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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Feminism in waves--a very potted history

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

I'm not fully convinced about the concept of feminism coming in waves, but it does form a useful structure to help me organise some ideas--in very broad terms. I was born in the mid-sixties, so my mother's generation were the women of the second wave feminist protests. My grandmothers' generation was the first to be granted the right to vote--on the basis of the campaigns of their mothers. And then there's me.

  • I have deliberately referenced the banners of the first wave feminists with their formal speech forms and careful construction.

  • This article traces the origins of first wave feminism back to events in the 19th Century like the French Revolution, Abolition, and Temperance movements. It takes a perspective based firmly in the USA.

  • Of course, not all First wave feminist activism was formal and peaceful.


  • I don't see any carefully stitched banners in the photo from the first women's liberation march in London in 1971. By this time women were seeking equal rights to education, wages and job opportunities. Free contraception and childcare were also on the agenda.



This article sums up the Australian scene and contains this local image from March 2021 when Australia saw yet another wave of protests in response to sexual violence against women.





And this woman is my spirit animal in terms of the sentiments expressed in my banner.

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