ChicanaDiasporic: A Nomadic Journey of the Activist Exiled

The Irony of the Women's Movement

One of the things I keep seeing in op-eds, and retrospectives, is the frequently large disconnect between groups in the second wave women’s movement. The irony of the women’s movement is that everyone wanted the same thing-equal space and money, we just couldn’t find a way to talk to each other that didn’t seem suspect—too much water under the bridge(s) of slavery, abolition, voter suppression, gender/culture inequalities?

Maybe it had everything to do with where the power structures existed, in the media (east and west coast) and government (east coast). Everywhere else was invisible to the powers that ran the middle man. The middle man/woman was a union member, hospital worker, teacher, professor, social worker. If they owned their own business, it was in real estate, hairdressing, secretarial services, notary services, accounting and bookkeeping, selling Avon, Tupperware or Mary Kay—all a part of the entrepreneurial hustle. Every culture had its small business, union member, teacher, accountant, and secretarial pool, living next door, down the street, attending the same churches and picnics, bowling in the same leagues every Friday and Saturday night in the thousands of non-coastal places that had no say in how we should get along and when.

What we all had in common was the desire to have an American dream that included us. What we never realized was, what we all had in common was an American dream that included us. What the east coast politic wanted us to believe, was that we couldn’t have the same dreams at the same times in the same ways. 

We all bought into the tomorrow promised by the early years of the movement—equal rights for all women. After several years of fighting for a seat at the table, we discover we weren’t supposed to want a seat at the table, just one in the room—and be glad of that. So we take our seat cushions (those seats in the room are very uncomfortable) find a room of our own to make ways towards becoming equal. Do we know that what we are fighting for is the same thing the white women are fighting for—yes. Can we find ways to fight with them—probably, but what will that cost?

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