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"Some Things I Found Out in North America" by Chilla Bulbeck

Below is an excerpt of the Australian feminist Chilla Bulbeck's review of 2001 conferences by Canadian Women's Studies Association and National (i.e. U.S.) Women's Studies Association. The review has been published in the publication of Australian Women's Studies Association, and can be read in full >on the web.


An innovation for NWSA conferences was the "research cafe." This was led by a facilitator who introduced the topic and, ideally, kept discussion on the issue. I attended two 'research cafes', one offered by Emi Koyama, Portland State University, on "Third Wave Theorizing the Third Wave." Koyama wanted to retrieve the notion of third wave from its white middle class promoters, such as the writers of Manifesta. Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards make claims that applied only to middle class white women, for example that women now take abortion for granted or assume they can go to college. The original meaning of Third Wave was "outside of second wave" and asserts that "feminism starts with the assumption that power imbalance among women is as great as between women and men." This includes, but is not limited, to intergenerational power imbalance.