While Emma takes care of some business in Tucson, I go to Phoenix to meet Lindsey, a native New Yorker, for breakfast. She had moved to Arizona right before high school, later attended U of A in Tucson, and is the education director of the Boys and Girls Club in downtown Phoenix.
Lindsey is hesitant to call herself a feminist, because she doesn’t feel she does much to promote women’s equality, but some issues such as self-esteem are important to her. She describes her experience when she first moved to Scottsdale as a teenager: “Every girl was completely different physically than I was. I had streaks in my hair and had my New York unique style going on. But all these girls were blond, getting their nails done, and wearing makeup. Within a year and a half, I was blond and shopping at Abercrombie.” Scottsdale, which she calls a “knockoff of LA,” and the state school she attended projected a specific expectation of a woman prototype.
“Most of my friends were in sororities, but I thought of it as an uberpreppy, pretentious thing,” she tells me. My thoughts veer back in the direction of Colleen, who described her sorority as the most feminist thing she’s ever done, and I ask Lindsey if she thinks sororities have feminist potential. She is skeptical. “Sometimes they help with self-esteem issues, because you have a sense of belonging, but it also breeds insecurity with money and needing to be a certain way.” Eventually, she says, “I stopped caring. I realized I looked terrible as a blond and just wasn’t comfortable with that look anymore.”