Education and the Women’s Liberation Movement

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Education and the Women’s Liberation Movement

This essay will examine the role of education in the women’s liberation movement. It will discuss how access to education and academic discourse fueled feminist thought and activism, leading to significant social and legal advancements for women’s rights. Additionally, PapersOwl presents more free essays samples linked to Critical Theory.

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The 1960s, During this time there was a desire to achieve social change that word liberate every person to fight for equality and peace. Culturally no one was free; there was racial any quality sexual injustice and just the uphill battle to challenge gender roles. The women’s liberation movement focused on the oppression of females and to pursue the idea of economic political and social equality. The founding women of this movement achieved a lot during this time because they were able to bring these topics to the public and actually get people to speak and think on issues that most don’t see.

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What is a feminist? Why are they always viewed as women who are loud, aggressive and uptight? Do you know what feminism is? I used to have the same questions, and up until now I never had a clear understanding of what a feminist was or what they did. A feminist is a woman who uplifts other women and contributes to putting end sexism and oppression in other aspects of life. The rise of feminism right now is on the Fourth wave, where we are making society aware of catering issues by calling out loud to the public, using social media campaigns, marches or empowerment events. The internet has been a significant advantage for this wave by spreading the word to people who are not aware of these social injustices that happen today. Some of the current we had this past year included the Women’s March, Sexual assault awareness and body positive movement, this year has been great with diversity among women gatherings. Multicultural and intersectional ways are starting to grow which is a great accomplishment going forward.

Mostly anyone who doesn’t try to research this topic or simply look up a definition feels that a “feminist” is someone who only cares about a female’s needs and in large its actually about inclusivity of everyone. The top priority was social justice against any policies or behavior that was injustice a limiting. “Women who have participated in the Women’s liberation movement have always been of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientation’s, abilities and classes’ (Site). The group of women being diverse, always allowed for multiple conversations or issues to arise and that would twist and turn the path of how the women decide to run their movement. One issue with this movements Publicity was that it identified as being cohesive and unified throughout but so much of it was heavily based on white middle-class, and even though these women had good intentions of bringing everyone together, it didn’t seem united. The feminist movement did start with a group of White women coming together to talk about there dissatisfied lives as housewives. These meetings allowed white, married, heterosexual women a place to gain independence and express their true selves. Women had been oppressed by society with certain ideals of the “Perfect Women,” and when women of different backgrounds started to come together, they began to see they were the same in certain aspects. White women during the time such as Betty Ferdinand And Jane Fonda we’re all put in the public eye and became the face of women’s involvement in the antiwar movement. While these two women were the faces, America loved to see in the media Betty Ferdinand, was actually the co-founder of the national organization for women along with an African-American woman by the name of Pauli Murray. These two co-founders showed diversity within the movement which led to having Women of the same background form smaller groups within women’s liberation because they could identify with specific issues within their community.

How come in our education system women are not often only mention? Why don’t we learn about women studies in elementary school or high school? Why is it that we only get really specific with our history until you reach A college level. The lack of cohesive education in our society is what divides us if everyone was educated on the same things you know then people can you know take the information that we all have learned and then go and have certain biases or judgments about specific characteristics based on their personality. However, when you are in a society wherein every other state or every other country, everyone is learning different things, and in our textbooks, only certain events are magnified certain events in history then you lose that aspect of what was really going on in the time and what was really the core issue. As a young woman, I would love to have grown up learning more about women’s history, and all the impactful women that changed the course of history. Throughout this whole semester, this course and my sociology course based on gender, ethnicity, and race have taught me so much about this movement. Consciousness raising(Site), is when a group of people gathers together and they each share a personal experience which helps enlighten others about certain realities.

When will society see or at least address the issue within our education system? Waves of feminism? While reading these documents, I found out that there were waves of feminism meaning different points in time where a big group of women joins together to advance their status of society. The first wave was the majority of white women who were confined to the household and marriage, and they were the perfect candidates at the time to be a feminist. The first wave began around the 1900s and ended around 1920 during. This time predominately showed the inequality between men and women especially when it became to policies and education. The first we resulted in events where women joined together and gain voting rights around the world. The first wave occurred in events like women gaining the right to vote around the world. The second wave began in the 1950s which introduced the movement to protesting, which resulted in bigger changes motivated by gender rights based on jobs, sex, and marriage. Protesting truly set feminism in motion when a group of feminist in 1968 at a Miss America beauty pageant in Atlantic City. The women were called to throw they’re Bras and undergarments upon the stage to show that the pressure put on these women is too much. Following this very public display of protest, it caused a ripple effect and women all around the country started to take hold of the media and started the liberation movement.

The First Women’s Liberation Conference happened in the 1970s in Oxford, England(site) and it lurched a new mindset in women, like Germain Geer. The Australian writer wrote “The Female Eunuch” A book that focused on women sexuality and taught them how to master it, and you know to learn more about their desires. During the 1960s and 70s, women were still not being taught about their body and their sexual health which led to feminist enforcing groups to talk about there in educating women so that they know they weren’t doing something out of societal norms. “Geer Complained that women were frigid and argued that the cage door has been open, but the Canary has refused to fly out” (83). This metaphor of view of women at the time was a perfect example because some women have an opportunity to venture out more and learn more but because they were so used to the household, and he made it seem not realistic to leave it. Geer was well known to the media life magazine described her as quotation a saucy feminist that even men like quotation and that helped her sell her opinion.

The second wave of feminism is an exact result of what would happen when women are equally educated. The second wave of feminism basically created the word “sexism” which basically made women aware of the social contract they were up and forced against them which led to things like sexual assault and domestic violence which we just seem to be caused by abuse but however they were a social construct of gender roles. What would happen if we educate young girls and young women from our earlier age about their sexuality about other women that have impacted history? What happens when we learn about influential women with a Microscopic lens? Sexism creates a mindset that gender-based domination is the standard way of life. The feminist movement began based on acts of sexism because women did not have the same rights as men. Women today, I think that women still aren’t treated as equal to men because people, especially men, believe that women aren’t capable of doing the things a man can. I also think that part of the reason that men think women aren’t equal is that women can have children, and they just assume that the woman is supposed to take care of that child for the rest of her life. Yes, it’s her child, but it’s also the man who helped her create the child’s responsibility to take care of the child as well.

Throughout history, In classrooms throughout my years of school, there has never been a clear definition or understanding of feminism. In school, we are taught politics, and about the government and how certain events transpired, yet we never talk about women. Feminism is not just something you can just say you identify with if you do not, know or understand the general concepts they believe. The lack of education we get will always leave a gray area in the subject because before this class I would be nervous to say I am a feminist. The feeling of uncertainty is what causes young girls, and women to stay quiet and just observe. As I stated before if you can give a definition, then you are array ten steps ahead of a lot of people. As a student, we all can have a base understanding, but if we don’t talk about it, the problem will still continue. Females should be known more about important women to give that drive for a brighter future. The role of Women in society has not changed that much, and it is apparent in how we are educated, the character of women is still portrayed poorly in media, and some see it as a norm. Once our boards of educations in different states are made aware of this, maybe then this wave can be the last one.

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Education and the Women's Liberation Movement. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved from