Feminism, An Ongoing Fight
September 10, 2023 - Reading time: 3 minutes
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, first wave feminism was a movement that pushed for greater rights and opportunities for women. It is frequently regarded as the forerunner of modern feminist movements such as second and third wave feminism. While this was an important part of history, it was fraught from the start due to the entrenched gender roles of the time. This essay will look at some of the challenges that first-wave feminists faced, such as traditional gender roles, religious opposition, and a lack of economic independence.
Traditional values and gender roles were very much in place at the start of first wave feminism. Women were expected to be chaste, obedient housewives who valued domestic fulfillment over public acclaim. They were confined to their homes and expected to perform all household tasks, whereas men worked in higher-paying jobs outside the home (Minnich 2010). This hampered women's access to education and employment, making it difficult for them to advocate for themselves or participate in political debate (Frye 1983). Furthermore, because of these traditional views, many people saw first wave feminism as dangerous or immoral (Solomon 2008).
Furthermore, religious organizations frequently opposed first wave feminists because of their stated mission of working against male authority (Slee 2017). Conservative Christian groups, in particular, argued that feminism sought to undermine God-given male authority over womanhood (Kifner 2011). Furthermore, many people believed that suffrage—the right of women to vote—was "unnatural" because it would destabilize society if women had equal political power (Minnich 2010). As a result of various religions' stances, churchgoers frequently refused to support feminist causes or even withheld aid when asked by suffragettes (Gillespie 2004).
Economically disadvantaged women faced additional challenges because they lacked financial independence. Because many low-income households relied solely on a man's income, poor women could not afford to fight for their rights in the same way that wealthier women could; they had no choice but to suffer mistreatment in silence (Threlkeld 2018). Furthermore, those who attempted to make their voices heard risked losing any benefits received from their husband or father (Williams 1981).
In conclusion, first wave feminism encountered numerous challenges during its existence, including societal imposed gender roles as well as opposition from religious organizations. Furthermore, lack of economic independence made it difficult for poorer women to participate in the movement, despite being among those most affected by inequality. Nonetheless, these difficulties only served to fuel the global movement for greater justice and equality for women, both then and now.
- Frye, Marilyn 1983 ‘The Politics Of Reality: Essay In Feminist Theory'. Berkeley: Crossing Press
- Minnich, E 2010 'Transforming Knowledge'. Philadelphia: Temple University Press
- Kifner, John 2011 'Religion And The Rise Of Feminism', New York Times
- Slee, N 2017 'Women's Rights And Religion'. London: Routledge
- Solomon, J 2008 'If You're An Egalitarian How Come You're So Rich?'. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press
- Gillespie, Bruce 2004 'A Cultural History Of Women's Suffrage Movements'
- Threlkeld, D 2018 ‘Woman Suffrage And Economic Justice For Low Income Women'
- Williams, GL 1981 ‘Poverty And Female Disenfranchisement'. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press
Heavens Above, World Below
September 5, 2023 - Reading time: ~1 minute
The peak of the mountain summit is bright, Though thunder rolls in like a sonorous fight. No care for the weather may this night affright; Still the air entices with its sprightly flight. Shadows dance from the lightning's light, Lacing through clouds that glimmer white. Illuminates the world with each great might So we can see our dreams and take to flight. The fire sparks across the heavens high, A beauty that shall never die. Bringing forth life as one passerby, We marvel at such magical sight. Like a river down an ancient stream, Dancing between darkness and gleam. From this moment on, I will always dream Of looking down upon these heights so extreme.
The sonnet describes the mystical experience of standing on a mountaintop as lightning and thunder illuminate the landscape below. It serves as a gentle reminder that there is still beauty in the world and that dreams can come true despite the odds.
It starts out describing a mountain peak that is brightly lit despite the approaching thunder. There is power in the air, and the lightning makes everything visible, so you can finally take flight with your goals in sight. The lightning's flashes are like a river flowing down an old stream, or the eternal beauty that can never be destroyed. The sonnet concludes by saying they will always dream about looking down from such lofty heights.
The message is to appreciate the good things in life and keep dreaming, even when it may seem impossible.
Figures of the Feminist Movement
June 22, 2023 - Reading time: 3 minutes
The feminist movement has been one of history's most influential social movements. It has given birth to some of the most inspiring, revolutionary, and passionate people who have dedicated their lives to combating gender inequality and promoting women's rights. These remarkable individuals are responsible for significant changes in laws, policies, and attitudes toward gender roles and discrimination. This essay will look at some of history's most influential feminist figures and how they have influenced society today.
