Soooooo, it infuriates me that we women have to keep reinventing the wheel. I discovered Second Wave Feminism in 1970 when I was thirty and have worked for women’s rights since then — i.e. the right to not be depicted as boobs and ass in all forms of media; as vacant eyed, fat-lipped desire objects for older male actors in films; as bitchy if we were powerful, cute if we were angry, invisible if we were fat or old or of color. For the last thirty years, I’ve heard younger women say they didn’t need Feminism. They had everything they wanted — “I’m not the protest type.”
Congratulations younger sisters, you have allowed yourself to be exploited. You’ve ignored the hard-won lessons of older Feminists. You’ve been conned with contemporary Gender Studies programs which insist theory is everything and no longer insist that students do projects out in the real world. The good news is that we older Feminists won’t abandon you. We’ll fight alongside you — and through that, you might understand that being treated with respect in a sexist culture is a war that will never be won, but the battles and skirmishes are worth it.