Rebecca Walker on “Why Feminists Stink and I Hate Them”

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Okay, that isn’t the exact title, but it might just as well be. Among many other things, I wonder what she means by “this generation.” I’m younger than Barack Obama and only five years older than Walker herself, but still no doubt too old for her “young people” preferences and should probably just die now, or something. And when she writes: “Perhaps a Feminism that has not responded to the needs of its constituents needs to die,” I wonder how and why it is that calling oneself a feminist burdens one with “constituents” whose “needs” she is supposed to “respond to.” What exactly is it she thinks Feminism owes her, and why?

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to Rebecca Walker on “Why Feminists Stink and I Hate Them”

  1. Diane says:

    I try so hard not to loathe Rebecca Walker, but it gets tougher every day. I remember being in Houston in 1977, and we fought hard for the interests of ALL women–African American, Asian, Hispanic, lesbian, poor–everybody. Even Betty Friedan eventually apologized for her narrow-mindedness. The great majority of Second Wave feminists wanted ALL women to have equal social, economic, political, and sexual rights.

    And if Walker’s generation is so “liberated,” why is there highly increased sexual assault in this country? Why is there still at 30% difference in salaries? Why is there a campaign to misinterpret and destroy Title IX? Why are pharmacists and clergy plotting against Walker’s right to obtain meds as I write this? Why is there almost total silence while the media and the blogosphere soul-murders Hillary Clinton with misogynistic insults?

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Diane – Hi! I’ve missed you. All good questions. Wish I had some answers.

  3. Diane says:

    Hi Ann. I still read blogs, but I don’t do a lot of commenting. It interests me that Walker was half-raised by Gloria Steinem and she turned out the way she did. And while I very much respect the younger generation of feminists’ concern for women in all countries, I am sick to death of hearing questions like “Where was NOW when______?”, referring to some horror perpetrated against women in Afghanistan or Iran. First of all, American feminists over 30 do care about what happens to those women (at least, the feminists I know do). But when women repeat these questions, they are buying into one of the patriarchy’s favorite questions: “Why do women in America whine so much when women in other countries have it so much worse?”

    Yes, we should be concerned about all women and girls, but American feminists need to focus on the very significant sexism and misogyny in our OWN country as well. Because the last time I checked, the U.S. was a place where women and girls continue to be held in contempt in every way. Can you say “denial”?

    Ann, in addition to publishing my tennis blog (which is a lot of fun), I’ve been blogging a bit lately for The Democratic Daily.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Well, to take this in reverse order, I will definitely check out the Democratic Daily!

    And I agree that accusing U.S. feminists of not caring about women in other countries is unfair as a blanket charge, as I’m never sure who is meant by “U.S. feminists” when these sorts of generalizations are made, but that’s a longer conversation for another day.

    I admire Gloria Steinem a lot. She’s not perfect, and I don’t agree with everything she has ever said or written or done, but I think she tries mightily to help other women with all her heart. And I know a lot of twenty something women who are great admirers of Steinem as well – it’s more about disposition than age or generation, I think.

    Hey, next time you are going to be in SC for a tennis tournament, e-mail me if you like – it would be really fun to take you to lunch or something.

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