The “new” feminism?

By Kate Harding, Salon Broadsheet

You could be forgiven, reading this article by Gemma Soames about “the new feminists,” for thinking you’d woken up in 1994. Hey, you guys, did you know there are self-identified feminists who admit to liking lipstick and high heels and retro dresses? It’s true! And also, there’s this woman named Katie Roiphe, who doesn’t relate to those hairy, stinky old feminists from the ’70s. And oh my god, have you seen that new show, “Friends”? I totally want that Rachel chick’s hair!

Seriously, my first thought when I read this article was “I choose my choice!” — and even that’s a woefully outdated reference. On the upside, when I Googled that phrase to find the article I just linked to, I also ran across a relevant blog post by Lisa Jervis (hey, did you know there’s this new magazine about feminism and pop culture that reclaims the word “bitch”?), in which she discusses the tension between respecting women’s individual choices and trying to preserve a definition of feminism that goes beyond, say, Soames’ cutesy explanation of the “new feminist” agenda: “The right to do what the hell you like, however you like, in heels — if you like.” (Oh, ha, it’s so true! Female empowerment in the 21st century = selfish behavior with zero reflection! It’s like you read my diary, Gemma!) Writes Jervis, “How can we deal with this? Can we find the right place on the continuum between uncritical acceptance of every woman’s ‘I’m doing it for me‘ boob job… and actually writing those Feminist Clubhouse Rules that some people think we have?”

Great question. Except, even asking it is capitulating to a false binary similar to the one created by journalists like Soames nearly two decades ago, not that Soames noticed it. As a “young” feminist (at least by the standards of an article that invokes Courtney Love as a current style icon) who does indeed love lipstick and retro dresses, I can’t tell you how sick I am of reading articles that feature a bunch of self-proclaimed feminists somewhat closer to my age than Gloria Steinem’s going on about how ridiculous second-wavers were for acting as if women were, you know, oppressed or something.

Read the rest here.

Thank a Second Wave old feminist.

Greed

Greed has pushed political

credibility and financial trust into

freefall

Recent scandals in America reveal a value system that puts the wealth of a few before the welfare of many

by Gary Younge

‘What an ideology is, is a conceptual framework with the way people deal with reality,” Alan Greenspan told the Congressional House oversight and government reform committee on 23 October. “Everyone has one. You have to – to exist, you need an ideology. The question is whether it is accurate or not.” As the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, from 1987 to 2006, Greenspan stood at the helm of US monetary policy during the time conditions for the current meltdown were being created.

“And what I’m saying to you,” he continued, “is, yes, I found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is, but I’ve been very distressed by that fact … [I found a] flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works.”

Greenspan’s ideology was unfettered, free-market capitalism. Its understanding of how the world works was rooted in self-interest. It was a value system that placed the private before the public, the individual before the collective, and the wealth of the few before the welfare of the many.

So pervasive was this worldview that, after a while, it was not even understood to be a view at all. It was just the hard-nosed reality against which only lunatics and leftists raged. “Unlike many economists,” Bob Woodward wrote of Alan Greenspan in his book Maestro (the title speaks volumes), “he has never been rule driven or theory driven. The data drive.” They drove a sleek black limousine over the edge of a steep cliff. And since the invisible hand of the market ostensibly guided everything, there was no one who could really be held accountable or responsible for anything. The buck didn’t stop anywhere. Indeed, for those who were already wealthy, the bucks just kept rolling in.

Read the rest here.