“They Didn’t See Us Coming” Offers A History Of Feminism’s Third Wave

by BUST Magazine

They Didn’t See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties
By Lisa Levenstein
(Basic Books)

With the rise of the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March, feminism has once again entered the mainstream, building upon the foundation laid by earlier movements. Author and history professor Lisa Levenstein shows in this lively history how the third-wave feminist movement of the ’90s was one that became more diverse, intersectional, and decentered. She opens her book by discussing the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, in which white middle class women formed global networks with women of other races and backgrounds and recognized the importance of a movement that encompassed more diversity. In addition, Levenstein emphasizes the importance of organizations founded by women of color in the ’90s, which helped expand the focuses of the feminist movement. And she also chronicles how the rise of the Internet led to more alternative media and greater possibilities for political organizing and communication. 

Through her extensive research, Levenstein paints a compelling picture of the great progress made by the activists of the ’90s. She also provides inspiration for feminists today to continue their fight. (5/5)

By Adrienne Urbanski
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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