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Title: Women’s dilemmatic constraints in emerging second-wave feminism: Heideggerian ambivalence and oscillation between authenticity and inauthenticity
Author(s): Lau, Jeff Hok Yin 
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Diamond Scientific Publication
Journal: Journal of Advanced Research in Women’s Studies 
Volume: 1
Issue: 2
Start page: 19
End page: 31
This paper adopts Heidegger’s philosophy, its authenticity and inauthenticity in particular, to analyze ambivalent or even conflictual representations of women in emerging second-wave feminism. During the consciousness-raising stage of second-wave, women’s consciousness-raising enabled their struggles for feminist ways of living, while patriarchal society’s struggles against feminism were commonly witnessed to impose enormous constraints on women with consciousness raised, who were thirsty for employment but cringed from leaving homes to enjoy rights in the public sphere. This problem of “getting out” and “getting back” is explained by Heidegger’s existential (in)authenticity, especially the oscillation, with reference to humans’ existential structures. Authentically, to strive for economic independence, women as Dasein with feminist consciousness raised were encouraged to speak up for themselves to reclaim the long-lost authentic “Self of one’s own” by confronting the patriarchal oppression of “The They”. However, due to social constraints which exacerbated women’s fear of confrontation, women chose to live by the inauthentic status quo in average everydayness with full absorption where women largely gave up on reflecting on assigned domestic roles and on taking responsibility for feminist life-planning. This paper argues that volatile and oscillatory transitions between authenticity and inauthenticity among women constituted the ambivalent representations of struggling women, existentially due to first the temporariness of authenticity and strong pulling power of inauthenticity in the less influential emerging second-wave to render authenticity ineffective, and second the unavoidable existence of the powerful influence of “The They” – as ontologically Being-with – as patriarchal those on women to draw them back to homes.
DOI: 10.33422/jarws.v1i2.462
CIHE Affiliated Publication: Yes
Appears in Collections:HL Publication

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