Third Wave Feminism began in the 1980s, and is something that continues to progress today. It is arguably, feminism revived or modernised and brought up to date to make relevancy in today's world. Not that feminism was ever irrelevant, it is just something that needs to become modernised and updated like many social issues. In basic terms gender was a biological and psychological difference, but it is no longer that straightforward. In modern day, Feminism must account for modern relationships, along with representational politics and the role of women in the home and in the workplace.
The role of the woman has changed dramatically over the past century, this has much to do with social and political events, beginning with the right to vote and how the role of the woman was greatly altered by demand during WW1 when women were needed to strengthen the workforce. During the 1950s things arguably went backwards, the role of the woman, and predominantly the stay at home mother or the housewife was hugely common and also a sign of wealth, that the husband earned enough money to support his family. Social norms and expectations have changed and modernised throughout the past century, but they have also gone in cycles and play to what is the popular ideology of the day.
The 1980s saw the turning of the modern world and the realities we know today. More families cannot afford to have one parent at home, women in the workplace has grown to a normality and despite an obvious pay gap, even today, women are becoming more professional and more powerful at work. There has also been an increase of single mothers or one parent families. Mothers who are on their own, particularly in America, have no choice but to work to keep their children. We have watched the role of women changed dramatically through necessity in the past 30 years. Third Wave Feminism is therefore the modernising of a social, identity issue, and a necessary change in looking at Feminism and the roles and expectations of women.