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“What the hell does Occupy Wall Street WANT?” Here’s one answer (#OWS )

November 17, 2011

Read this, and think about what the feminist movement was.

Gender equity issues

If the period associated with first-wave feminism focused upon absolute rights such as suffrage (which led to women attaining the right to vote in the early part of the 20th century), the period of the second-wave feminism was concerned with the issues such as changing social attitudes and economic, reproductive, and educational equality (including the ability to have careers in addition to motherhood, or the right to choose not to have children) between the genders and addressed the rights of female minorities. The new feminist movement, which spanned from 1963 to 1982, explored economic equality, political power at all levels, professional equality, reproductive freedoms, sexuality, issues with the family, educational equality, sexuality, and many other issues.

– From Wikipedia’s article on the Civil rights movement

Women wanted to be equal. They wanted it to be okay, even acceptable, even something to encourage, to go out and get a job if they wanted. They didn’t want to be sneered at for having children and incomes. (A mother with income is a mother contributing to the welfare and stability of her family and herself, no matter her marital status.)  In short, I think women wanted things to be more fair.

Now, think about Occupy Wall Street.

Women wanted to be equal. That has (largely) come about because of changes in the way society perceives women, women’s rights, and women in the workplace.  It has come about through support from government officials (not all of it legislative).  Why is it so difficult to imagine Occupy Wall Street as a parallel?  Simply stated, we want things to be more fair. Right now it’s not fair, and you can’t even claim that it’s Free Market Fair. Government supports businesses, and businesses contribute to campaign plans, and HOW exactly is that fair for the people who don’t have $40 million to donate every 4 years?

There’s a lot more to it, of course. But if you’re still dismissive of the whole movement, or don’t understand what the hell everyone’s on about, think about it. Think about any change throughout history: it always starts with people being unhappy, and then they go out and do stuff. It’s only history after the fact.

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