Archive | December, 2012

Part 1: The Death of Feminism?

12 Dec

I LOVE my Birthday. Yes I’m one of those. Every year I try to tell myself, “This year I’m going to be more calm. This year I’ll just play it cool, you know let it sneak up on me.” Well this year rolled around and, like every other year, weeks and weeks before the Big Day I started talking it up, telling the world, and getting the hype going. I know, it’s a totally arbitrary reason to celebrate ourselves and narcissisticly expect everyone else to as well, but shooooo it is just so much fun!

Well the Big Quarter-Century Day rolled around and as it happened to be a rando Monday I decided to reserve the party monster celebration for the weekend. Not wanting to be alone on my day of birth, however, I last minute rallied my gal pals and had just the most wonderful celebration! We all gathered at my friends’ abode where we had a tasty sampling of oven pizzas, some yummy appetizers, and a few drinks. All of this was followed by a screening of the documentary Miss Representation, about women in the media.

The night was just amazing. It’s busy season at work and it was wonderful to relax, catch up, slow down, and actually shut my brain down from thinking about work for a whole night. However, the post documentary discussion left me a little unsettled. A handful of us sat around chatting about the movie and what it had to say about women. Something that came out was that my friends found themselves hesitant to identify as Feminists. I found myself on the defensive because I am a  Feminist and proud of it! I felt like the world and the Right had corrupted this term to turn it into a symbol of extreme, man-hating, raging vaginas.  Yet I couldn’t contest the reality– women my age, smart, intellectual, powerful women whom I respect and love don’t care to identify as a Feminist.

But as Miss Representation makes so clear:

  • 65% of American women and girls report disordered eating behaviors.
  • The number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on youth 18 or younger more than tripled from 1997 to 2007.
  • About 25% of girls will experience teen dating violence.
  • Women are merely 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
  • The United States is 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures.
  • Women hold only 3% of clout positions in the mainstream media (telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising).

Women clearly have not reached parity in the world. And yet Feminism is becoming a taboo topic. So where’s the disconnect? And that’s it because I don’t just know.

So over the next few weeks I’m going to dedicate my time reading and learning at least what some of the possible answers to this dilemma could be according to those smarter than me. My gut tells me that my friends are not alone and there is a greater trend at place. So stay tuned for Part 2 as I go on the hunt for Feminism in America and please share your thoughts as well!