Feminism- 3rd or 4th wave

It annoys me that we still call this 3rd wave, when feminism has undergone an extreme shift between the 90′s and now. The 1990′s shifted focus away from white, middle class, city dwellers toward exploring feminism across race, religion, ethnicty, refugee status, indiginous status, migrant status, post-colonialism, class, ageism and ableism. It opened new women only spaces via wicca and riot grrl; reclaiming female power, processes, strength, art and vulnerabilities via historical avenues by one and grass roots future development by the other. It was a modern consciousness raising. There was a rejection of female objectification and with this came a rejection of lads mags, porn, strip, pin-up, burlesque and anything associated with the ‘male gaze of female as object’. (A fantastic book to read, if you are interested, is Manifesta).

I feel that we’ve entered a 4th wave, though it is still being thought of as part of the third wave. This focus is on sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, adult industries, sex industries, rape, sexual assault, shaming and femininity.

To my mind, it is taking a big step backwards because it has alienated older, (and possibly stronger) feminists via blame, backlash, ageism and a disdain for the path that was cleared by them. In short, our wise elders have been rejected as useless, dated and ‘couldn’t possibly understand’.

I sincerely hope this changes because while feminists are dividing ourselves we will have no chance to prevent gains being lost, let alone new equalities reached.

As a gen x’er I feel caught between the boomers and gen y. A tiny generation jammed between two huge ones.  I understand the needs of gen y to address these issues, and they are indeed important but I also see the lessons of the boomers being at best ignored and at worst rejected as a bunch of whining old has-beens. And as for my own generation, well we’ve been ignored by you both.

So, I’ll say this as the Gen X’er I am, the three important stages of femininity, Maiden, Mother and Crone are strongest when allied and working in harmony.

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Definitions

Though definitions may vary according to personal belief, the following definitions are given for the purpose of this blog.

Feminism: The understanding that women are of equal value to me, that inspires action to rectify imbalance, injustice, lack of opportunity or unfair treatment toward girls and women in any and every area of life where it is found.

Feminist: An individual who self-identifies as a Feminist because he or she believes in gender equality.

Humanism: The belief that humans are capable of solving problems on the basis of sound reasoning, scientific and empirical evidence without resorting to a religious argument of morality. This blog is not a religious forum and may be visited by atheists, agnostics, pagans, christians, buddhists or any other person of any religious or spiritual faith.

Equalitism: The understanding that every human being is of equal value to every other human being, that inspires action to rectify imbalance, injustice, lack of opportunity or unfair treatment toward any person in any and every area of life where it is found.

Equalatist

:  A person who self-identifies as an Equalitist because they believe in equality and do not hold personal bias toward action for one marginalised group over other marginalised groups.

A

 person who self-identifies as an Equalitist Secondarily because they believe in equality for all, recognize the need for action and when opportunity arises will support that movement while their own primary focus is given to a particular marginalised group.

The writer of this blog, Bastet, identifies primarily as a Feminist and secondarily as an Equalitist. I do not personally identify as a humanist but recognize the need for intellectual debate to be separated from religious/spiritual faiths.