Susan B. Anthony is one notable figure (1820-1906). She was a leader in the women's suffrage movement and is credited with advancing women's voting rights through her tireless activism and lobbying. Her efforts were critical in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted all female citizens over the age of 21 full voting rights within their respective states. Anthony also founded The Revolution newspaper to raise awareness of various issues affecting women, such as labor reform, dress reform, access to birth control, and property rights for married couples, among many others. In addition to her political achievements, she became a popular public speaker on a variety of topics ranging from civil rights to economic justice, allowing her message to reach a wider audience in multiple countries.
Betty Friedan (1921-2006), author of "The Feminine Mystique" (1963), is another iconic figure. It is widely regarded as one of the most influential books in modern feminism. Her book questioned traditional gender roles by criticizing post-World War II domesticity, which defined a woman's worth solely through marriage and motherhood, while also suggesting alternative career paths for women outside of these roles in order to achieve true fulfillment as individuals. She also helped found the National Organization for Women (NOW), which was instrumental in achieving the passage of Title IX legislation prohibiting sex-based discrimination in federally funded educational programs, as well as other civil rights initiatives concerning reproductive freedom, employment discrimination laws, and much more until her death in 2006.
Gloria Steinem (1934 - present), an American journalist, co-founded Ms Magazine in 1971 as a platform for expressing feminist ideas and values between different communities worldwide; it is still one of the longest running magazines about women's issues today due to its groundbreaking editorial content at the time of its launch. Similarly, from 1977 to the present, Steinem was an active participant in various protests against abortion clinic bombings or advocating for equal pay/equal work laws; working alongside other prominent feminists such as Bella Abzug or Margaret Sloan Hunter, they were able to push effective change into law through grassroots movements such as Women Strike For Peace or National Abortion Rights Action League.
Finally, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933 - 2020), also known as RBG, made significant contributions to advancing gender equality not only in the United States but also internationally through her legal arguments before the Supreme Court in cases such as Craig v Boren 1976, in which she successfully argued for partial adoption of Roe v Wade 1973 ruling; this victory set precedent unrivaled ever since, paving the way for landmark decisions such as United States v Virginia 1996.
In conclusion, these four exemplary feminist figures demonstrate tremendous courage, dedication, and commitment to improving the quality of life for all people regardless of race/gender identity living in the United States or abroad; each left a lasting legacy that inspired millions to fight their own battles and turn their dreams into realities on a daily basis, no matter what obstacles may arise along the way.
The Descent of the Brag'm
May 6, 2023 - Reading time: 4 minutes
I wrote this epic poem for my oldest son at a time in his life when role-playing games were consuming all of his time. My brother got him D&D when he was eleven and from that point on he was hooked. Some years ago when he and his girlfriend were sitting at home watching Stranger Things he gave me a call. He was taken aback by the scene where the boys are sitting their playing D&D, and the mother's reaction when she learned how long they had played. It reminded him so much of his childhood that he had to call me.
The poem tells the story of my son's campaign, the Brag'm being his own creation. They were vikings who had aligned themselves with a goblin empire and set sail to conquer the kingdom of Dio, later named Dio Dor after the threat was dealt with.
The kingdom of Dio was peaceful and serene, Where its people lived life in a blessed routine. Their leader the King was beloved by all kin, The land prospered under his wise rule from within. But then came a threat from beyond their keep's wall, An enemy unlike any that had been seen before. A scourge of vikings with goblins at their side, A force so strong it could not be denied. From across the sea they sailed upon ships of wood, With weapons in hand and hatred in heart to do no good. Through fear and dread the kingdom did quiver and quake, As they braced themselves for what fate might await. The King rallies his troops with courage and strength, Ready to protect his lands at any length. He marches forth to face this dire foe, Determined to show them he will not let them go. Steel clashes against steel as blade meets blade, As warriors fight in spirit never afraid. The Brag'm forces seem unstoppable it seems, Sweeping away all who dare stand between. But still the King refuses to yield nor despair, And leads his brave men on a final prayer. His last breath is taken as he falls on that day, Bringing an end to the Kingdom of Dio in dismay.
