today, as the governor general’s conference on women and security wraps up in ottawa, i’m still deflated about what was said in yesterday’s globe & mail about it.

the article by gloria galloway declared that a “third wave” of feminism is needed to revive the drive towards the promise of equality that was dangled before women during the 1960s and ’70s — a promise that has never been fully met, they believe.

if i had a nickel for every time my heart was broken by the undermining of new feminism …

the third wave of feminism is alive and well, thank you very much. if only the usual suspects would deign to notice. what a shame that participants at the GG’s gathering would so blatantly overlook the exciting actions of young women striving for equality. shame also that the conference did not amplify their voices or achievements. while there were apparently a few women in the room who might identify as “young”, there was no meaningful effort made to highlight the work of the so-called Third Wave. with the profile and influence this conference hopes to achieve, what a sadly missed opportunity to turn mass attention to the ways in which diverse young women are not only fighting the good fight, but indeed using the foremothers’ torch to light the way to contemporary solutions to feminist challenges.

maybe the new generation doesn’t cite pay equity as their priority issue; maybe young women use different language to describe their politics, spend a lot of time at the intersection of feminism and other social/justice movements; or sometimes can’t relate to the “f” word. but to suggest “they” don’t want equality is not only wrong, it’s insulting.

either those calling for a third wave of feminism yesterday in ottawa have never turned around to glimpse what’s followed them, or they just don’t recognize it as valuable or related to their accomplishments. most of the young feminists i know pay endless homage to the women who paved the way for our struggle. that’s what makes the dismissal of contemporary freedom fighters all the more painful to hear.

in canada, we need only look at the burgeoning rebELLEs movement to see just how many young women “get it”, or the creative anti-oppression work of antidote network of multiracial and indigenous girls and women … the successes of the miss G project in advocating for anti-oppressive curriculum and the antigone foundation‘s support of girls’ leadership … the young women of a powerful new pro-choice movement waging fresh battles to preserve past victories … what about fellow rabble blogger jessica yee’s native youth sexual health network … the girls action foundation … the guerrilla girls (ok, maybe not canuck, but still!)

those were just off the top of my head. you know they/you are out there, so chime in:

who are the young women, whether they identify as feminist or third wavers or not, doing awesome work at the frontlines of today’s movement for women’s equality?