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With the first wave of feminism, women were able to finally vote. The second wave of feminism was during the 1960s and 70s. The civil rights movement and Vietnam protests were happening at the same time and women were rebelling about equality and justice especially in the work place. The National Organization for Women was formed and marches and protests started. Some of the issues were “discrimination in employment and education, the legalization of abortion, violence against women, sexual harassment, lesbianism, equality in marriage”, and much rape crisis centers, women’s study college curricula, daycare, maternity leave, and women hired to work in jobs that for years were “men only”(Reilly, 2019).
The second wave feminism was mostly led by educated white middle classed women. The movement helped the white women gain more equality in employment and pay but it did not help the black women to the same extent. Betty Friedan asserts that “Yet for all of these black women, there were two major problems that had to be confronted — being black and being a woman at a time when there were virtually no meaningful legal protections against race or gender discrimination” (Friedan, 2013). Both were fighting for similar issues but due to racial inequality issues at the time, the black women had more to overcome.
In the Gloria Steinem article, If Men Could Menstruate, she is using this as example to show the inequality of women. Men have more authority and power over women and if men were faced with the same issues in life as women, it’s a bigger deal for them. The article encapsulates the central concerns of the second wave feminism by making the point that there are issues that women face, that men may not have to face. She is pointing out in a “different way” that woman deserve equal rights as men.
Friedan, Betty, She The People Betty Friedan and black women: Is it time for a second look? By Michelle Bernard, Washington Post, Feb. 21, 2013
Reilly, Kevin, The Human Journey A Concise Introduction to World History, Second Edition Volume 2: