postfeminism, what's next?"
Women of a previous generation said that their own mothers
had missed out on the fruits of feminism. Like many women in my cohort,
I discovered that my mother was born too early for postfeminism.
Of course, postfeminism makes sense only when basic legal and civil
rights exist for both sexes it's an irrelevant luxury for too
many women on this planet. Letitia Baldrige, the dean of American manners
(among other things), recently defined her own position as that of a
"conservative feminist." It makes sense, for the restless
privileged daughters of Western feminism, to become moderate postfeminists
not centrists, exactly, but realists.
Feminism is a seductive, useful and powerful ideology, provoking reaction
and rebellion whenever it becomes an established player. When will postfeminism
be a viable option the world over? Will it ever be possible? And, in
those cultures where postfeminism plays an important role in women's
lives, what's the next step? Is postfeminism a toy or a tool?
Quan is a member of the International Network of Sex
Work Projects. She is the author of the novel, Diary of a Manhattan