Extract from chapter 4 of ‘The Blackwell Companion to Sociology of Religion’ by Linda Woodhead
I think it’s interesting the way Linda Woodhead notes that although it’s commonly seen that there are two or three stages or waves of feminism, in the preset day there is evidence of all three waves coexisting, albeit, as Woodhead says ‘in conflict’. We still occasionally hear of women in jobs of high position being paid less that their male counterparts.
I find it interesting that the evolution of feminism and feminist values have shifted so much that they conflict with one another. I think third-wave feminism is a much less agressive form of feminism, as Woodhead says, the values have moved away from female issues and studies to gender studies with the aim of understanding the complexity of gender, especially in the 21st century, when the previously clear distinction between ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ has been joined by more cultural freedom in terms of a person’s gender identity. It is no longer true, I think, that by making clear femininity, one automatically makes clear masculinity – of course male and female identity has always been more complicated that that but with the coining of phrases such as ‘metrosexual’ and a looser and more accepting culture of free expression in terms of gender, the distinction between masculine and feminine in relation to appearance is significantly more complex to define.