Talk:Third-wave feminism

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Y: The Last Man[edit]

Is "Y: The Last Man" an example of something informed by Third-wave feminism?

The reason why I think it is, is because: It doesn't say that women can't do all these things that men do today; Instead, it seems to argue that we are split on these lines because people self-type themselves int gender roles. It doesn't argue that men are making women not able to do things. (2nd wave.) And it doesn't argue that men are worthless. That said, it seems very inessentialist; It argues (very convincingly) that women would do all the things men do, if there were no men. I don't understand what "transnationalism" means, in the context of feminism.

I don't know; I don't understand the words in the article very deeply, but it sure seems that what it's describing, Y fits it perfectly, in a way I have a hard time articulating. I'm talking like this because I understand Y, I don't understand this description of third-wave feminism, and I'm trying to contextualize my experience here.

If uh... somebody could help me out here, ...


Could someone check if Molly Yard should really be listed here? Given her age (born 1912-07-06), and that she stopped being NOW's president in 1991, I suspect that she would be more appropriately placed in an earlier wave. I suspect this is a misplacement. Corrections? Justifications? If she IS justifiably 3rd wave, then I think that justification needs to go into an article. -- Dwheeler

Beyond Definition?[edit]

The page reads: "In fact, it is the definitions of such things as gender, sexuality, and feminism that are a major part of the problem. Defining anything, including third-wave feminism, limits it."


If third wave feminism is something, it should be possible to deliniate it from other somethings.

Can someone who knows 3rd wave feminism, and is a little more eager to articulate, have a swing at this one?

Imagine that you are talking with a 2nd wave feminist- if you say, "Well, it's kind of hard to define," then you have don't have a convert. You can't even have an arguing buddy. We need to draw forth some substance here..!


Main difference is that third-wave regards second-wave as having falsely taken the experience of white, middle-class, Western women and expanding it to a universal women's experience. In a word, intersectionality: Third-Wave is a response to the criticism of Second-Wave that it didn't begin to take intersectionality into account. The Literate Engineer 06:04, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree; That sounds like the bias of someone who particularly cares for intersectionality. I don't doubt that 3rd wave feminism takes intersectionality into account; I just think there's more to 3rd wave feminism than that, and I think it's not the main difference. I'm a male, and I have felt that 3rd wave feminism is "more real," to me, than 2nd wave. 3rd wave has had things to tell me about masculinity, not just female life. That is: I sense that there is a more mature general theory of mind & gender underlying 3rd wave feminism. It feels much less metaphysical to me. My suspicion is that 3rd wave came out of not only criticism of 2nd-wave focus on middle class white females, but that it also came out of the Internet, Marshall McLuhan type media thinking, neuroscience, critical theory, general systems theory. It seems to me also that it is much more interested in networking beyond women's issues: prison, ecology, mental health, race, etc., etc., many areas that are not about womens issues specificly. I feel also that there's a better sense of "the map." The map being: the types of ideas that are out there. It's not so new, the diversity of ideas and approaches, and I think that means that people are now studying the map more objectively- capable of considering the separate ideas from afar, without getting totally emotional about it. Instead of "oh my god, I can't believe that person thinks that way, and calls herself a feminist," it's "ah, there's an xyz feminist."

This said: These are just my impressions, googling and reading a bunch of pages on 3rd wave feminism.


Does anyone have a definative word on who coined the phrase "third wave feminism" and when? All of my research points to Rebecca Walker in the early 1990s, but I have heard (or maybe read) that she merely made it widely-known. tiggergrrl


Third wave feminism is informed by poststructuralism, a major part of which is the idea that there cannot be set definitions of anything and that signs (words) and their signifiers (meanings) exist in a sort of fluid, shifting matrix of language. In other words, its the belief that words can only be defined through opposition to other words (a cat is not a dog, or a tree, or a parking ticket, or Kenya) or through deference to other words (if you look up dog in the dictionary, you might run across the words "hairy," "mammal," and "animal," all of which defer to other words for their own definitions).

Because of this reliance on other words, defining something like "woman" will necessarily attach it to other words and concepts. An example: femininity as defined by having "female" genitalia. Many transgendered people who consider themselves women have "male" genitalia. You see the problem here? The concepts of woman, male, female genitalia, and male genetalia don't really make sense in this context, because their definitions contain connotations that are undesirable to 3rd wave feminists. The very terms "male genetalia" and "female genetalia" don't make sense in this discussion.

