From Burning Bras to Hot Debate: Is feminism doing right by women today?
The days of bra burning may be gone, but there’s still plenty of fire around feminism now. Take the unretouched Lena Dunham and body-less Mindy Kaling fashion mag covers: Were they beautiful, or boo-worthy? Or Beyoncé, a pop star so beloved of men and women alike that she's called "Queen Be": Is she all about woman power, or a powerful woman’s brand? Even First Ladies can’t escape the heat, applied equally to matters grand and, very often, small: Are Michelle Obama’s arms and Hillary Clinton’s Twitter tag praiseworthy, problematic or something else altogether?
Heated debate over these questions plays out all over media. This isn't necessarily bad if it's leading to more conversations and awareness. But the flip side is that too many different voices make solidarity impossible and could hurt (or even doom) “the movement.” But in 2014, is there even a movement anymore? If yes, what is it now? If there’s no single, unified feminism, should there be one? And who qualifies to be feminist at all?
We were convened on Thursday, March 27, at KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum for some lively talk about pop culture, politics and doing/being women “right.” We brought in some audio and visuals of the most recent media buzz, got panelists’ insights, and invited audience Q&A to dive into what’s going on with American feminism today – and how it’s likely to play out in the future.
Joanne Griffith: Writer, journalist, host of weekly show "The Archives" on BBC Radio 5 Live - @globaljourno
Roxane Gay: Writer, professor, regular contributor to Salon, Buzzfeed, New York Times Book Review; author of forthcoming books "Untamed State" and "Bad Feminist." - @rgay
Kristina Wong: Internationally presented solo performer, writer, cultural commentator; shows include "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Going Green the Wong Way," "Wong Street Journal" (premieres 2015). - @mskristinawong
Is there a problem with feminism today?
Take our interactive quiz to find out what type of feminism describes your beliefs. (Men, please participate!) And remember, this quiz is not scientific — it's just a fun way to get us all talking.