[lydia]I am a feminist. I am engaged in the battle for equality of the sexes. I am in the fight for equal pay for equal work, the fight for women to have power over their bodies, the fight to eradicate the prevalence of patriarchal roles in this society and the fight for equality in all facets of life. Why is it then that we have separated ourselves into two different forces?
I must add here that I respect and honor the work that has been done during the Second Wave of feminism. If it weren’t for all of my fore-feminists, I wouldn’t be able to vote in national elections, attend a public university, have access to birth control and a choice to be a mother, and I most certainly would not be traveling to London this summer with the Women’s Studies program. Without your progressive voices I would not have many of the freedoms that I now enjoy in my everyday life.
But my dear feminists, where have your voices gone? Seventy-two cents to every dollar a man makes is not equality, being faced with threats of banning our right to choice is not equality; being told that if we get raped it is entirely our fault and we must have provoked it is not equality; being called a bitch for simply sticking up for ourselves is not equality. Our battle is not over, but it appears that the fight has been detained.
In today’s world, women and men who lead feminist lives and believe in the cause typically avoid identifying as a feminist. The term has decades of stereotypes and negative connotations piled upon it that the Third Wave must confront in our efforts to create a society in which sex does not dictate our roles in life. Also, as the new generation of feminist activists we have a unique battlefield that is wrought with ignorance and a general belief that women have achieved equality to men and our continued demands are viewed as selfish and man-hating. I know the Second Wave also confronted many of these same problems. So, I ask you again, why are our \”waves\” separated? As the Third Wave, we are viewed as lazy and inactive in the movement. But I am a Third Waver and I feel that I am a very active activist. I am the director of a feminist group called Women’s Council on MSU’s campus, I voice my feminist opinions in the face of oppression and I attempt to raise awareness about the present inequality between men and women as frequently as I can.
However, the movement today is extremely disjointed. Many feminists are in disguise, secretly fighting patriarchy in their personal lives but afraid to own up to a title. Most of my generation has become empathetic to the cause and as a self-proclaimed leader in my community, I need your help dear fore-feminists. I need a guide, I need a muse. I need someone who understands these struggles and can encourage me to keep up the fight. I need to know that the Second Wave hasn’t given up, that you haven’t jumped ship quite yet. I know our tactics might be a little different from yours, but they are to meet the same ends.
Let us come together and ring the bells, and yell the chants in one collective voice. Join forces and create a tidal wave that splashes over society and creates equality. No longer can we lead separate movements. Too much has been accomplished to let us fall back now. Let us reclaim feminism and redefine it for this new age in time. Let us make it known that we strive for equality between sex, gender, race, ethnicity, height, physical capability, weight, marital status, sexual preference, religious views and any other difference that can be embraced and loved about human beings.
Truly,
A Concerned Third Wave Feminist

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