Young feminists today are becoming activists on behalf of many causes beyond the classic—and indispensablefeminist ones of reproductive rights and equal pay for equal work. In The Fire This Time, Dawn Martin, one of four founders of The Third Wave Foundationa multiracial, multi-issue, and multicultural activist organizationand Vivien Labaton, its first executive director, offer an exciting cross section of feminist voices that express new directions in activism, identity, and thought. Ayana Bird dissects the role of black women in hip-hop; Joshua Breitbart and Ana Noguiera demonstrate how Indimedia can break the hold of the corporate media over the news; and Jennifer Bleyer reviews the exhilarating power unleashed by the GirlZine movement. Anna Kirkland’s analysis of transsexual and transgendered people and the law is deeply thoughtful, and Shireen Lee's piece on women, technology, and feminism envisions empowering prospects for women..
Ranging from media and culture to politics and globalization, The Fire This Time is a call to new frontiers of activism, and helps reinvent feminism for a new generation.
In the '90s, the question on cultural critics' minds, not to mention the cover of Time, was "is feminism dead?" But before any reporter considers writing an obituary, he or she should consult Labaton and Lundy Martin's inspiring book. It proves that the movement's invisibility to mainstream media is a sign not of demise but of strength. The "third wave" (i.e., this younger, more colorful incarnation of feminism) is operating on a level that doesn't fit nicely into sound bites and commercial pop songs. Labaton and Lundy Martin's eloquent and powerful collection of writings from third wavers demonstrates that, above all, the new feminism is multi-issue. This generation isn't content with seeking reproductive freedom or workplace equality; its members want to tear down the prison-industrial complex, heal the wounds of Puerto Ricans in Vieques and take on misogynist rappers. And that's just the beginning. These contributors use personal stories-like Jennifer Bleyer's account of pining for girl zines in suburban isolation-without dissolving into self-obsession. Seasoned writers and hopeful activists dexterously handle such cultural and political issues as the new hip-hop theater, technology, globalization and the law. And where the text gets thick, it is a legitimate heft; these issues are heavy and too often neglected. Labaton and Lundy Martin don't claim omnipotence: "instead of presenting our readers with our singular vision of what we think the future of feminism is, we present multiple (and sometimes opposing) voices that together constitute a new feminist possibility." This hopeful, fresh collection proves that feminism is very much alive and kicking. (May) Forecast: Ads targeting general readers and academics should spark interest in this title. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.