USA Today asks “Is Feminism Over the Hill?”

October 28, 2011 | Elizabeth

NOW marks a 45 year anniversary this year and it brings up the question to some, including USA Today, “Is Feminism Over the Hill?” The article cites NOW President and students from Rollins College, where a celebratory event is happening this weekend, and the viewpoints are quite different.

The feminist has been portrayed as a woman who was “unhappy, angry, humorless and didn’t shave any part of her body,” says Terry O’Neill, national president of the National Organization for Women, which this weekend marks its founding 45 years ago with an event at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.

The stereotype, she adds, “became very powerful.” And it’s hard to get past for many young women today.

A student at Rollins had this to say:

“I think people think it’s a bit unattractive for a girl to be talking about things like that all the time,” says Szal, of New Hope, Pa. “You get a little stigmatized, like ‘pushy’ or ‘problematic’ or ‘troublesome’ or ‘a lot to handle.'”

And a professor thought:

Wendy Brandon, an associate professor of education and women’s studies at Rollins, says the women’s movement has evolved to focus more on what’s termed the “intersectionality” of gender, race, class and sexual orientation.

Sociologist Michael Kimmel of Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y., finds that reaction widespread. “Most of my women students have said ‘Feminism was your generation’s issue and we won. We can now do anything we want,'” he says.

But even if the stereotype of feminism being what it is, the article ends with women at Rollins saying they wouldn’t necessary call themselves a feminist, but they stand for equality and the things feminism stands for – because they are a woman.

Our UF NeW Chapter has been  talking a lot about the language feminists use to get all women on their side. We are currently reading the Flipside of Feminism by Suzanne Venker and conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly. Just because you are a woman, doesn’t make you a feminist and doesn’t mean you should be one. Women need to take power in researching the dialogue and the true meaning of the words used by the feminist movement before they just accept they belong to it. It’s quite dangerous really, when you look at all of these women just jumping on the bandwagon of feminism just thinking that because they are a woman, that’s where they belong.


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