Friday, December 28, 2007

New York City: ANYA

Anya Kamenetz (right, on her terrace in Williamsburg): 28, originally from Baton Rouge, journalist, personal finance advisor, author of Generation Debt. Considers herself a feminist.

"Women in general are bringing very high stakes to the work world. We are one of the first generations of women raised with the belief that we are going to work, and that it's not just about being a breadwinner. Men have their own pressures, like this intense fear of not succeeding and that he has to make his mark in the world. But for women, I think it’s more about finding a full expression of who you are in the work world, because if you don’t, you should be fulfilling the higher purpose of having children. A lot of women I know apply that binary to their lives."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New York City: JESSICA

Jessica Valenti (right, at a cafe in her Astoria neighborhood): 29, founder and executive editor of the blog Feministing, activist, author of Full Frontal Feminism.

On Girls Gone Wild:

“The way you deal with a phenomenon like that is to encourage women to be critical thinkers—ask her, ‘Why are you doing these things? Why does it make you feel powerful to get drunk and show your boobs?’ The myth of sexual purity is the real thing that is screwing up young women, not the fact that they are being sexual. Both Girls Gone Wild and abstinence-only [campaigns] are about dictating what young women should do. So no wonder why we are completely sexually confused. When you’re telling a woman that her moral compass is between her legs, that can really fuck her up.”

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New York City: LAURA

Laura Kipnis: cultural and media critic, professor of media studies at Northwestern University, author of Against Love and The Female Thing. A feminist, but tries to avoid “being typecast as the pro-sex feminist…I get bored when people only ask me to write about those issues.”

On beauty:

"The hidden 'double shift' for women is spending an awful lot of time worrying about the way they look…It’s not like women don’t realize this [impediment], but I think they feel defeated by it. You can be self-aware of these things and still be on a constant diet. You can have read every feminist book on your bookshelf and still have issues about food and eating and the way your hair is styled. I guess you're not required to subscribe to this kind of regime, but it helps you blend in and offers you more sexual opportunity...because that's still the way the heterosexual world is organized, despite all the supposed female progress."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

New York City: JEANIE

Jeanie (left, outside of Café Pick Me Up in the East Village): 23, raised uptown in Manhattan, actress, former champion fencer, temp at a banking software company. Considers herself a feminist.

“Growing up in New York surrounded by strong women doing their own thing, it was much easier to be an individual, and be supported for that...My sister and I were always fighting this idea of what it was to be a “girl." We were very physical tomboys. I remember one summer, we went to this daycamp upstate, and I was the only girl playing hockey with the boys. I wasn’t afraid of being sweaty or being loud…we have always had that sense of ‘We’re different, and we’re proud of that.'”