Friday, 10 August 2012

Post-Feminist America?

Global attention (my attention actually, don’t know how much part of the globe) was caught by Slut Walk, Pussy Riot, Tavi Gavinson, and Marissa Mayer. If you haven’t heard about them, well, here’s brief information:

Slut Walk
Jessica Valenti described it as the most successful feminist action of the past 20 years. Founded by Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis 'the SlutWalk protest marches began on April 3, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and became a movement of rallies across the world. Participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman's appearance. The rallies began when Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto Police officer, suggested that to remain safe, "women should avoid dressing like sluts.” The protest takes the form of a march, mainly by young women, where some dress provocatively, like sluts.' (source: wikipedia)

Pussy Riot
As Suzanne Moore wrote in The Guardian, ‘they are essentially a concept, and you cannot stop a concept. Described as punk inheritors of the Riot Grrrl mantle, they are so much more. They are now on trial in Moscow for a crime that took 51 seconds to commit. They mimed an anti-Putin song in the main Orthodox cathedral wearing their trademark balaclavas and clashing colours. For this "hooliganism" and "religious hatred", the three women have already served five months in jail. They now face a possible seven-year sentence.’

I read about this online magazine and its founder Tavi Gavinson on New York times. The article by Michael Schulman titled colourfully as “The Oracle of Girl World” says that “the magazine grew out of Ms. Gevinson’s blog, The Style Rookie, which she started at the ripe age of 11. But all little girls grow up, and Ms. Gevinson wasn’t content to remain a novelty. In late 2010, she announced a new project: an online magazine inspired by Sassy, the Nirvana-era teen magazine that folded in 1996. Sassy’s founding editor, Jane Pratt, nurtured the venture, and within six days of its start Rookie broke one million page views.”

Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer is in the news not just for taking up the CEO job at Yahoo, but also for doing so when she is six months pregnant. For both Marissa and the Yahoo board, the pregnancy and maternity leave was a non-issue. The 20th employee of Google, a star performer who ran the successful Associate Product Management programme, she has a big task ahead of turning around the company.

To round off, the news has been about two feminist movements and two woman achievers. The point: The two feminist movements came from outside America and the two achievers are from America.

We can perhaps say that with regard to the attitudes, vocabulary, and law American society has reached the post-feminist stage. Women there don’t have to start feminist movements. And they make it big in their respective domains.

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