Document Type

Article - Open Access

Publication Title

Feminist Formations

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Abstract/ Summary

The article challenges representations of so-called third-wave feminist politics that have over-simplified the complex, multifaceted nature of young women’s feminism, and that, by relying upon written accounts, have overlooked the empirical realities of “everyday” feminisms. While much scholarly attention has been paid to the “new femininities”—that is, how young women negotiate the contemporary gender order—as well as to the published work of relatively high-profile third-wave feminists, there are surprisingly few empirical examinations of young feminists’ politics, views, and activism despite an exciting and heartening resurgence of feminist activity in the United States and United Kingdom—the two countries in which this study is located. To better incorporate analysis of such activity into feminist theorizing, the article argues for a threefold approach to understanding young women’s contemporary feminisms: theoretically informed empirical examinations of young women’s politics; a more compassionate approach that understands the political, social, and cultural contexts in which feminist politics and sensibilities are (re)produced and enacted; and a consideration of feminism as a tapestry, with its history reflexively woven into its present.