Since the beginning of civilizations, men have been classified as the stronger sex and women as the weaker sex , less intelligent and less capable. These differences between male and female sex were seen at first as a natural difference, giving men the power to make political, economic, cultural and social decisions and leaving women on one side, so that they could take care of their lives. house and children . This social inequality between men and women would result in the eighteenth century, the feminist movement , which seeks to change this supposed difference seen as natural and give women the possibility to have the same rights and opportunities as men. Currently, feminism has taken various positions according to the different cases in which women are exploited for their condition on different continents (American, Black, Asian, Arab, etc.). Thus, there is talk of different types of feminism such as liberal feminism, radical feminism, black feminism, eco feminism, transfeminism, Queer theory and others, which continue in the struggle to give women a place in the societies of the world, a space equal to that of man, with the same rights and duties.

What is feminism?

The feminism is a social political movement that originated in the late eighteenth century and aims to vindicate the rights of women creating equal opportunities and benefits as are men and thus eliminate discrimination and violence against women.

  • What does it consist of
  • Background
  • Source
  • History of feminism
  • Feminism today
  • Types of feminism
  • Characteristics
  • Principles and objectives
  • Causes of feminism
  • Consequences
  • Importance
  • critics
  • Feminism by country
  • Outstanding women of feminism

What does it consist of

Feminism consists of an active struggle for the vindication of women and obtaining equal opportunities and benefits with men and to eliminate discrimination and mistreatment of women by the patriarchal systems that exist in many nations of the world.



Among the antecedents that give rise to the feminist movement there are certain unequal conditions between men and women that we will present below:

  • Women could not have access to education.
  • Women couldn’t decide who to marry.
  • Women could not vote.
  • Women could not make family decisions.
  • The women took care of the children, cleaning the home and giving sexual pleasure to her husband.
  • The money a woman earned from her work was for her husband.


Feminism originates in the 18th century because of the social inequalities that existed between men and women.

After the French Revolution in 1876, a document entitled “The Rights of Man and of the Citizen” was drawn up, which took into account only men and not women. This generated discontent among many women and led to the creation of two documents in response to the previous one called “The Rights of Women and the Citizen” written by Olympe de Gouges and another entitled “Vindication of the rights of women” written by Mary Wollstonecraft , these in order to vindicate the rights of women. These two texts are the foundations of the feminist movement and explain that the differences that exist between men and women are not natural but cultural.

History of feminism

The history of feminism begins in the eighteenth century as a consequence of the inequality that existed in the societies of that time between men and women.

The feminist movement is studied in three stages that mark its beginning, development and actuality. These stages are called waves. Below are the three waves of feminism that summarize her history. These are:

The First Wave

This initial stage begins at the end of the 18th century in the period of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. In 1789, “The rights of man and of the citizen” was published, but although this document spoke of equality, freedom and fraternity, premises of the French Revolution, it did not take women into account. For this reason, two years later, in 1791, the French writer Olympe de Gouges published her work ” The Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens” . This work was banned from women’s clubs and Olympe was guillotined by the French government of the time. The following year, the English writer and philosopher Mary Wolltonecraft published a text entitled ” Vindication of the rights of women”, A document that leaves printed the essence of feminism in its search for the equality of women and men in society.

This first wave of feminism had many government repressions against women . Many were killed, imprisoned or tortured . Despite this, the movement did not stop and spread to several countries in Europe and America in the two centuries that followed.

In the 19th century, the feminist struggle became more focused on England, the United States, and Latin America. The main objective of feminism in this century, was to obtain the right to vote to achieve political power. One of the most significant representatives of this struggle is the Franco-Peruvian Flora Tristán who writes “The Emancipation of Women” in 1845 where she affirms that women are the proletarian of the proletariat and that this situation had to change. Years later in the United States at the Seneca Falls convention in New York, the first convention to talk about women’s rights was held, led by Elizabeth Stanton, Carrie C. Catt and Lucretia Mott. The activities for the female vote were highly criticized at that time.

