The ever-growing trend of “third wave feminism” is one of the biggest stories that many new media outlets like Buzzfeed are pushing, and in my opinion, this needs to stop. The idea of third-wave feminism is so detrimental to societies in the west that even some of their predecessors, “second wave feminists,” disagree with them, such as Christina Hoff Sommers also known as the Factual Feminist.
Second Wave Feminism started in the early 1960’s and mainly focused on sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights and legal inequalities. Third Wave Feminism started in the early 1990’s and focuses on ideas like getting rid of gender role expectations and stereotypes. Unlike their Second Wave Feminist counterparts, who focus on bigger issues such as pornography, sex work, and prostitution.
One of the biggest talking points in third wave feminism is the wage gap. I believe that the gender pay gap is a feminist myth. You see, the myth that women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns does not take into account things such as full-time employment, hours worked, and career choice. Research in 2013 by Anthony Carnevale, a Georgetown University economist, shows that women flock to college majors that lead to lower-paying careers, although this does not mean that all women flock to college majors that lead to lower paying carriers.
There are, of course, other factors such as negotiating, or lack thereof. Research cited by the Harvard Business Review shows that out of the women surveyed, 1/8th chose to negotiate on their salary compared to 1/2 the men who did the same.
Another third wave feminist myth is rape culture. Rape culture according to feminist is, a setting in when rape is normalized due to societal attitudes. Rape culture does not exist in the west, rape is a problem, yes but quoting Caroline Kitchens a writer for Time, “Twenty-first century America does not have a rape culture. The rape-culture theory is doing little to help victims, but its power to poison the minds of young women and lead to hostile environments for innocent males is immense.” There are places where an actual rape culture exists, such as in multiple places in Asia and the Middle East where, in multiple cases, men actually get away with rape and the person who was raped would also be persecuted or discriminated against. In first world countries, we don’t see this often. According to Lauren Southern, a candidate for the Libertarian Party of Canada said, “In first world countries, people go to jail when society finds out that they raped, and are even fired from their jobs when they make rape jokes.”
Another Feminist myth is this statistic: one in five girls at college will be raped. This is an outdated study, and new numbers are actually out by the Bureau of Justice. Quoting Christina Hoff Sommers, “The 1 in 5 claims is based off a 2007 internet study with vaguely worded questions, low response rate, and a nonrepresentative sample.” The real number by the Bureau of Justice is actually 1 in 53, which is very far from the one in five claims.
Third wave feminists keep telling other women that certain careers are male dominant, but this ends up making other women turn away from those so-called “male dominated” jobs, and therefore fewer women will work in those fields. Quoting an article by Janet Bloomfield on the Thought Catalog, “All because feminism thinks women should be forced into ideologically defined roles (Engineer! Astrophysicist! Chemist!) that meet their fantasies of “equality.” Feminism insults women by telling them that their natural interests are wrong and they are too stupid to know what’s good for them.”
In the end, I believe that Third Wave Feminist need to look back at their claims and ask themselves if their claims are true or not in the first world.