I just had tea with the female faculty at my law school. It was fascinating to discuss their experiences of sexism and inequality in the workplace. It was also heartening to see that two men showed up as paying members of the Women’s Legal Association (apparently there’s a third who simply couldn’t make it for tea). The faculty advisor for the WLA is a woman of color, and her experiences were even more interesting (she apparently wrote down each sexist and racist remark and posted it on her wall—when the wall was full, she quit. That is a disheartening, painful story. I wish it wasn’t so easy to believe). One of the professors said, “My hope for you [young women] is that it’s easier than it was for us.” She went on to explain that sexism still exists, we will still experience and have to deal with it, but she hopes that their paving of our way made it slightly easier.
First of all, I would like to thank all the feminists (including the women-who-don’t-consider-themselves-feminists-but-still-are) who went before me, from the bottom of my heart, for myself and for my sisters (literal and figurative) and daughters.
Over at Feministing, the subject of “first wave”, “second wave”, “third wave”, and “post feminism” comes up often. There is a difference. My experience of sexism will not be (has not been) anything like the experiences of these amazing women. And sometimes I wonder if those differences keep us from being able to discuss our experiences (it certainly did not at the tea, I mean generally speaking).
Feministing highlights an interesting discussion of this as it pertains to Hillary and Palin. One that is worth a read and a brief mulling over.