Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why I'm a Feminist, Part Five: The Future

I could continue talking about this forever (and I will). But I’ll wrap up this series with a discussion about what I would love to see the future entail for feminism:

~ An increased consciousness of women’s experience around the globe. American feminism is so focused on the U. S. that it misses the work and trials of our sisters/neighbors abroad.

~ A greater respect for faith. Faith-based and faith-supported feminist groups are on the rise, but the feminist community in general invalidates these causes because of their religious bases.

~ The involvement of younger women. Many teenagers and twenty-somethings are particularly ignorant today of feminist issues. Empowering and educating these young women will prove integral to the survival and breadth of the cause.

~ A broader definition of feminism. For example, in my opinion, abstinence, stay at home mom-ing, adoption instead of abortion, and dedication to a life of faith should all be seen as feminist choices.

~ Continue to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Many feminist organizations speak up for children, victims of abuse, and victims of many forms of marginalization. This should increase.

~ A unity of women and men across class, race, and religious lines. The American feminist movement has struggled for years to develop commonality across these signifiers and I think everyone will benefit from sharing the struggle with understanding and love.

Some of this is very idealistic, but no one would be anywhere without ideals. Today we are living in the hope of someone who went before us with the help of the divine hand that led us to new heights. Susan B. Anthony, who toiled for women's suffrage over 50 years and never herself had the privilege of the ballot, put it this way,

"Failure is impossible."

2 comments:

APN said...

Absolutely. A beautiful collection of dreams, plans, and visions about the future (even a future that could start tomorrow). Much of the chance for these things coming to pass rest upon what I feel is the most important point you made:

"~ The involvement of younger women. Many teenagers and twenty-somethings are particularly ignorant today of feminist issues. Empowering and educating these young women will prove integral to the survival and breadth of the cause."

Education has always been the issue with so many social movements: civil rights, sufferage, environmental concerns, worker rights, tort reform, campaign finance reforms, and the list goes on. We must create a culture that wants to learn, wants to know, wants to hear, wants to discuss, wants to share. We have been too easily led by idealogues for much too long.

I look forward to joining with you in shaping this future, as naive as it might be on the surface.

LK said...

Yes and yes, and while I remain biased because I am an educator, there is much everyone can do to help the next generation of feminists.