Red dawn feminism

by twit

Lunchbreath.

image via The Daily What

We’ve come a long, long way.

There’s so much more work to do, but I’m not sure that it is appropriate to continue to fly the feminist banner when doing it.

Since history tends to like dates and such, I’ll be so bold as to say that the day American feminism died was when Cosmo laid claim to the third wave.

When a radical movement goes that mainstream, I think that’s as good a sign as any that the tide has turned.

In the Washington Post book review entitled “Who won Feminism? Hint: She’s the diva that ran Cosmo,” by Naomi Wolf on May 3, 2009, this line broke my heart:

The way is mapped out, the time for theory is pretty much over.

Feminist theory is a tool for critical thinking and it is, in my opinion, the key to engaging in cohesive and effective action.  It’s the part that gives me so much trouble when I think about rejecting feminism and declaring it dead – there are operating principles that I identify as feminist theory that I do not reject.  I just want to be able to have something less muddled and co-opted to call it.

In Wolf’s review, I found this disingenuous:

We know the laws and the policies we need to achieve full equality.

because no, I don’t think “we” do.  It certainly would be nice if we did, though.

and I think that this is some kind of chutzpah:

What we lack is a grass-roots movement that will drive the political will. “Lipstick” or lifestyle feminism won’t produce that movement alone.

after an entire article taking the second-wavers to task for being so serious.

The best part, though, is how the piece intones about how important history is.

… feminists are in danger if we don’t know our history, and a saucy tattoo and a condom do not a revolution make.

And says nothing about the first wave and the mountains that were moved by those generations.

“No! no! The agonized heart will cry with suffocating impatience – I too am a man! and have vices, hid, perhaps, from human eye, that bend me to dust before God, and loudly tell me, when all is mute, that we are formed of the same earth, and breathe the same element.”

– Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights Of Women (1792)

Because that would make it all so obvious, wouldn’t it, and help show how the war is over, and how we’re in a Reconstruction era.

We’re in the phase where the focus is on enforcing the rights we have as Americans.   We’re confronting conflict in our society in conjunction with society.

The true third wave has never known any different.  We’ve always had voting rights and equal pay for equal work and birth control and abortions.  We know women are equal to men.

There are still battles and skirmishes to be fought, but we’ve won the war.

Related:

The Red Dawn Difference

She Knows Your Anger, She Knows Your Dreams

Letter to Obama

et cetera

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