Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Francisco, Day 2: ROXANNE

After parking on a particularly steep San Francisco hill, we walk across the street from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s house. Roxanne is a radical leftist and feminist activist who moved from rural Oklahoma to the West coast in the thick of the sixties student movements. Although she is labeled a feminist, she prefers the term “women’s liberation” because “feminism is a state of being rather than a state of becoming.” When we asked her about the future, she told us this:

“I’m more disappointed in my generation than yours. Women my age have stayed stuck. It is the influence of my involvement in the Cuban revolution that you have to have faith in the next revolutionary generations. When I meet with women’s groups now, many of the older women call younger women “slutty” and are very scornful.”

We learn about her upbringing in Oklahoma, and tells us about rural young women she has encountered—women who, because of time and money constraints of this trip, we are meeting less of. She describes how all she wanted to do when she was young was leave her small town, but lately young women can’t afford or don’t want to leave. “That can be a good thing,” she tells us. “If socially progressive women stay put in conservative towns, the right is less purified.”

Discussion Questions:
Question 1

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