There is also the issue of who makes the definitions in the first place. 3rd wave femenists, poststructuralists, and many others would argue that the ability to control language is a powerful ability that only groups in power have. For example, there are very pejorative terms for non-whites (niggers), women (cunts) and gay people (faggot), whereas their counterparts towards whites (cracker), males (pricks), and straight people (I can't even think of one. Breeders, maybe?) are very powerless, not very hurtful, and not very serious. I would argue, and I think a lot of third wave femenists and poststructuralists would argue that this is because the words said by the dominant group (white straight males) are given a sense of power because they are wielded and defined by people in power. Thier counterparts are not nearly as offensive because marginalized groups do not have the power to make thier own defenitions of words.

So, a third wave femenist would be opposed to the definition of a concept like womanhood because the power to define the concept would be a power only had by the dominant group, which is males.

I hope that helped clear it up. I'm not going to edit the article itself, because I am only vaguely familiar with the ideas of third wave feminists, and I don't feel qualified. Although I definately agree that the article needs a lot of work.


Expansion tag[edit]

I think this article needs major expansion. I'm sorry that I can't be more specific (and I don't want to be flippant or cruel), but I don't know enough about the topic to even really say how it needs to be expanded (that's my main criticism of the article).--Anchoress 08:16, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Um... OK. Rebecca just removed the expansion tag from the article (without explanation). Not a biggy, I'm certainly not interested in fighting over it, but honestly: I didn't know anything about Third Wave Feminism before I came to the article, and frankly I still don't know anything about it. Doesn't that mean the article should maybe be expanded a bit?--Anchoress 04:37, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
After querying her personally, I received an answer from Rebecca on my talk page.--Anchoress 05:07, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


I am somewhat skeptical of the whole concept of a "third-wave", partly because it seems to be a conusumable variety of postmodernism without the theory (i.e. what exactly?). Certainly, the discursive boundaries of the phenomenon are vague and I would be interested to know how anyone is studying it. What might be a good idea for this article is to mention the inherent problem in conceptualizing the Third Wave. Don't take my word for it: Baumgardner writes:

"This insistence on definitions [of Third Wave feminism] is really frustrating because feminism gets backed into a corner. People keep insisting on defining and defining and defining and making a smaller and smaller definition--and it's just lazy thinking on their part. Feminism is something individual to each feminist."

"Feminism is something individual to each feminist" - Huh? So there is no such thing as feminism, just a concept of self-as-feminine-of-a-sort? I thought the word for that was "individual". You see how this could be confusing. How exactly can one identify themselves as part of a Third Wave if feminism cannot transcend the individual? The Wiki article reads "Defining anything, including third-wave feminism, limits it." This a bit over-the-edge, even for postmodernism. By its very name-sake and self-proclamation, the Third Wave is a cultural-historical phenomenon that is limited. Regardless, perhaps the article could explain these (to my mind) essential difficulties. --Vector4F 22:33, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

While I think the influence of postmodernism/resistance constricting definitions is an integral characteristic of the third-wave, I do see your point. I will see what I can do as far as becoming a little more concrete/a little clearer.--Clm17 18:24, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that while I respect the right of the Third Wave to refuse to define its own boundaries, there is also some right for those outside it to be able to define themselves as "Not". I have only recently come into this discussion when I asked for an explanation of a statement that at a Women's Conference they had gotten into a discussion between second and third wave issues. The self-defined "Second Wavers" that I was discussing with touched on what sounded post-modern of feminism being experiencing ones own feminity, but also had specific ideas of things that made them "Not Third" despite being of the generation that should be "Third". Specifically they criticized "lip-stick feminism" and "girl power" ("that one can use ones sexual power to gain advantage"; "the idea that one can be both subject and object"; encouraging one's objectification to increase ones power, etc.), which did not appear in the article at all. (I used the "power" talk because this is even an assault of the idea of using one's agency, because it asserts from the outside that one undermines one agency by internally asserting it: From inside I use my agency to, and the outsider is saying that you are forging your own chains.)

I am left still confused about Third Wave Feminism as a philosophy or social movement. It appears to me that First and Second Wave are/were social movements, with specific goals, motivated by the philosophy of apparent oppression, and a desire for equality and justice. The seminal writers could write about the specific injustices common to the oppressed group in terms that could appeal to the oppressors and other oppressed groups. By "celebrating individual oppression", one can appeal to other individuals who identify with that oppressive experience, but undermine the commonality of goal, and can not recruit allies among the oppressing group to assist in the redress.

The lack of clarity over whether Third Wave is either a rejection or evolution of Second Wave, whether it is an experiencial state of mind or a movement leaves one with confusion of whether one should be identifying oneself as a feminist because one identifies as feminine (philosophy), or because one believes in a particular goal.

