Timeline of feminism in the United States

This is a timeline of feminism in the United States. It contains feminist and antifeminist events. It should contain events within the ideologies and philosophies of feminism and antifeminism. It should, however, not contain material about changes in women's legal rights: for that, see Timeline of women's legal rights in the United States (other than voting), or, if it concerns the right to vote, to Timeline of women's suffrage in the United States.

Timeline of feminism in the United States

19th and early 20th century
  • First-wave feminism was a period of feminist activity and thought, that occurred within the time period of the 19th and early 20th century throughout the world. It focused on legal issues, primarily on gaining women's suffrage (the right to vote).
  • 1963: The Feminine Mystique was published; it is a book written by Betty Friedan which is widely credited with starting the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States.[1][2] Second-wave feminism was a period of feminist activity and thought that first began in the early 1960s in the United States, and eventually spread throughout the Western world and beyond. In the United States the movement lasted through the early 1980s.[3]
  • Black feminism became popular in the 1960s, in response to the sexism of the civil rights movement and racism of the feminist movement.
  • Fat feminism originated in the late 1960s. Fat feminism, often associated with "body-positivity", is a social movement that incorporates feminist themes of equality, social justice, and cultural analysis based on the weight of a woman or a non-binary feminine person.[4]
  • 1969: Chicana feminism, also called Xicanisma, is a sociopolitical movement in the United States that analyzes the historical, cultural, spiritual, educational, and economic intersections of Mexican-American women that identify as Chicana. Chicana feminism challenges the stereotypes that Chicanas face across lines of gender, ethnicity, race, class, and sexuality. Most importantly, Chicana feminism serves as a movement that helps women to reclaim their existence between the Chicano and American feminist movements. The 1969 Chicano Youth Liberation Conference began the Chicano movement and eventually, MEChA. At the conference, women began to get involved in the male-dominated dialogue to address feminist concerns. After the conference, women returned to their communities as activists and thus began the Chicana feminist movement.[5]
  • The term materialist feminism emerged in the late 1970s; materialist feminism highlights capitalism and patriarchy as central in understanding women's oppression. Under materialist feminism, gender is seen as a social construct, and society forces gender roles, such as bearing children, onto women. Materialist feminism's ideal vision is a society in which women are treated socially and economically the same as men. The theory centers on social change rather than seeking transformation within the capitalist system.[6]
  • Difference feminism was developed by feminists in the 1980s, in part as a reaction to popular liberal feminism (also known as "equality feminism"), which emphasizes the similarities between women and men in order to argue for equal treatment for women. Difference feminism, although it is still aimed at equality between men and women, emphasizes the differences between men and women and argues that identicality or sameness are not necessary in order for men and women, and masculine and feminine values, to be treated equally.[7] Liberal feminism aims to make society and law gender-neutral, since it sees recognition of gender difference as a barrier to rights and participation within liberal democracy, while difference feminism holds that gender-neutrality harms women "whether by impelling them to imitate men, by depriving society of their distinctive contributions, or by letting them participate in society only on terms that favor men".[8]
  • Equity feminism (also stylized equity-feminism) is a form of liberal feminism discussed since the 1980s,[9][10] specifically a kind of classical liberal feminism and libertarian feminism.[10][11]

See also


  1. Margalit Fox (February 5, 2006). "Betty Friedan, Who Ignited Cause in 'Feminine Mystique,' Dies at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  2. "Publication of "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan - Jewish Women's Archive". jwa.org.
  3. Sarah Gamble, ed. The Routledge companion to feminism and postfeminism (2001) p. 25
  4. Boling, Patricia (2011). "On Learning to Teach Fat Feminism". Feminist Teacher. 21 (2): 110–123. doi:10.5406/femteacher.21.2.0110. ISSN 0882-4843. JSTOR 10.5406/femteacher.21.2.0110. S2CID 143946770.
  5. "Exploring the Chicana Feminist Movement". The University of Michigan. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  6. Jackson, Stevi (May–August 2001). "Why a materialist feminism is (Still) Possible—and necessary". Women's Studies International Forum. 24 (3–4): 283–293. doi:10.1016/S0277-5395(01)00187-X.
  7. Voet, Rian (1998). Feminism and Citizenship. SAGE Publications Ltd.
  8. Grande Jensen, Pamela. Finding a New Feminism: Rethinking the Woman Question for Liberal Democracy. p. 3.
  9. Black, Naomi (1989). Social Feminism. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801422614.
  10. Halfmann, Jost (July 28, 1989). "3. Social Change and Political Mobilization in West Germany". In Katzenstein, Peter J. (ed.). Industry and Politics in West Germany: Toward the Third Republic. p. 79. ISBN 0801495954. Equity-feminism differs from equality-feminism
  11. "Liberal Feminism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. October 18, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2016. (revised 30 September 2013)
  12. Piepmeier, Alison (2009). Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism. New York: New York University Press. p. 45.
  13. Walker, Rebecca (January 1992). "Becoming the Third Wave" (PDF). Ms.: 39–41. ISSN 0047-8318. OCLC 194419734. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 15, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  14. Baumgardner, Jennifer; Richards, Amy (2000). Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-374-52622-1.
  15. Hewitt, Nancy (2010). No Permanent Waves. Rutgers University Press. pp. 99. ISBN 978-0-8135-4724-4.
  16. Tong, Rosemarie (2009). Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction (Third ed.). Boulder: Westview Press. pp. 284–285, 289. ISBN 978-0-8133-4375-4. OCLC 156811918.
  17. Abrahams, Jessica (August 14, 2017). "Everything you wanted to know about fourth wave feminism—but were afraid to ask". Prospect. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  18. Grady, Constance (March 20, 2018). "The waves of feminism, and why people keep fighting over them, explained". Vox. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  19. Munro, Ealasaid (September 2013). "Feminism: A Fourth Wave?". Political Insight. 4 (2): 22–25. doi:10.1111/2041-9066.12021. S2CID 142990260. Republished as Munro, Ealasaid (September 5, 2013). "Feminism: A fourth wave?". The Political Studies Association. Archived from the original on December 2, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018. / "Feminism: A fourth wave? | The Political Studies Association (PSA)". Feminism: A fourth wave? | The Political Studies Association (PSA). Retrieved June 27, 2020.