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Member since: Sun Mar 7, 2004, 10:02 PM
Number of posts: 10,039

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'Post-Feminist': Why Ubiquitous Use of the Term Is an Insult to Feminism

I didn't count how many times Kate Betts used the word "post-feminist" in her interesting new book, "Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style," but it was certainly enough to make me queasy the first time and full-on nauseated by the end -- and overall I liked the book! As a 35-year-old feminist, the seemingly ubiquitous use of the term "post-feminist" seems to signal an ache on the part of those who use it to declare feminism dead and gone, despite very active momentum on various fronts and more than enough self-proclaimed feminists to render the use of the term curious.


Yet what's commonly referred to as second-wave feminism (the 1960s and '70s version) is not, in fact, the entirety of a movement that is still going on, albeit in different ways, and it's now commonly understood that there are "feminisms" -- strands of feminism -- rather than one monolithic version. The problem with using the singular brand name "feminism" is akin to using the word "women": It's too big, too vast to cover all the people who either consider themselves some kind of feminist or who are engaging in "feminist" acts.


My biggest problem with the term is that it almost always carries a judgment against feminism, or what the author perceives feminism to be. Often this is a sly (or not so sly) dig at the perceived ills of third-wave feminism, a dig at its permissiveness and wide embrace of feminist styles. I'm not arguing that the actions of feminists (or anyone else) are above reproach, but attack them on their merits, rather than with a fake term that doesn't actually mean anything.

Read Here.
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