It might be helpful to draw individualized boundaries: "Some Third Wave Daughters see themselves as standing on the shoulders of their Second Wave Mothers by exploring the implications of the new social reality created by...., while others feel that the Second Wave by limitting itself only to addressing issues of XXX fails to fully achieve the ..., and others reject the Second Wave as limitting their ...". To the non-postmodernist, it would be helpful to speak their language in explaining things so that they can be brought halfway along in their understanding so that they can decide if they would like to self-identify with this label or not. "Third Wave is not Second Wave in the following ways: ...; Second Wave is not Third Wave in the following ways: ...; First, Second and Third Wave is Feminism in the following ways:..."

Finally, there is the question of what is the movement that refuses to identify as "feminist", while not rejecting either their feminity or equality. In my experience there is a commonality (of a rejection of the "feminist power-holders" in trying to nail down their female responsibilities to include working in male-dominated professions, and not enjoying housework, as a limitation on their expression of femaleness, and their right to self-determination) with the vague impression I have got so far of Third Wave. This movement is not "feminist" because they do not identify with Feminism as a label, but they bear some similarity to the impression I am developing of Third Wave.

Anyway, just some thoughts of potential items that someone might wish to try to weave into the article. Minutemax 17:45, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Highly confusing[edit]

This reads like an essay from an undergraduate sociology student. For those unfamiliar with the subject matter, the jargon contained in the second paragraph makes the article impossible to understand for a non-specialist. Triangle e 12:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I have no clue what this article is saying. --JHP 05:19, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Riot Grrrrl?[edit]

This article seems to completely ignore the main defining movement of the Third Wave, Riot Grrrl. Maybe someone can merge the articles together? Pollyvomit 06:09, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Dietary Feminism[edit]

Haven't done alot of research, but the link between vegetarianism and femenism seemed a little random. The phrase 'some third wave femenist's might be better phrased as 'A third wave feminist'... unless this work is defining to 3rd wave femenism in general, I'm not sure if it should be mentioned here... third wave femenism is touching on alot of subjects.

Clarification Critiques and Thoughts[edit]

Line 3-4: "It was also a response to the backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second-wave."

Initiatives and movements such as?

In the overview, the article claims a fundamental element is the avoidance/challenge of essentialist definitions of femininity. An example or two would vastly increase readability. I must assume, having no formal background in feminism, that these "essentialist" definitions are categorical in nature. Something along the lines of "A feminist IS _____" or perhaps replace feminist with woman. Is this correct?

On post-structuralism and feminist conflicts: Misc and Non-PC incoherent Thoughts

The very importance of post-structuralism weakens the movement. Compared to what it would be with a more structuralist outlook. Post-structuralism is a philosophy that argues that meaning can only be found through culture. This, combined with the admission of ambiguities and contraindications, gives third wave feminism a weaker "platform." To borrow a trite cliché, "If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything." It applies here. This however is also a strength. While 3rd wave fem. does not have a specific rallying platform, this agility also allows it to embrace new causes as well as the "cause célèbre", and with this power comes the accompanying dangers. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:40, 27 April 2007 (UTC).

Feminism in South Africa[edit]

Women are the reason our countries are being held together, we cannot avoid the fact that behind every successful man there has been a women there to persuade, influence and help him make decisions. women play many characters in our society and it is because of our strong bond that we have come this far. men in South Africa are very reluvtant to accept change, the simply hate the fact that women are independent and are now able to take care of themselves. they are still lookin for women who will depend on them and reject women who are successful. the main reason for this is that, men in our homes have been raised to believe that they are the providers, so the face up to independent, successful women and feel like they are not man-enough. to most people, it is seen as a disgrace to have a woman work for you while you are sitting at home. the women in South Africa do understand where the men are coming from but it's because of their pride that they cannot be undermined by women. An American women will never last in a relationship with a South African man, they will always be in competition and to some extent i don't think that the relatioship will last because South African men want to feel like they are the supportive structure. A woman who can stand up for what she believes in is regarded as foolish and critisized as not ever going to be able to get married. the honest truth, i see no shame in saying you are a feminist, there is that pride that goes with it and i don't think it should be disregarded, the labelling that is. South African men, not to mension the whole of Africa has the perception that men are the head, this is killing these men's pride unless they try to get rid of that perception, nothing will go right. I am a feminist, to me the word means someone who can stand up for her rights and for the rights of other women, it means saying what you want and not being ashamed of what you say. I cannot cook and clean but i'm good at thinking about my future and thinking academically but South Africans, even the women (our mothers, aunts and grandmothers), they believe that i will never get married, just because i am not domesticated. they make it sound like we are just here to subject ourselves to these men, while that is not the case. it is even hard to get a man when you cannot cook, they will tell you you are not women enough because you refuse to clean after them and wash their draws. it's ridiculous and we will not live up to their standards. it's okay if a man cannot domesticate himself but wrong and shameful if a woman cannnot. we are supposed to do all the chores of the household, on top of that loook after the kids and go to work, just like our mothers did. most of South African women are poor, living in shanty houses or in 5 small roomed, not 5bedroom houses, without money, so they settle for any man just so they could live a good life. women themselves are also raised to believe the are subject to men, so they end up prostituting themselves just so they can maintain the so-called standards they are axpected to live by. UPLIFTING A GIRL CHILD MEANS MAKING THIS COUNTRY A BETTER PLACE. we cannot have any more of our children growing up to believe that is the only reson they are placed onto this earth! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:01, 9 May 2007 (UTC).


