“Whither Feminism?”

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At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jack Halberston discusses the new wave of feminism crashing down upon the 21st century

While introducing his new book, Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal (and we’re all for an end to Normal!), he critiques other examples such as Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman, and The End of Men by Hanna Rosin. (For further analysis of those two books, check out Roxane Gay’s take.) Halberston offers plenty other references for your literary absorption, but we particularly like the way he sifts clear down to the gist:

But rather than just pondering why the vagina and why now, we should really be asking why feminism and, for that matter, whither feminism? Feminism, of course, is a political philosophy that has a much longer history than commentators like Wolf, Ensler, and Moran suggest, and it consists of much higher aspirations than offering a user manual on the vagina. Feminism, now and in the past, at its best, wants to speak to and for, with and about people with and without vaginas. It is not a monologue, vaginal or otherwise. It is not even a cozy dialogue between vagina and penis. Feminism has always been a noisy and messy and wonderful conversation about the meaning of gender, sex, embodiment, and desire.


Nikita Schoen is an intern at The Rumpus, and a Writing & Literature student at California College of the Arts. She lives in San Francisco. More from this author →