Young feminists, if they don’t see us, we don’t exist

Canadian Governor-General Michaëlle Jean held a conference at Rideau Hall this week to talk about women’s security. She invited 200 women she met on her travels to talk about the continuing inequality for women and how a third wave of feminists should step up to. The 200 people "represent[ed] a broad cross-section of Canada – business and political leaders, aboriginal leaders, activists and scholars…" It is clear that young feminists were not invited and yet these women proceeded to complain about us,

Progression “assumes that the younger generation would want equality. Certainly by their actions they don’t seem to want equality. They somehow think that the superficial is sufficient,” Ms. McTeer said.

What the hell? This is just another example of older feminists completely disregarding the work of young feminists simply because they don’t know where to find us. And yet I know hundreds of feminists who are online right now tweeting and blogging about injustices perpetrated against women. These young women  do care that Canadian women make 63cents for every dollar a man makes in an equivalent job; that women  hold just 22% of the seats in the federal Parliament; that women account for just 13% of the seats on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. We do care and we certainly do exist. Except to these older feminists because they can’t find us, because they don’t see us, we do not exist. There is nothing so upsetting as being told by your own "people" that you aren’t there.
 
Not only do I have to fight the patriarchy every day in order to be seen and taken seriously and treated equally, but I have older feminist behind me telling the world I’m not there. Can we all please face forward and fight the real enemy together, rather than wasting our energies criticizing each other?

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