Archive for the ‘Young Feminist Blog Carnival’ Category

Blog Carnival Update 6

So I have to admit that originally, I thought I’d try to stretch things out to 3 or 4 carnival posts….and now I’m on 6 and still haven’t had the chance to write about all the blogs! That’s simply amazing! I’m glad I was wrong :-)

Bourgie, Interrupted shows you exactly where to find a young feminist–that is, not in the limited spaces defined by the previous generation, but in her own personal world, making changes: “I’m a 28 year old feminist. No, I didn’t major in gender studies in college. I wasn’t a member of any feminist groups on campus. I didn’t join the Women’s Law Caucus in law school. I’ve never written a thesis on feminist theory. I haven’t even read many of the authors considered to be the pillars of feminist thought. Still, I feel it’s appropriate to declare myself a feminist because of my values, actions and beliefs.”

She also explicates some of the seeming contradictions that yuongfems aren’t afraid of: “I like pink things. I wear high heels and watch porn (not at the same time but there’s something to think about). I listen to rap music with misogynistic lyrics. I like when ladies get in free. On the flip side, I fight for reproductive justice every day. I advocate to end violence against women. I believe that the economic empowerment of women and girls worldwide is key to the success and wealth of every nation. I believe women shouldn’t be treated as second class simply because we’re women. I ignore pre-determined and defined gender roles. Most importantly, I am constantly trying to learn and evolve into a better person while challenging others to do the same. That means calling people out on their sexist, anti-homosexual, racist, classist, bullshit.” All I can say is, hell yes! One of my mentors wrote an article about this exact thing– that youngfems embrace contradictory positions as an expression of AGENCY. (Renegar &  Sowards, 2009). Maybe youngfems love of shoes makes some older generations think we don’t take our liberation seriously, and maybe that’s why they “can’t find” any of us.

Foxy Roxy at Foxy By Nature tries to understand why youngfems aren’t acknowledged by the older generations in the  feminist movement: “But feminism has evolved and I wonder if they all evolved with it and, if not, if that’s why they don’t see young feminists standing right beside them.”

Penny Girl Pearl shows us how she came to feminism through music, and how she redefines the term young feminist: “I am not young to the belief in feminism and how it has impacted my life but I am young in a sense that I have found my voice much later in life.” Also, Stevie Nicks is like, oh, so, totally feminist! Love her.

Plenty of Otherwise shares an all-too-familiar story: “A few months ago, I added my aunt as a friend on Facebook. She took issue with some of my more politically-charged posts, and showed them to my grandmother, who called my mom and urged her to intervene, lest I “turn into one of those smelly feminists.”" Part of calling yourself a feminist is dealing with the fact that many of our families are not supportive of us. Of course, many also are, I mean–so I’ve heard. My conservative parents are not thrilled with my feminism, and I refuse to add them on facebook or show them my blog because frankly, it’s not worth the arguments. I know that when I have a wedding, my parents are going to pitch a fit about the traditions that I personally don’t want to be a part of (e.g. dad walking me down the aisle, changing my name).

But what Amelia points out about the situation is something I’ve never thought about: “But my grandmother never called me. So we haven’t talked about it. And that brings me to this: It’s incredibly important for women of different generations to communicate with each other. And we’re not doing enough of that. And so now there are older women who believe that young feminists don’t exist.”

That is a great illustration of the feminist mantra that the personal is political. Reaching out to other generations can begin within our own families.

Well today has been FABULOUS folks, and I am taking some self-care time and signing off for the night. THANK YOU to all the bloggers and tweeters who posted and responded–I am so glad we raised our voices as youngfems! This weekend I will update the participating blog lists to add in those who posted. I hope this blog carnival has kicked off the conversation about young feminists around the blogosphere! No more will people be able to say we don’t exist!

:-)

Shelly

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist 5 Comments

Blog Carnival Update 5

Jarrah at Gender Focus offers a plan of action for the organizations and individuals who have left youngfems out: “But for mainstream feminist organizations to keep going and grow, they have to adapt to changing technologies, to acknowledge the ways in which they may have excluded some women in the past, and to collaborate with instead of lecturing to younger members. Many are taking steps in the right direction and showing how feminists of all generations can work together. There are too many struggles left to fight for us not to.” Exactly!

Victoria at A Mad Girl’s Love Song reminds us that we need to be aware of our privilege within the movement: “It’s a movement that really attempts to include more than exclude, and in order to do that we have to continually hone our sensitivities and be aware of our biases as well as be open to criticism. We have to be willing to continually transform ourselves so that we can create more safe places with equal playing fields.”

