Why Feminism Can Be All-Inclusive

Why Feminism Can Be All-Inclusive

Why third-wave feminism has a negative connotation, and what we can all do to change this

First off, there have been two major movements prior to the type of feminism we see today:

First-wave Feminism

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women fought for the right to vote. First-wave feminism began from controversies over gender differences during the Enlightenment. The political origins came from the French Revolution, which raised freedoms and political rights as its central objectives. The problem was clear: liberal revolutions were all fine and dandy, but they had not included women. By 1920 in the US, the 19th Amendment was signed into law, and in 1928 all UK women were granted the right to vote equally among men in the UK.

Second-wave Feminism

Second-wave feminism began in the US during the early 1960s and focused on a wide range of issues following the legal obstacles of first-wave feminism. It centered around reproductive rights, sexuality, family, and workplace ethics; a lot of issues which are still prevalent today. According to several sources, many historians view the “second-wave feminist era in America as ending in the early 1980s with the intra-feminism disputes of the feminist sex wars over issues such as sexuality and pornography, which ushered in the era of third-wave feminism in the early 1990s.”

Third-wave Feminism

This is where things get tricky. Feminism nowadays is interpreted as a continuation of the “perceived failures of second-wave feminism.” It is ultimately a movement for women as independent individuals.

There have been attempts to include women of various ethnicity, religion, and nationalities. Another difference between third-wave feminism and the previous movements is that women are overturning the idea of playing the “victim.” Unfortunately, due to the diverse agendas put forth from different groups of feminists, third-wave feminism often appears disorganized, ambiguous, and sometimes offensive towards other groups of people.

There are five primary focuses of third-wave feminism:

  1. Responsible choice grounded in dialogue,
  2. Respect and appreciation for experiences and dynamic knowledge,
  3. An understanding of 'the personal is political' that incorporates both the idea that personal experiences have roots in structural problems and the idea that responsible, individuated, personal action has social consequences,
  4. Use of personal narratives in both theorizing and political activism, and
  5. Political activism as local, with global connections and consequences.

Third-wave feminism can absolutely be all-inclusive if we all follow these five guidelines. Having diverse goals is not a bad thing; it is proof that women are winning what they are fighting for – individuality. What we do need to keep in mind is that for one group to win (however you define the specifications for any given group), nobody has to lose.

Cover Image Credit: Alexa Mazzarello

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If We Have To Do Our Jobs, Why Doesn't Congress?

Many of us have to work while we grieve, why can't our legislators?

On February 14th one of my favorite holidays of the year I went to my social work practicum class. This is where the five senior social work majors sit around and talk about what we have been doing in our internships. Before we began the class one students raised their hand and began talking about the tragic school shooting that happened in Florida. Later we transitioned and started talking about what we have been doing in our various internships. One student is working in a rehabilitation center for alcoholics and drug addicts where recently a client had hit another client and broke part of their face. As my classmate was saying the story she had gone un-phased, no part of the interactions she had with the clients prevented her from doing her job. She treated them with dignity and continued to try to work to solve a problem. Another classmate of mine was saying how she had to enter a jail and be with a prisoner alone with her supervisor and the prisoner was expressing aggressive behavior, however, she stayed because she had a job to do. Finally another classmate of mine was saying how she works with high school students and everyday there is a new instance where the guidance counselors would be blatantly racist to the students and one student is undocumented and cannot find work to help provide for herself and her family. There are many instances where people in my major will be pushed passed their comfort level and there is no time to be sad. Social workers have to deal with students with aggressive behavioral issues, inmates who are convicted of murder. They may even have to do grief counseling for students who had to see their classmates be shot in a school shooting. As I was recalling all the instances where social work students have to be in very difficult situations, that does not even compare to what actual social workers and other members of the helping professions must face day to day. They are the people who put children into the “system”, because babies are being sexually abused. They are the ones who are there if there is a shooting, bombing, murder at a school to counsel students. They are seeing some of the worst of humanity, but they still get up at 6am and go to work because they realize that people need them.

Congress you must do your job, I urge you to put on the social work perspective and do work. The senseless killings this year is preventable and you do not have the privilege to grieve. You gave that up when you were sworn into the house and the senate. It is time to make legislation that will be proactive and work. As a social work student this my call to action, if members of congress are able to wake up, suit up, and head over to their offices and say that they are grieving then they are able to work for the American people. Write a bill, work with other members of the senate or the house, vote and pass legislation to prevent this from ever happening again. Social workers cannot afford to grieve and not do their job, neither can congress.

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What Do Rob Porter's Ex-Wives Have To Gain From Telling Their Stories?

"Never silence a woman's voice."

Trump and his administration are at a current crossroads involving accusations that Trump’s former aides are engaging in domestic violence. Of course, Trump stands behind these former aides, only willing to condemn them half-heartedly in public, yet still showing support for them behind closed doors. For more on what I’m talking about, watch this:

Former White House secretary, and drunk uncle at a Sweet 16, Rob Porter is in the spotlight for alleged domestic violence accusations levied against him by both of his ex-wives: one with a black-eye, the other with a horrifying story of force. The second ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, said he had broke into their house with his fist. The first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, accuses him of punching her in the face. Porter claims this bruise came from her falling to the floor during a struggle they had during a vacation they had in Venice.

She says he straight up punched her in the face. You be the judge.

Unless that is a makeup job gone completely wrong, it looks like Porter used Holderness’ face like a punching bag.

As usual, this administration tip-toes and side-steps questions regarding Porter’s resignation. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered little assurance that the adminstration she speaks for takes domestic violence seriously.

“This president wants due process.”

This president WANTS DUE PROCESS?

This same president who’d vow to lock-up Hillary Clinton over an email scandal that she has been proven time and time again to be INNOCENT OF?

This same president who’d threatened to open up libel laws to sue journalists because said journalists were “mean to him?”

Seems that this president only wants due process if he and his people are being accused of crimes. It seems that he should be on his knees praising Mueller that due process is being done RIGHT NOW!

Of course, this president and this administration is on the wrong side, again, of a major scandal. In the era of the #MeToo movement, Trump is actively saying that these women should not be believed. He is passively saying that this is all, in his words, FAKE NEWS. The argument should be levied is: why would Porter’s ex-wives make their respective stories up? They don’t seem to be out to want to receive a huge payday. Holderness and Willoughby simply want to speak their piece during a time where women are becoming braver and less anxious to share their stories of violence against them.

As for Porter, all you can say is:

#TimesUp, dude.

Cover Image Credit: https://peopledotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/gettyimages-915647474.jpg

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