The Womens Feminist Movement (Women's Lib) started in the western world in the 1800's and has gone through three waves.
The 'first' wave was in the 1800's, and was orientated around the stations of middle or upper class women.
The 'second' wave began in the 1960's. It addressed unofficial inequalities, sexuality, and perhaps the most controversially, "reproductive rights."
The 'third' wave started in the 1980's and continues through the present.
It focused on embracing contradictions, conflict and irrationality.
I AM WOMAN --The Book, is the 'fourth' wave in the Feminist Movement. It is the final wave : the Tsunami Wave!
The book, like the women's organization, will help quide women to empowerment and transformation. It is for women seeking to re-invent themselves, and becoming the beautiful butterfly they really are.
I AM WOMAN will finally re-unite men and women, and women can now stand tall and proudly say : "I AM WOMAN"....Watch me soar!
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I Am WomanThe Empowerment and Transformation of Women
By Victoria Howard Allan Jay Friedman
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Victoria Howard with Allan Jay Friedman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Beginning
In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is described as "the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes." However, the history of women has been one of submission.
There was no getting out of it and no divorce. You were stuck 'til death do you part: no matter how abusive or cruel.
The feminist movement began in the late eighteenth century in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has gone through three "waves."
The first wave was initiated in the nineteenth century and lasted until the twenty-first century.
It began in 1848 with the seventy-year fight for the women's right to vote. It began over tea.
It was on July 13, in the year 1848, that a New York housewife named Elizabeth Cady Stanton had friends over to discuss her discontent with the limitations placed on women's situations under America's so-called democracy.
Within a few days, these women picked a date for the convention. Its basis was to discuss social, civil, and religious conditions, and especially all rights for women. The gathering took place in Seneca Falls, New York, on July 19 and 20, 1848.
Among the topics discussed were the following:
1) Married women were legally "dead" in the eyes) of the law.
2) Women were not allowed to vote.
3) Married women had no property rights.
4) Husbands had legal power over women and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them.
5) Women were not allowed to enter professional fields such as law or medicine.
6) Women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church.
7) Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were totally dependent on men.
The convention was convened. Then, two days later, a document called the Declaration of Sentiments and twelve resolutions received unanimous endorsements.
Let's take off our hats to these courageous women for standing up for what they believed was right. Little did they know that they started a movement that would continue for centuries.
Margaret Meade got it right when she said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed and fully focused citizens, with a common lofty dream, can change the world."
And indeed, only collective dreaming, shared by a few focused and passionate people, has ever changed the world.
Unfortunately, as the years of fighting for equality crept toward victory, relationships between men and women slowly deteriorated.
That's because when most men hear the words women's lib, they frown and grimace. You see, most men think women's lib means that women should wear the pants and be less feminine. They also think it will mean an end to their relationship or divorce. WRONG!
Much of this distorted impression has been caused by women themselves, and unless women take responsibility for having helped create it, they will have no power to change it.
In truth, women's lib is an awareness program that has educated women about themselves. And, it was through this program that women began to set aside their doubts and place a higher value on themselves. Unfortunately, it did not include men.
It has been forty years since Gloria Steinem said, "Women's liberation aims to not only free women but men as well." She went on to say, "Women are sisters, just like men are brothers. They have many of the very same problems. And, unlike men, they communicate with each other. The women's movement is a very important revolutionary and communication bridge, which we are building" (Wikipedia.org).
It has been nearly 300 years since the onslaught of the fight for equality and it's still lingering on. It has still not fully embraced men. But with this clearer understanding of where the women's lib movement went wrong, we are erecting a bridge of equality that finally brings men and women together as ONE. This unification organization is called, I AM WOMAN.
I AM WOMAN is the "fourth wave" and ideally the last one. Finally, equality will be reached on all issues and men and women will reunite as co-independents instead of co-dependents. And this "at-one-ment" will finally be through love, understanding, equality, and freedom.
Chapter TwoThe Second Wave in the Movement
What did Twiggy, The Beatles, miniskirts, hippies, and the women's liberation movement have in common?
They were all icons of the sixties: the era of pot smoking, the introduction of miniskirts, The Beatles and the "British invasion" of American music, and women ... still striving for equality.
Bouffant hairstyles and pillbox hats were the rage. Women were thought of as ornaments, with their place in the home.
Along with the many life-altering changes that this era brought, the "second wave" of the feminist movement began. It represented a seemingly abrupt break with the tranquil suburban life pictured in American popular culture.
Rape crisis centers were established.
Children's books were written that challenged sexual stereotypes.
Having been excluded from male-dominated occupations for decades, women finally found jobs as doctors, lawyers, pilots, construction workers, soldiers, bankers, and bus drivers.
Unlike the first wave, the second wave provoked extensive theoretical discussion about the origins of women's oppression, the nature of gender, and women's role in the family.
Women fought to liberate themselves from the traditional roles of wife and mother. Iconic images such as bra burning made women's lib a powerful movement.
But, the "bra burning" story was just a false rumor started by a woman as a way of imprinting a message to the public.
A woman from a small town in Ohio made a huge impact on the second wave in women's lib. Her name was Gloria Marie Steinem, and she was a political activist who became recognized as a leader of the women's liberation movement.
Steinem actively campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, in addition to other laws that promoted equality between men and women, and against discriminatory laws such as those that gave men superior rights in marriage.
In 1960, Playboy opened its first much-touted Playboy Club, which was called a rebellion against domesticity. It honored the "cool" bachelor, who drank martinis and had a line of Playmates who were too willing to "give it up" without a commitment.
