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Encyclopedia > Second wave feminism

Second-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist thought that originated around the 1960s and was mainly concerned with independence and greater political action to improve women's rights.


Second-wave feminism was most concerned with items such as economic equality between the genders and addressing the rights of female minorities rather than absolute rights such as suffrage, as first wave feminism had. One phenomenon included the recognition of lesbian women within the movement. Lesbians had an ambiguous relationship with other, generally heterosexual-oriented feminist groups. Many feminists did not want to be associated with lesbians because of the stereotypes of "mannish" lesbians that predominated at the time. As a result many feminist groups felt betrayed and rejected straight women, claiming that heterosexual sexual relationships automatically subordinated women, and that the only true independence could come in lesbian relationships.


The second wave is most commonly linked with the radical feminist movement.


Second-wave feminists

See also: List of feminists


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