Summary of This Isn’t Her Mother’s Feminism

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This Isn’t Her Mother’s Feminism summary
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J.D. Salinger wrote in The Catcher in the Rye that “the mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” Author and activist Courtney E. Martin applies this timeless wisdom to feminism, narrating her journey from wanting literally to sacrifice her life for her cause to accepting the paradoxes and imperfections of living for it. getAbstract suggests this smart, eloquent talk to those seeking to understand or advocate feminism, or any activism, in the 21st century.

About the Speaker

Courtney E. Martin is editor emeritus at Feministing, an open-platform website. She is the author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists and The New Better Off.



Raised by 1970s radicals turned middle-class parents, activist Courtney E. Martin grew up feeling the weight of their “unfinished legacy.” For Martin and her generational peers, the path to adulthood required navigating three paradoxes:

  1. “Rejecting the past, then promptly reclaiming it” – Martin’s upbringing was deeply feminist, yet she didn’t identify with her parents’ brand of feminism. As a college student, at a talk by Manifesta authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, feminism finally clicked for Martin via a glance at Baumgardner’s ...

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