Hanna at Editorial-esque not only dons a wicked costume for her post, but asks us all to support each other in the movement:  ”Every time a woman disregards another as “not being a feminist” because she is interested in clothing, or isn’t a (cringe) “ball-buster” at work, it strengthens the opposition – which is oppression and the continuation of blind inequality.”

Looking forward, Anne at The Scribblings of Anne Greenawalt writes: ”Ideally, I hope that one day everyone (men and women) can call themselves feminists, in which case the word would become obsolete.”

Oh, and the author at Fevolve STARTED a blog because she was motivated by posts about young feminists! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist No Comments

Blog Carnival Update 4

Emily at Choices Campus Blog tells us how she began life as a young feminist activist at the age of 8: “As the editor-in-chief of my 5th grade class paper, I decided that all the sports reporters should be girls, to prove that we could do it. As a middle schooler, I would pass around petitions against teachers I thought were sexist (I’m sure this was just charming).” If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.

Brittany at Sistahs University explains how she embraces the term feminist in spite of the fact that feminists aren’t always inclusive: “It pains me that some women can be as hypocritical – yes, I said hypocritical – so much as to argue that they fight for women’s rights and yet they mean white women or women of color or young women or older women or upper class women or working class women or any other compartmentalization. If, as equalists, – which all feminists should identify themselves as – we seek solidarity, camaraderie, transparency, civic responsibility, and above all…progress, then we must replace the “or” with “and.””

Well said, Brittany!

Like a few other blogs today, Nicole G at the Abortion Gang smacks down the bizarre inability of reporters to find young feminists to talk to. She also calls out the apparent bias among some people about what “counts” as activism: “We’re blogging, facebooking, podcasting, tweeting about feminism. If there’s a way to bring the activism to the larger stage that is the World Wide Web, feminists are going to find that way in. It’s a way to reach more people; it’s worldwide.”

The Ms. Foundation folks made this awesome video to accompany their post :

Keep posting, and I’ll keep reading! It’s not too late to post!

:)

Shelly

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist No Comments

Blog Carnival Update 3

Continuing the conversation about young feminists, Erin at the NOW blog explains why the issues surrounding the erasure of young feminists is important to the movement:

“Young feminism is a label that should never be used to divide, separate or wage an internal war, and unfortunately that has happened multiple times within our movement. Ignoring young feminists and declaring them invisible by saying they’re not there — and I want to be clear it’s insidious when it applies to older leaders talking about young women in the movement, and when it applies to young feminists or women in the media who bash women’s organizations for not having young activists and leaders when we very much do — this behavior of selective vision is unacceptable. Declaring older feminists lepers or has-beens is unacceptable. We must reject divisions and resolve to do better. We are better than this.”

Goddesses Rising offers us some insight to reasons why young women may not identify as feminists:

See, young women, myself included, think “feminism” is an ugly term because the older generation tells us we can’t wear pink and be a feminist; we can’t take our spouse’s last name and be a feminist; we can’t have our activism reside in online social media and be a feminist. Feminism has always been about choices….. So when a feminist tells a college-educated, professional young woman that taking her husband’s last name is un-feminist, she’s won’t think feminism is very pretty. And when the older feminist movement tells us tweeters, bloggers, and organizers that we don’t exist, you get a blog carnival dedicated to calling the haters out.”

Katie at Feminism 2.0 reveals a struggle that many of us face in embracing the term feminist: “I’m comfortable asserting this online and (thankfully) at work. Here’s the rub, and something that, in the spirit of this blog carnival, I’ll admit even though I’m really not proud of it: in my personal life, I find myself keeping it quiet.” I can definitely identify with this! There are certain contexts when I can’t/shouldn’t/don’t identify as a feminist. There are also times when I want to turn my feminist lens off to enjoy a movie, music, or a magazine. I don’t think that feminism has to be part of your performed identity 24 hours a day for you to be effective at fighting gender injustice. At the same time, I know that embracing my feminist identity makes me feel more comfortable and more empowered in my life, and I am grateful for that.

Over at The Abortion Gang, Shayna describes how the everyday, seemingly mundane way we lives our lives can be activism-driven: “I am an accountant, clawing my way upwards in the proverbial “man’s world.”  If I don’t make it to the top,  I want it to be because I am truly not good enough, not because anyone expects me to get knocked up and drop out of the workforce before I turn 30.  When I make it to the top, it will be because I am the best – not because I am a token minority gender in my field.”

A bunch of awesome posts so far, and I’m excited to make it through more! These conversations rock.