In England, the feminist groups that were fighting for the vote of women were called suffragettes and were led by Emmeline Pankhurst. Many of the women suffragettes did protest activities that had never been used before, such as: hunger strikes, shackling themselves, sabotaging events or throwing explosives.

It is in 1918 that English women manage to win the female vote for those over 30 years of age. Two years later, in 1920, the feminine vote is approved in the United States and later, in other countries.

The Second Wave

The second feminist stage begins in the early 60s and ends in the 90s of the twentieth century.

After having conquered the female vote in the First Wave, women began to focus on issues related to the social inequality that exists between women and men, where women have always been more affected.

This stage has its origin in World War II, when American companies encourage women to work in men’s positions through advertising posters. Many women worked in factories of different products but at the end of the war, these women were forced to resign in order to return those jobs to men and return women to housework and children.

The Second Wave was attended by intellectual writers who explain the position of women in history and their inequalities as a cultural phenomenon and not as something natural, the phenomenon of androcentrism and patriarchy as elements that exploit and denigrate women . These are the cases of the French writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir with her work “The Second Sex” in 1949, of the American psychologist Betty Friedan with “The mystique of femininity” in 1963, of the filmmaker and philosopher Kate Millett with ” Sexual Politics ” in 1970 and the Canadian Shulamith Firestone with the dialectic of sex, among others.

In addition to the literary production on the subject of feminism and the actions that were carried out at that time, it is important to mention the appearance of one of the most important groups of American feminism created by Betty Friedan in 1966, called NOW (National Organization Women).

The Third Wave

At the end of the 90s, the Third Wave of feminism begins, at which time this movement begins to generate various visions or ramifications that are developing until today. This phenomenon occurs because women become aware that there is no single model of woman treated in the Second Wave and multiple models of women begin to be identified that go beyond sex and are related to social or ethnic class, nationality , religion, sexual orientation, among others. This is the case of Sojourner Truth, who speaks of the double exclusion that slaves suffered for being black and women.

In the Third Wave, different approaches begin to appear in many parts of the world, such as: radical feminism, queer theory, postcolonial feminism, ecofeminism, transsexual feminism, black feminism and many more that continue to fight for the equality of conditions and to change the patriarchal state that exploits women.

In the Third Wave, there were many debates on issues related to sex, prostitution, lesbianism, transsexuality called “Feminist wars for sex” , which served as a motivating element to generate the different positions of feminism.

The American writer and political activist Rebecca Walker is the first to use the term Third Wave to refer to the new feminism that was being born in her time with new visions and goals to be achieved in postmodern society.

Feminism today

At present there is still the feminist movement of the Third Wave and this is characterized by having several ramifications of feminism determined by the models of women that exist in the world and how they have been exploited.

The different feminist currents are oriented towards two essential objectives that are complemented by their particular objectives according to the model of women that each one of them seeks to defend. The two essential objectives move in:

  • Equal opportunities. This ties in with liberal feminism.
  • The social change of the patriarchal system. This ties in with radical feminism.

To these two objectives are added actions related to particular situations of exploitation or mistreatment of women in different parts of the world, whether due to their nationality, sexual orientation, religion, social class or others.

Types of feminism

There are several types of feminism. Among the best known are the following:

  • Liberal feminism
  • Radical feminism
  • Black feminism
  • Postcolonial feminism
  • Transfeminism
  • Queer theory
  • Ecofeminism
  • Socialist feminism
  • Cyberfeminism


Among the most representative characteristics of feminism we can mention the following:

  • It is a social movement that seeks gender equality.
  • Fight against patriarchy.
  • He is against violent domination.
  • He was fighting for the right to vote.
  • Seeks the vindication of women in political, social or cultural positions.
  • Seek inclusion.
  • Seek the liberation of women.
  • Seeks equal opportunities between men and women.
  • It is against discrimination against women regardless of their social class, skin type or other discriminatory element.

Principles and objectives

The principles and objectives of feminism are based on the search for women to achieve equal rights and privileges that men have.

Causes of feminism

The causes that give rise to the feminist movement is the social inequality that women have suffered and suffer in the different stages of history.


