- advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
- an advocate of such rights.
Origin of feminist
It wasn’t until the 1960s and '70s, in the United States, amid the sexual revolution, that the terms feminist and feminism gained widespread use. This period, considered to be the second wave of feminism, saw the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, the debate over reproductive rights, and the founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW). While feminists questioned and challenged their prescribed roles in society, many antifeminists viewed this movement as threatening to traditional American family values. The semantics mattered: In 1970s polling, the majority of respondents were in favor of “women’s rights,” but less supportive when the labels “feminism” or “women’s liberation” were used.
In the late 1980s and early '90s, a period emerged that was characterized as postfeminist. Though the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) failed to be ratified by a sufficient number of states to become law, some people believed that many of its goals had been achieved, and they thus considered feminism passé. The June 1998 cover of Time magazine asked in dramatic bold letters, "Is Feminism Dead?” Activists of this era — also known as third-wave feminists — were more globally oriented and more inclusive of women of color, lesbians, transgender people, and other marginalized groups.
Supporters of gender equality in the early 2000s were less likely to self-identify as feminists. Some perceived the label feminist as exclusionary, misandrist, or anachronistic. However, the popularity of the word feminist may be on the rise again, as evidenced by its more open embrace by pop culture celebrities. But in a climate where women who call themselves feminists may be admired by some but singled out by others for harassment or threats of violence, we are faced with the challenge of affirming the core meaning of feminism, without its cultural and historical baggage, especially of the 20th century. Do you agree that women should have the same social, political, and economic rights as men? If you do, then you are in agreement with feminist ideals, even though you may still prefer to disavow the label.
Examples from the Web for feminist
We just saw an edit of one called, “Doug Becomes A Feminist,” and I just really enjoyed watching it.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
The feminist movement has encouraged women that they can initiate romantic relationships, too.Random Hook-Ups or Dry Spells: Why Millennials Flunk College Dating
January 1, 2015
It might be the most powerful affirmation, and perhaps even a feminist or political statement, from any public person this year.
It was fearless and raunchy and fun and ridiculous and weird and feminist and powerful.
But it is particularly galling to watch the feminist superhero be treated in such a way.Wonder Woman Takes a Big Step Back
December 16, 2014
That was a feminist of a different stamp from Peter Ivanovitch.Under Western Eyes
For the rest she had given herself—with reservations—to the Feminist movement.Marriage la mode
Mrs. Humphry Ward
Havelock the Dane, on the other hand, was by no means a feminist, but was a socialist.
Only recently has she been indicated as her nation's first folklorist and feminist!Brazilian Tales
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
But, feminist as she was, Lola had no sympathy with any suggestion to grant them the franchise.The Magnificent Montez
- a person who advocates equal rights for women
- of, relating to, or advocating feminism
Word Origin and History for feminist
1893, from French féministe (1872); cf. feminism. As an adjective by 1897. Womanist sometimes was tried as a native alternative.