Third-wave feminism and human rights


Feminism was implemented into my life the day I was born. My grandmother, an eccentric, liberal, go-getter, always assured me to feel empowered, feel important and feel unashamed to be a woman. My grandfather, a hometown hero, state title holding high school football coach, was the most pro-woman man I had ever met. He encouraged me to pursue a career in journalism and he backed my cousin to follow a political path, he always taught us to fight for what was right and never to fall short of “the man.” Although women were not accurately represented throughout history, they were the backbone of the world.

Third-wave feminism was the byproduct of second-wave feminism after negative backlash from the movement in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Third-wave feminism is equality. It focuses on eradicating stereotypes and gender roles for both men and women, on the LGBTQ community in addition to women of all races. Intersectionality is a major concept of third-wave feminism, it opens doors to rights, support and empowerment to all women, not just white, cis-gender women.

A feminism that does not support intersectional equality is hypocritical; if there is a fight for equality it must be universal. Third-wave feminism challenges modern conflicts. It fights for equal job opportunities, equal pay for equal work, equal education and equal rights. It’s not a man-hating movement, it is quite the opposite. This feminism aims to eliminate the patriarchy which ultimately hurts self-actualization for men. It encourages men not to follow patriarchal values such as “men cannot cry,” “men have to provide for their family,” “men have to be strong and tough.” When these values are demolished, it gives women the opportunity not to feel inferior by the negative connotations of “throw like a girl.”
Feminism today is enormous, it’s growing rapidly.

As Gloria Steinem has said, “Feminism is the only movement that gets stronger with age.” As a society we are finally acknowledging that rape is real and that it is not ok.  I didn’t find third-wave feminism until college, apparently I grew up believing these values were basic human rights. Third-wave feminism is much more complex and broad. If society would adopt some of these core values women and men would feel much safer and appreciated.