March 2, 2010

I need some new sheroes

Yes, I watched The Bachelor finale last night. Jake’s final pick, Vienna, the young and controversial self-professed “princess,” got the tabloid tongues wagging. But, I’m less interested in Vienna versus Tenley or Gia or Ali than I am interested in the lack of real kick-ass role models for young women and girls. As I search the cultural landscape, with it’s endless cheaply produced (and asinine) reality show fodder, I see few female icons that contribute anything meaningful to women’s and girl’s lives as a whole.

Hawking the latest diet pill, discussing how they got their bodies back 2 minutes after baby or how they lost weight and transformed into someone entirely new and entirely better is not exactly a pro-woman message and is lacking any sense of collectivity. Unfortunately, we have too many Heidi Montags, Viennas and single gals looking for some guy to “put a ring on it” on a variety of reality shows serving up played out and unrealistic gender roles. Most young girls and women know more about celebrity dating and diet habits than they know about the women (and men, of course) who made personal sacrifices and ushered in changes that many take for granted, from voting rights to reproductive rights.

So, it is time to resurrect the Featured Feminist (see previous posts for names and information) which was an effort to bring the names, faces and lives of in-the-world feminists to light. In celebration of 30 years of Women’s History Month, we’ll be bringing you feminist bios on some of our favorite feminists through history in a continued effort to raise consciousness and banish the collective amnesia that trades real effort and change for lap dogs in pink sweaters and diet secrets.