4th Wave Feminism: Diverse, Online, and Open to All
Today's feminist movement--the Fourth Wave--is best characterized by an increasing diversity of voices that, in reaction to the Third Wave of the 1990s, want to establish a bedrock of feminine values rather than follow male ones.
Today’s feminist movement–the Fourth Wave–is best characterized by an increasing diversity of voices that, in reaction to the Third Wave of the 1990s, wants to establish a bedrock of feminine values rather than follow male ones. The greatest vehicle for the Fourth Wave is undoubtedly the Internet, which has allowed “ordinary women to share their stories, organise and find a platform.” Twitter hashtags like #YesAllWomen is one example. The Everyday Sexism Project is another, which “exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Through the 1990s, being a feminist seemed to mean asserting the female right to take part in distinctly masculine activities from going to strip clubs with male friends to having indiscriminate (and short) sex. But now, feminism means gathering a plurality of voices to express something distinctly feminine. “Fourth-wave feminism isn’t a religion with a holy book, or a club with a pledge of allegiance, and can fit within it an infinite variety of individuals and concerns,” says pro-sex feminist Melissa Harrison. “Part of the work of feminism is to allow women their full and glorious diversity, so, for me, each added voice is something to celebrate.”