Young women

Katha Pollitt kpollitt at
Fri Nov 26 07:19:27 PST 1999

Catherine -- I agree with what you say about "young women." I have said these things myself! but t used the word "anti-feminist," which I don't think is a synonym! I assumed, wrongly it seems, that he was referring to the rightwing anti-feminist talking heads who have become so prominent in debates about women here in US. People like Danielle Crittenden, Wendy Shalit, Laura Ingraham, the Independent Women's Forum and Women's Freedom Network. These women are everywhere not just in media but, behind the scenes, involved in trying to get title IX (which bans sex discrimination in education) overturned, opposing the Violence Against women Act, promoting bogus statistics (like that wage discrimination doesn't exist and disparities in pay reflect women's choices) etc.

I completely agree, and often say, that young women face a different world than that of the l960s and 1970s. So naturally they are going to have different ideas about what's important. For instance: a lot of my feminism as a young person had to do with resisting social (and internal) pressures to marry and allow my life to shaped by a man's. I don't think college-educated women in their twenties face that expectation to anything like the same degree. They are expected to be rather ambitious, and to marry late.heavy-duty sex discrimination kicks in later for woemn today -- I think many will only see it after they have a baby. And then they'll be too tired to organize.

About Butler -- sorry, it still seems nuts to me. That physical sex is socially constructed? That we are male and female because our culture tells us we are and that's it? You might as well say if you live in a christian culture that holds that you're immortal, you really are. Katha

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