in favor of a post-post-feminist feminism

GradMommy has an interesting critique of this article here. Just to be clear — the article she is critiquing is a NY times article about girl power — I chose this picture just to help make the point. GradMommy does NOT (as far as I know) read Girl Power magazine.

The article is by a woman who expereinced “equality” all through school and celebrated “girl-power” in college and then hit the work world and discovered gender discriminaiton in pay and promotion. Gradmommy’s critique is around the essentialism of the article — it is totally a white woman’s perspective but sounds like she is speaking for all women. She also notes that the women’s movement did not start in the 1960s (sufferage anyone?).

Nonetheless, I thought this article might be an eye opener for many of my undergraduate women who seem to not believe it when I tell them that eventually those white women among them will make about 74 cents for every dollar their male counterpart makes and that number goes WAY down to 64 cents for African-American women and 52 cents for Hispanic women.

In the shameless plug category I will tell you to have a look at my Annual Review of Law and Social Science article on this with Bob Nelson and Ellen Berrey on this. But what students seem to think is that they will be the anomaly. Or, that the statistics are compiled with political motives and therefore are not true. (you know, that ever biased census! — irony)

Options: We could start discriminating against them in universities — just give them 74% of the grade they deserve so they will be outraged sooner (it’s a joke people). OR we could try to figure out a way to convey the enormity of this over a lifetime of earnings and demonstrate that this IS the (or at least A) mechanism for the reproduction of wealth inequality in the US. We need a post-post-feminism feminism. Would that just be feminism?

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One Response to in favor of a post-post-feminist feminism

  1. gradmommy says:

    LOL – no I do not read Girl Power.

    And on your last idea about giving 74% of the grade they deserve – in Teaching Sociology I came across a really interesting exercise where you would do exactly this at the beginning of the semester on the first day of a class on social stratification. Everyone would draw a number out of a hat and that would determine the grade they would receive. The majority of the class would get C’s and lower. You then have a discussion about how that process is fair and how it’s not fair. I did it in a 7-minute teaching exercise, but even grad students thought it was a good thought experiment.

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