Apparently it has once again been stated that young feminists don't exist. I know I talked about my frustration with this a little in response to Eve Ensler's new book of monologues, but given this recent article I think it bears repeating. In a conversation in the NY Times between Gail Collins and Stacy Schiff the subject of young feminists came up. Here is what they had to say:
Gail Collins: Every time I go on a speaking tour I get questions from sad middle-aged women who want to know why their daughters all insist they aren’t feminists. They might be planning to devote their lives to healing fistula victims in Somalia, but they won’t let anyone call them feminists because they think it means being anti-man, or wearing unattractive shoes.
Stacy Schiff: Partly the word has been deliberately sullied, like “liberal” and “progressive.” It spells man-hating, militant, and, especially, no Manolos.
If it makes you feel better, I just texted my 17-year-old to ask if she considered herself a feminist. “If by feminism, you mean equality,” she answers, “then yes.” It’s not a word that appeals, because her generation thinks the work has been done. They’ve been reading articles about the End of Men. Somehow the news that men who work full-time make on average 23 percent more than women do seems to have escaped them.
Well, I am aware of the inequalities between men and women, am 20 years old, and I call myself a feminist. Apparently Female Impersonator and the rest of the lively young femnist blogosphere escaped their attention. It is really annoying that myself and so many other young women are feminist activists online and outside cyberspace but have yet to be recognized by the 2nd wave feminists that we admire so much.
That being said, I acknowledge the frustration over some (but nearly as many as was implied by Gail and Stacy) young women my age who are feminists, do feminist work, but refuse the name. One of my friends once told me that she didn't want to identify as a feminist because she didn't want to associate with anything like a political party. So yes, misunderstandings about feminism exist in my generation. However, I don't think it is fair to point this out without acknowledging how many young women do identify as feminists and how many young feminists are working to end all those misunderstandings about it. The purpose of Jessica Valenti's book Full Frontal Feminism was to erase any bad connotations with the feminist movement that other young women might have.
So anyway, in response to this article, Shelly B has called for young women to post the link to their feminist blog in the comments section of her blog post and to include the above image on their blog. If nothing else, the comments on her post have given me a great list of new blogs to take a look at. We encourage you to include your feminist blog on her site, but also in the comments of this post. We want to know what you're writing!