Age 30. Journalist and blogger: courtneyemartin.com
We love her because
There’s not an intergenerational debate she hasn’t weighed in on.
When Debra Dickerson characterized young women as pole-dancing nitwits in an essay on the Mother Jones website, Martin responded, "It’s clear you haven’t had the benefit of knowing a real, live, breathing, thinking young woman and you’re really missing out."
Why she’s glad her mom’s a feminist
And a "super out-and-proud" one, at that: "Because it’s something I grew up with and understood from an early age."
Why she’s not glad
"Because I had to, like every daughter, rebel. So I would give her the eye roll when she used the word patriarchy."
Her feminist epiphany
At Barnard College, where she found herself among the most "well-educated, lucky, empowered women ever. And they were also the most self-hating, anxiety prone and eating disordered. I needed to untangle that. I slowly started slipping books off my mom’s shelves."
The hosiery connection
"What’s embarrassing but true is that although I was doing all these feminist things, I didn’t really embrace the label until I encountered the work of Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards-two hot, fun young feminists in fishnets. To me it signaled that there is a new age of feminism. I can be a feminist, but I don’t have to be a feminist like my mom is. It may be a pretty aesthetic and shallow reason. But sometimes we get so damn serious about this stuff, and if we want girls to be feminists, we have to give them an aesthetic they can relate to."
Where feminism’s failed
"It’s always failed to be truly inclusive in terms of class, economics, race, sexual identity. I’d also love to see feminism rebranded for guys; it has the potential to really liberate men. We continue to fail at being truly inclusive. But we’re trying pretty damn hard, and I’m damn proud of that."
Martin’s latest book is Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists.