Monday, October 01, 2007

To The Contrary: Feminism Interrupted (Or Not)

Ann over a Feministing recently posted about the discussion that took place on PBS's To the Contrary about the lack of young women's involvement in feminism as a movement. Analyzing specific points that host Bonnie Erbe and guests Jane Hamsher and Eleanor Holmes Norton made, Ann smartly summarizes the problem with such arguments that indite younger women for a perceived lack of a young feminist movement despite their active online presence:
I think if the online feminist community has proved anything, it's that we [young women and generation Y] are a movement generation. I participated in feminist actions on my college campus, but that felt more like a club than a movement. I worked for a women's rights nonprofit, but that felt more like a day job than a movement. I went to rallies and marches, but they felt more like one-off events than a movement. It took blogging here, and being part of a community of feminist bloggers, for me to really feel like part of a feminist movement. To feel I was part of a group of people, committed to a set of ideals, who are working day in and day out to advance those ideals.


As the interviews that I conducted for my M.A. thesis - with feminist bloggers of all ages - the offline feminist movement is enhanced by the online feminist movement (which I personally see as the as the same movement, but others might disagree). Feminists around the world use the blogosphere to share information and strategize actions. And as many feminist bloggers have pointed on their blogs and in their interviews with me, they see both online *and* offline activism as important parts of achieving feminist goals. Although feminism may be branded differently for different cohorts, this repackaging does not mean that the latest generation of women is not taking up the feminist cause. It just means that they (we!) are doing it in their (our) own way. And isn't that the key to preserving an ongoing feminist movement - continued investment and ownership?

For more on generational divides in the feminist movement, I recommend Deborah Siegel's Sisterhood, Interrupted.

Via Feministing.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.