I found the following line in here: "They come from every class and culture." I'm assuming that the author of this sentence is just using hyperbole to illustrate the diversity of third-wave feminists. However, I don't think it's appropriate for an encyclopedia entry. Literally, this is decidedly not true, and stating that it is true belittles all the classes and cultures that are not in discourse with the west to a sufficient degree that third-wave feminists have appeared in them. For example, I would challenge the author to find third-wave feminists from each of the cultures indigenous to the Chitral region of Pakistan. A logical corallary of the statement "third-wave feminists come from every culture" is that if a culture does not produce a third-wave feminist, it is not a true culture. However, those cultures which have not produced third-wave feminists are just as large and valid as ours, in which third-wave feminism has such important meaning.

I'm going to change it to "They come from many different classes and cultures." If someone has a problem with this, please discuss here. Dwinetsk 09:35, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Edits: removed a sentence, Harvard citations, removed wikify[edit]

  • I removed the following sentence from the end of the "Reproductive Rights" section: In November 2006 Amy Richards stated that one of Third Wave Foundations goals was to protect women and their reproductive rights yet when asked if an abortion clinic had an obligation to report a 10 year old rape victim seeking an abortion to authorities she said "no". Then when asked if it was right for a mother to abort her fetus days before it was to be born because of depression and no physical reasons Ms. Richards stated that she "has no problem with that".

I looked briefly for a source, but couldn't find one. Aside from poor grammar, lack of a source, and being somewhat inflammatory, this is off-topic: if anything, it should go in the wiki article for Amy Richards.

  • This page has been using numerous Harvard references, which Wikipedia supports, see: Wikipedia:Harvard referencing. Please don't mark these citations as citation needed. Even if they're just a simple (Lastname 2007), they're fine. There's no need to change the format of all the references on this page. :)
  • I removed added some Fact tags, because it was unclear which work the (Richards 95) tags were referencing. There are two books and an interview with Richards listed here. If you know, please fix this! (p.s. - this is why we need to put the year in Harvard references!)
  • The References section had a wikify tag on it. As far as I can tell, these references are fine. I removed the tag.

If you undo any of my changes, please explain your actions here. Thanks! Indeterminate 08:35, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

French Feminisms[edit]

Just a suggestion for those more involved in the construction of this page: Considering the incredible degree of influence exercised by figures like Wittig, Cixous, Irigaray, Kristeva, and other French feminist critics of the 70's and 80's on Butler and other heroes of 3rd-wave feminism, I think it only appropriate to at least mention them and their work. The professors in all the feminist crit classes I've taken actually define 3rd-wave as beginning with these folks, so it seemed odd to me that this article cites 3rd-wave as beginning in the 1990's (I suppose with Gender Trouble? But if so, notice that Gender Trouble is basically a synthesis of the work of the figures mentioned above, and others in the same Continental, feminist tradition). 23:47, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Queer

Who is Lacan[edit]

In the quote from Camille Pagila, there is a mention of "Lacan". Is this Jacques Lacan? If so, I think it should be linked. (talk) 20:24, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

That quote is no longer in the article, sorry. Maikel (talk) 12:23, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Attempt at Fixing Style[edit]

This article is messy and confusing enough that I don't really know what all to do with it, but I rewrote the first sentence of the criticism section anyway. The "other issues" section is frankly egregious and I think we should consider scrapping it altogether. Input? Quixotess (talk) 08:40, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

The Riot Grrrl Section[edit]

The riot grrrl section of this article gives no references. I would be willing to re-write the section, if you want me to. Part of the section I wrote is on the Feminism article under Riot grrrl. --Grrrlriot (talk) 01:18, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd be willing to see if the "other issues" section can be redone. Perhaps it would benefit from a new focus, eg instead of "issues", a more inclusive idea for it, areas of continued concern as well as interest. Areas of concern may include things like the already included welfare and childcare, as well as sexualization in media. Interest could be places where third wavers are making progress - for instance digital technologies, blogs, forums, etc.

