The face of feminism is not only that of Gloria Steinem or Naomi Wolf. It’s no longer a luxury limited to the white, affluent and professional. This zesty collection of essays by young feminists, edited by Ms. executive editor Findlen, demonstrates that those feminist lessons of pride and self-determination have been thoroughly absorbed. Spunky and original, these women reveal their difference up front. The writers are lesbians and bisexuals, feminists from every ethnic group, teen mothers, rape survivors, disabled women, aerobics instructors, anorexics, self-described “chicks” and punks–whose involvement in the movement signals feminism’s evolution from within. The book wants to weave an “identity tapestry,” to borrow one essay’s title, and each piece uses some real experience to delineate the ways in which the writer’s life and self have been informed by the logic and language of feminism. Virtually all depend on the experience of being stereotyped. This collection enlarges feminism’s self-image. If the voices here threaten to atomize a collective movement into numberless discrete and personal feminisms, for now they hold and work together, and it’s important that they be heard.
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