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Of Letters and of Sciences

Welcome! This is a blog about literature and books that are critical to any social discourse: literary, cultural, racial, gender-based. A blog for humanists, scholars, the curious, and thinkers and thinkeresses.

Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement

Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement - Sarah Erdreich

I'm a little skeptical about this book, because I'm uneasy with any attempts to define fourth-wave feminism, or any feminism.
I am pro-choice, but, like others who study the historiography of third-wave feminism, I know that reproductive rights are not the only issues facing feminism, and, when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1972, not all feminists were united in thinking reproductive rights were the most important issue for which to campaign.
That doesn't mean that they are not important at all. But many women of colour, including women in African-American communities in the 1960s and 70s, were focused as much on equal rights based on race as much as they were on equal rights based on gender. The fusion between race and gender, for women of colour, meant that many of them had to be focused on their treatment by the state: segregation, racial discrimination in the workplace, for example, were just some of the other struggles, including women's rights, that women of colour had to face.

But I am a product of third-wave feminism and a member of fourth-wave feminism, (or, at least, of post-third wave feminism), but I think that fourth-wave feminism, as it emerges with this Millenial Generation, is one that is and should be multicultural. Contemporary feminism, indeed, has grown from the unilateral thoughts of the mostly white middle-class (as was the target audience of Betty Friedan's groundbreaking The Feminine Mystique) and has now become (or should be) the place in which all women voice their rights and freedoms. Issues like FGM, the hijab and veiling, and other international issues should be points in which feminists respect other feminists' cultural viewpoints.

Ergo, defining fourth-wave feminism as "Generation Roe"; in essence, saying that we fourth-wave feminists are living in an America defined by the rights of Roe v. Wade is not one I fully embrace. Don't get me wrong, it is both historically and sociologically true: I definitely see the point and impact of measuring  women and young women in society's views as they grow in a country that protects their reproductive rights (well, on the whole), compared to the 1970s, when women's reproductive rights were truly under assault.

SO! I have no problem with this book at all; it seems interesting; I might read it, but I don't know if I need to. I might read it to find out how Roe has affected our lives, but not on how to define fourth-wave feminism.