Updated: Oct 16, 2018
Previous waves of feminism can be easily defined according to what they were fighting for. For first wavers it was the right to vote, second wavers were against gender roles and third wavers wanted self-ownership through sexual expression. Each feminist that came before us fought for our ability to choose our own messages and feminist needs today. So, with previous waves so clearly differentiated between, how will modern day, 21st century feminists go down in history?
We have a tool at our disposal that the waves before us didn’t – social media. And with it, we have moulded contemporary feminism into a worldwide message, continuing to go viral, one hashtag at a time. Our needs are different from those before us. What we want is; equal pay; better representation of women in executive roles; an end to sexual violence and harassment; alternative ideals about women’s bodies; and of course, the freedom of our nipples.
Feminist activism in 2018 consists of retweeting, sharing and hashtagging; and while seemingly far-removed from the militant behaviour of the suffragettes and protesting of women in the 60’s, it is just as powerful. It teaches women and girls, all over the world to accept nothing but equality. To unashamedly love their bodies. To demand the respect they deserve. To stand with their sisters and fight for what’s right. To live for themselves and no one else.
We are the fourth wave. And we can’t be ignored. Every time you turn on your phone or laptop, you see some form of feminist activism. And let’s be real - it shows no sign of dying out any time soon. We will continue to fight for the cause and will not take no for an answer. Societal equality of the genders will be achieved. Pay parity will be achieved. The day will come when no woman will live in fear of sexual violence.
We cannot and will not be silenced. Not only are we fighting for ourselves, we are fighting for our daughters. For their ability to never have to say #metoo.
We are the fourth wave but more importantly, we are also the last.