The Women's Movement: The Second Wave of Feminist Pioneers

Linda Berger

Wednesdays, October 4 - November 1 10:00 a.m. - noon 5 sessions
King's Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon Street

Feminist roots can be traced to ancient times, but the modern movement has three distinct waves. The First Wave (1830s to early 1900s) was a fight for equal contract and property rights, and culminated in the first gain in political power, with the right to vote. The Second Wave (1960s to 1980s) was a broadening of the first debate, focused on the workplace, sexuality, family, and reproductive rights. The Third Wave (1990s to the present) is still dealing with reproductive rights of women, disparity in male and female pay, and how to end violence against women. 

This course is about The Second Wave of The Women’s Movement. It starts in 1963 with Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique. We will move forward from criticism of this book and a time obsessed with middle class white women’s problems, to seeing political activism develop and the inclusion of other groups, such as Black, Chicano, Asian, and Native American women, whose voices were not being heard.  

Feminist pioneers that will be included in this course will be Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex, 1949), Kate Millett (Sexual Politics, 1970), Germaine Greer  (The Female Eunuch, 1970), Gloria Steinem (founded Ms. Magazine, 1972), Susan Brownmiller (Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, 1975), and Alice Walker (writer) and Judy Chicago (artist).

Teaching Style: Lecture with discussion     Weekly Preparation: None


    Linda Berger

    Linda Berger is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She has a B.S. and an M.S. in education and has done doctoral work in educational psychology. This is her 14th course about pioneering women for Beacon Hill Seminars.