Anna Quindlen on young women and feminism

Yesterday I went to the More Magazine Reinvention Convention, where one of the keynote addresses was given by Anna Quindlen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times columnist and bestselling novelist.

Quindlen was interviewed by author and Good Morning America contributor Lee Woodruff. At the start of the interview, Quindlen said that she would never have been able to do the work she did – at the Times, especially – had it not been for the women who came before her and laid the groundwork to make it possible (Quindlen joined the paper in 1977, shortly after a class-action sex discrimination lawsuit had been filed against it).

Toward the end of the interview, Woodruff asked Quindlen if she was concerned that young women today didn’t acknowledge the progress that had been made before them, and the privileges they enjoy relative to previous generations.

As the question was being asked, I held my breath, preparing myself for yet another “young women don’t call themselves feminists/don’t care about feminism/don’t realize how good they’ve got it” answer. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Quindlen say:

“I don’t want to hear anyone talk about how young women today aren’t this or that. Millennial women are the coolest, most capable, most together women ever.”

So there you have it, young feminists and young, supposedly complacent women: Anna Quindlen’s got your back.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/reader/ Nemo Omen

    “(Quindlen joined the paper in 1977, shortly after a class-action sex discrimination lawsuit had been filed against it).”

    It should be noted that the women who actually brought the suit did not benefit. As one of the plaintiffs (Wade?) wrote, a Times corporate person told her that Times wasn’t going to reward those who had litigated against it. Those women ended up in dead end jobs.

    Certainly, I don’t think your typical Feministing reader is complacent. As for other young women, I don’t know.

  • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ Jessica “Jess” Victoria Carillo

    Goooooddddd….Anna Quindlen is the best. She’s right, we are very awesome, and fun too!

  • http://feministing.com/members/radicalhw/ Shannon Drury

    Quindlen wrote the forward to the edition of The Feminine Mystique that’s on my shelf. I wonder which 3rd, 4th, 5th waver will introduce her next work of nonfiction?