Betty Friedan and I have a lot in common. We're both a little fiesty and a little tired of getting stuck doing the laundry. And we both turned 50 recently. Well, truth be told—while I turned 50 in January, Friedan herself did not celebrate a birthday. The famed feminist's most pivotal work, however, did turn 50 last week. The Feminine Mystique and I were both birthed in the tumultuous year of 1963, back when women lived in a Betty Draper world and "the problem that has no name" was finally named. But ironically now, the problem that has no name's biggest problem is often the name.
It's more loaded than Don Draper at lunch hour. It's more burdened than housewives with too many dirty dishes and too few college degrees. It's a word that has been co-opted to mean something unattractive, unsexy, unfeminine, unladylike. Something overly weighted on the "ism" and not the "feminine."
When, in fact, it should be a word that means one thing: equal opportunity for all. A level playing field. An open door. A big bottle of windex for that glass ceiling we're still talking about and bumping into.
Yes, I'm a feminist. And unless you live in the Dark Ages and are truly misogynistic and hateful and totally so not with the program, you are too. So come out tonight and show some love to an underloved word. Eat, drink, and hang with some of Charleston's coolest chicks and other enlightened beings. As a mother of three young women, who I hope will not be celebrating their 50th birthdays while still having to argue for equal pay for equal work, I invite you to come stand with women and men everywhere, who believe the problem that has no name needs all of our names behind it. Feminism is just another word for fairness. For acceptance. For justice. For having fun on an otherwise soggy Tuesday. See you at the Halsey!
Yes! I'm a Feminist! Party
TONIGHT, 2/26, 5:30 p.m.
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art