I love Rancho’s slogan, “NOW Is THEN, and PUMA Is NOW!” Her comment:
“NOW is meeting this weekend:
Note the agenda . . . Start the day with Yoga!, then Saturday night vote for a a new president (7:00-9:00). Kim Gandy is stepping down.
I still think Greta should do a special on feminism. The timing is perfect! The topic could be “Should NOW be called THEN,” or “What is 21st Century Feminism, and what are the issues women want addressed TODAY.”
Alice Paul and company broke from the mainstream conservative women’s-rights movement (headed up by Carrie Chapman Catts),and created a more radical wing! Let’s do it!”
“Feminism is human existence as lived by women.”
One common, and widely held definition of feminism and feminists is that it is the effort of people who struggle for women’s rights and women’s equality. In the United States we tend to automatically include the women of the Gulabi Gang in India or those women in Iran who have been inspired by Zahra Rahnavard to fight for a stronger political voice in the worldwide Feminist Movement. Uh-oh. So long as us Western women keep several thousand miles and several hundred years of social development between us and them, we’ll probably be okay and not have to confront any jarring contradictions. We’ll also remain open to the (very fair) accusation of being rich white elitists hopelessly removed from the every-day concerns and struggles of regular women (sounds familiar to the common complaint of Conservative American women about how liberal women treat them, no?).
For example, consider for a moment that Zhara Rahnavard strongly supports the tradition of Islamic women covering themselves for modesty. Rural Indian peasants likely have preposterously unenlightened views about “women’s work,” the “public/private spheres,” dowries, and child marriage. Your average Iranian or Indian feminist is likely 10 TIMES more conservative and backwards than someone like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann. In the previous link, Rahnavard expresses her disdain for Western feminists who ignore women’s natural duty to their children and domesticity. Hmmm. . . So do we kick out Iranian feminists along with Sarah Palin? Or do we condescend to allow Rhanavard until she “knows better.” And if so, why don’t we extend the same patience to Palin? Can we talk to the Gulabi Gang as feminists or only as condescending Westerners? Because as soon as we try to talk to them as feminists, using the old definitions and assumptions, they’re likely to tell us to take a hike so they can get back to getting dinner ready or donning their hijabs so they can go grocery shopping.
So far, I like my definition. It excludes no one — no nationality or political party or culture. Well, except for one obvious group: men. Men cannot live the human experience as women. This keeps them out. Just like my white skin excludes me from being a member of the black civil rights movement, or the Native American civil rights movement. I can support their agenda — donate time and money, but I can’t suffer the injustices they suffer and I can’t really know their experience. So, Men: Thanks for all the support, please keep it coming. (If you detect a note of sarcasm, please just ignore it.) I’ll keep testing my definition against what I read and see, but until then,
Feminism is the human experience as lived by women.
Speaking of which, Rancho has also been keeping the fire burning for the Alice Paul Congressional Gold Medal. Contact your representative and ask them to co-sponsor this non-controversial and very meaningful measure to give Alice Paul and the legacy of the Woman’s Party the credit they so richly deserve.
I am your constituent and respectfully request that you consider co-sponsoring HR 406, which would award a Congressional Gold Medal to Alice Paul, an instrumental woman in the struggle for American women’s Constitutional right to vote.
Currently HR406 has only 113 co-sponsors, and it will NOT be moved to the floor of the House for a vote until it has 290, which would be 290 of the total 430 representatives. When legislation on this bill was initiated in the previous Congress, it garnered near unanimous, bipartisan support with 406 co-sponsors.
You can read the text of the bill here:
Currently, the breakdown of Co-Sponsors is:
-14 Republicans (2 are women)
I’m asking you to please show your support to 51% of the American voting population (women) by recognizing Alice Paul’s impact on our country. I’m asking you to please consider co-sponsoring this bill as MY representative. I’m asking you to PLEASE represent ME, and all women in your district by being part of that bipartisan support!
Your Name and Address
Also in comments, invalidresponse provided these moving videos that are zipping around the internet. Very persuasive, both in their use of irony AND in their sincerely sentimental appeal. SHARE them!
Oh, and Dan Froomkin, the guy who introduced me to blogging WAAAY back in 2001, was fired from the Washington Post yesterday. Read all about it HERE. What a shame.