• December 2nd, 2020

The third wave of feminism

The third wave of feminism (late 1980s – early 2000s) is seen as a continuation of the second wave and a response to the perceived failures of the first two waves. Women in these periods worked on the laws that the first and second wave could not bring forth into existence. Henceforth, it is arguable that these are the 21st-century women who were introduced to feminism and carried forth the torch. This is because an aspect of the third-wave feminism, which mystified the mothers of the earlier feminist movement, was the re-adoption by young feminists of the very lip-stick, high-heels and cleavage proudly exposed by low-cut necklines that the first two phases of the movement identified with male oppression. 

The “girls” of the third wave stepped onto the stage as strong and empowered, eschewing victimisation and defining feminine beauty for themselves as subjects – not as objects of a sexist patriarchy. This means they fought for their body and views on how their bodies ought to be viewed by men. Most of how these women advocated for equality through retaliation, such as wearing short skirts because they were called many kinds of names. They also started wearing red lipstick because they were called prostitutes. By doing these, these women were owning up to the derogatory terms that men use to address them because of what they wear.
 The women developed a rhetoric of mimicry, which appropriated derogatory terms like to subvert the sexist culture and deprive it of verbal weapons. 

To substantiate within the Namibian spectrum, both women and men who identify as feminists have taken up the initiative of organising an annual walk called the The Slut Shame. This comprised of women wearing short skirts and shirts that are barely covering their upper body. Usually, these protests are done with women writing derogatory words on their bodies. 

This is done to reclaim their identity as independent women. Putting it out there subverts the norm of their derogatory connotations; thus, it echoes the sentiment of acceptance as a normal word that a woman owns up to.

 This then means the feminist movement is aimed at fighting the oppressive ways of the patriarchy to which women are tied. It also means women started to fight for the rights of every other woman – be it the right to vote, the right to be employed in a position that is known as a male environment, or simply giving women the freedom of sexual authority over their bodies.

• Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper.

Staff Reporter
2020-03-27 10:54:04 | 8 months ago

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