I did find the second paragraph in this section to be a little problematic - does anyone have any input on it? Seems like it could stand a little more in it.Penguinstypmanum (talk) 18:39, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Western bias[edit]

"Globally, especially in societies where patriarchy is more pronounced, women are more often the victims of violence and oppression. This is especially true in many war-ravaged, developing and otherwise non-westernized countries. In such societies, women are more apt to remain less equal than men. The Taliban were known for their strict rules of conduct and subjugation of women. Societies which do not hold the modern western value of gender equality often tend to consider women, in part, as markers or prestige, wealth, and/or power."

I find this extremely problematic. First of all it seems to say that "the West" is the only society that embraces gender equality and that the liberation of women globally is dependent on the Westernization of primitive peoples - something I believe is completely inaccurate and culturally imperialistic. Secondly, in "Western" society women are often treated as "markers or prestige, wealth, and/or power" - check out a good deal of mainstream rap videos for evidence or the phenomenon of the trophy wife. The word "opression" here is left vague, and certainly in any patriarchal socierty (including the West) all women are by definition oppressed (i.e. no woman in any patriarchal society is "more often" oppressed, although the severity may differ of course). This section (as in many of them in the article) does not make a clear connection between what is being stated and how it relates to Third Wave feminism. As for the use of "developing...countries", that's a whole other can of worms that I won't get into. I honestly don't no where to begin here. Anyone have any ideas? --Lesouris (talk) 08:33, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

You're right Lesouris, problem is you'd need to source your comments in regard to Third wave feminism to add them here. I agree with most of your points but the issue with thrid wave feminism is that it is based in the West, actaully mainly in the USA. But the only way any of these points can be added here is if there's a source (or sources) mentioning them directly in relation to third wave feminism.
Many aspects of Second-wave feminism have been criticized on the points you are making by black feminists, ecofeminists and recently by post-feminists. A way to start might be to expand on the being made about Naomi Woolfe's work. Also sections that are unsourced and making disputable coments can be tagged as {{disputed}} - but if aynyone does this they will need to back it up with verifiable info about third wave feminism - disputed tags are a fairly "nuclear option" (but appliacble in some circumstances)--Cailil talk 16:17, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually it's so bad that I've removed it from teh page and put it here so it can be worked on--Cailil talk 16:41, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Transnational politics

Globally, especially in societies where patriarchy is more pronounced, women are more often the victims of violence and oppression. This is especially true in many war-ravaged, developing and otherwise non-westernized countries. In such societies, women are more apt to remain less equal than men. The Taliban were known for their strict rules of conduct and subjugation of women. Societies which do not hold the modern western value of gender equality often tend to consider women, in part, as markers or prestige, wealth, and/or power.

Throughout history, rape and sexual violence have been used in the context of war as displays of supremacy.[citation needed] During the Nanking Massacre in 1939, upwards of 20,000 women, young and old, were raped by Imperial Japanese soldiers. Rape and sexual violence have also been common during the ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan.

26 of Africa's 43 countries, along with populations in the southern part of the Arabian peninsula, the Persian Gulf, Indonesia and Malaysia, practice female genital cutting. The prevalence is fading, as the rest of the world westernizes. [1]

Third-wave feminists work to educate and work with women across political and societal borders, to give them the tools and awareness to make their own decisions. In the case of female genital cutting, feminists and health workers from western countries have traveled to areas where genital cutting is common in order to educate midwives on making the procedure safer, more sanitary and less painful.

Lead US-centric[edit]

How come the lead indentifies 3rd wave feminism with political developments in the US? Are there sources that demonstrate that this is the source of the global movement? --Kevlar (talkcontribs) 18:37, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

To my knowledge, the three waves themselves just are US-centric. A disclaimer on this would be nice. - Lazer Stein (talk) 13:26, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Second Wave Feminists addressed Sexual Harassment[edit]

I, Lynne Shapir, was active in New York Radical Feminists and its related organizations from mid-1971 until 1984. It is not the case that we did not address Sexual Harassment (SH) because my NYRF associate, K. Sauvigne, and her associates including S. Meyer started the Working Women's Institute up in Ithaca that moved to NYC in 1978 or so and continued on until 1984. WWI dealt almost exclusively with Sexual Harassment and its members were part of the effort that lead to a break-through Supreme Court ruling about SH in 1987 or so. Susan Brownmiller's In Our Time talks about their efforts.

NYRF had a small speak-out about SH in the spring of 1976 at the Women's Coffeehouse (that I co-organized)and SH was one of the topics at the September 1979 Women Against Pornography Conference that featured a talk by Lin Farley author of a book about SH "Sexual Shakedown".

Ldsnh2 (talk) 14:42, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

NPOV tags[edit]

The page was recently tagged for NPOV and for several other possible issues with the article. The need for a more global view of the subject (a criticism that has also been raised vis-a-vis the Second-wave feminism article) is already discussed above. Also, the need for additional citations is clear.

However, how the article is NPOV is simply unclear. It reports the views of a school of feminism that others from other ideological perspectives may have issues with. However, as far as I can see, the article does not promote those perspectives. The article also contains a section on criticisms of third-wave feminism. Please clarify what you see as NPOV or otherwise not properly balanced so that if there is a real problem here it can be addressed.

Also, one section was tagged for "peacock language" again, please point out what you see as the problem. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 14:51, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Unexplained tagging is unacceptable practice. If a tag is not explained - if an NPOV / POV or sourcing / NOR issue is not specifically explained in detail by the tagger - the tag can be removed. The need to gloablize the article is obvious but that's Template:Globalize. NPOV tag replaced with gloablize. Personally I suspect the gloablizing issue is a little fraught since the 3 waves are really a history of Western feminism. It might simply come down to highlighting this is in the summary and lede paragraphs--Cailil talk 00:04, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Now I went through some of the over-tagging in the article itself - removing a number of Template:refimproves and the template:peacock. I also removed a whole sub-section on activism as original research. Again echoing what User:Iamcuriousblue says please explain tags in full and in detail here on the talk page when you tag them in the article--Cailil talk 00:15, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for straightening that up! Iamcuriousblue (talk) 16:14, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Dates and authors need correction?[edit]

People usually locate the beginning of the third wave in the early 1980s. Integrating racial and cultural identity with gender is a crucial aspect of third wave feminism. So it seems that the list of authors near the beginning of the article (hooks, Sandoval, Lorde, Anzaldua etc) belongs in the third wave, not the second. (Also, Sandoval's major book came out in 2000, which is definitely after the second wave.)

For those interested in a general background on first wave, second wave, and third wave feminism, try this readable and short paper by two UCLA professors:

Heather W. Reichgott Doctoral candidate in systematic theology with certification in women's studies in religion Hreichgott (talk) 17:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Prejudicial Content[edit]

Hello. Is it just me or...?

I have a concern about this whole "Women, technology and progress" section I want to share... it barely makes any sense. In fact, maybe the only thing that does is its opening paragraph.

I mean, by title like that isn't one supposed to understand more significant events and discoveries. You know, something important and worth knowing rather than poorly masked rants about how "Nintendo" dared to call their toy "GameBoy" and how girls like flowers better than 3D shooters because boys occupy all of their teachers' time? Come on, technology doesn't peak in pocket video games, does it?

Several things are clear and annoying though: It's been written quickly, frantically, it is exagerated, by far not in neutral manner, also written in quite strange and in "Critical discourse" - incomprehensible language. Most importantly it is apparently prejudiced, controversial, and without the author bothered for any arguments, facts or citations whatsoever. Or, if you prefer to keep it simple in words - It's lame and off topic.

I don't want to be misunderstood here, this is not about my point of view on this subject it's about this section being ridiculous and definitely not wiki-worthy the way it is now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kirka80286 (talkcontribs) 17:03, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Seconded. It has little to no content and a tonne of baseless assertions, and the content it does have (GameBoy! How sexist!) is very weak. Unless meaningful content (i.e. no more "boys are better at computers, so sexism is evident" assertions) is added, then this section needs to be deleted. En-AU Speaker (T) (C) (E) 01:39, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of manglifying the section to attempt to reduce the bias. The section is so ridiculous that it will be removed if it doesn't get a major makeover. En-AU Speaker (T) (C) (E) 12:52, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

on rewording/rewriting –I reworked it as applied lib crit & switched discourse to debate at times to lighten crique-type terms; the more clarified, the more repetitive it starts to appear. my eyes are swimming in their sockets. someone more edit-ruthless might tidy this. I like it as a practical/relevance thing for something so consistently abstract & hidden to public awareness. The tags I removed, unless I'm wrong about the changes. take it from there (keyzogit) (talk) 00:21, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Suggested addition to introduction[edit]

It seems to me that an addition (not replacement) might be worthwhile in the introductory paragraph stating in part, "...a response to the failures of and backlash against initiatives and movements created by second-wave feminism ..." It seems to me that it's not just failure and backlash against but also limitations of. This seems to me both from my own thinking, but also clear examples cited below, such as "Ambiguity of gender" and expanding past "white feminism" suggest the notion of "limitations of" not just backlash and not just failures. One could suggest that "every limitation is always a failure" but that would seem to be an extreme position. It doesn't seem quite right to say every limitation is a type of "failture"...

I do not propose erasing the term "failure" or "backlash" but to add also "and limitations of" not for the sake of adding a less negative sounding angle, but because this additional angle captures a dimension that is accurately in that history but not in the current description. Thoughts? If agreement, don't wait for me to change it go ahead and add it yourself :) Harel (talk) 23:56, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Where are the men?[edit]

Admittedly, I've only taken a single class on gender issues, but I took from it that an important aspect of third-wave feminism is the inclusion of men in the movement. From this perspective, I tend to agree with the comment buried in the Riot Grrrl section that "Riot grrrl's emphasis on universal female identity and separatism often appears more closely allied with second-wave feminism than with the third wave." Considering third-wave feminism as a rejection of such separatism, I'm a little shocked that the word "men" occurred zero times in this article. I'll have to go refer to my old course materials, but off the top of my head, perhaps Michael Kimmel's work (I read The Gendered Society years ago) could shed some light on the third-wave realization that men can be cooperative in the struggle for equality? Bobbygalaxy (talk) 20:09, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Summary on "feminism" page is better![edit]

I'm not an "expert", but as someone who's read a little of some of the authors discussed, I feel that this whole ("third wave feminism") page could be deleted and Wikipedia's treatment of the topic would actually be improved, because the brief summary of third wave feminism on the "feminism" page is actually better! At least it identifies anti-essentialism as a key feature (the idea that the identity of "woman" may already have oppressive patriarchal ideas built into it, so that merely championing the rights of "woman" is problematic; and this is also a point of connection with the attention to different feminisms in different cultures, etc.). Some parts of this dedicated "third wave" page will leave readers thinking, "huh; what's the difference between this and second wave feminism?" or even, "huh? what makes this 'feminism', at all?". If this page is to be salvaged at all, I think it needs a major re-write to introduce some structure so that readers can actually take away at least a vaguely coherent idea of what third wave feminism is. Ψμον (talk) 12:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

The feminism article is already too long and is in the process of being trimmed. And the third wave per se is already well established in feminism and likely to be looked up in Wikipedia, so having an article on it is important (as someone just noted in the template for this page).
But if you'd like to rewrite the third-wave article to improve it (I haven't reviewed it from that viewpoint), go ahead or, perhaps better for major changes, draft it and post your draft as a subpage of this talk page so other interested people can comment and edit it.
Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:17, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Contradiction? wave began around 1981 or around 1990? I think the latter[edit]

An editor recently moved the starting year for the third wave back from 1990 to 1981 because of two books that were published earlier. I'm doubtful, since I was involved with second-wave work in the '80s and don't recall hearing of a third wave until probably the '90s, so that 1990 makes more sense to me. The books may have been influential (I think I read both) but the coalescing and wide identification probably didn't occur until later. Does anyone know more? Nick Levinson (talk) 07:08, 1 September 2010 (UTC) (Edited to add having read them and to remove "around" before "earlier": Nick Levinson (talk) 07:16, 1 September 2010 (UTC))

It starts out by saying the movement originated circa 1981 then later states the movement arouse in the early 1990's —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

The above two paragraphs have been combined into one section and the term "Contradiction" added to facilitate discussion of article contradiction tag.--S. Rich (talk) 22:59, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Criticism of 3rd Wave section[edit]

This section needs to be re-written. It seems that the book referenced, The F-Word by Rowe-Finkbeiner, does not actually critique the third wave, but shows why many are disaffected with feminism. Can anyone clarify? I am confused as to the point of the section. Usually, the critiques lodged against third wave are the same as against postmodernism, e.g. lack of cohesion. Is this context needed? - Lazer Stein (talk) 13:33, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

The "Overview" is a convoluted mess[edit]

It sounds like a poorly-written thesis paper at best, and a pseudo-intellectual drunkard's lament at worst. Permission to streamline it and clean it up? Ongepotchket (talk) 14:38, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

You don't need permission to be WP:BOLD. —Cupco 22:30, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Actual prevalence?[edit]

What proportion of people who call themselves feminists in the 1990s-present era actually adhere to a "post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality"? —Cupco 22:29, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

What a mess...[edit]

This article is a perfect example of Wikipedia doom. An article that has to evolve into a political balance between everyone who has a view, to the point that it's not really saying anything anymore.

People think third-wave feminism is "the current form" of feminism. Therefore, all current feminists (read: nearly all women) feel the article should reflect their views. I'm not going to comment on how true that is, but it makes the possibility of this being an actual article non-existent.

