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Who Do We Look Up To? (Is 3rd Wave Feminism Lost Without Leaders?)

January 28th, 2010     by Desirée O     Comments

Do you have role-models? Mentors? A woman you look up to for some reason or other?

Every other week I profile “positive female role models for young women” in my Shameless Women column. They are amazing ladies that I hope inspire the women who read each interview. However, the women I interview tend to be “regular” people.

Back in December, columnist Kate Carraway wrote in her article, “What’s next for sex? Feminism didn’t really work. Oopsie!” that the reason for the lack of motivation and accomplishment (and in her opinion, the failure) of the “third-wave” of feminism is because we have no visible leaders:

“The most crucial indicator of an emerging and useful post-feminism is the total lack of specifically feminist heroes. This decade has offered no celebrity feminists: no Steinem, no Sontag, no Paglia. The best feminist writers have become more ghettoized than ever in the 2000s (in lefty mags; in alienating book-length polemics; in universities): the most visible and vocal woman thinker is grossie Ann Coulter, with Female Chauvinist Pigs writer Ariel Levy a quiet, distant second. What we have now are non-specific feminist heroes. Margaret Cho and Sarah Silverman do comedy that’s as gutteral as their male counterparts’ and as revealing of their personal insecurities. Tina Fey uses her 30 Rock character to act out a quasi-pathetic, baby-crazed life-moron with lettuce in her hair, but she also is the show, among the most absurd and funny on TV. Sasha Grey is both a classically debauched porn star and a shit-hot business lady.”

Do you feel this is true?

Do we lack the kind of central figures that are required to motivate and grow the movement? Or do we in fact have them? If so, who do you feel they are?

And do we even need them? Do you think it’s necessary to have central figures at the heart of a movement for others to rally around or look to for guidance/inspiration?

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