First-wave feminism was a period of feminist activity and thought that occurred within the 19th and early 20th century throughout the world. It focused on legal issues, primarily on gaining women's suffrage (the right to vote).
1854: “A Brief Summary in Plain Language of the Most Important Laws Concerning Women”, published by Barbara Bodichon.
1963: The Feminine Mystique was published; it is a book written by Betty Friedan which is widely credited with starting the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States. Second-wave feminism was a period of feminist activity and thought that began in the early 1960s in the United States, and spread throughout the Western world and beyond. In the United States the movement lasted through the early 1980s.
Black feminism became popular in response to the sexism of the civil rights movement and racism of the feminist movement.
Radical feminism emerged in the United States. It is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts. That said, radical feminists also recognize that women's experiences differ according to other divisions in society such as race and sexual orientation.
1967: "The Discontent of Women", by Joke Kool-Smits, was published; the publication of this essay is often regarded as the start of second-wave feminism in the Netherlands. In this essay, Smit describes the frustration of married women, saying they are fed up being solely mothers and housewives.
1969: Chicana feminism, also called Xicanisma, is a sociopolitical movement in the United States that analyzes the historical, cultural, spiritual, educational, and economic intersections of Mexican-American women that identify as Chicana. The 1969 Chicano Youth Liberation Conference began the Chicano movement and eventually, MEChA. At the conference, women began to get involved in the male-dominated dialogue to address feminist concerns. After the conference, women returned to their communities as activists and thus began the Chicana feminist movement.
In its modern form, the Jewish feminist movement can be traced to the early 1970s in the United States. According to Judith Plaskow, the main grievances of early Jewish feminists were women's exclusion from the all-male prayer group or minyan, women's exemption from positive time-boundmitzvot (mitzvot meaning the 613 commandments given in the Torah at Mount Sinai and the seven rabbinic commandments instituted later, for a total of 620), and women's inability to function as witnesses and to initiate divorce in Jewish religious courts.
The term materialist feminism emerged in the late 1970s; materialist feminism highlights capitalism and patriarchy as central in understanding women's oppression. Under materialist feminism, gender is seen as a social construct, and society forces gender roles, such as bearing children, onto women. Materialist feminism's ideal vision is a society in which women are treated socially and economically the same as men. The theory centers on social change rather than seeking transformation within the capitalist system.
Difference feminism was developed by feminists in the 1980s, in part as a reaction to popular liberal feminism (also known as "equality feminism"), which emphasizes the similarities between women and men in order to argue for equal treatment for women. Difference feminism, although it is still aimed at equality between men and women, emphasizes the differences between men and women and argues that identicality or sameness are not necessary in order for men and women, and masculine and feminine values, to be treated equally. Liberal feminism aims to make society and law gender-neutral, since it sees recognition of gender difference as a barrier to rights and participation within liberal democracy, while difference feminism holds that gender-neutrality harms women "whether by impelling them to imitate men, by depriving society of their distinctive contributions, or by letting them participate in society only on terms that favor men".
^Turcotte, Louise. (foreword) The Straight Mind and Other Essays, Monique Wittig, Beacon Press, 1992, ISBN0-8070-7917-0, p. ix
^Badran, Margot, Feminism in Islam: Secular and Religious Convergences (Oxford, Eng.: Oneworld, 2009) p. 227
^Freedman, Marcia, "Theorizing Israeli Feminism, 1970–2000", in Misra, Kalpana, & Melanie S. Rich, Jewish Feminism in Israel: Some Contemporary Perspectives (Hanover, N.H.: Univ. Press of New England (Brandeis Univ. Press) 2003) pp. 9–10
^Voet, Rian (1998). Feminism and Citizenship. SAGE Publications Ltd.
^Grande Jensen, Pamela. Finding a New Feminism: Rethinking the Woman Question for Liberal Democracy. p. 3.