Reclaiming and Rebranding Feminist Activism
The third wave of feminism emerged in response to the prevailing anti-feminist backlash that occurred during the 1980s in the US and Britain (Faludi, 1992; Oakley and Mitchell, 1997). During this time, the Reagan and Thatcher administrations introduced cuts and increased privatisation, both of which negatively and disproportionately affected women (Eisenstein, 1984; Bashevkin, 1994). At the same time, larger feminist organisations underwent a process of professionalisation, whilst feminist activism and women’s services moved off the streets and into town halls and university departments (Bashevkin, 1996). Part of the impetus for this new wave of feminism was the desire to reclaim feminism publicly, both as a means by which to reinvigorate feminist activism and as a necessary form of resistance to the anti-feminist backlash (Walker, 1995). Indeed, the reclamation project became, and has remained, a constituent part of feminist aims and objectives frequently articulated by feminist writers since the mid-1990s (Heywood and Drake, 1997; Baumgardner and Richards, 2000; Valenti, 2002; Redfern and Aune, 2010), whilst some, notably in the US, have also called for a rebranding of the movement in order to broaden its appeal (Wolf, 1994; Armstrong and Wood Rudúlph, 2013). The political, economic, and social circumstances within which this reclamation project was undertaken were not propitious.
KeywordsOnline Activism Reclamation Project Feminist Movement Radical Feminist Feminist Identity
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