Katha Pollitt in The Nation thinks not:
In “American Electra: Feminism’s Ritual Matricide,” her cover story in the October Harper’s, Susan Faludi argues that young feminists are frivolous fashionistas who choose Lady Gaga over Gloria Steinem and consumerism over activism, thereby betraying the cause—and their second-wave mothers, real and figurative. Faludi thinks today’s young feminists are out to kill their mothers, much as young women in the 1920s rejected the Victorian matriarchs who had won them the vote: “Over and over, a younger generation disavows the women’s movement as a daughter disowns her mother.”
Jessica Valenti’s piece in an earlier Nation argues a quite different point. She does see younger women as ignored and/or sexualized by the older feminists, but she lays a heavy charge at her elders’ door. That is, they’ve neglected what must be the core goals of a sustainable feminism:
Feminism isn’t simply about being a woman in a position of power. It’s battling systemic inequities; it’s a social justice movement that believes sexism, racism and classism exist and interconnect, and that they should be consistently challenged. What’s most important to remember as we fight back against conservative appropriation is that the battle over who “owns” the movement is not just about feminists; feminism’s future affects all American women. And if we let the lie of conservative feminism stand—if real feminists don’t lay claim to the movement and outline their vision for the future—all of us will suffer.
Feminism has in fact restricted its attention to “white women’s concerns” and, as such, become vulnerable to the idea that Palin and the Grizzlies can also be feminists.
These are such important issues. What do you think?
And by the way, we should watch what we write if we have children! Rebecca Walker’s reactions to her mother’s writing should give us all pause. It certainly calls matricide to mind. (As far as I know I have nothing in print beyond one unfortunate comment comparing cats and babies, or more accurately, observing that I might not have had a child had I had a cat. Sorry!! Obviously just a joke!!!)