The consequences generated by feminism are conquests for equal opportunities and respect for women regardless of their social status, ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation. These conquests have been very costly for women, for many of them they were beaten or killed for following these ideals of equality and respect. It has also taken many decades to achieve progress in the social and cultural field due to the respect and equality of conditions that, unfortunately for this movement, are still not uniform in all countries, since there are nations where women still do not have rights and are exploited. by the patriarchal system of your nation.


The importance of feminism as a movement is in the constant struggle for the search for respect and vindication of women in society as a human being and not as a being subjected by man and the androcentric systems of the world.

Women as part of humanity seek their freedom and their quality of life and in the development of this movement it has been observed how in history the defense and protection of a unique model of women (white, high social class and Western) to respect for all the models of women that exist in the world with their distinctive and particular characteristics. This respect for the diversity of women and their rights and duties is part of human evolution and that is why feminism makes a significant contribution to the history of humanity in the search for happiness through equality and respect.


In the history of feminism, different criticisms have been presented against this movement since in its origins it was led by upper-class white women who fought against the exploitation of white women and did not respect or despise the opinions of other women , either because of their social class, race or slave status. This made the feminist movement something of white western elites and was not often supported by the rest of the female community in many countries.

Another criticism related to the feminist movement is that many of its followers do not feel represented by their leaders, because their opinions are not taken into account and they are invited to fight for their rights but without feeling feminist.

In the United States, feminism was criticized for linking it to Nazism, stating that Hitler was a feminist and this generated the term “Feminazi” to refer to radical feminism.

From the male point of view, many men criticize that feminism is a movement that destroys homes because it makes women believe they reject and despise men, creating in her a resentment that seems more like revenge than a search for equality.

Feminism by country

In different countries of the world feminism is still present with its principles and ideals, this is the case of countries such as Spain , Mexico and Argentina.

In Spain

Spanish feminism has been very active from its beginnings to the present, conquering lands in politics and in defense of women’s rights. Many of these achievements are:

  • The right to vote
  • Recognition of divorce and civil marriage
  • The right to power of women over their children
  • Exclusion for women from the crime of adultery
  • From being the country (in 1936) with the most women in government.

Among the most representative women of Spanish feminism, we can mention Victoria Kent, Clara Campoamos, Dolores Ibárruri, Margarita Nelken, among others.

In Mexico

Feminism in Mexico had its beginning between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Mexican women have developed in the feminist movement, publications, feminist congresses, associations and networks for the protection of women and equal opportunities , as well as the creation of three feminist currents such as: historical, social and popular feminism.

In Mexico, feminist movements created their own institutions such as: Mujeres en Acción Solidaria (MAS), Movimiento Nacional de Mujeres (MNM), Movimiento de Liberación de la Mujer (MLM), Colectivo La Revuelta, Colectivo de Mujeres, Lucha Feminista , National Front for the Liberation and Rights of Women (FNALIDM) among others.

Among the most representative women of Mexican feminism, the following can be mentioned: Hermila Galindo, Julia Tuñón, Jesusa Rodríguez, Gabriela Cano Ortega, Gabriela Rodríguez, Ana Lau Jaiven, Carmen Ramos Escandón, among others.

In Argentina

In the history of Argentina, feminism has played an important role in various fields such as social and political. Argentine feminism began at the end of the 19th century but has great achievements such as the creation of institutions for the protection of women such as: the Christian Association of Young Women, the Foundation for Women in Equality, the Association of Women of Buenos Aires, Women of Argentina, the Feminine Peronist Party, among others.

Of the most outstanding women of Argentine feminism we can mention Virginia Bolten, Carolina Muzilli, Eva Perón , Delia Parodi, among others.

Outstanding women of feminism

Of the many outstanding women in the feminist movement, some very significant can be cited, such as:

  • Olympe de Gouges
  • Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Lucretia mott
  • Elisabeth Cady Stanton
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Flora Tristán Feminism
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Betty fredan
  • Rebecca walker
  • Eva Peron
  • Virginia Bolten
  • Dolores Ibárruri
  • Hermila galindo

Leave a Comment