I'd try to fix it up, but it'll fall back into chaos a week later. Good example of why I'm not an active editor anymore. Equazcion (talk) 09:32, 2 Jan 2013 (UTC)

Excellent synopsis. Along with several other professional philosophers who used to be more actively engaged, I too have abandoned any serious attempt to address the woeful inadequacies regarding most socio-political philosophical entries here at Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:59, 27 April 2014 (UTC)


Jesus, who wrote the headlines here? "Third-wave feminism purpose"? "Nowadays Feminist women"? That's not even grammatical. Please fix! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:49, 24 April 2013 (UTC)


I think we all can say that this article is not written from a neutral point of view. Can we have a serious effort to rewrite this article in an encyclopedic tone?
155blue (talk) 15:28, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

I could help. Can you list the specific parts of the article you find problematic? Thanks. Ongepotchket (talk) 14:43, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Really not sure how to work this anonymous comment system, but I just used this article's timeline as evidence that even the worst anti-feminists in Reddit are better at understanding third wave feminism than Wikipedia. They at least acknowledge we help lesbians too. And what's with the TERF in here? I mean, I can understand how feminists running organizations like Just Detention and CALM wouldn't be included, because cis-men benefit from their work and this page had a lobotomy, but when your only reference to trans issues is to suggest we're hypocrites? Who hired Wikipedia out for this hit piece? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:1:3000:116:55D4:CBA4:B80B:587F (talk) 21:54, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

I find it ironic that an article about and by women vying for respect demonstrates they don't deserve any. (talk) 21:44, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Anonymous IP editor, could you point out the language that implies or demonstrates that? Without any specific examples, I can't really see it from your POV. Tutelary (talk) 21:52, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Basically my point of view is the facts aren't factual and contradicting arguments aren't represented. The contradicting arguments, if you're wondering (which I doubt) is that feminism became obsolete at the end of the second wave and the third wave is just doing damage. Ancholm (talk) 21:56, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Generally, we report on what the sources say. Do you have any reliable sources to describe what you're attempting to say? Tutelary (talk) 23:42, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
So your issue is that criticism is underrepresented in the scope of the general article? That is a fair comment. I think, even so, you are not presenting your argument well. We have to report this from a WP:NPOV viewpoint and to dismiss a civil rights movement of this scale as "just doing damage" shows a lack of understanding of the topic in question --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 22:23, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
There's a section of the article that advocates against freedom of speech/expression, "reclaiming words," and here's a feminist tenured law professor at a good school that advocates murder: I call respecting the opinion of people who advocate murder "causing damage." There's also the spread of misinformation, like the gender wage gap endures, men aren't raped, 1/4 women are raped in college, etc etc. It gets really silly, like affirmative action lowering standards to admit more women (this happens A LOT,) or 7 chair equality councils with 1 man. Ancholm (talk) 23:59, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
As Tutelary wrote above, to be included in the article, critical positions or statements need reliable sources. There is room for more referenced criticism, but without references, you are working with personal opinion and original research. Citing a professor or any other source you personally have a problem with is not sufficient. Dialectric (talk) 08:20, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
To tell you the truth many of these professors were very rude to me at the store and that's why I have issues with them, it's got nothing to do with the fact they're pundits whose claims don't correlate to actuality. Ancholm (talk) 17:38, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Ancholm, Wikipedia talk pages are not the places to rant about the topic, but this is still borderline relevant as you're trying to discuss the article. Do you have any sources to put into the article, given their due weight? We work on verifiability, not truth. Tutelary (talk) 17:45, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Even the title, "misconceptions" is pretty POV-ish, IMO. And none of the sources are either very reliable (HuffPo blogs - c'mon) nor mention third-wave feminism by name. In fact, that section just makes that assumption that all modern feminism must be third-wave. Ain't so - Alison 07:00, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the removed content was POV/WP:COATRACK - the rationale that any relatively recent quote mentioning feminism is relevant to this article is flawed and would allow for the inclusion of far too much tangential content.Dialectric (talk) 09:12, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Alison and Dialectric here. gobonobo + c 00:51, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Isn't the third wave what comes after the second wave? Is the second wave still a thing in the West? SisterFunny (talk) 06:18, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Minor suggestion, phrasing first paragraph.[edit]

"The movement arose partially as a response to the perceived failures of and backlash against initiatives and movements created by second-wave feminism during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, and the perception that women are of "many colors, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and cultural backgrounds".

as a response to the perceived failures ... and the perception that - confusing. Should be re-arranged so 'the perception that ...' is not associated with 'as a response to ...'

I also found the full quote to be - "The third wave feminism movement is based on the thought that females are of many colors, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and cultural backgrounds", but could not find an author.