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Oh third wave, where art thou?

June 11th, 2009     by Diandra Oliver     Comments

I am in the thick of submitting the second draft of my thesis. Over the past few weeks I’ve updated essays I wrote over a year ago, saying “yes” to every edit my thesis-supervisor has suggested, and incorporating newer material because my research just kind of stopped at 2007. One of the articles I’ve come across in my search for newish material, “What is Third Wave Feminism? A New Directions Essay,” by R. Claire Snyder, sums up the major arguments/actions of the third wave.

She also stakes a claim:

“third-wavers do not feel the need to spend a lot of time constructing ambitious theoretical analyses or justifying on what grounds they are acting; they just do it.”

And I wanted to pose a question to the greater Shameless community (if you identify as third-wave or not):

When you act politically or feministy do you know the theoretical argument behind what you’re doing? Or do you just do it?

For me, it’s a mix of both. I like engaging with feminism and being an activist/feminist in my community without thinking about the theories and reasons behind it. Feminism is inside me, this is who I am, what action I take is a direct reflection of this gut-feminism. But, I also love to wrestle with theories about why I participate the way I do and contribute the way I do (hence this crazy thesis about the third wave). I’m always surprised by is how easy it is to put the third wave (and younger feminists) into that non-theory category: as if we’re unable to talk our way out of the box we’re in.

Tags: in my opinion...

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