Third Wave Feminism
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 21:45:05 -0400 (EDT)

Dear Mary Miller....your note was forwarded to me from a friend of mine who
knows about my work with the Third Wave---a national organization for young
feminists that works to get young people more involved socially and
politically in their communities.

As for a formal definition of Third Wave my knowledge there
isn't one. As far as informal ones is based on the idea that the
first wave of feminism that of the 1800's and early 1900s. This wave was the
suffragist and abolitionist wave and worked to secure basic rights for
women--the right to vote, own property and to inheritance. The second wave
came about in the early-mid 1960s and worked to name injustices and also to
work to eradicate these injustices. For instance.....naming domestic violence
and then also creating domestic violence shelters and eventually even
legislation. The second wave also worked to prove that "women can do what men
can do." The third wave really started about the early 1990s and has worked
to continue the work of the second wave and also to now prove that "men can
do what women can do."

Historically, these waves might not be quite accurate. I think that the
second wave's work isn't quite yet over and therefore a Third Wave may be
premature. However, I also think that "third wave" in itself is a misnomer,
because it came about as a place for "young women" however this raises the
issue about whether we are talking "generationally" or always. I think that
the Third Wave should--unlike what it's name implies--not move with this
generation of young women, but always be a piece of the movement out of there
for young women, so we don't have to reinvent the wheel every twenty years or

I hope the above is helpful and good luck---Amy Richards

Does anyone have is a formal definition of third wave feminism? Also, how
does it differ from second wave feminism? Is there a formal definition for

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Mary Miller

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