Hoyden About Town posted about it, prompting others to 'dissect' the piece. In the comment thread on her post, Deborah from In A Strange Land wrote "But I have found that the sh*t h*ts the fan when you have children." (see full thread for context). Which really hit home for me.
I get why Millner is complaining. There are women who are held up in mainstream media as feminist icons, whether or not they actually are, and they will at times disappointed, misrepresent, and say things that some of us might be considered fairly unfeminist. And we should point out these times and keep on going, not be so disillusioned that we decide to practically renounce feminism, upset that the mass media is not choosing talking heads who directly understand, appreciate, and agree with our political views. But that's not really what got me about the article. It was more the disregard for the enormous percentage of women who are feminists and deal with sexism on a daily basis and who aren't characters out of Sex and the City.
" "The new behaviors we're seeing in young women - buying their own homes, starting their own businesses, traveling the world - these aren't revolutionary behaviors," Weeks went on. "It's the attitude of these women that's truly progressive. They're not angry at men for historical grievances. They're just trying to take advantage of all these different opportunities without having anyone get in their way, male or female."
Of course! This is my life - and Weeks' life - and the life of virtually every other young woman we know."Wait, what? "the life of virtually every other young woman we know." ??? Really? Wow, I'm so glad to hear that 'every other young woman' has the financial stability to become a home owner, start their own business, and travel. That's sort of news to me. Also, "they're not angry at men for historical grievances"???! Is that what my 'anger' is about? I'm just pissed at men?! I don't think so.
This image of the 'real' feminist is not the image I believe portrays feminist women. Or even modern women. And back to the whole motherhood throwing a spanner into the works - this image does not include mothers. Even those of us who are home owners and have business and travel. But the 'real feminist' according to this article doesn't have children. And if she does, she probably can afford excellent day care and has a great boss that gives her plenty of maternity leave and doesn't' mind if she can't work late.
The image portrayed is saccharine sweet, easy and nice to swallow. It doesn't touch on so many of the issues that feminism is working and needs to focus on. It doesn't touch on the nitty gritty of daily life, on fighting for domestic equality, on assault, on sexual harassment at work, on poverty, racism, abuse, neglect, discrimination.