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Discourses Among Academic and Third Wave Feminists: Reiterating the Essence of “The personal is the Political” in Third Wave Feminism


This paper tends to reiterate the awareness-arousing characteristics of the third-wave feminism: heterogeneity, transnationalism, individual testimony, cultural hybridity, coalitional identity and collective empowerment by responding to the article, “Feminism’s Third Wave: What Do Young Women Want?” published by Wendy Kaminer, who criticizes that for the purpose of voicing the indignation at being unfairly oppressed in class, gender and race, how third-wave feminists improperly take miserable testimony as the therapeutic route against the unfair treatment from the patriarchal power. By declaiming third wavers’ presenting their personal oppressed histories as an inadequate process to limit public issues into personal ones, Kaminer points out it is risk-taking in finitely constructing the politics of third-wave feminism by expressing private testimonies. However, one of the representative feminists in third-wave movement, Babara Findlen, has mentioned, “Individual women’s experiences of sexism have always been an important basis for political awareness and action. This collection gives voice to young feminists’ personal experiences because they have often been, and continue to be, our point of entry into feminism” (15). Individuals’ voices not only play significant roles to construct the foundation of feminist theory but can be collected as the approaches to feminism relating to both personal and public phronesis. For responding to Kamnier’s undervaluing the fixed position of an individual in third-wave feminism, this paper tends to discuss how third wavers embrace the characteristic of coalition with multiple identities by sharing their personal life records in the light of the conception, “the personal is political.”

Keywords: collective empowerment, cultural hybridity, heterogeneity, personal is political, third-wave feminism, transnationalis

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