The March of the New Feminists
They are the Topshop generation: young girls more used to partying than protesting; keener on women's looks than women's lib. But now they have had enough. A new wave of feminists, some still in their teens, are putting the struggle for women's rights back on the agenda for the first time in a decade.
The feminist resurgence has spawned a flurry of new blogs, magazines, books, societies, conferences and protest marches – and this time dungarees are out.
On university campuses, women's groups are thriving once more, while hundreds of women each month are joining new feminist networks in cities from Birmingham and Manchester to Glasgow and London.
The old-school Fawcett Society, which dates back to the suffragists, has seen its membership jump by 25 per cent in the past 12 months and the number of its newsletter subscribers double; while earlier this month, more than 2,000 women took to London's streets to "Reclaim the Night" from the men who make them unsafe. Similar marches have been held in cities all over the country. And websites such as The F-Word, started by Catherine Redfern eight years ago as a forum for contemporary feminism, is getting more than 110,000 hits a month.
From The F-Word site:
This webzine exists to help encourage a new sense of community among UK feminists, and to show the doubters that feminism still exists here, today, now - and is as relevant to the lives of the younger generation as it was to those in the 60s and 70s. The webzine was founded by, and is mainly written by younger feminists, those of us born during or after the feminism of the 60s and 70s. Although we encourage contributions from feminists of all ages, we are particularly keen to encourage and showcase the new voices of younger feminists, our peers. To this end, contributions from new writers of all ages, and young women and girls are particularly welcomed and encouraged.
What is contemporary UK feminism? It is impossible to define: it can appear in many different people's lives in many different ways. The F-Word does not define what contemporary UK feminism is but instead allows a place for different people to share their different opinions and views. The contributors to the site may have opposing views on certain issues, and that's fine; it simply demonstrates that feminism is a diverse, living and healthy ideology which is confident enough to question itself. There is no "party line" in feminism, there is no "feminist rule-book." Feminism in the UK today is whatever we make it.
Just out of curiosity I googled 'feminism+dead' and got well well over two million results and for 'feminism+alive' just over one million.
Sensationalist headlines or wishful thinking?
And then, of course, there are the fabulous Canadian F-Word Awards, inspired by the enduring dunderheadedness of the boyos at the Canadian Blog Awards.
Feminism dead? No freakin' way!
ADDED: To be clear, DJ! is not a winner of an F-Word Award. I just grabbed that badge from ACR's place.