23 February 2010

new feminisms

I got my copy of Matrix 85 today, happily. I have a review in the magazine, which is nice, but the more noteworthy thing is that this is the "New Feminisms" issue, one more in a series of recent publications devoted to innovative Canadian writing by women. The magazine looks beautiful and if you're in Canada I think you should really buy a copy, because it's full of just great, challenging work. And if you can't pick up a copy, there's still the online supplement to be found on Matrix's above-linked website.

This focus on new women's writing is incredibly important - as Karis Shearer and Melanie Bell write in their introduction to the New Feminisms issue, contemporary mainstream culture is rife with post-feminism, leading to questions like: "Has feminism accomplished all that it set out to do? Is it irrelevant to a portion of the younger generation?" Of course, no, feminism can not be seen as a done deal - to cite an over-used but effective example, women earn more university degrees than men, but are paid on average only 77% of what men are. Among other things, innovative writing by women challenges this reality, pushes readers to question the status quo. Here's to hoping that the recent attention paid to innovative feminist writing is only the beginning of a renewed conversation, a chance to, as Shearer and Bell wrote, "throw open the door of this dialogue wide and see what would come through."

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