Feminist Revolution: Carrying On

by Cindy Cooper

What revolutions do we need? “We still need the feminist revolution,” Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said in a video commentary to On The Issues Magazine. It’s now posted Online with Merle Hoffman’s commentary, Revolution Lite (scroll down on the left). “We’re still fighting for family planning, abortion rights. We keep on moving ahead, they push back,” she said. “I think we’re moving forward; it feels good,” she said.

Liza Sabater comments about what it means to be a feminist in another video posted on the same page (scroll down on the right). Sabater is a new media consultant, blogger and founder of the site culturekitchen. “(F)eminism redefines social and political engagement by giving a person’s private (life) as part of the political sphere,” says Sabater. Her feminism means she can look at issues from multiple perspectives, she explains.

Hoffman’s essay, Revolution Lite also generated healthy discussion as it swirled through cyberspace. On the fem2.0 site, Cynthia Corby says that it would help her kick off a discussion on the “F-Word” in her community. “Let’s keep dreaming and focus on the world that should be,” she wrote. Laurel Davila, at the fem2.0 site had lots to say about “the outrage of sexism being swept under the carpet.” The perpetrators, she says, are sometimes women themselves who turn their backs on predecessors who fought to get them their rights. “I am angry at the ignorant and uninformed civil liberties groups who have waved us aside with the F word,” she writes.

In her essay, Hoffman takes on women who take advantage of the fruits of feminism, but refuse to call themselves feminists. “Kate Roiphe is quoted as saying, “One of the most unappealing things about the feminist movement right from its inception was its tendency to judge other women.” Apparently, calling oneself a feminist might signal to the world that the person has a judgmental standard of right and wrong, and feminist and non-feminist. And why not pass judgment on a “new brand of feminism” whose agenda is a heady brand of consumerism and adolescent self-involvement,” Hoffman writes. That became the “Worthy Quote of the Week” at feminist reprise: the blog.

For more good reading, see “Revolutions We Need,” in “On The Issues Magazine.”

April 16, 2009

Cindy Cooper is the managing editor of On The Issues Magazine.

Also see Ending the Male Patina in Biology by Mahin Hassibi in the Winter Edition of On The Issues Magazine.


The Café

Merle Hoffman's Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto

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“Merle Hoffman has always known that in a democracy, we each have decision-making power over the fate of our own bodies. She is a national hero for us all.” —Gloria Steinem

In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade and a country divided, Merle Hoffman, a pioneer in the pro-choice movement and women’s healthcare, offers an unapologetic and authoritative take on abortion calling it “the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberty.” 

Merle Hoffman has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom movement since the 1970s. Three years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade, she helped to establish one of the United States’ first abortion centers in Flushing, Queens, and later went on to found Choices, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities. For the last five decades, Hoffman has been a steadfast warrior and fierce advocate for every woman’s right to choose when and whether or not to be a mother.