“Fourth-wave feminism isn’t a religion with a holy book, or a club with a pledge of allegiance…”
- Financial Times
There’s been a lot of talk about “fourth-wave” feminism in media over the past few months, especially in the British press, but what defines it? I think:
1/ No single voice or icon. So much fourth-wave feminist dialogue takes place on the internet, and the internet is home to multitudes of voices, all colliding with one another, debating, and pursuing different causes. This means that while our generation may produce great ideas, we are unlikely to produce a Steinem, a Wolf, or a Greer: a single iconic voice that stands for our movement and our generation.
2/ Intersectionality. Being a woman is not a single experience. Feminism is not just for white women, or for middle class professional women, and it should not just deal with its concern. In terms of our generation’s political/theoretical contribution thus far, I feel like fourth wave feminism is pretty much defined by intersectionality.
In a lot of the articles I read about “fourth-wave feminism,” though, it seems to boil down to: third-wave feminism, but with added internet! Or: zero change in what comprises feminism, but oh gosh, isn’t it great that people are finally talking about it again?
Thoughts? I’d love to hear them. Head over to my Facebook page to share what you think fourth-wave feminism is (and if you think it exists at all).