Sometime later, his friends asked him to continue the campaign. Thus Dio Dor was created. He asked me to supply him with a new epic, a poem to use as a basis for his story, it was flattering, and I agreed. Those efforts turned into this poem. He told a story about a kingdom in ruin and a group of champions who set out to stop the Brag'm. They had to travel to the evil kingodm, there they learned that the Brag'm king had been tainted by the goblin pince who had given him a goblet that poisioned his mind. When his friends completed the campaign the went on to have several other adventures but I can't tell you the rest of their story, by that time they stopped playing on the kitchen table.
Courage in the Face of Destruction
The people of Dio were worn and spent, Their victory came at great cost to their kin. But though hearts were broken and tears were shed, They kept steady in the wake of death. With courage and strength they set out anew, To mend what was lost and rebuild what was due. Their King gone but never forgotten, His legacy lives on through what they wrought in. Forests regrew atop their once barren land, Plants sprouted where there used to be sand. Buildings rose strong from the rubble and ruin, As the kingdom began to heal anew. Villages flourished with crops so ripe, And craftspeople crafted goods far and wide. The people of Dio worked together day by day, Until finally a new life began to take shape. The legacy of their beloved king lived on, Though his body lay beneath the sod that had grown above it all. The Kingdom of Dio was rebuilt from its ruins anew, A lasting reminder of those who fought for what is true.
Reunion on a Spring Morn
April 5, 2023 - Reading time: ~1 minute
As blooms awake to life in coming Spring, The promise of reunion chance will bring. From distant lives, now echoing through the trees, A loving call that none can help but seize. To share the joys once last from out of sight, Before old wounds had sealed our love with flight. And for a moment here again we'll be, Enveloped in this time's sweet mystery. Our fragile hearts so close and yet apart, Aching with desire to reclaim its start. But still these echoes linger on the breeze; Our bond is strong and ever will not cease. Forever burnished by this morning's gleam, We find again a love that's unbound dream.
The two lovers in this sonnet, who have been apart for some time, run into each other by chance one spring and celebrate their enduring love and connection.
Even though they're on separate paths at the moment, the love and connection between them persists. It contemplates the mixed feelings of hope and anticipation that accompany the anticipation of a reunion with a loved one from the past.
As the story concludes, it serves as a reminder of the beauty and strength of love.
Feminism: The Third Wave
April 1, 2023 - Reading time: 3 minutes
Modern third wave feminism is a movement that advocates for gender equality and equity while also respecting the autonomy of all genders. It is part of the larger feminist movement, which uses tactics such as intersectionality and identity politics to challenge oppressive systems of power such as sexism, racism, heteronormativity, and ableism. Third-wave feminists strive to create a welcoming environment for all people, regardless of race, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, or other social identities. This essay will look at how modern third-wave feminism has evolved from its roots in second-wave feminism, as well as some of the issues it is currently dealing with.
Second-wave feminism emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in response to what was perceived as a need for greater recognition of women's rights within society, including advocating for changes to laws concerning pay inequality and reproductive rights. The emphasis was on a more universal concept of gender equality that included both men and women. Some, however, felt that it did not go far enough in accounting for the various types of oppression experienced by marginalized groups (such as black women).
With the advent of modern third wave feminism, there was a shift away from this universalist viewpoint and toward one that included multiple axes of oppression, or "intersectionality". Intersectionality emphasized the importance of recognizing individual experiences rather than relying on gender stereotypes. Certain forms of sexism, for example, may be more prevalent among working-class women than among upper-class women.
Third wave feminists also challenged rigid definitions of femininity and masculinity by championing self-expression through "body positivity" and challenging rigid definitions of sexuality. This includes recognizing nonbinary genders in addition to male/female binaries and increasing queer visibility within communities.
Despite recent advances, there are still many issues that modern third-wave feminists face today. One issue is a lack of representation among decision-makers; while efforts have been made to increase diversity in government positions, much work remains to be done in this area. Another issue is opposition from certain segments of society who see any progress toward gender equality as a threat to their traditional values or an infringement on their freedoms. Finally, there is ongoing concern about the effectiveness of modern third wave feminism in addressing systemic issues such as poverty or violence against women on a global scale.
To summarize, modern third wave feminism has played an important role in promoting greater understanding of gender-based inequalities, but it still faces many challenges before achieving true liberation. Its emphasis on intersectionality and identity politics has sparked debates on previously taboo topics such as body positivity and queer visibility, while also challenging outdated notions of femininity/masculinity.
Ultimately, we must continue to fight until every person, regardless of background, feels safe being themselves without fear or judgement.