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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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(p.1) Introduction
Speaking of Feminism

Rachel F. Seidman

University of North Carolina Press

Seidman describes the origins of the social media called Who Needs Feminism and how that led her to undertake oral history interviews with feminist activists around the United States. She explains that her focus is on people who came of age during and after the anti-feminist backlash of the 1980s. Her interviews are all people who earn their living or center their major activist commitments and actions in feminist work, and include non-profit leaders, writers, journalists, philanthropists, labor unionists¬¬, budding politicians, media professionals, and students. They share a fundamental belief that women still face barriers and challenges based on their gender, and that laws, policies, attitudes and behaviors need to change in order to reach the goal of gender equity. She discusses narrators general rejection of the construct different “waves” of feminism; how the rise of social media as has reshaped feminist activism in both positive and negative ways, with special attention to Twitter and tensions within the movement that arise there; feminists’ goals and strategies; and how these interviews reveal the different ways that feminism has unfolded across the life arc of her interviewees. Seidman argues these interviews help explain the rise of the Women’s March on Washington and the #MeToo movement.

Keywords:   Who Needs Feminism, Social media, Twitter, Tensions in feminist movement, #MeToo Movement, Women’s March on Washington

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