Last week on International Women’s Day, British Novelist Linda Grant (winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction) took to her twitter account to ponder the oft heard assertion: I’m-not-a-feminist. Her beef? Young women who claim no affiliation with the word or the movement; young women who lack appreciation or understanding of just how much they owe to those who fought for basic rights during the last century.
As Grant tweets: “For you I’m-not-a-feminists, in 1979 aged 28, when I applied for a store credit card the form had to be signed by my husband or father.” As the novelist describes in a column for The Guardian, her tweet set off a rush of corresponding tweets by hundreds of women who give concrete examples of ways they have felt undermined, disrespected, and essentialized.
Given the terrifyingly anti-woman turn US-legislation has taken this month–through various Personhood, Heartbeat/Vaginal probe, Shame the Sluts Bills–it is also important to remember the more mundane side of sexism, if we can call it that. All these acts exist on a spectrum, from the job-related infuriations, to state-legislated invasions.
The more than 2000 tweets from those responding to Grant’s account have been archived as a website called A Thousand Reasons. In Grant’s words, “A thousand reasons why feminism is still relevant and necessary.”
2012 – Issa Hearing on whether employers can deny women access to contraceptives based on religion: