I received and email this week that saddened me and made me realize an error. It said about our conference only this, “I would come, but I’m not young.”
Let me make a correction: All feminists, of every generation and background, are welcome to this conference on April 10 to April 12.
Why have we concentrated on young feminists for this conference?
The future is full of work for equality, inclusion, and respect for women of all kinds and ages. There is old business to finish like ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and newer business like a more accepting and welcoming social world for transexual, intersexual, and gender non-conforming people, as well as more effective measures of address rape culture and men’s sense of entitlement to women’s bodies.
To say nothing of the directly political work that needs doing in Virginia to elect feminist and women and women-friendly candidates who will protect the civil and social gain we fought so hard and long for.
Both NOW and Virginia NOW will need new generations of feminists to join our chapters and get busy on these and many other pressing matters of feminist concern. I’m 46 years old. I’m not going to be as available for this work when my parents grow older as I am now. Most of our membership is my age or older. The work we have done as Second and Third Wave feminists is precious and should be celebrated. Our experience and wisdom should be available to the younger generations.
In order to welcome younger women and younger feminists who will continue the work after all, we must also open our concept of feminism to include the issues and experiences most relevant to these new generations. That’s what this conference, to be an annual event we hope, is supposed to do.
Please, do join us. The power and joy that come from mixing the wisdom and experience of our foremothers with the new energy and expanded philosophy of the new generations — that power will be irresistible.
I apologize if you have felt excluded, marginalized, or belittled due to your age. I assure you that you are welcome and wanted at this conference.
Registration is open until 5 pm, Wednesday, April 8. We have extended it after an agreement with the hotel. To read more about the conference and to register, please click here.