Let’s Write Our Feminist Legacy

What will be the legacy of modern feminism? On Election night, the universe gave us an opportunity to find out. The qualified women who have a shot at breaking that glass ceiling can again be counted on one hand, and that is depressing as fuck. Maybe Kamala! Maybe Michelle! Maybe…uh wait, that’s it I guess. Maybe some girl who’s currently in the third grade. Hopefully she learns how to color inside the lines, avoids the glorious slut phase, and doesn’t realize she’s gay. Bear with me, I’m still trying to cope.

Even for feminists, who know all too well that our society was ripe for this outcome, our new circumstances are jarring. After allowing myself appropriate time to grieve, I recalled the strategies and ideas of history’s visionary feminists and questioned my role as a proclaimed feminist today. Watered-down empowerment rhetoric is littered in pop culture and it’s not difficult to see why that’s not a good thing. In the face of this new threat, how will these inherited and wildly-unappreciated values, and the people who dissect and regurgitate them, begin to fight back?

THE WOMAN IN THE MIRROR

It’s impossible to fully grasp our society’s complexities and disparities if we are unable to confront them in ourselves. Life feels devastatingly binary after months of staring at red or blue, left or right, win or lose. But we are not that simple, and the structures and ideologies that shape our lives are even less so. When we learned Beyonce’s Ivy Park/everything at Top Shop is manufactured in sweatshops, most of us were quick to call her out for not monitoring her supply chains. But who’s calling us out? When I stroll into Top Shop or any of these fast fashion retailers, the one person deciding whether I purchase that $19 sweater made in Bangladesh is me. And that goes for everything. How we treat our loved ones, children, the homeless, immigrants, people we like and people we don’t like. This is undoubtedly a huge hurdle for all of us because many of our everyday, seemingly-insignificant actions feed into the systems we’re fighting against.

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