January 04, 2006


Lori in SF forwards this link on Maureen Dowd and the return of feminist backlash trend articles that aim to scare working women out of paychecks and into motherhood read here .

Or, for ONE CENT, you can buy Susan Faludi's Backlash off Amazon, and read about how the feminist backlash is perpetuated and how the media sells us on fear and myth. It's only a penny, but if I had to estimate it's actual monetary value to my life, it'd be a few hundred dollars.

I'm not all up on Maureen Dowd's jock, so I can only speculate, but maybe she just freaked out and saw the way that young women interepret, apply and fear feminism in 2006, as feminism's failing, rather than the feminist backlash's success, or the porn zietgeist's most clever tactic, or a result of everyone getting armchair during the Clinton years. The bent of post third wave feminism-- that empowerment means having everything (kids/job/orgasms/nice shoes/a big car etc) -- is as borne of capitalistic omnificence, and a cultural queering of feminism --how feminism has been marketed, so that it's not actually potent -- a bit of bait and switch. As long as it's about what we own, rather than who we are or who we have permission and ability to be, then we never get to actualize.

I think it's much more about that dialogue then a binary debate of yes/no did feminism fail or yes/no did feminism fail to give powerful men an appreciation of powerful women or yes/no is not having a job feminist? All of that is going to be informed and colored by Dowd's perspective as a powerful, rich, white New York feminist. And not to take her concern down, but it's really a matter of privalege, and think it's kind of backwards, that 30+ years since the serious-seeds of feminism were shown, we're steering the debate back to marriage, and also in Dowd's original article, I think, is an issue of ageism. Power, most certainly, always will be part of the debate and the struggle; and do men want to share power with women? I think that is the part of her argument that has real world application to women who are less white/educated/have less agency/do not give a shit about being married.

Posted by Jessica at January 4, 2006 01:38 PM | TrackBack