When I started blogging ten years ago, I stepped into a vibrant feminist blogosphere. There were raging battles about reproductive rights and motherhood and employment. I wasn’t a full-time feminist blogger, because I was too undisciplined to commit to one type of blogging, but it was certainly a regular theme at Apt. 11D.
Sadly, all those feminist blogs withered. A handful of bloggers went pro, but most just got tired of the whole thing, like most other bloggers. (One advantage to being an undisciplined blogger is that you don’t really get bored.) Now, we have Jezebel, which is more concerned with Lorde and Avril Lavigne than politics. And then the recession hit and the debates about having a fulfilling career seemed pointless. Having a job — any job — was more critical than self fulfillment.
So, what’s the big issue in feminism today?
I think I found an inkling about where feminists should go buried in a review of Game of Thrones.
In the Atlantic, Amy Sullivan refers to a scene from last night where Cersei talks to Oberyn Martell about her concerns for her daughter’s safety in his kingdom of Dorn. He assures her that we don’t hurt little girls in Dorn. Cersei replies that “Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.”
Sullivan leaves the world of movie reviews and points to reality. “Fantasy would be a series in which little girls and women were off-limits and no one would dream of hurting them. In the real world, men can kidnap more than 200 school girls in Nigeria and their country’s leaders don’t bat an eye. Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.”
I think that protecting girls, not just here at home, should be the new direction of feminism. The employment status of highly educated women is not so important. Who’s leaning in and who’s leaning out. Minor. Protecting girls who go to their schools to take a test. Important.