Week 4 Discussion: Do you think we are in a fourth wave of feminism? Why or why not? Be sure to provide specific examples to support your discussion. Post must be AT LEAST 200 words.
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Week 4 Discussion.
I think we are in the fourth wave of feminism. As Redfern and Aune (2010) points out, 21st century is witnessing the emergence and development of new feminism – the Fourth Wave feminism after many years of First, Second and Third waves feminism. Earlier waves of feminism; that is first, second and third, focused on such issues as education opportunities for girls, patriarchy, gender inequality and femininity, sexuality and pornography. These movements often involved feminists advocating for women’s rights and gender equality through street protests and newspapers, magazine and books publications. The new feminism, which began in 2012, however, is characterized by the use of social media and other online platforms.
Despite the many achievements of early wave of feminist movements such as fair representation in education and employment as well as access to equal wages, fourth-wave feminists believe certain attitudes still exist and that they should be addressed. For instance, in contrast to second and third waves that focused on gender equality, the fourth wave feminism focuses on opposing violence against women, sexual harassment and seeking justice for women in general. Thus, the current feminism movement is arguably fourth-wave because the new feminists seem to emphasize explicitly on the sexual aspects of women’s exploitation and oppression, especially during everyday socialization and interaction with men. For example, they campaign against sexual objectification of women that manifests in pornographic magazines, music videos and film, Sun’s Page 3, lap and pole dances, and the expansion of strip clubs. According to new feminists, these developments undermine meaningful male-female relationships by encouraging men to believe that women are meant to be sexually exploited, and above all encourages young girls to succumb to sexual advances and other forms of sexual objectification.
Another distinctive feature that defines the new feminism as fourth-wave is increased use of technology, online platforms in particular. As Cochrane notes, the current feminism is characterized by the used of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blogs among other platforms. For instance, Laura Bates started the “Everyday Sexism Project” website in 2012 that encouraged to share their experiences to share their experiences of misogyny on the website. Since its launch, tens of thousands of women from all over the world have shared their encounters with workplace harassment, street harassment, sexual harassment and body-shaming experiences. Following the success of this project, more feminists have taken their movements to other internet platforms where they believe their voices can be heard by social media and online behemoth. Notably, Chemaly and Bates are among the many feminists that have launched campaigns against Facebook pages and groups that promote misogynism. Other examples of fourth-wave feminism movements include “No More Page 3”, “Free the Nipple”, “Ni Una Menos”, “#YesAllWomen”, “Stop Bill Sexism” and “Me Too”.
In conclusion, it is evident that contemporary feminism movements are fourth-wave. The movement has been spurred by several scandals such as the 2012 Delhi gang rape, the 2014 Bill Cosby sexual assault cases, the 2017 Harvey Weinstein allegations among other sexual scandals. The new movement is fourth-wave because it follows the first-wave movement that advocated for votes for women, the second wave that pushed for women’s liberation and the third wave that championed for equal representation of women in top job positions and access to equal pay. Since, earlier feminism campaigns have helped women achieve most of the goals they had for a long time struggled for, the current movement focuses primarily on the issues of workplace and street sexual harassment, rape cases, sexual objectification and campus sexual assaults.
Cochrane, K. (2017, November 25). The fourth wave of feminism: meet the rebel women. Retrieved November 19, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/10/fourth-wave-feminism-rebel-women