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Reinventing Feminism: Courtney Martin Gives Some Inspiration

by Cate Powell

Image location: http://www.jewcy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/courtney_martin-450×270.jpg


Thank you Courtney Martin for situating feminism inside of the paradoxes that us twenty somethings are now dealing with. Martin, one of the founders of feministing.com, gives a TED talk that describes her upbringing by progressive parents, her search for a way to “change the world,” disappointment, and discovery of a new way to do feminism. This new way of embracing feminism has to do with embracing three critical paradoxes, one, by rejecting the past and promptly reclaiming it, two, by recognizing our smallness and greatness all at once, and three, aiming to succeed but being fulfilled by failing.


Although we may not all have had the same upbringing, many of us have experienced the challenge of living in the legacy and idealism of our parents, or searching for a perfect job in which we can “change the world” but becoming incredibly disappointed by the impossibility of the task. Martin describes how she “claimed the feminist label” by seeing Jennifer Baumgardner wearing fishnet tights. We all have our “claiming feminism” moments, Martin is reminding us to respect the anti-patriarchy of past feminists but take on new intersectionalities like immigration. Her answer….and cheers to blogging….is that feminist writing and online organizing is the new frontier. This is where it’s at ladies, embracing the paradoxes, being humanizing forces in unjust systems, embracing action in the face of being overwhelmed and multiplying the community change that feminism inspires.
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