We Still Read Beauvior

Christen Corcoran

Its early February 2018 and I find myself pushing papers in the south-west quadrant of DC. My boss calls for me to come into her office.

“Work in here for a bit,” she motions for me to sit on the other side of her desk piled high with papers and trinkets from her travels. “I want to talk to you about politics.”

I cleared off an eleven by eight-inch patch of a desk to work on, heaved a 4-inch binder onto the table, and began hole-punching documents to add to the file.  

“You know, I was listening to an interview on the radio this morning about the Women’s March,” she began. On January 20th, there were Women’s Marches in different locations around the country, including DC, escalating to the main event with the biggest social entrepreneurs of the march in Las Vegas on the 21st. The theme of this year’s march was “Power to the Polls” to prepare for the 2018 midterms.

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She continued, “they said it wasn’t effective this year. What do you think about that?”

“I can agree with certain aspects of that point of view,” I said.

“And why do you say that?” she asked.

“The rally was four hours long, and about half of the speakers were men! If you are going to have an empowerment march for women, the speakers should be women. They had Tim Kaine speak, I couldn’t believe it. He is not a pro-choice politician and he was met with the greatest applause of anyone! At the Women’s March!”

“I did not go,” she stated “There are too many voices trying to state their opinion and not enough coming together”

“Well, I think that’s almost a necessary feature of the fourth wave of feminism”. I said, “It’s no longer acceptable that you see the oppression of one group of people, like women, but not another type of oppression, based on race or sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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“I just think everyone’s voice would be so much more powerful if we were all trying to open the same door, not all trying to open different doors,” she reflected. “We need to be coming together not pointing out all of our differences.”

“Yeah, but that just won’t have the outcome of equality. If we come together as one voice, that only advocates for one identity: the white, straight, wealthy woman,” I pointed out.

“I am a feminist, but I can’t keep up with all the new theories. I was a part of the second wave of feminism in the 70s, we read Simone de Beauvoir,” she concluded.

“We still read Beauvoir” I smiled, then walked out to get more coffee.

(Published March 1, 2018 - View Full Newsletter Here)