Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Three Generations at SUNY-New Paltz

Here's a shot of yesterday's intergenerational feminist panel at SUNY-New Paltz--Amy Kesselman, Elizabeth Gross, me (Deborah), and Heather Hewett, who graciously organized us all.

It was humbling to share the stage with Amy, a second-wave radical feminist/now historian, who shared a number of zingers herself, including: "Coming out of the 1950s, everything looks like progress." Amy is currently working on the history of women's liberation movement in New Haven and I can't wait to read what she has found. Elizabeth--a very savvy sophomore who turned 20 yesterday and who heads up the only feminist group on campus, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance--spoke beautifully from her heart. (Welcome to the 20s, Elizabeth! The 30s get even better!) We talked a lot about forms of social activism, current attitudes toward political engagement, what issues we'd fight for, and what "the personal is political" still means to women of different ages. And we talked about the role feminism plays in our life. Amy has written how "Feminism saved my life." I talked about how "feminism launched my life." In Elizabeth's words, "Feminism is me." I wished the WGLs could have been there to hear Amy and Elizabeth--they both moved me to my core.


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