Last night, PBS aired the documentary MAKERS, a truncated history of the women’s movement. It’s streaming here, and is worth a watch — it’s powerful, inspiring and sometimes enraging. It serves as a good reminder of the debt of gratitude that we owe our feminist foremothers. At the end, though, there’s the question of where feminists are today — and there’s nothing about feminism online. I address that issue in the Guardian:
But then the documentary came to the present day. Although women today rose to our positions on the shoulders of giants, female leaders like Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, who also recently cut the telecommuting policy at Yahoo that particularly benefits working parents, declared herself not a feminist, as she isn’t “militant” and doesn’t have a “chip on her shoulder”.
Michelle Rhee cheerily said she likes doing all the laundry and packing her husband’s lunch. A few women – Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah, Katie Couric – proudly staked feminist ground, with Sandberg saying men need to pitch in at home, and Oprah declaring:
“You’ve got to beat the drum loudly. Nobody listens to you if you go quietly into the night.”
But others lamented the state of modern feminism, noting the lack of feminist action and saying women now won’t care about their rights until those rights are gone.
There was a sole young feminist face, the wonderful organizer Shelby Knox. Shelby does incredible work and I’m glad she was included. But she’s far from the only young feminist in the game, as Shelby herself regularly emphasizes.
While young feminists may not be taking over Fifth Avenue or the offices of Ladies’ Home Journal, we are taking over the internet (and, by the way, we have taken over more than a few streets in our day). It’s nearly impossible to go on a liberal-minded blog and be more than a click or two away from a dedicated feminist one.
The whole piece is here.