At the April 28, 2012 Unite for Women In New York March and Rally, there was consistent, verbalized incredulity that in the 21st century women were refighting old battles that were supposed to have been won.
On a daily basis, twenty-five thousand girls are married before they reach the age of eighteen. To grasp the numbers in real time, that is the equivalent of nineteen girls being married without their consent every minute.
Repeatedly referenced as a “feminist icon,” Steinem often functions as a blank slate upon which others imprint their own anxieties, appreciation, disapproval or angry resentments.
Mohammed demands parity for women with the men of Iraq and promotes secular and human rights, earning her the antagonism of Islamic fundamentalists—who have threatened her life.
Dr. Nawal El Saadawi told the rapt crowd proudly, “I was a feminist when I was a child.”
Maatz posited that “the goals of feminism were to create social, political and economic independence—allowing women to take full advantage of life opportunities and to express independent opinions and decisions.”
A classic pro-active personality, Jemison maintained, “The choices we make create the realities of today and tomorrow.”
Gloria Steinem has repeatedly stressed the importance of women sharing their personal stories as a way to add their voices to the human record. This was the strength of The Daily Beast’s three-day event.
Madeleine Albright’s most arresting comment was the analogy, “Women in a country are like the canary in the coal mine.”
As we move into a new decade, I can’t help looking over my shoulder at all the things I would like to leave behind.