Feminism: the hapless frump of social justice movements

When you see a magazine cover like this, I can probably guess what you’re thinking:  Who the f^(k carries a briefcase like that or wears dark stockings any more?  What year is it, anyway?  Jeezy Creezy.  I spent the past week with historians, and they’re all better dressed than this mother-baby combo.   Don’t you have any women at The Atlantic who have updated their wardrobes since 1992?  (Don’t answer that, Mr. Bennet:  I think I know the answer.)  I saw this magazine on the newsstand a few hours ago and tonstant Feminist (to borrow a Dorothy Parker phrase) just about fwowed up.

Just kidding.  As we all know, declaring feminism irrelevant and pointless while also blaming it for everything wrong about the last 50 years is always  in style!  (It’s the Little Black Dress of long form journalism.)  More here from Echidne, Rebecca Traister, and Jessica Valenti, whose post “Sad white babies with mean feminist mommies” is indeed a classic.

I’ve been wondering what year it is anyway, stuck as I am in the Burbank-Bob Hope Airport waiting for my flight home and pondering the sound track, which appears to be the New Wave channel on satellite radio.  (Srsly–the playlist has been strange but pretty good:  English Beat, Blondie, J. Geils Band, the Romantics, Joe Jackson, Thomas Dolby, etc.  I mean, if you have to listen to Top 10 radio, why not make it the Top 10 of 1983?)

53 thoughts on “Feminism: the hapless frump of social justice movements

  1. Huh?

    I have no idea where you got any of those ideas from this post or these comments.

    Some here have expressed exasperation with Slaugher’s very ambitious definition of “having it all,” a problematic concept in many respects, but mostly because it’s only applied to women. Nobody here resents Slaughter’s work; most of us resent articles about “having it all” that are only about women’s lives & never about men’s lives.

    As I said earlier: when The Atlantic starts publishing articles with men standing next to the babies they’re allegedly neglecting by remaining in the paid workforce, then I’ll lay off.


  2. p.s. For a Groundhog Day conversation about this article and whether or not women can “have it all,” see today’s Diane Rehm show. Diane, to her credit, seems exasperated that she’s hosting the conversation at all, and she makes the point from the start to the effect that “we’ve been having this conversation for forty years, haven’t we? Why are we still talking about this?”


  3. Pingback: “Hillary, can you excite us?” The unresolved mommy problem of feminist politics, plus the return of the Whiggies! | Historiann

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