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Speaking of FeminismToday's Activists on the Past, Present, and Future of the U.S. Women's Movement$
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Rachel F. Seidman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653082

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653082.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Activists in Their Forties

Activists in Their Forties

(p.11) Part One Activists in Their Forties
Speaking of Feminism

Rachel F. Seidman

University of North Carolina Press

The seven women in this section were born between 1966 and 1976, at the height of the burgeoning feminist movement. They discuss not only the impact of feminism on their own lives, but on their mothers as well. Some reflect on whether or not the world is a better place for their daughters than when they were growing up. Coming of age in the 1980s and 90s, these interviewees reached maturity during the rise of Reagan Republicanism and what Susan Faludi termed the “backlash” against feminism. None of these women set out at the beginning of their careers to be professional feminists; it never crossed their minds as a possibility. About half of the women in this chapter have been involved in one way or another with the intersecting worlds of journalism, academia, social media, and business, and half—all of them women of color—have worked in direct-service and non-profit organizations. With long careers and experience in a variety of contexts, these women help us understand how feminism has changed over the past twenty years, where the movement is headed, and some of the reasons why even those who undertake its work do not always embrace it wholeheartedly.

Keywords:   Feminist movement of 1960s and 1970s, Backlash of 1980s, Grassroots, Non-profit organizations, Social media, Journalism, Black feminism, Soraya Chemaly, Tara Hall, Katie Orenstein, Joanne Smith, Rebecca Traister, Patina Park, Elisa Camahort Page

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