Activist Mommy

{August 20, 2007}   Is Feminism Dead?

That what one article points to. Feminism is dead for most women today tries to tell me that the leaders (namely Fay Weldon) are giving up. I don’t buy it. I can tell you it is on just by the writer calling it a “battle of the sexes” alone. The abortion debate alone tells me that there is still feminism, and still a need for feminism in today’s world. There are still gender pay gaps, still sexism, still entire groups who would toss out working mothers and return us all to the 1950s if they could. Feminism is alive and well, even if it’s not shouted from the rooftops as much as it once was.

Weldon, whose novels typically portray women trapped in oppressive situations caused by the patriarchal structure of society, said “vast changes” in the balance of the sexes had turned many of her early best-sellers into “historical documents”.

“The change has been so vast it’s hard for the younger generation to realise there is a continuing need,” she said.

We have made a lot of progress, and that seems to be both and good and bad thing. While it is great how far we have come, it seems we are at a point when a lot of younger women who did not have to fight for what they see today as rights feel like the fight is over. And that’s tough, watching women toss out the idea of feminism without really looking at it and how much we need it. But it certainly isn’t dead. Not by a long shot.

However, comedian Lucy Porter said she thought feminism was still very much part of the female agenda.

“I think there are still plenty of women who realise that feminism isn’t a dirty word. It went through a very unpopular period in the late 80s and early 1990s where feminist were equated with lesbian. There’s been a resurgence.

“I certainly feel like I don’t get as many women openly saying, ‘I don’t believe in this feminist nonsense any more.’ Maybe there is a period in your 20s, you don’t realise so much that the world is still unfair.

“It’s not the gender war, it’s not about the battle of the sexes. I think that male chauvinist pigs are few and far between. There is still a pay gap, globally there are still issues, and childcare – which is an issue for both sexes but largely a female concern.”

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Marc says:

I am with you. Thing is – every time I hear a woman say some thing like, “Oh, I have all my rights, feminism is no longer needed. I can do what I want,” I just shake my head and walk away.

I think feminism now is also about some serious consciousness raising, because I don’t think many people understand how gendered the world around them is.

DJ says:

It disheartens me when people, especially women, disregard feminism as if it is evil. But I don’t think the problem is within the cause, I think the problem is the term has such negative connotations. Say “feminism” and ahhh people run away. But if you say what it actually means (to you) and sometimes you’ll get a different response.

[…] Is Feminism Dead? That what one article points to. Feminism is dead for most women today tries to tell me that the leaders (namely Fay […] […]

Hilary says:

I think feminism is actually less of a dirty word than it was in the nineties. I sure hope so, anyway. I remember telling someone in college (the first time around) that I was a feminist, and he said he didn’t realize that I was gay. Uh, what?

[…] Is Feminism Dead? That what one article points to. Feminism is dead for most women today tries to tell me that the leaders (namely Fay […] […]

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