•I- Sav»mrt Na*a Prm • Sunday, December 15.1991
Another Generation Is Discovering Feminism
tween the ages of 18 and 30 have are sick of feeling we have to stand Social activism may not be a pri-
By LESLIE DREYFOUS ority when the rent must be paid,
Th» turned away from feminism - re- up to it. We want a feminism that's
pelled, Ms. Faludi says, by a media- more individual." food put on the table, recession
Q: Are you a feminist? fueled stigma that depicts feminists "I want equal pay for equal work. pushed back from the doorstep. In
A: "No, definitely not. Well, wait. as little more than "a bunch of rabid But you should be able to accom- the eyes of many women, feminism
A feminist? Uh, what do you mean women in silly hats." plish that as an individual," said Su- is a luxury. The nightshlft is reality.
by that?" - Suzanne Foley, 19, sci- Contrary to the caricatures, zanne Foley, 19, a Harvard sopho- "We don't have the same lives
ence student. feminists are not obliged to hate more. "It seems like feminism is college women do. No one's asking
Q: What is feminism? men. Nor do they necessarily en- just a smokescreen/* how we feel about being women in a
A: "You mean, what first conies gage in lesbian relationships, advo- Women steeped in college's pro- world owned by men," said Sherrisa
to mind? Hard-core, angry women cate violent revolution or bellyache tective cocoon have a limited sense Dove, 21, a hair-stylist in Cam-
who have a problem with men." - any more than the average man. of sexism and other obstacles in bridge, Mass. "We should be equal.
Yvette Lee, 19, liberal arts student. Many even shave their legs. "the real world." Indeed, thanks to But will we ever be? Nan. You just
Q: Are you a feminist? "But there's a message out there advances made over the last two accept it. What else are you going to
A: "A feminist? Whaddya mean? that you can't help hearing: Femi- decades, they might not sense dis- do?"
Like those girls who are, like, real nist women aren't as attractive. It's crimination for years. Many feel isolated, unsure of
prissy and stuff?" - Sherrisa Dove, part of the labeling," said Dan Ros- Boundaries have been pushed where to turn or unable to identify
21, hair stylist. si, 23, a recent graduate of the Uni- back, barriers more cleverly hidden. with what they've heard about femi-
Q: What is feminism? versity of Hartford in Connecticut. "People feel more integrated, nism. Their perspectives on such is-
A: "Uh. Er. I'm not sure exactly. Over the last decade, opinion- that everything is open. I think a lot sues as abortion or stay-at home vs.
It's not something I've ever really shapers and the media have bro>d- of women and blacks feel that way," working moms are as different as
sat down and talked about before." cast a powerfully mixed message: said Cheryl Sanders, 45, a veteran women themselves.
- Kelly McDaniel, 20, bank worker. You've come a long way, baby. But civil and women's rights activist. Fissures open among younger
at what cost? "In reality, though, that's not and older women, women of differ-
Even as they were assured the true," said Ms. Sanders, a clinical ent economic, racial or religious
Give them equal pay for equal backgrounds. But the heart of femi-
work, equal opportunity, equal re- right to "have it all," women were social worker in Stoneham, Mass.
warned of a dire man shortage, the "People have turned away from the nism ultimately lies in securing a
spect. The beneficiaries of battles full spectrum of choice for all wom-
waged by their elder sisters, young- ticking of their biological clocks, the issues. So when you run up against
er women expect equal rights. But stress and burn-out, alcoholism and disappointment, you're out there en.
loneliness, hair loss and split nails alone." "People just can't be on their
don't call them feminists. own little island," said Paula Ka-
Don't lump them with mannish that go along with a challenging ca- When Anita Hill alleged this fall
shrews or tether them to strident reer. that Clarence Thomas had sexually men, 24, author of "Feminist Fa-
rhetoric. This generation came of They heard about Mommy Wars harassed her, for the first time in a tale." She's familiar with, and even
age during the Reagan era. Move- and the Mommy Track, a great re- long time women everywhere began at times a bit intimidated by, the
ments are out, they say. No bleeding turn to hearthside values and the sharing their experiences with sex- shrew's mantle assigned "women's
hearts or whiners. Be a player; get trend toward quitting work to stay ism at home and on the Job. libbers."
in the game. home with the kids - a trend statis- It was a valuable dialogue. But in "It's a battle between principles
"It's not only been considered tics suggest few can afford. the end, Thomas was confirmed to and practicality. Women my age
uncool to be a feminist. It's been For all the hype, the presence of the Supreme Court, and the soft-spo- want a date on Saturday night," Ms.
uncool to have any aspiration to- women in the labor force has grown ken Republican returned to Oklaho- Kamen said from Chicago. "But the
AP **<*> ward change in society," said Susan steadily by about SO percent since ma with her motives and credibility only way to destigmatize feminism
NEW FEMINISM: Hair stylist Sherrisa Dove, 21, front, with co-work- Faludi, 32, author of the new bes* 1960. Child care, family leave, equal doubted. is to talk about it, help people see its
seller "Backlash: The Undeclartu pay, flexible hours and other "femi- Women saw clearly the downside relevance."
ers Karen Onnembo, 23, left, and Stacey Riley, 20, outside the Cam- Though protest marches may be
War Against Women." nist issues" are more relevant than of speaking up: the risk of humilia-
bridge, Ma., hair salon where they work ever. tion, doubt, defeat. Many choose in- rarer, feminism is very much alive.
