Monday, October 23, 2006

The Last 40 Years

There were three great articles in the Toronto Star this weekend about feminism, where we are and where we've been. If you haven't already been there, check them out: first, second, what we've learned in 40 years, and third, what we still have to learn.

Oh - and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the articles... comment or link to your own blog? I haven't had a chance to read it all and I have to go out now, but I will share my thoughts as soon as they are available...


Mad Hatter said...

I liked the last piece best but, as is the case with newspaper articles, all were too brief to be much more than trite.

Oh and I know that it is common-place to link "feminism" to the women's movement in the States in the 1960s and then credit it with springing up out of the blue 40 years ago, but such definitions frustrate me. They kinda imply that before Betty Freidan (and the good old US of A) women were nothing but silent, domesticated servants. I prefer to see feminisim as being as old as human/female history. I like to hear the voices of Sappho and Aphra Behn and Lady Mary Wortley Montague and Mary Wollstencraft and (in Canada) the famous five, and and and. Sure, some of these women had, according to our day and age, offensive beliefs but they were feminists long before they could stake a claim to sisterhood.

Freidan created a sea change with her book but she was not born of a vacuum (ooo, the pun wasn't intended but now that it's out I'd really like to lay claim to it.) Let's here it for the feminism that is centuries-old.

sunshine scribe said...

I agree with mad-hatter that the coverage was too brief to be much more than trite. Superficial in my opinion. I love (she says sarcastically) how the only mention of woman abuse (that affects more than 50% of women in our country) was ... "Violence against women is still all too common here."

bubandpie said...

I loved the Michele Landsberg quote in the last article.

To me, workplace flexibility is such a significant issue. Julie Pippert wrote a post about it - the expectation that employees live for their work. It's not just a matter of negotiating mat leaves and part-time options for women - we need partners whose work schedule is sane and realistic, and compatible with providing a decently minimal level of family support. That has actually eroded in the last 40 years, not because of or in spite of feminism, but in response to other factors like globalization.

cinnamon gurl said...

"I prefer to see feminisim as being as old as human/female history."

Yes! It was similar thinking that prevented me from acknowledging the 'anniversary' of feminism in my post linking to the articles. How can the author say that feminism officially started after women fought for the vote??

And I also really liked the Michelle Landsberg quote too. I also liked the reference to our own psyches as a new barrier to feminism.

B&P, Yes! Wholeheartedly agree that daycare and flexible work arrangements isn't just important for mothers but for fathers (or other parents) too. My husband has some flexibility in his work hours, but some nights he just has to work late, with or without notice, and some weekends too. Which neither of us enjoys.

Haley-O said...

Thanks for these links. I look forward to reading them when I get a chance. I just wanted to check out your site. :) But, I'm always interested in new feminist perspectives. Thanks.