Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reinventing Feminism

A Facebook friend posted a TED video by blogger Courtney Martin called “Reinventing Feminism.” That really wasn’t the subject of her talk, but as a 30-year-old feminist who contributes to the website Feministing.com ("an online community for feminists and their allies" according to their website) she did have some comments about her generation’s attitude towards old-school feminism.

In particular she seemed to confirm my observation in the blog post below, “Twenty-first Century Feminism,” about the way feminists dressed in the 1970s and 80s. Ms. Martin said she became a feminist when she saw a woman, who was a famous feminist, lecture at her college wearing fish-net stockings. “Aesthetics, fun, and beauty matter,” Ms. Martin commented. All she had seen of what feminism meant up to that point was “man-hating and Birkenstocks.”

This was the legacy of Erica Jong’s generation. I don’t think modern-style feminism is any better, justifying the sexualization of women’s bodies as “liberating.” A true liberation of women will celebrate the natural beauty of the female body without needing spike heels or face paint or push-up bras.

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