Drowning in the Shallow End: Third Wave Feminism

Published July 28, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Drowning in the Shallow End: Third Wave Feminism

by Heather Tirado Gilligan

In the 1990s, a new generation of women heralded the dawn of a new feminist era. But does declaring a “new wave” – particularly one that equates individual lifestyle choices with activism, consumer power with feminism, and diversity with racial equality – make for a feminist social movement?

Heather Tirado Gilligan explores this issue through interviews with feminist scholar Jane Elliott, Colorlines managing editor Daisy Hernandez, lesbian filmmaker Aishah Simmons, and Chicana feminist Cherrie Moraga. Gilligan proposes feminists drop the wave metaphor and organize around the less socially palatable but more pressing goal of addressing inequities.

This article comes to an interesting conclusion in that the author argues

“Our rights, such as they are, were won by the tireless work of earlier generations of feminists, and obligate us to correct the inequality that continues to structure women’s lives, starting right now.”

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