Gloria Steinem may not be thrilled, but there may a new breed of feminist -- and she swears, belches, and in extreme situations may even defecate in the middle of the street. If there was one thing the success of this month's Bridesmaids box office success story showed us, it's that today's young feminist would rather unabashedly drink from her bra then burn it.
Now while our feminist foremothers might disapprove of such behavior, today's twenty (and thirty) something woman may have finally found her feminist rallying cry. While the ERA supporters may have fought hard to get better pay, into and onto the tops of the glass ceilings, today's woman can't seem to appreciate how much the previous generations really helped. And somewhere along the way, calling yourself a "feminist" became like using a dirty word. Almost no one wanted to be one. It meant you were unattractive and hated men and read pseudo-intellectual books. One of the problems of living in the present is that it is quite difficult to imagine the struggles of the past. So while a twentysomething may logically understand that she could lose her rights over her body, and while she can read statistics about only earning $0.77 for every $1.00 a man does, it's hard to galvanize the female troops behind these causes because from where she sits, things are looking pretty okay.
So what does today's woman want? Well, it seems she wants to be as bawdy and badly behaved as her comedic forefathers. She wants to hoot, holler, and be the purveyor of, not the subject of, bad deeds and behavior. Oh, but she'd like to still look cute doing it.
And the success of Bridesmaids proves that in this battle at least, whatever a funny guy can do, a funny girl can do just as well if not better. And the raunch com doesn't end here. In the fall, adorable funny girl Anna Faris will look for "the best ex of her life" in What's Your Number. If the movie is half as funny as the trailer, the new feminist will triumph again.
So I'm all for the raunch com, and women behaving badly if it helps women to feel empowered and strong and gets them out there. Even more importantly, as Sheryl Sandberg talked about when she addressed the graduating class at Barnard last week, if it furthers women supporting women. So whether we're bridesmaids, looking for a lost love, a perky Faris looking for the best ex of our lives, or just a young girl looking for meaning, maybe if women are suddenly now so comfortable using all these dirty words, we'll become comfortable calling ourselves, and becoming, feminists again.
Follow Jane Buckingham on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jane_buckingham