The following letter was written in response to “This March, No Need for Women to March” (March 13, 2008, The Bullet):
It seems that every March there is an inevitable “why women’s history month is unnecessary” or “how feminism has hurt women” editorial in the Bullet.
Leah Kieff’s editorial in this past week’s issue of the Bullet, though it had some valid points, struck me as more of the same.
The belief that feminism has been “perverted,” “corrupted” or taken too far seems to be a pretty popular belief among women my own age and this saddens me.
Many people still see feminists as a bunch of angry, hairy-legged man-haters and, of course, there certainly ARE feminists like that.
And why shouldn’t there be? Their opinions are as valid as anyone else’s.
However, when I look at modern feminism and my own friends who are feminists, I see a much less gloomy picture. I see modern (or “third wave”) feminists as far more individualistic than previous generations of feminists, meaning that they don’t feel the need to agree on every single issue.
There are pro-life feminists and pro-choice feminists. There are feminist housewives, feminist career women, and feminists with both families and careers. There are androgynous feminists, feminine feminists, and masculine feminists. There are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and white feminists. There are female feminists and male feminists.
And if you don’t believe that men could or would want to be part of the feminist movement, then you haven’t been paying attention!
The feminist movement of our generation is not about promiscuity–although thank God we can acknowledge that women enjoy sex as well as men. It is not about hating motherhood or children or men.
Feminism today is about knowing yourself and being yourself, knowing what you want and striving for what you want. It’s about being intelligent, opinionated, curious, and unashamed.
Feminism today, just like Eleanor Roosevelt put it decades ago and Kieff quoted in her editorial, means refusing to let anyone make you feel inferior. Instead, young feminists are dynamic, diverse, assertive, strong, and proud.
At least that’s how I see feminism today–and I think that others would see the same thing if they just opened their eyes and looked around a bit.
Jenny Stout is a senior.