Second wave feminism was the battle of the female gender with discrimination and oppression unlike its predecessor (first wave feminism) which was largely concerned with voting rights for women.1Thus second wave feminism was not just struggle to convince the legislature of the equality of women. It was a battle against the traditional prejudices with in the society against the status of women so inherent in the British culture and tradition.
Second wave feminism was a time of awareness for women in Britain from all walks of life and the term itself was coined by the prominent feminist Marsha Lear. Second wave feminism was not just restricted to Britain but it also refers to the increase in feminist activity occurring simultaneously in Britain ,USA and Europe. The British Second wave of feminism was different to the American Struggle which was an inevitable corollary of the Civil Rights and anti-war movements which had disillusioned women as to their roles within the society because of their second class treatment. Thus the American version emerged as a medley of anti-beauty contest protests and the mergence and re-emergence of the tones and shades of black feminism, lesbian feminism, liberal feminism, and social feminism.
Second Wave Feminism in Britain was a slightly different story altogether as it was more kaleidoscopic in nature, with heavy undertones of the working-class socialism, which was apparent from the strike of women workers at the Ford Car Plant with the demands of equality in wages(1968).In essence British Society was going through a profound change in which women raised the slogan of "the personal is political' .
Second Wave feminism did not just strive to obtain the social freedoms for women but it also expressed its concern for the way in which women were treated in a second rate way within the notions and concepts of reproduction, sexuality and cultural ties.
The second wave feminist movement not only gave a fresh impetus to feminist thought within the British Academic system but also had a resultant effect on the media and literature. The intellectual work carried out during this period of what I would like the call "the new wave women's renaissance", affected popular thought and culture and brought forth to the intellectual agenda a range of issues formerly ignored.
It has been argued by many academics (Penner ,2002) that these developments were very slow to reach the Female educational agendas in schools which is surprising because on the face of it many of the political and analyitical issues raised by the women's movement had centrally to do with women's legal and civic status. This process as compared to the US started rather late in the British Society. Penner notes thus
"The gradual intellectualisation of law schools in United Kingdom alongwith an increased openness to interdisciplinary study itself in part of an offshoot of the expansion of universities in the 1970's are an important part of the history of feminist issues finding their way into the law school"(2002)
Of particular interest is how Catherin Hoskyns2 has linked the second wave of feminism with the