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Do you think that the rise in fame of the 'Spice Girls' and their belief in 'Girl Power' has aided the message of feminism or ridiculed the ideas, beliefs and people who brought it to the worlds attention?

Thanks for your note. I personally think that "The Spice Girls'" and the current attention to "Girl Power" has misrepresented feminism. I don't know much about the former, but I'm sure in the larger scheme of things they are harmless. The latter ignores the deeper problem that men and women face, which is that women can't claim "equal power" until men let go of power. So while some "girls" have gained power, "boys" still haven't put themselves in equilibrium with women, which leaves us unbalanced. This current trend--which certainly is not new--is forgetting the roots of feminism and not remembering that this generation could not be where it is were it not for its predecessors.

The recent rise in the "girl" trend reminds me of the use of "queer" in the gay and lesbian movement. However, while it is okay for "queer" to be used, referenced in a "queer" safe community, it is still a negative term when used by those who don't support gay and lesbian rights. Similarly with girl power--I'm all for using whatever term it is that decribes your path to equality, however the more choices we include, the less unified we are and the further we are from reaching a real place of real equality, because we spend too much time on the road explaing the different nuances and not focusing on the ultimate goal. On a simplier note, I think that "girl power" is silly and it's safe. It keeps us young, naive, cute, but means that we want to be on top. Power only means "the ability to do; act; or produce." Given that definition, girl power only means that we can function--would you call that progress? The real power lies in not being afraid to recognize that feminism isn't a bad word--and that "power" lies in our own lives not in some glib reference in a magazine and on the pop charts.

Although I did say more than I expected, I actually want to give as little attention as possible to "girl power" -- not because I don't support it or even agree with it, but because I think that it is just one more attempt to take the focus off the real issues and put it onto a cat fight. I have much more in common with the Spice Girls than I do Ralph Reed--and he has a greater chance of staying power, so I think it's important to put my energies there. Sorry to babble


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