Passage Fifteen (The Second Wave of Feminism)
The statistics I’ve cited and the living examples are all too familiar to you. But what may not be so familiar will be the increasing number of women who are looking actively for advancement of for a new job in your offices. This woman may be equipped with professional skills and perhaps valuable experience, She will not be content to be Executive Assistant to Mr. Seldom Seen of the Assistant Vice President’s Girl Friday, who is the only one who comes in on Saturday.
She is the symbol of what I call the Second Wave of Feminism. She is the modern woman who is determined to be.
Her forerunner was the radical feminist who interpreted her trapped position as a female as oppression by the master class of men. Men, she believed, had created a domestic, servile role for women in order that men could have the career and the opportunity to participate in making the great decisions of society. Thus the radical feminist held that women through history had been oppressed and dehumanized, mainly because man chose to exploit his wife and the mother of his children. Sometimes it was deliberate exploitation and sometimes it was the innocence of never looking beneath the pretensions of life.
The radical feminists found strength in banding together. Coming to recognize each other for the first time, they could explore their own identities, realize their own power, and view the male and his system as the common enemy. The first phases of feminism in the last five years often took on this militant, class-warfare tone. Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Germaine Greer, and many others hammered home their ideas with a persistence that aroused and intrigued many of the brightest and most able women in the country. Consciousness-raising groups allowed women to explore both their identities and their dreams—and the two were often found in direct conflict.
What is the stereotyped role of American women? Marriage. A son. Two daughters. Breakfast. Ironing. Lunch. Bowling, maybe a garden club of for the very daring, non-credit courses in ceramics. Perhaps an occasional cocktail party. Dinner. Football or baseball on TV. Each day the same. Never any growth in expectations—unless it is growth because the husband has succeeded. The inevitable question: “Is that all there is to life?”
The rapid growth of many feminist organizations attests to the fact that these radical feminists had touched some vital nerves. The magazine “Ms.” was born in the year of the death of the magazine “Life.” But too often the consciousness-raising sessions became ends in themselves. Too often sexism reversed itself and man-hating was encouraged. Many had been with the male chauvinist.
It is not difficult, therefore, to detect a trend toward moderation. Consciousness-raising increasingly is regarded as a means to independence and fulfillment, rather than a ceremony of fulfillment itself. Genuine independence can be realized through competence, through finding a career, through the use of education. Remember that for many decades the education of women was not supposed to be useful.
1. What was the main idea of this passage?
[A]. The Second Wave of Feminist. [B]. Women’s Independent Spirits.
[C]. The Unity of Women. [D]. The Action of Union.
2. What was the author’s attitude toward the radical?
[A]. He supported it wholeheartedly. [B]. He opposed it strongly.
[C]. He disapproved to some extent. [D]. He ignored it completely.
3. What does the word “militant” mean?
[A]. Aggressive. [B]. Ambitions. [C]. Progressive. [D]. Independent.
4, What was the radical feminist’s view point about the male?
[A]. Women were exploited by the male.
[B]. Women were independent of the male.
[C]. Women’s lives were deprived by the male.
[D]. The male were their common enemy.
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