…from “OLD FEMINIST” to “BAD ASS“
Several years ago I had an unnerving conversation with my then college aged daughter and several of her contemporaries. They had heard a recent campus speaker define old feminists as those of my age bracket who wanted to talk about the advancement of gender equality in our lifetime. Sure enough, I had recently heard several women speak about the importance of younger women realizing that they stood on the shoulders of earlier feminists. This did not resonate well with me or my daughter and her friends.
In the new book, A Little F’d Up, Barnard College student and author, Julie Zeilinger, talks to the women of her age bracket. Carrying on the themes of her popular blog, Julie’s first chapter gives credit to older feminists as Bad Asses and talks about the accomplishments of suffragettes, and 1970’s era feminists. We made a great deal of progress for ourselves and our daughters.
This was enough for me to feel good, but the important chapters introduce today’s young women leaders to the concepts of feminism and in strong focused language, she talks about world issues today. And, she entreats them to care and to use their power to change the world. Zeilinger speaks powerfully to the FBOMB generation in calling for a new generation of active feminists—both men and women. She argues for a definition of feminism as the pursuit of being able to live your life in the way that supports all of your human rights and makes you happiest, no matter where you are. It is hard to argue with that.
In an age where we learn about global sex-trafficking, gays and lesbians are fighting anew for equal rights and hundreds of bills are being discussed with state legislatures and the US Congress on issues like birth control and equal access for women’s health, the idea of pushing for equity is as important as the passage of the Right to Vote and Equal Pay laws.
Zeilinger’s book speaks to women of all ages. It frames today’s issues in ways that all women can understand. It has a strong call to action. And, I prefer the title Bad Ass.