Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014


still needing the f word/ anna quindlen

Anna Quindlen’s article, “Still Needing the F Word” is about our hesitancy to identify ourselves as feminist or to label a person, place, or thing as having feminist characteristics, which are, as  she shares

Belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes

because we think we don’t need feminism or feminists anymore because that work is done. We’ve achieved equality and things are well with the world. At least, in the USA.

She wrote the opinion piece in  response to a study published by Duke University documenting women’s experiences at that university. Basically she says that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Quindlen writes that sections from the Duke report could easily come from feminist foremother Betty Friedan’s classic work The Feminine Mystique. But she also discusses how women must live up to even greater demands today to be homemakers and professionals, which was not the case in Friedan’s time, 40 years ago. You just had to be the perfect Stepford Wife.

Mostly, reading this article angered me. I didn’t disagree with any part of it. I actually agreed with her and loved the irony that she wrote about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bad behavior as a “sexual serial bigot” back in 2003 and earlier this year news came to light about his love child with a domestic worker in his household. Especially the part that he didn’t realize that he didn’t realize his unprofessional conduct toward women was objectionable.