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist No Comments

Blog Carnival Update 2

So do you know what this feels like? This feels like being a respondent at all those academic conferences I go to! It’s like reading and comparing and synthesizing and contrasting and deciding what my take-aways from each post are. It’s totally awesome. I LOVE that I get to have these conversations even though I am in small town, TX. Thats why online activism rocks–I can connect with folks everywhere!

So, what do youngfems look like? Here’s a few blogs that show you!

Over at Bashfully Designed, Ashley calls herself a prochoice, prowoman, profamily, feminist. I love it! At FemMedia, the authors have posted pictures of young feminists at work at the 5th Annual Big She-Bang. At A Goose Drank Wine, you can see a young feminist tackling issues that strike her–and read about an awesome Nancy Pelosi dream. At Female Impersonator, you can find a blog run by young fems–the author of todays post is 20!

Okay keep posting folks, and I’ll keep reading!

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist 3 Comments

Blog Carnival Update 1

First of all, I have to throw it out there that this is my first time hosting a blog carnival! So if I forget something or do something wrong, be gentle and let me know! I organized this carnival on my last day off because I wanted to take time for us as a movement to lift up the voices of the younger generation. We are here, we have a variety of opinions, and we want to be heard. So, I’m going to write my first blog update responding to what I’ve been reading…

Over at Boredom is Counterrevolutionary (a sentiment with which I totally agree, btw), Thomas explained how at 18, he was harassed for being a nurse in a gendered feminine profession. Instead of griping, Thomas realized that hey, like, women face this every day and that is messed up. He started taking action in his community and what I love is that he points out the number of ways we youngfems take action:

“From simple acts of wearing feminist t-shirts, tweeting on twitter calling passive sexism where I see it, writing letters to companies that promote sexism to working with Amnesty International for Stop violence against Women campaign and other feminist groups to try to make real change.”

Maybe older fems don’t see tweeting or wearing t-shirts as activism, but we know better.

Shelby at the Ms. Education of Shelby Knox hits home when she shares her reaction to the many women who claim young feminists don’t exist:

“Each time, it feels like a personal jab. I know or have met many of the older leaders who propagate this myth and I wonder, “Did you forget the conversations we’ve had about organizing in high schools and on college campuses? Are the young women who run your websites and table at your events and stuff packets for your conferences really invisible or do they just mean that little to you?”

I think of a lot of us can relate to Shelby here. We do work in the movement, often unpaid work that older women don’t want to/can’t do, and then we’re erased. Why struggle against gender oppression if your fellow fighters don’t acknowledge you? This is exactly why I organized the carnival–so we can acknowledge each other.

Shelby hits on another important point–the privilege of calling yourself a feminist. I didn’t come to the term until graduate school, and many of my college-educated friends wouldn’t call themselves feminists.  There is a distinct privilege in being able to 1) feel included in the movement and 2) be able to have your contributions valued in the movement. As a white, cis, overeducated woman, I can claim that privilege. But guess what? A lot of people are working for justice out there who don’t use the F-word (my partner being one). That does not mean their contributions aren’t important! We need allies of all types in the movement for justice (which, largely, is what I would argue that feminism is–a movement for justice that sees the world through an intersectional lens).

At GAB, besides an awesome photo of Emily eating a burger, she touches on something I’ve seen a lot related to this issue: “Young people in the U.S. may still have the impression that feminism is about hairy arm pits, burning bras, and hating men.”

This is definitely an issue I face with the general public–but it’s a battle we  are letting them win. We are letting society define feminist, as well as the movement’s past. I’ve had many people tell me they don’t want to call themself a feminist because they think it’s an anti-male position. Personally, I disagree. But I can see how they get there from early radical lesbian feminist thought. Still, I may live in Texas and call myself a Texan, but that doesn’t mean I go to rodeos and wear cowboy boots and love beer. But I still enjoy being a Texan, just redefined by me as someone who is friendly, outspoken, and laughs easily. To me, a vegetarianish, wine-drinking, liberal, being a Texan may seem like hostile territory. But once I got here, I realized that I can take what is important to me about Texanism, and leave the rest.

I believe that we can also do this with other parts of our identity–including faith, politics, and social movements. I accept that I will disagree with my feminist friends, and I accept that they can still claim feminism even if they want to leave one or two aspects of it behind.

Okay, I’m off to read more posts! Be back soon with another update!

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist 1 Comment

This is what a young feminist looks like blog carnival: participating blog list!

