Feminist activism is better than latte

latte.jpgThere’s something about feminist activism that wakes you the fuck up.
Last week, I was lucky enough to meet more feminists in a five day period than I probably have ever – it was incredible. After speaking at three colleges in the DC/Virginia area, I also went to the WAM conference. And athough I was exhausted from traveling and speaking, being around all of these amazing men and women committed to feminist activism and media really energized me. So I just wanted to say thanks.
Thanks to all of the feminists out there raising hell and making people remember that young women aren’t apathetic or apolitical. They’re not “going wild.”
Young women are active, engaged and fucking awesome. Like the women at Georgetown’s United Feminists who packed the room when I came to visit, despite the fact that it was their first event. Or Casey who I met at University of Mary Washington who makes a kick ass homemade feminist shirt (and was even kind enough to give me one!). Or the gals at Hollins University who created a feminist calendar to raise money for their Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance on campus.
And, of course, all of the bad-ass women at WAM – who not only put on some great panels, but also can dance like nobody’s business.
All of you ladies inspire me daily – so thank you.
(The post title is dedicated to Ms. Courtney Martin, who mocked me this weekend for being “bougie” after I said – sigh – that I’d kill for a latte. Okay, maybe it was deserving of some mocking.)

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13 Comments

  1. Posted March 31, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Hey, sometimes one must kill for one’s coffee.
    Course, for me it’s a triple espresso, as I don’t like additives to my espresso, instead of a latte … but maybe it makes me bougie, maybe it makes me elitist, intellectual and yuppie … then I’m a bougie elitist intellectual yuppie, because I love my espresso … cold dead hands, prying, and all that :)
    I think we need to reclaim yuppie …

  2. Xana
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see the women at my Alma Mater are still doing great work! Go Hollins!

  3. Meredith
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Jessica, on behalf of Georgetown, thank you so much for coming and shaking up this liberal-fronted but conservative-based university. It was amazing to meet you (and get my picture with you–I’m still harassing the camera owner for my picture!) and just to put a face and a voice to the fantastic words I read every day here at Feministing. I think you really made some people rethink things, and I also was pleased by your diplomatic response to the pro-lifers. The girls at Georgetown who are pro-life for the most part aren’t the ones out there campaigning to end legal abortions–they’re raising money for resources for single moms and teen moms. Of course, we still can’t get birth control here, and those girls generally are Catholic and not inclined to fight for that, but they’re not malicious either. They’re not my brand of feminist, just as they aren’t yours, but they’re fighting for us on other fronts. So, thank you for not turning them off entirely.

  4. annajcook
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Just want to second the energy at WAM! . . . I got to attend for the first time, now that I’m a Bostonian (recently transplanted from the Midwest), and the vibe was just awesome. I think it was you, Jessica, who observed at the blacklash panel how so many of us were speaking in one way or another about the daily isolation we experience on our campuses, in our workplaces, among our friends–it was great to step out of that for a couple of days and remember that all these people whom I encounter daily online are out in the world doing an incredible amount of work for social change.

  5. Posted March 31, 2008 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Loved finally meeting you. And you may have missed it, but there was a small amount of boogie-ing (and bougie-ing) on my part on Saturday night. ‘Twas subtle, but there. Feminist men represented, sort of.
    And next time, I’ll bring you a latte. Can I get you to go for soy milk, or is that a lost cause? ;-)

  6. jennifer_w
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the shout-out about our Feminist calendar here at Hollins.
    Thank you for coming to Hollins and speaking and most of all for being so approachable and hanging out with us afterward. It’s great to hear about what other feminists around the country are doing and what we can do to encourage other people to come out and say that they are in fact feminists. I feel a new fervor to go out and teach everyone about the glory that is feminism!

  7. Posted March 31, 2008 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ll second that WAM was simply amazing! I’ve never been around that many feminists before, so it was a fantastic thing. While I’m back here in conservative Alberta, the energy from WAM is still with me. It was great to meet you, too!

  8. Jessica Girdle
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sending some of the love that the Hollins FMLA has for you back to us! YOU inspire US EVERYDAY! Keep on being the fierce, fabulous feminist that you are-you give the rest of us so much to aspire to!

  9. CourtneyEMartin
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Haha! I want everyone to know that I only called Jess bougie because, well, “killing” for a latte is bougie, but also because she called me a hippie in her new book (you better buy it so you can see the context). The dirty secret is that I’m also bougie, evidenced by my penchant for sushi and yoga and Jess is also a hippie. (She wears birkenstocks on occasion, and has a subscription to Tricycle Magazine…I kid you not.)
    Labels aside, I had an amazing time at WAM (and my talks at Skidmore and Lehigh previous) and want to thank everyone for their tireless work, amazing energy, and spirited dance moves. Feminist electric slide anyone?

  10. Ann
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Jessica + Courtney = Bougie/Hippie LOVE. It’s a beautiful thing.

  11. Posted April 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    i want to see your rad homemade feminist shirt. flickr me!

  12. Posted April 2, 2008 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I swear, I’m just inches out of the frame in most of those dance party pictures. I kept seeing people taking pictures and thinking “crap, I’m going to be in all these backgrounds.”
    Thankfully I wasn’t. I hate pictures of myself.

  13. laura.leischner
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    duck lips and peace signs…
    I’ll never think of the electric slide the same again.
    I loved me some WAM! too… I had to jump through some hurdles to make it, but I am very glad I did. I needed some good feminist love & love I got.

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