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Has feminism helped women gain equal rights?

The modern day feminist movement began in the 19th century. Since then, several movements, or waves as they are generally referred to, have worked to protect women against domestic violence and sexual harassment and fought for women’s suffrage, reproductive rights, and equal pay. But how successful have these efforts been? Who has benefited from the different feminist waves and who has been left behind?


Feminists Weigh Their Wins And Losses After Nearly Four Years Of Trump

Additional resources to think about

"Women’s Rights Convention. Sojourner Truth" | The Anti-Slavery Bugle, June 21, 1851
Explore a primary text, a newspaper article published in The Anti-Slavery Bugle on June 21, 1851, which captures a speech given by Sojourner Truth at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio on May 29, 1851 as it was transcribed by Marius Robinson, a journalist who was in the audience.

We should all be feminists | TED
Watch a video of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s now infamous TED talk based on her 2014 book of the same name.

The Representation Project
Explore The Representation Project, a non-profit fighting for gender equity on a global scale.

What does intersectional feminism actually mean? | IWDA
From the International Women’s Development Agency, learn what is meant by the term “intersectional feminism.”

What I Hear When You Say: Feminism
Explore the extended resources from the PBS program What I Hear When You Say.

An 'unapologetic' black feminist on accelerating the pace of change
In this Brief But Spectacular Brittney Cooper talks about historically oppressive power structures and their influence race and feminism.


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy,


Has feminism helped women gain equal rights?

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