Wow, I’m so excited about the carnival today! Check back here for updates throughout the day as I make it through the various posts related to young feminists. As Shelby pointed out on twitter, you do not have to declare yourself a feminist to be a person who is making a difference in the lives of others through a gender lens–you might be a womanist, mujerista, anti-racist feminist, etc. We welcome all voices! Alright now here is the list, if I have missed you (or you’re joining late, which is totally allowed!) leave it in comments and I’ll update the list. Also, check back throughout the day as I read through blogs and respond. ENJOY!!!

No One Ever Said I had to Make Sense

Sistahs University

Reclaiming Roe

The Ms. Education of Shelby Knox

Pod Black Cat

Gender Across Borders

Boredom is Counterrevolutionary

Bashfully Designed

A Mad Girl’s Love Song

The Scribblings of Anne Greenwalt

Laugh. Rant. Snort.

Plenty of Otherwise

A Goose Drank Wine

Gender Focus

Editorial-esque

My Version of Happy

Feminism 2.0

Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

Choices Campus Blog

Write here, Write Now

What a Young Feminist Bride Looks Like

In Other Worlds

Say it Sister!

A Bookish Beemer

Feeling Stylish

Bourgie, Interrupted

Exploring Intimacy with Dr. Ruthie

Comrade Kevin’s Chrestomathy

Igniting Change

Foxy By Nature

Female Impersonator

The Halo Effect

Fevolve

Goddesses Rising

Penny Girl Pearl

The American Virgin

Life Forward

The Abortion Gang

Hardy Girls Healthy Women

Pretty Politico

Mirco-blogs!::

Twitter.com/rachaelbailes

Twitter.com/hopewomensforum

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist 21 Comments

Announcing “THIS IS WHAT A YOUNG FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE” Blog Carnival

Last night at dinner, I asked my partner to create a badge for a blog carnival on young feminists.

“Let me start from the beginning,” I said, “So Gail Collins and Stacy Schiff from the New York Times declared that young feminists don’t exist–”

“–Wait, I think you already told me about this, it sounds familiar…”

“No, it happened again.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Gail Collins: Every time I go on a speaking tour I get questions from sad middle-aged women who want to know why their daughters all insist they aren’t feminists. They might be planning to devote their lives to healing fistula victims in Somalia, but they won’t let anyone call them feminists because they think it means being anti-man, or wearing unattractive shoes.”

“Stacy Schiff: Partly the word has been deliberately sullied, like “liberal” and “progressive.” It spells man-hating, militant, and, especially, no Manolos. If it makes you feel better, I just texted my 17-year-old to ask if she considered herself a feminist. “If by feminism, you mean equality,” she answers, “then yes.” It’s not a word that appeals, because her generation thinks the work has been done. They’ve been reading articles about the End of Men. Somehow the news that men who work full-time make on average 23 percent more than women do seems to have escaped them.”

Wow, thanks for talking to young feminists telling us about some women you met and one 17 year old who SAID SHE WAS A FEMINIST when texted by her mom, as evidence for your claims. As an ardent fair pay activist, I find that last line extremely frustrating.

Moreover,  this isn’t the first time that young feminists have been erased by the media and/or our sisters in the movement. Remember in April when Newsweek and Nancy Keenan declared that young women aren’t interested in protecting reproductive rights?

It’s really upsetting to be an activist who devotes significant time and energy to feminist causes, and then be told that young feminists do not exist. Like I previously wrote, it raises questions for me about what kinds of contributions are considered valuable by older feminists. I hate feeling  erased, especially when it is at the hands of other people who are supposedly committed to empowering people.

It’s not just in the media–in my gender and women’s studies graduate courses, I encountered ZERO professors who discussed third wave feminism, let alone espoused it. When I brought it up in class, I was told by several professors that they either didn’t believe in third wave feminism, didn’t understand it, or thought it was bullshit.

The reality is there ARE young feminists all across the world doing really valuable work for the movement. My fellow young feminists inspire me, challenge me, and support me.

So, I’m inviting you to participate in the first “THIS IS WHAT A YOUNG FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE” blog carnival next Friday, August 27th. To participate, leave a comment below with the name and URL for your blog. Then download the badge below and put it on your blog to show that you are participating. I will update the list of participating blogs every couple of days, and post the final list Friday morning.

**A note about participation as related to age: Personally, I am totally comfortable with people outside of the “young” demographic participating in the carnival. You may take time to reflect on your own take on the issue, share about your life when you were a young feminist, or offer ways we can move forward to a meaningful dialogue.

Posted on: August 20th, 2010 by Fair and Feminist 72 Comments