By Robert Jensen
“The term second-wave feminism is used to mark the U.S. women’s movement that emerged in the 1960s, distinct from the women’s suffrage movement — the first wave — that won the vote in 1920. In the 1990s, the idea of third-wave feminism became popular, though it has never been clear why the crucial insights of the second wave had become irrelevant or why the political work that second-wavers had initiated was somehow magically over. Nowhere is this clearer than in the public-health crisis of epidemic levels of men’s violence against women, where the brutality of patriarchy is so obvious and the analysis and activism of second-wave feminists remains more needed than ever.”
Interview with Ruth Anne Koenick director of Rutgers’ Department of Sexual Assault Services and Crime Victim Assistance by Robert Jensen
I met Ruth Anne Koenick at a dinner before my talk on the feminist critique of pornography at Rutgers University in 1997. I had been doing public presentations on that issue for several years, but that was the first time an institution had paid my plane fare to give a lecture. As a young professor, I was a bit nervous but also was feeling pretty self-important.
Koenick was seated next to me, and when I introduced myself she said, “I’ve seen a lot of men who’ve figured out how to make money off of women’s pain. Are you one of them?”
I admit that I was taken aback, but the question was important and appropriate. I was getting a modest honorarium for the talk, but as a full-time academic who…
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