Saturday, January 28, 2012

Four Decades of Feminist Journalism Celebrated at Stanford.


Ms. Magazine is forty years old.  Stanford brought together six prominent feminine journalists to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the magazine in a panel discussion held on January 26, 2012.

Thoughtful Ideas attended the event to learn about the past and present in feminist journalism and concerns about the future of the feminist movement.

An overflow crowd of more than 200 attended.  About two-thirds were elderly veterans of the feminist revolution; a third was Stanford graduate and undergraduate students.  The panelists’ biggest concern was the lack of money that would enable full-time, paid feminist journalists and bloggers in place of the current part-time, after-hours bloggers who needed a regular day job to support themselves.  Monetizing the movement was deemed crucial to its sustainability. Another goal was uniting with other diverse communities to advance the cause of social justice.

The audience was remarkably homogeneous, consisting of more than 90% white women.  TI counted six males along with a handful of Asian and African-American women.  The movement was largely talking to itself.

If male acceptance of absolute equality for women is a central goal of feminism, the lack of men in the audience suggests that feminists have a long way to go to draw men into the feminist world view.  Nor has it incorporated women from non-Western cultures.

It will be interesting to follow the movement in the coming years. 

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