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Who's Afraid of Post-Feminism? What It Means To Be A Feminist Today
Jenna Goudreau asks what feminism means today and reports on her poll of change-makers from across generations—from the old guard of the women’s liberation movement to business trailblazers and millennial women reclaiming and redefining it on the Web. The responses were mixed.
For many, regardless of age, modern feminism retains its activist, agenda-based roots. “[It’s] revolution,” says Gloria Steinem, 77, the famed women’s rights activist and co-founder of Ms. Magazine. “Women in the world still bear most of the violence, do most of the work and get less of the salary. We’ve come a long way in consciousness and made a lot of strides, but this is just the beginning.”
“I call it feminisms—plural,” says Robin Morgan, 70, co-founder of the Women’s Media Center. “To young women in the global North, eating disorders are a major problem, but to women in the global South, eating disorder means not having enough rice in your bowl. So feminism doesn’t have a narrow definition; it’s when anyone fights for women’s rights.”
“[It] is the recognition that women are human beings with the right to full participation in society,” says Irin Carmon, 28, a former Jezebel writer now at Salon. “What that means in practice is ensuring reproductive freedom, working to prevent discrimination and sexual assault, and trying to create a world of relationships and partnerships that reflect and enable women’s contributions.”