After five years of functioning within the pseudo-reality of “Big A” Academia, I often ponder questions of identity formation and self-understanding. In the process of studying the Jewish American immigrant experience and conceptualizing women as agents for sociopolitical change, I find myself asking questions about my own identity and how future scholars will define the major factors in the twenty-first century narrative.
So far, I have established a few points: I am a proud member of what some call the “millennial” generation. Women my age are the direct beneficiaries of feminist action and advocacy. For the most part, we have never known state-sanctioned sex-based discrimination on the same level as experienced by the generations of women before us.
Yet, for many of my female peers, feminism is a dirty word: a word to be used sparingly and with the upmost caution for fear of being misunderstood. Additionally, some fear being identified with “undesirable” traits such as aggressive behavior or radicalism.
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