demands of the first wave feminism were:
• Women demanded legal and political equality. They demanded full citizenship like men.
• They demanded suffrage for the right to vote.
• The feminists where are of the view that the right to board solve all women’s problems.
The national women’s suffrage association was established in America in 1869. The main purpose of this association was to fight for the right to vote for women.
The first wave of feminism came to an end when the right to vote was granted to women in the west. The key features of first-wave feminism were the focus on restrictions. Women demanded emancipation. Women wanted to see themselves equal to men in all areas of life.