One mo' from Courtney...
I think for me it was a slow process, starting from when I was in the womb...
We were reading the Great Gatsby in high school English, and I came across this line: 'That's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.' I felt enraged, but none of my classmates even seemed to notice.
It was a rainy Take Back The Night rally my first year of college... I looked around at the women on every side, and thought about how strange it was that I'd ended up here, given my conservative Republican upbringing. I realized that if I don't identify as a feminist, no one really does.
One movie: Girls Town. Amazing.
A generation ago, feminists talked about their "click" moments: those split-second experiences that led them to join the women's movement. Today's young feminists come to the movement--which is looking less like a protest march and more like a blog--in myriad, often piecemeal, ways. It can be as simple as reading a book or attending an event or talking with one person or witnessing a horrendous act of sexism.
Deciding to identify as a feminist often requires a lot of learning and unlearning these days; so many of us have been exposed to the well-oiled machine of the anti-feminist movement. According to Newsweek, feminism might be dead. Charlotte Allen tells us that we're stupid, via the Washington Post. Some older women within our own movement wonder if we even exist.
J. Courtney Sullivan and Courtney Martin are editing a new anthology for Seal Press on the topic, and we want your ideas. Send us a couple of paragraphs--in the style and voice that you'd use in a full-fledged essay--proposing what you would write, along with your name, email address, phone #, age, and ethnic background (we understand that this might seem a little reductive, but we are committed to including diverse authors). We'll look them all over, then get back to you once we've accounted for a range of moments, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds.
We hope it will be a historic document, a totally entertaining gift, a course adoption text, and, most of all, a collection that makes young women who already identify with the movement feel seen and heard, and welcomes all those just growing into the still unfolding story of feminism.
Send your ideas to: email@example.com
DEADLINE: October 15, 2008
Bonus: We've already got some great feminist writers on board that you may have heard of, including (in no particular order):
Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan (well, obviously)