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Thank you Paulie and thank you Cody's, it is really lovely to be here in sunny California and to see all you here. Thank you for coming out. My book is called Sisterhood, Interrupted and I would be remorse if I didn't mention that I mean Only Child, my last book was called Only Child and I would be remorse if I didn't mention that in the house today as the person in my life who has functioned most like a sister and is hosting me during this California leg and is just an honor to be reading with her here. And now she's going to cry. So what I thought I will do is tell you a bit about why I wrote this book, read you a little bit from my one copy. And then open up the discussion and Q & A, I am always interested to here your thoughts and reactions. So I grew tired of hearing woman blaming each other for feminism's so called failures. And so I wrote a book about the effort. It's a book about a lot of efforts; actually it's a book about the fights and frenzies about feminism in America with the past 40 years, I am a fan of illiteration, as you can probably tell. And I called the book "Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Woman To Grrls Gone Wild" because I was really interested in the way that older woman and younger woman didn't seem to be talking to each other much or at least not talking the same language when it came to issues of what modern so called liberated woman are supposed to want these days. And I started to recognize a number of flash points or rather clash points I think these clash points have been rather pronounced in the past year in particular and I will get into them in a moment but I think that that really conflicts around the larger issues of what it means today to be powerful and empowered. So the clash points, sex, motherhood, work. Sex who hasn't heard of Girls Gone Wild. The girls gone wild, the women who flash their breasts for the video while they are on the spring break in the campus world. Some are calling this a new kind of raunch feminism; of kind of sex is power feminism. And some old women are understandably throwing a fit. Other issue, clash points that I see playing out, grand motherhood, the whole opt out revolution, this whole opt out business, right. What's going on? I think it's interesting to know how the mommy wars have taken on a generational tint. We have got older woman, in this case, blaming younger woman for opting out meaning coping out and opting out of careers in order to stay home with their kids. Coping out is you know, sort of more the attitude among some older women who are looking out at this opt out generation and you know the whole question of are these woman letting feminism down. I also have to ask is opting out, really what's going on? But that's another book and many of those have been written. The third issue is work. I come out of the non profit and academic arena but I have seen these going on and a lot on corporate panels that I have been attending lately in New York. An older generation, boomer women, are kind of complaining to each other and on panels about a new younger generation, particularly Gen X, a new younger generation of woman that is coming into the work force overly entitled. These younger women are asking for too much too fast, too much promotion, too much vacation time, too much flex time too soon. And there is this question of you know, are these younger women too entitled, then I have to ask what is too entitled, are we really there yet. I discovered as I looked into these issues and of course I should say and all of these, the stereotypes, the younger feminists and older feminists in particular have of each other. The younger feminists you know I am generalizing here, but there is the general attitude that the veteran feminists are a bunch of bra burning, militant, hairy legged, man haters. And among older feminists there is these idea that sometimes that younger feminists are you know, breast flashing, sex is power throwbacks who aren't grateful for the work their mothers did. So they are these stereotypes that we have of each other. I discovered as I looked into it as I you know, as I kind of explored this more that older woman and younger woman sometimes have different ideas of what power is. We sometimes have different ideas of what sexism is. And because we enter history at different moments in time we are bound to have different ideas of what feminism is? I think the larger question that's floating behind all these also is this disagreement that sometimes comes out generationaly over the question of have we come a long way, baby or just may be. So I am a scholar, I have a PhD in Literature and a scholar by training; I should say I am no longer being a scholar in academe. But I am obsessed by word and language and rhetoric. And in particular by a slogan, "the personal is political". And as I looked into the words and language and how women have been framing their movements and what has been said and fought passionately about around this whole issue of feminism over the past 40 years, I concluded that that the questions that women were fighting over and around in regard to feminism 40 years ago are largely the same questions that we are talking about today. The questions that defined women of the 60's and 70's who were fighting in radical feminist circles over what was feminism going to be are in many ways issues that are defining women in our 20's and 30's today. And I should just sort of pause here to say I am 38 and often find myself false living on the old-young continuum depending what audience I am in and you know, sort of where I am at in this point you know the conversation. So I think in this context I am probably I am often I'm a "cusper," kind of straddle second and third waves of feminism. Second wave is the 1960's 1960's and 70's women's wave and the third wave is what many people have called feminism that kind of came to voice through younger women starting in the 1990's and continuing through today. So these four questions are generally very much alive and well, I am here to report and they are often taking place and blogs instead of for instance on somebody is living room floor in the form of a consciousness raising group. But they are taking place and I argue in the book that while the scenes and the fashions- no Birkenstock's you know, of feminism may have changed the ideas and the passion remain and they remain intense. Feminism doesn't look like it once did. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. And my book is really an overview of the fights among women to define their cause. And I felt that was really important to put this fight in a cultural context but also a generational one, because I think that these days some very important commonalities and common ground among older women and younger women who are fighting for feminism are getting lost. There is a list in the back of the book that's I included as a place to list, where to go for some you know, reading up on the latest hot controversies in feminist debate. You know a lot of them are online. There is also a discussion guide at the back of the book that I hope you know if people are in book groups they may consider using this book and particularly if your inter reading books that across generations and having conversations the questions are really designed as the book is, to inspire older women and younger women to understand each other and to understand each other's feminisms and to understand some thing about the context in which we are entering this debate, depending on our different historical ethos. I wrote the book really in the hope and the spirit of promoting inter generational dialogues so that women across generations and men can continue to work together for women's advancement and well being and to continue to ferment change. And I just have to say it's great to be saying that here in Berkeley which is you know the capital of the universe of fermenting change. And I think we still need change. Ours is very much and unfinished revolution. You know I think that in some ways this question of how we come a long way, baby or just maybe, it's confusing at times to be a daughter of feminism in a world that's only half transformed. You know you look at the statistics, there are currently 7.7 million women owned businesses in the United States. But women earn how many cents on a male dollar any body? 80 would be nice, 77 - $0.77 in 2007 we are earning $0.77. I mean it makes me laugh because it's so absurd. And women are what percent of Congress? Any body have a guess. It went up in the 2006 elections but just lightly. It's a little bit better. We are at 16 16 percent, still not so hot. And this one kills me, number of women who are Fortune 500 CEO's in this country? Four would be nice, 2.6 it's crazy, right. So you know clearly as I argue in the book we are we are still very much in need of feminism and more so as I argue in the book, the fights around what feminism should be and what it should be for. It didn't end in 1975; you know the the questions rage on with greater intensity and perhaps with greater consequence today than ever before. And with that I am going to read a passage from the book that, the book is divided into two section, mothers and daughters. And this first bit that I am going to read is from the daughter section of the book. It's from a chapter called Post Feminist Panache and other moments of indulging in the illiteration and it's from a section that's called New Feminist Machisma? And what I do in the book throughout is situate feminism and it battles its internal battles with in popular culture and within you know, the kind of historical, cultural contact stuff, what's going on. So what the part I am going to read you and I am going to speak louder than that chain is from, it takes us back to the late 1990s. By the late 1990s the rhetoric's of feminism and individualism had combined to create a new popular icon, the feminist Bad Ass. Second wave of feminism had promulgated a vision of individual women as vulnerable and sisterhood as strong. Post feminist feminism passed at sisterhood as weak and celebrated instead a proud new female brawn. Images of strong, sexy bad girls permeated late 1990s popular culture. Hip-hop and rap offered up new images of strong, powerful black women. The first all female rap group Salt-N-Pepa won a Grammy for best rap performance for their single None Of Your Business in 1995. While Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott released Supa Dupa Fly, her first album in 1997. Bad Ass diva Queen Latifah joined Lisa Loeb and the Dixie Chicks at Lilith Fair while in Hollywood Lori Petty and Naomi Watts raised hell and tour up the desert in a comic book adaptation called Tank Girl. Hong Kong action diva Michelle Yeoh meanwhile, struted her stuff to American audiences in the latest James bond flick, Tomorrow Never Dies and on television actress Sarah Michelle Gellar battled demons as the buff kick boxing teenage demon killer known as Buffy. While off screen thousands of women, my self included, learned to kick box at the neighborhood gym. Svelte and powerfully sexy professional athletes, Daughters of Title IX were celebrated on the covers of women's magazine as real world icons for female ambition, beauty and strength. US women won nineteen gold, ten silver and nine bronze medals at the summer Olympics in 1996. And in 1999 the US women soccer team made headlines not only for winning the women's World Cup but because Brandi Chastain you don't remember this? You remember after scoring the winning goal for the team, tore off her shirt. Stars who embodied the new feminist machisma spoke out encouraging ordinary women to follow suit, said comedic actress speaking quite seriously Roseanne Barr. The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power, you just take it. In her book Bitch, in praise of difficult women ex rock critic bad girl Elizabeth Wurtzel of Prozac Nation fame celebrated mythic and real women who flaunted their bitchiness while Madonna celebrated her own. "I am tough, I am ambitious and I know exactly what I want," she said. "If that makes me a bitch, ok." It was a confusing moment for feminist iconography. There were sports heroines like Mia Hamm and pro women politicians like Hilary Clinton. There was, I need Anita Hill. There were singers, song writers like Ani Difranco whose songs about contemporary social issues, such as such as racism, sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, reproductive rights, poverty and war gained her a passionate following among politically active college students nationwide. And then there was Ally McBeal. The ditsy 28 year old Ivy League educated Boston Litigator on the hit Fox Television series, whose face appeared along with Susan B. Anthonys, Gloria Steinems and Betty Friedens on a 1998 cover of Time Magazine along with the headline does anybody remember this one, Is Feminism Dead. The Time cover was emblematic. It synthesized what many second wavers perceived as a devolution in focus from the serious to the