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France and the United States: Two different approaches to feminism

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Definition of feminism.
  3. Recent history of feminism in the United States: An overview.
    1. First-wave feminism.
    2. Second-wave feminism.
    3. Thirf-wave feminism.
  4. Recent history of feminism in France: An overview.
  5. Differences between feminism in the United States and in France.
  6. Feminist theories.
  7. Bibliography.

Feminism is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as ?the belief that women should have the same economic, social, and political rights as men? . However, there is not a single definition for feminism. This notion is rather complex and controversial, and it cannot be fully comprehended in a few lines. This essay will deal with feminism and in the United States and in France. These countries are two of the most important in the history of feminism. However, they have rather different approaches of feminism. There is not just a single type of feminism but a number of different types of feminism, as implied by the titles of many books about feminism(s) such as New French Feminisms: an Anthology, edited by Elaine Marks in 1981. Feminism comprises of a range of social, political and cultural theories, movements, and moral philosophies in relation with gender inequalities and with equal rights for women.

[...] During the 1980's, feminists experienced disillusionment and increasing pessimism, concerning the right to abort for instance. Third-wave feminism In 1991 at the Supreme Court, Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Thomas denied the accusations and, after long debates, the Senate finally voted 52-48 in favor of Thomas. In response to this, Rebecca Walker stated in an article published in Ms. and entitled 'Becoming the Third Wave': am not a post-feminism feminist. I am the third- wave."[6] The third-wave of feminism thus started in the early 1990's. [...]


[...] II Recent history of feminism in the United States: an overview According to some specialists, the recent history of feminism in the United States can be divided into three waves. The first wave refers to the movement of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. The second wave occurred in the 1960's and in the 1970's. The third wave extends from the 1990's to these days. First-wave feminism In 1840, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, two young American women, decided to go to the World's Anti-Slavery convention in London. [...]

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