Burning Bras v. The Blog

Response to Jennie Yabroff’s “Is Feminism Dead?”


We all read about feminism in our grade school and high school history books, and after staying up all night studying and drowning in Red Bull, no one will remember anything after the test. The information in those books often feature women rallying in large marches, hoping to persuade the Congress by circling around a burning pile of bras. Books make feminists looks like the cavemen in a Geico commercial. And today, some end up blogging about changing the world’s view, all while eating Cheetos and watching “The View”. Exactly how did we end up going from burning bras to blogging for equality?

Jennie Yabroff quoted Carolyn Maloney, “Rumors of our progress are greatly exaggerated, the time to move forward is now.” Moving forward in a tech-savvy generation is hard, which could explain why many feminists are using what people are familiar with. To “blog” means to write your feelings or opinions on the Internet, and others can comment. If you ask me, it seems like a waste. Yes, your message gets out, but you’re technically not physically doing something. Feminist bloggers seem like they’re expecting too much in a little period of time. No one can fix or change a society that has lived a certain way for hundreds of years via a post online.

The feminists of the twentieth century, AKA the first wave of feminists, wanted to rebel against what was expected of them. They showed their active nature, which made other women want to join them. They engaged in walks, wrote books, protested, and held campaigns for voting and slave rights. By the end of the wave, they were able to pass the Nineteenth Amendment. Oddly though, after the passage of the right to vote, a decline in feminism started, and didn’t pop back up until the 1960's.

In the start of the second wave, focus on legal inequalities, family issues and sexuality began. This is where most of society gets the image of a feminist from: burning bras, unshaven legs and calling men pigs. While this could be true, what makes that be the requirements for today’s feminist? It was the ‘60s, and that could describe any hippie on the street. With a whole society and country making judgements against you and your beliefs, the pressure to stick with it can be too much, and another feminism decline came about.

Now, in the third wave of feminists, women are trying ever so hard to finish what was started in the previous wave. Because the image of a 1960 feminist is often stuck in one’s head, progress is hard. Is this the reason why people turn to the Internet for their opinions? For this response, I typed “feminism” into Google. First thing that came up was Wikipedia, and I’m not sure if I should be happy or ashamed. Since anyone can edit Wikipedia, the page could of been written by an educated feminist, or some delinquent who thinks they are funny. Education on feminism, or any movement, is crucial when defending it. No one can solve anything they don’t fully understand.

To much of a surprise, there is also a site called Feministblogs.org. They post their opinion and thoughts on today’s issues, whether on sex, politics, other feminists, and etc. I took a look at their past posts, and the writers were mostly bashing other writers or comments; what good does this do to the movement? I am not against the Internet or blogging, since it is an outlet for your opinion, but if you are turning to blogging to solve things, the problems start there. The previous feminist waves didn’t have technology or computers handy — they got in the faces of their opponent and showed what they wanted. Women need to get out in the world and demand what they want, and leave the unnecessary blogging to Perez Hilton.