First of all, Kara, I still crack up every time I think of you slipping the author of Gender Trouble into Teen Vogue.
I didn’t know very much about Judith Butler, so (thanks, internet!) I just watched this sort of great documentary about her.
In it, she says of her childhood: “I didn’t think of myself as smart. I thought of myself as strategic.”
And I think that’s what 90s women are: strategic, sometimes in a smart way and sometimes in a dumb one.
Our generation is so against setting ourselves up as victims that we run this risk of being all, “Everything’s awesome now!” It’s a lot easier and more fun to take that tack than to be like, “Actually, this (whether it’s a work situation or a relationship or movie or policy or whatever) is really fucked up and it’s because of sexism.”
I think sometimes I am far too happy to break out the champagne over how all the men I know share the housework rather than to face up to how sexism still functions in my life. I worry about being like that. What is the feminist equivalent of an “Uncle Tom”? Esquire gave us the “Do-Me Feminist.” Maybe we need to coin a new one. How about this: “She is such a Roiphe.”
In the 90s, I feel like those zines and Sassy and other sources of stealth you are not crazy or being victim-y to point out how bad it is that that teacher seats all the big-boob girls in the front row messages gave us the courage to pay serious attention to what was going on under the surface.
I wonder what the ’10s equivalent is to the secret messages of ’90s zines? Maybe it’s just enough that now late at night I can look up Judith Butler on the internet and listen to her talk for two hours.