Feminists around the world are working to solve a multitude of problems. From the exclusion of females from education in many parts of the world, to rape culture, to the forever shifting identity of womanhood. We are building on those who came before us work. Just as they built on that of the generation of feminism, before them.
But, giving us a platform to speak on does not mean older feminists are allowed to control the dialogue.
Many active feminists today are people coming into their own
We are college students attending rallies, young entrepreneurs leading seminars on equality, and high school students finding their voice.
We deserve for that voice to be ours and ours alone.
Give credit where credit is due, but own that this moment is now, is yours and is ours. Many of the gatherings and leaders that have shaped women’s music, culture, and spirituality began in the 1970’s and 1980’s too.
And, unfortunately there are women who say that younger feminists need to ‘follow suit’. Or, that the 4th wave of feminism is ungrateful or rude. A disgrace to feminism are only serving to make this generation angry selfish.
Many of us, look up to or are inspired by Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright.
Therefore have a hard time qualifying how women who fought for a woman’s right to be anything she wants could say that feminists can only act a certain way. [reference to Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright faulting the new wave of feminists in the last Presidency race] The comments that erode were ones like ‘get with the program’ and ‘grow up’.
Perhaps I am mistaken but I never understood feminism to be bashing or shaming other women.
I do however understand it to be speaking up for what we believe in.
Believing we have the right to be, work and exist in ways others do.
And, the right to soar past even those limitations society has so creatively built for us. I am grateful for those who came before me, came before us. In one extent I am not sure they ever or will ever be celebrated in a way they should be. Many of whom cannot be thanked any longer due to their time, passing.
However, we CAN choose to celebrate who they were.
And, remember what foundation they lay for us to build upon.
The Current Wave of Feminism
One might argue that this current wave is nothing more than misled women. In fact, this belief is embedded in those who have done outstanding work in years past. For that, we celebrate. The now however …. not so much. You see, could we have braved the current fight or revolution without the knowledge, foundation and strength of those before us?
I would like to believe we are not blind to their doing. But, is it too much to ask for the current doing to be acceptable too? Could we parallel the thought process to that of the Baby Boomers versus Millennial generation?
Fun Fact: The Millennial generation as we know has surpassed the baby boomer population. And now, in 2018 they will also surpass the purchase power in North America over the Boomers.
Why is this relevant? Times are always changing.
We adopt and adapt in many part of our lives. Society is still trying to catch up. Whether it be technologies or ideologies.
In the Feminism world and the not, so feminine world.
I am aware of the debt of gratitude we, as women, owe to our foremothers.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants.
And we see the progression that’s possible through the generations, with perseverance and dedication to reshaping our lives and our culture. Including, our own thinking.
We now enjoy so many freedoms, and many young women seem to feel that feminism is something that does not belong to ‘this’ time. Please know, it’s not that at all. The need to remain active and vocal in the political and social process is critical.
Our culture still puts constraints on women with unequal pay; unrealistic physical ideals and body shaming for women and girls. Not to mention systemic violence against women.
As well as the racism that is compounded with sexism for women of color.
My Final Thoughts on Feminism + Those who came Before me
Overall, feminism like all things, need evolution. Without the lightbulb would be consider a light switch? Adopting anything new can take time and more importantly, understanding from all parties. However, it is deeper than that — what I want to impress upon those of you reading this message is this — celebrate those who came before you. What is happening in your world right now that you can pay homage to someone else. Would you be where you are today, without their movement, actions, beliefs?