silly. Inside an article by journalist Gina Belafonte ran with the juicy teaser, want to know what today's sheik young feminist thinkers care about, their bodies, themselves. Ally's particular brand of "me first" feminism was taken to be representative of her generation. Said her creator David Kelly, she is not a hard strident feminist out of the 60s and 70s, she is all for women's rights, but she doesn't want to lead the charge at her own emotional expense. On one episode as Belafonte pointed out, Ally characteristically answered the question, why is your problem so much bigger than everyone else's, with the honest response, because they are mine. Raised in solidarity this fictionalized daughter of feminism had seemingly internalized messages about women's progress only to become hyper individualistic. Ally's dilemma is for fiction, but Katie Roiphe's were real. Katie Roiphe is a figure that begins the chapter and for those of you who might not know, you might not remember, Katie Roiphe came out in the early 90s with the book called "The Morning After: Fear, Sex and Feminism," in which she argued that because she and her friends hadn't been date raped it must not really exist. I kind of have a problem with that argument. So, what have this perceived turned toward individualism mean for feminism as a movement. On one level oh I shall also add its context, Katie Roiphe also in her book kind of blames feminism for turning women into victims. So what have these perceived turn toward individualism mean for women, for feminism as a movement. On one level it meant that a younger women who had made it, like Roiphe, could believe that she or her friends were some how invulnerable. It meant that many women who had been able to exercise their economic, social and other freedoms, no longer necessarily saw their connection as women to women who had been unable for reasons that were not purely psychological to access the same. It meant perhaps that the critique has swung too far in the other direction that some of those who criticized second wave feminism for harping on women's vulnerability dangerously believed that women were now invincible. The result, a feminism lacking in empathy and imagination, a brave new feminism that trafficked in selfishness, maybe but more likely in false bravado. But perhaps the greatest irony of post feminism 1990 style was this. In falsely imagining that we were post patriarchy, post feminist had in effect redefined the enemy, other feminists. In the 1970s feminists insisted on sexual difference between men and women and launched a targeted attack on male power, domination, anti centrism, sex discrimination and sexual double standards. But in their early 1990s as popular feminist writers like Roiphe and others turn their critical gaze on their predecessors and on each other. The emphasis on patriarchal domination and control faded into the backdrop. Personal oppression became less about suppression under patriarchy and more about oppression and suppression under the sisters, meaning for members of a younger generation, under the mothers. I go on in the next chapter to say what I think third wave feminism is all about. But to find that out you are going to have to order the book. But I do want to read a bit that brings things up-to-date out of the 90's and in to the Noddies as people call them. So because I think these images of you know the feminist bad ass and this kind of feminist machismo are very much with us today. And I think there is a threat to be seen. So younger women, who today equate sex with power are hardly operating in a vacuum. Images of power babes still bear tremendous currency and a culture more obsessed with who does what or who's in bed, than who does what in the House? As young girls are encouraged to emulate celebrity hotties like Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson the proportion of female legislators to use but one example remains impossibly low. Some pop idols, aware of their influence speak out against current popular standards for female ambition. In the satire called "Stupid Girls", singer and song writer Pink reminds fans that there is more to power than lifting weights. In a biting critique of Paris Hilton-types with their, itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees, Pink asks what happened to the dreams of a girl president. The question of whether the new sexual bravado is feminism has sparked hot debate in all the places young feminists gather. Most notably online, on popular blogs like salon.com's Broadsheet or feministing.com which according to the sites recent index gets more than 50,000 actual hits a day. Younger women spar over whether the new forms of public sexual expression, radical bravery or bimbo feminism represent progress or regression. Attitudes vary that could go for a minute I grew up near the train tracks, so I feel really at home you know my living room attitudes vary and following in the foot steps of their mother's, younger women's public stances are often diametrically opposed. And then I go on in this bit to talk about Ariel Levy's book, which is called "Female Chauvinist Pigs" and it's about this whole kind of feminist raunch culture. And I think, basically Levy is arguing that the women who are you know, the kind of buying this new vocabulary of sexual revolution as feminism are being kind of sold the bill of goods. And I think she is pervasive but not entirely convincing. Many of the women Levy writes about joins those the women of cake which is another kind of young feminist pro-sex avantguard feminism to some and you know not to others. So the women that Levy writes about join the women of cake, fans of Sex and the City, ChickLit readers and other moderately privileged members of this new generation in an un-experimented experiment in an unprecedented experiment with new found freedoms in a world that has not yet fully progressed. It is not a failure of feminism that is leading to the confusion of these empowered young women about the contours of real power. They are a generation wedged between old definitions of feminism that don't always work and new ones that have yet to be fully lived out. But it would indeed be a failure of feminism if younger women failed to recognize that the sexual arena is not the only platform on which women must stage their feminist rebellion today. And it will be a failure of feminism if veteran feminists cannot find a way to understand that these very conversations are off shoots of their own. I think I want to stop there and take some questions.