The United States is by far not the worst place to be a woman in the modern era. We can do things like vote, marry and divorce who we want (even another woman in some states now – good job Minnesota!), and work any number of jobs. However, it’s not the best place to be a woman either. We still face constant mixed messaging about our bodies and our minds from companies like Dove. We still risk victim blaming when we are harassed, molested, and raped. And we are still not taken seriously in the realm of ‘real art’ by many critics.
But there is hope. As a young-ish woman in the United States I am inspired by publications like Rookie, a website and now yearbook created solely by teenage women. I am encouraged by the fact that one of my favorite neighborhood bookstores posted their 2012 bestseller list and 13 out of 20 of the books listed were written by women. And I am delighted by the fact that the neighborhood I work for is continuing to draw women entrepreneurs to set up shop.
I am sure that the rest of my 20s (and likely my entire life) will be filled with rants and critical conversations about being a modern woman, particularly in a world where many declare that feminism is unnecessary. We will form salon and book groups, make meals and drink wine together, and question everything. And then write about it. Or paint. Or sing. Because if being a modern woman means anything, it is expressing your own individual experience of woman-ness as generations of kick-ass feminists, from the suffragists to the riotgrrls, have done before us.