Going Down There with Feminism

In the #YesAllWomen campaign, I was reminded of my roots in feminism, and it came early for me. This piece won first place in the on-the-spot op-ed category at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state competition back in 2002. The times have changed (and so has my writing), but sadly the message has not.

 

Going Down There with Feminism

By Reina V. Slutske

 

“Down there?… You want me to go down there?”

The quote from “The Flood,” one of the many pieces in Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” is usually the same reaction that most people give to feminism.

Feminism is often viewed as a stereotype of women who hate men and want to take over the world, also known as “femi-nazism.” This is not feminism.

So what is feminism? In the National Organization for Women (NOW), the basic definition is the belief that men and women deserve equality.

Therefore, it is safe to say that feminism is not dead. Rather, feminism is a like a married career woman and a mother of one.

Feminism, in its current state, is in a transition period. The second wave of feminism, from the baby-boomer generation, has been the main representation of modern feminism.

But times are changing. Feminism, at the moment, has a beautiful daughter. Her name is the third wave.

She is from either generations X or Y, born from 1970 on to the 1980s. She is a cosmopolitan, knowledgeable girl who extends her view to the rest of the world.

She viewed the Taliban oppressing its women when the rest of the world didn’t care.

She saw when her mother wasn’t counted in getting health care as she got older.

She understands that all people, not just white women but also minorities and men, must be included in the fight for equality.

Along with her mother, she knows in America that a woman is raped every two minutes, women get paid 23 percent less than men do, and states are arguing to overturn abortion.

Both mother and daughter know that the battle is not won, and they must fight it together. Plus, at the end of the day, they can end up being called femi-nazis instead of feminists.

Feminism, however, has begun to find itself again. Through NOW and the efforts of people such as Ensler, feminism is coming back with a full passion, with women reclaiming their bodies and place in society.

Through the Safety, Health and Equal Opportunities (SHE), NOW continues its outreach to women. For SHE, this includes providing services and making itself known throughout the state, including in college campuses.

If there was no hope for equality, feminism would not exist. This is reason to believe that feminism is a gift to all of us, and not just a stereotype we were taught.

“You want me to go down there?”

Definitely.

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Posted on June 3, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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