Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Get Off My Back!

After all the hoopla about Gloria Steinem's NYT Op-Ed, I got to thinking.

Well, actually, it happened before that. I read her piece and couldn't deny this nagging feeling that Steinem was trying desperately to be relevant again. That's right, I said it.

I am grateful for everything the feminist movement did for women in America. Their minds had to be completely focused on getting women ahead in this country. They had to create opportunities that weren't there in the 60s. And, yes, we're still working to create those opportunities and more today. We're still fighting against sexism and misogyny. Women are stereotyped every day in movies, ads, and politics. But the fight is different now.

Hillary Clinton is just bringing it to the forefront.

The baby boomer generation can't understand why my generation doesn't want to vote for Clinton. The fact that she's a woman (I'm generalizing here) is enough for them. But it's not enough for us. They gave us what we needed to have a voice in politics, society, and culture. Of course, 1st-wave feminism had a lot to do with it too, but they're mostly dead. I wonder what they would think? I think they'd vote for Obama.

If 2nd-wave feminists are still stuck in the 2nd-wave, they're not exactly irrelevant. They're just not exactly in tune with my generation. And yes, that's fine. But stop trying to make us into you. I just wish they'd catch up and get into third-gear. Wouldn't it feel nice to vote for someone you want for president without worrying about their race or gender? Wouldn't it feel nice to accept women who get married, dress up, put make-up on, cook, craft? (Again, generalizing, but the judging kept a lot of smart women out of the movement.)
Now, we can vote for someone who will make the world better for women AND for the poor AND for international relations. We have the luxury of not having to pigeonhole our beliefs. I can hope for equality in every corner of the world and not worry that my all-inclusive nature is counterintuitive to the fight for my gender. So I guess I should say thanks to the 2nd wave. Thanks for giving me the chance to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in. Just stop telling me what I should think is right. Stop guilting me into making a choice I'm not comfortable with.

In other words, get off my back. Please? And let's work together to make sure we elect a Democrat this year.

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