feminism reinvented

7c5a5705-52f1-489e-9048-9d0fe73fdfb8Melissa Harrison at the Financial Times:

To be a feminist seems so natural to me now that it’s hardly worth mentioning: the logical end point for everyone, surely, who wants to live a just, compassionate and moral life. But it doesn’t seem very long ago that I was going to striptease classes, working for a magazine with scantily clad women on the cover and attending lap-dancing clubs with my then boyfriend. Had you asked, I would probably have said I was a feminist then, too.

My understanding of the world, and of myself, has changed a great deal since I was in my twenties – and so has feminism. Those years came for me at the intersection of two things: my own, incomplete journey towards maturity, and a brief period in which liberation seemed to mean aping the freedoms of men.

Things are very different now. Much of the west is experiencing what’s been dubbed the “fourth wave” of feminism – following the first, which secured the vote and changes to property rights a century ago, the second, in the 1960s and 1970s, and third, in the early 1990s. Perhaps each generation must reinvent feminism for itself, for while some things have improved for some women, new pressures and injustices have taken their place – and new voices, new heroines, must be found to counter them.

more here.