Friday, November 28, 2003


I keep reading that this is the post-feminist era. Feminism is so passe, so seventies. Fashionable people don't wear it anymore.

But what do they wear instead? What is post-feminism? After some serious thinking and studying (also apparently passe concepts), I have come up with these definitions of post-feminism, all in use:

1. Post-feminism means that the old-time, somewhat grungy feminists won their fights, and that women now enjoy full equality with men and no longer need to go grungy.

2. No. Post-feminism means that the strident sisterhood of the seventies lost. Women are not equal to men, nor do 'real' women wish for equality. A beautiful womanhood is quite sufficient for them, thank you very much.

3. The deconstructionists believe that there is no such concept as 'woman', never mind 'women's rights'. This makes feminism 'problematized'. We live in post-feminist times in the same manner as we might be said to live in post-modern times. I must admit that this manner looks pretty fuzzy to me.

4. Post-feminism means that feminism lost, not because it wasn't needed, but because it was somehow blamed for the double-shift of employed women: first do your paid work, then do the chores at home. Hmmm. Seems like anti-feminist propaganda to me. As far as I know, there isn't any feminist rulebook that bans men from doing their share of chores at home.

5. Feminism is dead as a movement even though it might still be needed, because the trouble to organize is too much considering the slight gains it might reap in the current political climate. This is post-feminism as lethargy and indifference. Or whatever.

No doubt other definitions could be invented. This muddle of meanings explains why I am filled with fury when I read or hear a flippant reference to 'outdated' feminism. I have no idea what it means. Sometimes I suspect that neither do the utterers.

So do we actually live in post-feminist times? Should we? You tell me. Not even a goddess can answer this one.