I am a woman before I am a human being. The first thing someone sees when looking at me is my gender. The fight for the right to value being human over being male or female began in the 1800s and has persisted to the present day. The oppression of women has been a heated and powerful issue that has stimulated the need for political action in the form of the feminist movement. However, society has also placed our sexual identification above the fact that we all are human. Although the feminist movement has resulted in magnificent leaps forward for women, it has done little to address the oppression of women in this minority. .
The First Wave of the feminist movement began in the nineteenth century with the suffragettes' fight for political and legal equality. The start of this movement was largely spurred by the realization of the "disappointments of the new democracy" (Baumgardner, p. 37). Many women at this time were involved in the movement to abolish slavery, fighting for the equality of African-Americans. However, they "soon discovered that they, as females, did not have the rights that they were agitating for black men to have" (Baumgardner, p. 37). These women were lobbying for the basic human rights of African-Americans when they themselves did not even have the right to vote. This realization was the underlying current that began the First Wave of the feminist movement. Women became concerned with the issue of equal access and equal opportunities. At first, the movement was closely tied to the fight for racial equality. However, it soon became clear that the focus on race was hampering the movement against sexism. Thus, the movement became one that centered primarily on white, middle class and upper class women (Baumgardner, p. 38). Amidst this fight for women's equality, there was a growing severity of oppression towards the LGBTIQ community that was being largely surpassed.