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     A History of Feminism in the
     Western World

   Benefits of understanding feminism
   What is “feminism”?
   History of feminism
Why Study Feminism?

   Day-to-day interactions and da‟wah
   Tolerance
   Appreciate Islam
   Cause for introspection
   Labelling
   Form alliances for beneficial projects
What is “Feminism”?

   Feminism = Femme (woman) + ism
   First used in the 1880s.
What is “Feminism”?

   “Feminism constitutes the political
    expression of the concerns and
    interests of women from different
    regions, classes, nationalities and
    backgrounds… There is and must be a
    diversity of feminisms, responsive to
    the different needs and concerns of
    different women, and defined by them
    for themselves.”
History of Feminism: Overview

   Before feminism
   First-wave (1850s – early 1900s)
   Gap
   Second wave (1960s-1980s)
   Third wave (1990s – Present)
Before Feminism: Religion

   Issues for women:
       Scriptural interpretation denies active
        participation in church or society
       Disposing of unmarriageable daughters
       Witch trials
   Positive aspects:
       More egalitarian movements
       Convents can provide respite
       Women „prophets‟ allowed public voice
Before Feminism: Law

   Legal status of married women:
       Man and wife are one person at law. The
        wife‟s existence is absorbed in that of her
       Woman‟s body belongs to her husband.
       Woman‟s property belongs to her
       Woman has no custody or legal rights
        over her children.
Before Feminism: Education

   Only men thought to possess rational
   Universities are men‟s clubs
   Renaissance opens some doors to
Before Feminism: Literature

   “Alas! a woman that attempts the pen
    Such an intruder on the rights of men
    Such a presumptuous Creature, is
    The fault, can by no vertue be

    -Anne Kingsmill Finch
Social Change (17-18th Century)
   1632: Galileo writes        1694: Mary Astell
    Dialogues on the Two         writes Serious
    Chief Systems of the         Proposal to the Ladies
    World                       1762: Rousseau writes
   1637: Descartes writes       Émilie
    Discourse on Method         1789: French
   1687: Newton writes          revolution begins
    Principia Mathematica       1792: Mary
   C. 1690-1790: The            Wollstonecraft writes
    Enlightenment                Vindication of the
                                 Rights of Woman
Social Change: Early 1800s
   1760s-80s: Steam            “Feminism, like other
    engine developed             reform movements,
   1825: Appeal of one          has emerged during
    Half of the Human            periods in which
    Race, Women, Against         society tolerates
    the Pretensions of the       searching self-
    Other Half, Men              criticism… Invariably,
   1832: La femme libre         in such cases, some
                                 people take
   1834: American               questioning further
    Female Moral Reform          than anyone had
    Society created              initially intended.”
   1848: Seneca Falls
First Wave Feminism

   1859: Darwin publishes The Origin of
   1861-65: U.S. Civil War
   1867: Canadian confederation
   1867: First debate on women‟s
    suffrage in British parliament
   1869: John Stuart Mill writes The
    Subjection of Women
First Wave Feminism: Goals
   “Resolved, that we deny the right of any portion
    of the species to decide for another portion […]
    what is and what is not their „proper sphere‟;
    that the proper sphere for all human beings is
    the largest and highest to which they are able to
    attain […]; woman, therefore, ought to choose
    for herself what sphere she will fill, what
    education she will seek, and what employment
    she will follow, and not be held bound to accept,
    in submission, the rights, the education and the
    sphere which man thinks proper to allow her.”
First Wave Feminism: Suffrage

   1918: Canada
   1920: United States
   1928: Britain
   1944: France
Wartime and Interwar Gap

   1914-18: World War I
   1915-1920: Women‟s suffrage granted
    in most Western countries
   1928: Persons case in Canada
   1929: Beginning of the Great
   1939: World War II begins
Second Wave Feminism
   1960s: Civil rights movement in the U.S.
   1963: Betty Friedan writes The Feminine
   1964-75: Vietnam war
   1967-70: Canadian Royal Commission on
    the Status of Women
   1968: Second wave feminists demonstrate
    in North America. Uprising occurs in
   1988: Abortion decriminalized in Canada
Second Wave Feminism: Law

   15. (1) Every individual is equal before
    and under the law and has the right to
    the equal protection and equal benefit
    of the law without discrimination and,
    in particular, without discrimination
    based on race, national or ethnic
    origin, colour, religion, sex, age or
    mental or physical disability.
Second Wave Feminism:
Modern Feminism

   Family
   Violence against women
   Prostitution
   Reproductive rights
   Work
   Education

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