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Sister Amy,

Thank you very much for writing Manifesta. It's been a great read and a constant topic of conversation among my friends. So much in fact, that we're having a dinner party. We've been spreading the word and getting St. Louis ready for are CR group. It's a very exciting time- lots of ideas, lots of energy, but there one issue that is dividing us: ageism. Some of us want to focus on third wavers, daughters, Xer's... and some of us feel as if that is discrimination. The issue has become so divisive that I'm afraid we're losing our idealism and passion before the very first dinner party. Any suggestions?


I love the idea of all of these dinner parties happening around the country, culling so much great feminist energy - and really just giving feminists a time to celebrate and to say "hey what's happening." I'm sorry to hear that your plans might be thwarted before they already began. From your email, I can't entirely tell what the problem is. However, I can offer both my experience and my hopes. My experience is that mixed generation groups are the best--as long as each person comes to learn, share. Because many young women--especially when it comes to feminism--feel either shy or that they can't speak up, I think that's it's best to have the group weighed toward younger women.

As for hopes, the hope with Manifesta--and feminism alike--is to recognize younger women's place in feminism, plus understanding that it might look a bit different from previous generations. I don't think many people entirely understand this--or want to risk this and that's what Manifesta hopes for, that people will take those risks to listen and be listened to. Also, perhaps you shouldn't focus on a group, but on an issue, understanding that different perspectives often come with different generations. However, we always have to remember that we have more things in common than not--and that's our strength, recognizing those two things.

I hope that helps and let me know if I have entirely misunderstood your problem.

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