On this day in 1920, the Constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote was ratified.
UPDATE: While nostalgically rummaging around the YouTubes, I came upon this TED talk from a Third Waver. It’s called Reinventing Feminism by the founder of Feministing. I have to say, I was completely underwhelmed.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXKNA_vfHWs%5D
As it happens, YouTube comments are limited to 500 characters. I’m about 2500 over! So, you lucky Uppities…you get my rant instead!
Thank you for your talk, Courtney. I now understand why Third Wave Feminism is going nowhere and in fact losing ground on the rights we (The Second Wave) won for you: because you and your generation are too “special and unique” to be gracious.
Second Wave got you everything you have today. And yet, you have the nerve to play your little compare and contrast word game, disparaging the very people that made it possible for you, a woman, to get on that TED stage as good as any guy.
We were not men-haters in Birkenstocks. Man-hater is what the Patriarchy called us to undermine our goals and efforts. While they were available as early as the late 60s, Birkenstocks didn’t really catch on until the 80s. P.S. The “Patriarchy” does not refer to any specific man nor to men in general but to a system where being able to stand while peeing makes you eminently more qualified to do anything than those who cannot. We recognized back then that men would also enjoy freedom and authenticity once out from under the shackles of the Patriarchy. Betty Friedan was even on TV way back then saying exactly that.
Gloria Steinem was not our singular leader/icon. We had the aforementioned Betty Friedan as well as Robin Morgan, Bella Abzug, Mary Daly, Ella Grasso, Ellie Smeal, Marilyn French, Susan Brownmiller, Betty Ford, Helen Reddy, Carol Gilligan, Germaine Greer, Adrienne Rich, Rita Mae Brown, Coretta Scott King, Hillary Clinton, and many, many more. There were NOW chapters across the nation–where women showed up in-person and planned and strategized and then wrote newsletters, stuffed envelopes, did whatever needed doing, and marched. Your blog might be the most widely read feminist periodical evah, but how many of your younger readers actually showed up at an event? Flash mobs don’t count because they are laughable and have no goals.
We also didn’t have “just one issue” as if you could call reproductive freedom, health, domestic violence, fair pay, fair credit, owning property, opportunity, and education one issue. What exactly do you think the radical in radical feminism means? It means going to the root (like the radical in mathematics) not simply extremism. We were also involved with anti-war protests, civil rights activism, global poverty, the global rights of women (yes, we were talking about the Taliban before it was cool), AIDs care, and numerous other issues. When we lost the ERA, we learned that we needed to focus more on specific issues.
And here we are today and I’m wondering, where are you guys while 2013 is turning out to be record-breaking year for state-level restrictions on women’s reproductive rights? Over 300 pieces of anti-women legislation have been introduced this year alone and we’re barely halfway through it.
Feminism doesn’t need to be reinvented; it needs to be implemented. I truly think your generation and Third Wave Feminism would start to see some progress if you embraced the Second Wave rather than criticize it.
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