Second Wave Feminism: Radical & It’s Connection to Human Rights

Jori Reiken
6 min readMar 4, 2022

The second wave of feminism was a reaction to the reintegration of society after the second world war. Women were returning to their roles as housewives as they were fired from their occupations to be replaced by the men returning from the war. Radical feminism began as a movement to end male supremacy in all areas of life, as well as rejecting the idea of opposing male and female roles in society. Throughout the movement, radical feminism sparked the conversation around legalizing abortions, created an atmosphere of urgency for the discussion of equal rights, and centralized the demand for equality in the private sector of society. The movement dealt with a variety of issues, but demanded action by its supporters. Action such as protests were deemed to be some of the most important conversation starters throughout the movement.

Radical feminism dealt with issues such as rape as an expression of historical and societal power, reproductive rights for women, breaking down traditional gender roles, understanding the pornography and prostitution as industries, a critique of government and other institutions, and even more. Radical feminist used protests, providing services, providing information and informing society as tools to spread their message and promotion for the movement all across the globe.

The movement of radical feminism was founded on the idea that society is based on patriarchal grounds, and that women are marginalized and discriminated against. This feminist theory can also be defined as a conflict theory as society is categorized into two different sexes, and their relationship is based on the dominination of men over woman. The concept of power is a central theme to this movement. Marilyn French explains power as “The power is the process of the dynamic interaction. To have the power, in fact, means having access to the network of relations in which an individual can in uence, threaten, or persuade others to do what he wants or what he needs. Although no other syntax is available, in fact it is wrong to talk about the ‘ownership’ of power. The individual has no power. It is awarded by a large number of other people to the one that dominates and such allocation is irrevocable.” This concept is related to the fundamental unequal distribution of power and responsibility of the sexes as well as the communications that relate to this struggle. Conflict theory and radical feminism connect to the development of the legalization of abortion and…