Friday, March 30, 2007

Feminism Friday: Young Feminists

What with the continually alleged "death of feminism" in this "post-feminist" age, how are young women finding their way into feminism going about it? Particularly those who are not going to tertiary education facilities that offer a Women's Studies Course?

How did those of us who are not so young find our way into feminism? How were we helped/hindered by family and friends?

I had a father who encouraged me to read Germaine Greer and Betty Friedan and always pay my own way on dates at the same time as he refused to agree to my mother returning to full-time work until my 6-years younger sister was in secondary school, and who thought that making a big deal about complimenting me on my body in front of his mates was OK. My mother resented being held back from working after having kids but also expressed doubt about a lot of the Women's Lib (as it was referred to at the time) agenda. Most of my school-friends thought my feminist beliefs were at the simplest (votes, equal pay) obvious and at the more anthropological (dating rituals, sexist language) weird. Mixed messages.

I never studied Women's Studies or feminist theory at a tertiary education level - I've just read a lot of books and made a lot of feminist friends over the years, some of whom have formally studied feminist theory and some of whom, like me, have read a lot and thought a lot about it outside college/uni. Different paths.

So what are young feminists doing for themselves to make sense of feminism here and now?

I just found one young feminist online community linking to this blog in my sitemeter stats: the All-Girl Army, whose tagline is Ovathrow the status quo! which I love. They're a community of feminist bloggers ranging from age 10 to 23, which is far younger than the feminists online whom I usually read. Check it out.

Any other young feminists (let's make an arbitrary cut-off of age 25) wanting to promote their online and/or offline communities/activities please leave a comment about yourselves! The rest of you, please reminisce about the feminist or proto-feminist you aged 25 or under.

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