Of COURSE rejection is disappointing to younger women who want in to older women’s clubhouse—and why wouldn’t they want in? These are good jobs, with good benefits, for the most part, in organizations that younger feminists believe in. Something missing from the TMC convo is the fact that what goes on in some feminist organizations goes on in the workplace more generally; lack of mentoring among women is not a problem among feminists alone. Men have been pulling each other up the ladder for centuries; women are newer at it, and perhaps, in an economy of scarcity where there’s still the perception that only so many women can hold top positions in corporations or have their own break-even nonprofit, women have not yet mastered the art of sharing power. I absolutely salute the younger women who are forming clubhouses of their own, but I agree with Patti Binder, who comments:
But is that really the best and most effective message larger organizations have to give younger women? Don't feel welcome here so go elsewhere and do your own thing?
Again, the feeling of rejection is mutual. WomansSpace, a self-identifed second-waver, comments:
It never occurred to me that your generation wouldn’t even bother to read second wave literature. That is a painful rejection when I can so clearly remember, in a zen sense, thinking about your face, long before it existed....I do not own feminism. I was but a tiny cog and was part of its creation and Ms. Valenti's understanding and mine are so different and they are different in places where I hurt. I want to see continuity in what I helped start and instead of continuity.... well I see naked, anorexic, long haired women on trapezes.
Ouch. But there IS continuity. It's just hard to see it amidst all the emotion and commotion--as I write about in my book. I look forward to the day when we stop fighting each other and see our way through to the larger issues that threaten all women’s integrity and well-being.