Feminists: Are We Forgetting Our Past?

by Sholeh Hajmiragha

“Feminist amnesia.”  This is the term Kamala Lopez uses to describe society’s current state of mind concerning women’s issues.  After watching Jennifer Lee’s documentary film, Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation, which chronicles the women’s rights movement from 1963 to 1970, Lopez was struck with the question: “What good is history when nobody knows it?  When it’s generally forgotten despite taking place less than 50 years ago?”  When so much female organization, debate, and action took place in our past – how can we not remember it and apply it to the current struggles of women, which are still omnipresent?

This is why “feminist historical amnesia” is a problem – because women’s battles haven’t yet been won and the women’s movement in 1970 only initiated the fight for equality, a fight that is still ongoing.  As Lopez notes, “Rape, domestic violence, the gender pay gap, the fight over women’s bodies/reproduction, lack of childcare, sex discrimination – it’s ALL still going on.” 

In light of March’s Women’s History Month, Lopez’s message to women concerning “feminist amnesia” is one that should be heard and applied.  Women’s History Month shouldn’t just be about looking back into the past.  Rather, it should also inspire us as women to look forward into the future and to see the possibility of change that we have the power to enact.  As Lopez writes, “For American women, our careless amnesia is plain poison.”  It’s time for an antidote not just for our amnesia, but for the inequalities that are still present in society today.

Check out Kamala Lopez’s full article at The Huffington Post, and read more about the relationship between the historical women’s movement past and our current feminist struggles.


images via the Huffington Post

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