Letter to the Editor: In response to “First world feminist problems”

Cuixiang Tan

The article, “First-World Feminist Problems” made the feminists in the DFC, Downer Feminist Council, meeting this Tuesday laugh out loud. Nevertheless, it invoked serious discussion as they believed Herranen is not alone in her confusion about and ignorance of various feminists and feminisms.

From the article, I figure Herranen is in a happy relationship with a decent boy, but she is anxious about the future of the relationship and finds no helpful advice from women older than her. While the eventual goal of feminists is to empower females and to inject equalities in gender relationships, it is not feminists’ main concern and responsibility to write “Compromising While Maintaining Individuality in a Relationship for Dummies.”

The DFC feminists aim to erect many false ideas about feminists and feminism on campus, but they also preoccupy themselves with issues such as sexual assault, contraceptives, and abortion.

The article’s desperation to find examples of happy feminists and older wise women struck me as very odd. Not that such examples are not abound, and not that examples and advice are not helpful and important, but I found in Herranen some timidity and cowardice to think for herself and to take responsibility for her own judgment and decision.

Although Herranen understands the stereotypic nature of equating a good feminist to a lonely lesbian, she is not dare to be critical about The Marriage Plot or other misleading fictions, as she found no counterexamples. It is hardly fair to blame the feministsfor her own lack of independent thinking or lack of confidence to be critical.

From Herranen’s frustration and feeling of helplessness, I can’t help but wonder, liberal arts colleges often claim to prepare an individual for life, but how come a liberal arts education is failing to prepare one for a relationship in the post-college era?

Last but not least, Miss Herranen and those who share similar confusion and frustration are more than welcome to attend the weekly meeting of DFC on Tuesday nights at eight in Diversity Center, where one could meet many happy, confident, and well-informed feminists, some in a healthy heterosexual relationship.

Cuixiang Tan


EDITOR’S NOTE: We, at The Lawrentian, always encourage letters to the editor, however we felt the need to comment on the above letter. Written by junior Cuixiang Tan, the letter is unnecessarily harsh and insulting. It also portrays the Downer Feminist Council in a disturbing light, and we welcome DFC input on this topic.

Specifically, the letter makes pointed insults and implies that a fellow Lawrentian is ignorant and lacks “independent thinking,” which we feel is unwarranted.

Feminist groups have long suffered from the stereotype of being aggressive and unwelcoming. Tan’s letter perpetuates this stereotype by portraying the DFC as judgmental and unapproachable.

The Lawrentian Editorial Board carefully considered the consequences of publishing this letter for the Lawrence community. We felt that such an aggressive viewpoint deserved careful analysis and open discussion.