In 2011, when I posted criticisms of Slut Walks as racist, exclusionary, & demeaning to the momentous historic struggle against women’s oppression, a male FB friend said my objections were because as a senior, my feminism was no longer relevant. He was too obtuse & misogynist to recognize that women are considered aged out of value in human society when we lose our youth rather than looked to for wisdom & experience, as many men are. Our man was just blubbering old misogyny like it was new thought.
In a recent discussion, my views were counterposed to “contemporary feminists,” which is another way of saying younger feminists. In another discussion, an activist asked me to distinguish between liberal, anarchist, & socialist feminism. Despite being aged out of relevance, let me add there are many currents of thought among feminists, including cultural feminists who eschew politics, & academic feminists. There are no separate currents for young & old except the divisive ones imposed by misogynists who want to weaken the movement.
The thing about a social movement is that nobody owns it theoretically. No one current can claim to speak ex cathedra for feminism on a single question, especially on how best to fight the struggle. Some say lobbying; others say revolution. Academic feminists often consider prostitution as sex work & just another way to earn a living. Others like myself consider it the sexual exploitation of poor women & children. These are differences to be hammered out in struggle within the women’s movement, not decided by a tenured professional.
Those who think me not “contemporary” enough, not enough in sync with current campus trends, will just have to get used to the fact that I ain’t going nowhere. Until the day I die, feminism & the struggle against women’s oppression will remain as fresh in me as it was when I first objected to the rotten disrespect for my gender.