This book is intended to provide a gateway into the study of modern feminism, to give an overview of resources on the subject, and to present the modern feminist vision of women’s issues and status. I have focused on what has come to be known as the “second wave” of feminism and on today’s third wave of feminism, but even this involves an enormous amount of information. Feminism is a subject that encompasses a wide array of issues. Feminists have focused on women’s work lives both outside and within the home, on women’s political power, on equality in educational opportunities, on family relations, and on spiritual dogmas. And feminists have disagreed on points about all of these issues. They have approached the issues from theoretical standpoints, from practical and political ones, and from iconoclastic, radical ones as well. Along the way, they have been criticized for their attempts to change society and have been thwarted in those attempts by those who have their own visions of the future of women and men in the modern world. To study feminism is to study a political, sociohistorical movement; it is to study women, their lives, their opportunities, and their hopes.
While its primary focus is the United States, Feminism also examines how multiculturalism and global thinking have infused today's feminists with a sense of widened responsibility for girls and women worldwide. Readers will find a cultural overview of society's changing perception of women and a thoughtful analysis of the directions feminism is taking today.
Other sections include a chronology of significant events, a collection of biographical sketches, and annotated listings of organizations and print and nonprint resources, including Internet coverage. Rounded out by a comprehensive index, this volume is excellent for anyone seeking a one-stop reference work on feminism.