My Body, My Choice: the Feminism Movement

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Feminism has made an impact in society throughout the years. With the years changing, so has the movement. With different decades came different issues for the mission of the feminist. However, even though new challenges have arose, there have also been many incredible triumphs for women. One thing stands for sure, women have taken the obstacles thrown at them and have overcome them. This is how feminism has changed throughout the years.

In the 18th century, which is the earliest the we have been able to look at, feminism had gotten its’ first earliest beginnings. Women began to realize the deserve to have the same rights as men in society. That they were not just a wife or a mother to some man that had to take care of them. The right to divorce was a popular issue during this time. Women could not divorce their husband, they had to get permission or hope for the man to file for a divorce from the woman. Not only did they speak on issues pertaining to women themselves, but also civil issues. For example, racism and discrimination.

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First-Wave feminism arrived in the 1920’s, one of the most popular eras for the feminist movement. This is when feminism first got its name and became a nationwide movement to all. This is typically the era shown in textbooks when talking about feminism. During this time in feminist history, the right to vote was the issue. Women were angry that they had no say in who would be their leaders and didn’t have anyone sharing their view points. When it started to become a solidified movement a lot of men were not happy about it. Everyone, not just the men, were used to women being the mother figures and ones who stayed at home. Most men, did not want to see this change even though eventually the change did happen.

In the 1930’s World War II began. Many brave men had to fight for their country, leaving their jobs at home behind. Women began to take up the jobs that were done by men. Since no one was there to do the jobs done by men women had to learn how to do it themselves. This is when “We Can Do It” first came to be. It became the ultimate symbol for the feminist movement. It was to empower women to believe in themselves. To give them the courage to believe that being a woman has nothing to do with their capability.

Then, the 1960’s came around which begins the era of Second Wave Feminism. People began to talk about important issues such as abortion. “Her body, her choice” really came into question during this wave of feminism. Not only abortion rights but other serious issues such as rape and sexual assault.

An after, we come into the 1980’s. Feminism began to flourish all over the globe. Women in many countries were finally getting the right to vote. Freedom of sexuality started to be expressed. Where a women could wear what she wanted and be confident. It started to be shown the differences between how women are overall treated differently by society. For example that men would get praised for doing a job, where a women would get no credit for the same job.

The 1990’s is when women were making history like no other. Women started holding positions in very prestigious jobs. For example, jobs in office, outer space, and many more. Not only that but leaders, male leaders started to take an even closer look to gender related violence like rape or sexual assault. Laws were passed to make sure people were punished for their actions. Finally, people started to notice the difference between feminism for a white or black woman.

And in the 2000’s Third Wave Feminism begins. Suddenly, body positivity is everywhere. People realized there was more appreciation for thin women and that it was wrong. It became okay to love yourself and your curves. So instead of being told to hide it, women were being told to embrace it and to not be ashamed. Not to mention the ground breaking ban on women holding combat military positions and eventually making it mandatory to sign up for the draft which lead to another step closer to equality. This is also when people, specifically celebrities began to shed a light on mental illness. Which even today, is still a very important issue for the movement of feminism.

Which brings us to the feminism of today. A very important focus for feminism today is LGBTQ rights. The movement is moving towards making sure all feel welcomed supporting it and that it is not just for biological women. However, more recently, the issue of abortion has come up again. Legislators in different states have made it near impossible for women to get abortions, making it illegal again. Leading the feminist movement to once again fight for “My Body, My Choice,” On a brighter note, girls supporting girls has also become supported by other women. Whereas before media and other girls would pit one against the other but now it is about lifting each other up and realizing there is room at the top for everyone.

In conclusion, feminism has had many changes come to it throughout the decades. Certain issues have gotten better and others have seemed to fall again. And as time goes on and society changes, so will the movement. Things will get easier and new issues will be thrown into the mix. As long as the feminist movement lives on, there will always be someone fighting for the equality of all. 

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