Feminist movement is a series of reform campaigns on issues that violate women rights such as sexual harassment, domestic violence, equal pay, reproductive rights, women`s suffrage, sexual violence among others. This movement began in the western world and had grown from the first wave that revolved around the platform of middle and upper-class white women and claimed political equality and suffrage, up to the third-wave feminism that involved renewed campaigns for women`s influence in politics. This paper pays high attention to the roles of feminists and the white feminism and the indigenous women regarding the politics of speaking for, and remaining silent in an effort of providing space so that racial and identities of gender can be voiced.
Women feminist were the engines that propagated the movements on behalf of other women since by then; women were psychically and socially dominated by men. Women were restricted from participating in the general election, vying in government positions such as chiefs, governors and senators, managing companies and instead were obliged to act as mirrors of men by the society (DuBois & Ellen p. 23). Most of these feminist geared their movements through by sensitizing women about their rights through conducting meetings, using arts of literature such as books, magazines, and mass media among other means.
However, the beginning of the feminism movements benefited white groups of women since the initial feminists came from privileged and stable whites who were able to dedicate and sacrifice their energy and time in making the changes. The white feminists fought to address issues that affected the whites only and continued to oppress the indigenous women the same way men were doing. For example, the white feminists fought to participate in voting exercise, vying in professional positions, equality in terms of salary, holding management positions because they were much educated than the indigenous women. This scenario made the indigenous women be the most oppressed women compared to their white counterparts. This form of oppression lead to the division of participants of the feminism movements on the basis of race, sexual orientations and class between the indigenous women and the middle and upper-class white women (Roth, P.70).
However, during the third wave feminism, most feminists condemned these differences as the primary factors that kept women against uniting in an effort of liberating all women against oppression. These feminists adopted different social movement tactics such as forming women organizations in which the feminist movements could use in order to motivate and encourage women to participate actively in making change. Through their unity, these women managed to campaign against both cultural and political inequalities from which they happened to win most principal men who assisted them in the realization of their rights and equality between them and men (MacLean pp. 19-23).
It is, therefore, evident that the feminist movement contributed highly in fighting against the oppression of women regardless of their race, class, language and any other disparities among women in the contemporary society. Women have the right to participate in general elections either voting or vying in various public posts, hold key positions such as management, education, fair salaries among other factors in a similar way as men. Moreover, these rights are protected and upheld in various parts of the world, and anyone found guilty of violating them are made to face the law accordingly.
DuBois, Ellen C. Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women’s Movement in America, 1848-1869. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. Print.
MacLean, N. “Gender is Powerful: The Long Reach of Feminism”. Magazine of History, 2006.
Roth, B., Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America’s Second Wave. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Print.