Today, women are being promot- The movement has evolved into a
ed to jobs their mothers only But fighting for social change is a stead to play it safe and remain si-
dreamed of holding in fields tradi- concept foreign to many men and lent. Deal with it, they tell them- quieter network of grass roots com-
tionally dominated by men. They've women who came of ag^ during the selves. Get with the program. munity activists. In factories,
QUALITY CARPET found a voice in the polls and a place
on the Supreme Court.
Reagan-Bush era. For them, self-
starting individualism has been as
"They figure, *I can't change the
world. But I can carve a spot for
myself by playing my cards right,
schools, insurance offices, union
halls and homes, from neighbor to
neighbor, boss to employee, man to
LARGE SELECTION The war is over, many have de- much an anthem as the "The Star-
by carrying the same briefcase, woman, sister to brother, quiet pro-
clared. It's time to move on. Spangled Banner."
• ROLLS • ROLL ENDS Orisit? "Most women I know want to b« picking up the same values, remod- gress continues.
Women may not have to fight for seen as an individual who can com- eling my objectives to fit into the
• REMNANTS the right to hold a job, but they're pete with men and their female male system,' " Ms. Faludi said. "That's what women's liberation
is," said Kelly McDaniel, who works
Ria Spencer, a 21-year-old
SPECIAL still struggling to balance that job
and home. They're battling sexual
harassment, acquaintance rape and
peers," said Claudia Deane, 25, a
legislative aide in Washington, D.C.
"They want to be seen as part of the
Wellesley senior, is a vocal feminist.
But she's also a black woman with
days at a bank in Plainfield, Ind.,
and nights studying construction
technology - one woman, one voice,
LOW PRICES! the intransigence of even the most
Eighty percent of working wom-
mainstream, and feminists tend to
get stereotyped as something on the
college loans to pay off and limited
prospects in a tight job market.
She's looking at a sobering reality.
in a college classroom full of men.
"If I speak up, there's shock. The
408 en hold traditionally "female" jobs. Many believe the women's move- "You get out and there's pressure guys don't get it at first. But it's still
Bonaventure They make about 72 cents to a man's ment has outlived its usefulness: to play the game," Ms. Spencer the first step, letting them know,"
dollar. Those who have at least four They argue that whether to promote said. "Suddenly, you have to make Ms. McDaniel said. "It's saying, 'I
Road Store years of college earn roughly the women's or civil rights, programs ugly decisions about whether to am a woman. I am somebody. I
same median salary as men with » like affirmative action are dinosaurs practice what you preach, and what have the right to be whoever I want
236-7173 Only! only a high school education. One that only drag down the economy
and drain self-esteem.
sacrifices to make." to be.'"
woman in four says she's been sexu-
ally harassed. Rape and domestic "I'm aware there's chauvinism
violence are on the rise. out there," said Yvette Lee, a stu-
The Most Highly Acclaimed This is not the calculus of equali-
ty. Nonetheless, many women be-
dent at Wellesley, a women's college
in Massachusetts. "But a lot of us Lists Details Organizations
Educational Game of the 90Js... Concerned With Women's Issues
ElectromcjGEO SAFARI • 9 to 5, the National Associa-
FREE STEAK DIHNER for 2
The Associated Press
tion of Working Women. Cleve-
Geography Game Here's a partial list of non-
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land, Ohio. Headquarters:
216-566-9308. A national network
Just give us a call to set up an networks for those interested in geared toward improving wom-
...available at appointment to tour our facility. All it exploring feminism as well as en- en's working conditions through a
takes to qualify is for you to be married, vironmental, work, health, public counseling hotline, newsletter,
between the ages of 23-65 & one must policy and related women's is- adult education and a Washington
be full time employed & neither of sues: lobby ing effort.
you can have ever toured a • National Organization for • Women of Color Resource
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Think Metallics This Holiday
ten it comes to hams, the name is Hunter Horn, the By LOUISE DONE tallic leather miniskirt to pair with,
South's premium tasting spiral sliced ham, ready to serve. perhaps, a white ribbed tunic sweat-
Smoked smooth and slow like an autumn haze under a canopy er and glinty hose,
Omigosh! I mean, this is it. Par- A shiny leather motorcycle jack-
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and baked with our celebrated honey glaze.
et or a metallic quilted baseball
here and the end of the year. And jacket. Either could be this year's
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Company Store — NOW QKftM EVin* D«¥
THESE AREA K MARTS HAVE A PERMANENT STUOK) OPEN:
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Possible acquisitions include
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small as an evening bag, a belt,
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