In 1965, a "girlie" magazine for men called Penthouse accompanied Playboy magazine in promoting sexually explicit pictorials of women they dubbed "the girl next door."
Women fought for their right not to be symbolized as "beauty objects" or "sex objects." In fact in 1968, 100 women protested the Miss America Pageant because it promoted physical attractiveness and charm as the primary measures of a woman's worth.
It was a decade later that women launched the first magazine for women, where men would pose similar to the women who posed for Playboy. Many men objected to Playgirl, saying that it was only for gay men. But what's good for the goose is also good for the gander! Equal rights means exploiting men as well as women. Correct?
And so, the battle for power between men and women's superiority began.
One important feminist goal during this wave was to get women to run for office. Today women have been elected president in countries such as Israel, Argentina, Costa Rica, Iceland, Malta, and the Philippines.
For obvious reasons, men felt threatened by the women's liberation movement. To them, it represented opposition to the traditional training they underwent, such as the idea that "women should be barefoot and pregnant" and "a woman's place is in the kitchen and in the bedroom."
They believed that women's lib meant an end to their relationships with women. In many cases, it did. And that is where women's lib went wrong.
Women's lib was created to be a "woman's awareness program" that educated women about themselves. Through this process, women began to set aside their doubts and place a higher value on themselves. And, by the end of the first wave, women had climbed one-quarter up the "ladder of equality." But still the power battle raged on between men and women.
It was forty years ago that women's rights advocate Gloria Steinem said, "Women's liberation aims to free men, too." (But, did it?)
"Women are sisters," she said. "We have many of the same problems and we communicate with one another. The women's lib movement is an important revolutionary bridge and we are continually building it" (wikipedia.org).
Centuries later, there is still a bit of women's oppression, and the fight for equality and the bridge of equality have also separated men and women more and more. And so it is that the era of the fourth wave, the final wave, was created. It is called I AM WOMAN. Through this wave, we hope to eliminate all of women's oppression once and for all and finally reach total equality with men in every area of endeavor.
It is our mission to finally reunite man and woman as ONE, just as God intended in the beginning.
Chapter ThreeThe Third Wave
Conflicts like when President Clinton changed the meaning of oral sex, saying it wasn't sex at all: and, when Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas (a man who had been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court) of sexual harassment. For those of you who don't know the outcome, our U.S. Senate voted 52-48 in favor of Thomas's nomination.
These and other tensions have affected changes in our society, including the no-fault divorce, women's rights to make decisions about pregnancy, abortion, and the right to own property.
The third-wave feminists are often proponents of using nonsexist language, using Ms. to refer to both married and unmarried women.
Many women who marry today choose to keep their maiden name instead of taking their husband's last name. This is a symbol of power and independence.
Childbearing out of wedlock has become more socially acceptable. In conservative Judaism, women can be ordained as rabbis. There are some Protestant women who are ordained as clergy.
Third-wave women come in all sizes, shapes, and flavors. They are career women, mothers, wives, lovers, bitches, sex symbols, activists, doctors, politicians, lesbians, and "girly girls."
In truth, the Third Wave was started to accommodate diversity and change. It is true that the Third wave is far from what the advocates of the first and second waves fought for. But, it is also true, that, through the efforts of the third wave, many positive changes have occurred.
Today, there are women in government, as well as women pursuing careers and raising children.
Third-wave feminism continues to be a substantial voice in America, and it continues to seek for the betterment for women across racial, class, and sexuality lines.
Furthermore, third-wave feminism has made great strides in reaching out to women in various nations, so that women from the so-called developing world can partake in a more transnational version of feminism. It is characterized by a desire of young women to find a voice of their own.
Now, because of the hard work that the feminists of the third wave have accomplished, women are almost at the top of the equality ladder.
Chapter FourThe Fourth Wave: I AM WOMAN
Feminism as a movement in America has now largely played itself out.
The work in America is almost done!
With the fourth and final wave, I AM WOMAN, the work that our ancestors have fought for centuries to achieve will almost be accomplished.
It is clear that many of women's demands have still not been met. However, with the coming of the organization I AM WOMAN, we have reason to be optimistic about the future.
The fourth wave will not be a continuation of the three previous waves. Instead, it will be the tsunami Victoria Howard with Allan Jay Friedman wave ... the BIG ONE! Here, we will reunite men and women, just as they should have been reunited in the beginning. But this time, through co-independence not co-dependence.
At last, man and woman will be united in every way and on every level as co-equals and co-supporters-but through love and harmony, not dissension and disharmony.
Today, women throughout the world are elected to run countries. But we must remember that it took seventy years for American women to get the right to vote, and some even lost their lives for it!
More women have become the majority on college campuses and are getting better grades than men (The New York Times).
Even the fight for equal pay is an argument about statistics. These, too, are the fruits of feminists' success and our need to take that "extra step."
The quest for equality has become a quest not only for American women but is NOW being pursued by women in every corner of the planet. And this is proving that this once, seemingly, impossible dream is, indeed, POSSIBLE!
Anywhere that women are still lagging behind men, I AM WOMAN will be there!
I AM WOMAN will always be anywhere we need to be to protect, defend, and finalize every current and future right to which a woman is entitled, by her birthright and our Constitution, to pursue health, happiness, justice and freedom, which are our alienable rights.
Excerpted from I Am Woman by Victoria Howard Allan Jay Friedman Copyright © 2011 by Victoria Howard with Allan Jay Friedman. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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