More magazine features “The New Feminists”

Here’s what I love about the new MORE Magazine article on “The New Feminists”:

  • Their self-professed motivation was to halt the seemingly endless lament, “There are no young feminists,” and show some of them, listen to them, and highlight their work.
  • Feministing is represented heartily (go Perez! go Jess! go me!).
  • There is actually quite a range of thoughtful commentary in the various snippets collected–everything from birth rights to authentic masculinity to manga is covered.
  • The cover is none other than Jane Lynch.

I missed the photo shoot, as did all the other Feministing editors featured, but Tracy Clark-Flory has an interesting reflection on it over at Salon. She writes:

Maybe 90 percent of the time was spent in hair, makeup and wardrobe. Faces were painted, hair was tamed, waists were slimmed by Spanx and feet were squeezed into blister-causing Jimmy Choos. (I should note that nothing was forced on us. I was allowed to wear my cheap and very comfortable flats from Target.) Some of us agonized over whether we liked our hair, which outfit to wear or how to exercise enough self-restraint at the catered buffet so that we would still fit into our outfits. All of which is to say: There isn’t much that’s feminist about a feminist photo shoot.

In the two-page photo spread (part of which you can see above), we look like a bunch of aspiring first ladies. We seem a group selected for mild variety and good-girl respectability. It’s a stately tableau that says: The kids are all right. We look like 20-somethings who do tea, not the binge-drinking, casual-sex-having “female chauvinist pigs” that get so much ink these days. The headline accompanying the shot: “This is what the new feminists look like.” I showed it to my roommate, a lesbian and reproductive rights activist, and her first response was: “Where are the butch girls?” Indeed, it’s a safe, commercialized vision of young feminism.

Exactamundo. The women in the picture are not only predominantly white, but seem painstakingly smoothed out, glossed up, and able-bodied, overwhelmingly thin, cis-gendered and every other “normal” that the stylists could possibly muster from this otherwise rowdy and sharp-penned group of writers, thinkers, and activists. That’s not a picture I would connect with my generation of feminists. At all. Too much glamour and gentility, not enough guts and diversity.

If you’re in the NYC-area, don’t miss the 92YTribeca panel on young feminists.

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