Gender Studies | Themes in Gender Studies: Making Waves
G205 | 13530 | Schusterbauer

Making Waves: Third Wave Feminism and “Post Feminism” at the turn of
the Twenty-First Century

In Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and The Future (2000),
Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards describe the workings of late
twentieth and early twenty-first century feminism by writing, “We're
not doing feminism the same way that the seventies feminists did it;
being liberated doesn't mean copying what came before but finding
one's own way—a way that is genuine to one's own generation."
Investigating this claim and others like it, this course will
evaluate the state of feminism in the U.S. today.  After doing some
brief historical work to develop a common understanding of how First
Wave feminism and Second Wave feminism changed the social and
political landscape for U.S. women and men, we will investigate
whether a Third Wave of feminism does, in fact, exist.  Turning to
personal testimonials and internet blogs, we will ask how Third Wave
feminists understand and define themselves.  And, turning to popular
culture and academic analysis, we will ask how Third Wave feminists
are represented by others.  Finally, we will assess the arguments of
various “Post Feminist” authors who argue that, having met its
political aims, Feminism should now be over.