Letter to the Editor
Regarding the recent article, “Feminism Resurrected at New School”
As an attendee of The Coming Resurrection, I feel the article and its quotes were intended to shape a skewed perception, or misperception, of feminists at the New School. It is unrealistic to assume that we all maintain a monolithic ideology of what it means to be feminist. This article has managed to bypass analysis, only to borrow clichéd, outdated and negative assumptions of feminists— grungy misandrists united against the enjoyment of sex—when really, the very intention of the event was to explore the diversity of identities and interpretations of feminist politics (but nobody would know this by the photos of our trendy boots, of course). It served as a forum for students seeking feminist discourse at the New School, where the demand for actual gender studies courses is not met.
This event was also the undergraduate response to the gender studies conference in March, which was almost exclusively run by graduate students and academics. Yet, despite its lack of accessibility to most undergraduates, it did not have a “lukewarm reception.” If the Free Press sent someone to cover it, they would know that, according to our records, over 200 people showed up that weekend, and 48 speakers participated. (Sidenote: You would also know that we hosted the year’s most talked-about feminist feud between famous journalist Susan Faludi and queer theorist Jack Halberstam. And that they were still duking it out in last week’s Harper’s. )
Also, if there was any coverage of the conference, it would be easier to understand feminist activism in the context of the New School, where loopholes and vague language in school policy allow rapists to get away with crimes as long as their victims are blamed for them; where taking maternity leave might guarantee a faculty member’s loss in academia; where queer and transfolk have limited options for gender-neutral housing; and where the newspaper will continue to dismiss and misinterpret the intentions of activists everywhere, no matter how “liberal” they claim to be. I believe that these misrepresentations could be avoided if better communications were established between the two parties. This letter serves not just to vindicate our reputation, but to aim towards working together as a more progressive student body that allows for differing opinions, but remains critical of how these opinions are made and presented. I hope that this letter reaches you in the right spirit and that we can all initiate a new era of critical social commentary and action together.