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Third Wave vs. Socialist Feminism

in response to Regina Oboler

Forum: WMST-L
Date: 07/11/2001

On 01.7.11 7:32 AM, "Oboler, Regina" wrote:

Emi wrote:

But of course second wave has "looked at" race, poverty, and other issues, as Pauline Bart and others pointed out. To repeat the part 2 of my proposal (part 1 being that the third wave is "outside of" or "besides" the second wave, rather than "after"), I wrote that third wave feminisms are feminisms that start from the realization that there are power imbalances among women that are as serious and important as the power imbalance between women and men.

Didn't socialist feminism always start from this point?

That is the objection I always hear whenever I talk about the third wave in the way I did above. In response, I argue that *in general* socialist feminism does not go far enough in recognizing the impossibility of a coherent "united front" or united agenda - that is, instead of embracing the multiplicity of political organizing and agenda, it attempts, perhaps prematurely, to present a universal solution - which to me suggests that it did not recognize various power imbalances as equally important.

This conversation is beginning to make me less rather than more clear about how "Third Wave Feminism" is a distinct perspective.

I never said that third wave feminisms have a "distinct" perspective that has never been expressed. I'm trying to articulate third wave feminisms for itself rather than in contrast to another feminism or feminisms. I do think that "third wave" as I define it is pretty distinct from the second *in general*, but that is obviously not to say that second wave feminists all think alike (or for that matter, that third wave feminists all think alike).

Emi K. <>

-- * Putting the Emi back in Feminism since 1975.