Naomi Wolf made a name for herself during a time when many women were wrinkling their noses at the word “feminist." Her 1991 book, The Beauty Myth, explored society's obsession with physical perfection, challenging our acceptance of the male gaze.
While Naomi was deemed a pioneer at the time, she's thrilled that diverse perspectives on feminism are becoming more mainstream today. "I am so excited about where we are right now because there has been this tremendous shift, generationally," explains Naomi on this week's episode of Uninterrupted. "I don't know a young woman who doesn't identify with feminism, whether she calls herself that or not."
For Naomi, one of the modern aspects of feminism that she's really excited about is the idea of body positivity—a concept that wasn't exactly in vogue when she was writing The Beauty Myth. "You can't know what someone feels about herself by how she looks, but many more women of all shapes and sizes are dressing in a way, holding themselves in a way, that, to me, says, 'This is who I am. I think I am awesome, I think I am super hot. F*ck you,'" Naomi says.
A consultant on Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign and Al Gore's 2000 presidential run, Naomi is also passionate about politics. She believes that it's not enough to just talk about the issues, but that we need to be engaged and take action. That’s why she says her newest project, BillCam, is such a necessary tool. BillCam puts real pieces of legislation in front of citizens, and allows them to like, share, and comment on it the exact same way you would an Instagram photo.
"I find it rather shocking that you really can't find out what bills are, let alone have a voice about them, without real insider knowledge," says Naomi. "But BillCam brings the conversation online, so it's no longer six white men in their sixties in a room, sharing the information among themselves, and all the money, and all the power, and making sure no one else gets in."
To learn more about BillCam, and hear several examples on the impact it's already had (like helping to end the tampon tax), listen to this entire episode on iTunes or Soundcloud now.
The Women Promoted on This Episode:
"I was informally mentored by a woman named Baroness Helena Kennedy, Queens Council." says Naomi. (Helena wasn't born into her title, she earned it through her work as a human rights lawyer, Naomi notes.) "She works really hard to protect the rights of prisoners, of incarcerated people, of people accused around the world without due process, and she is raising $13 million for Mansfield College in Oxford, where she is...one of the few women wardens of a college."
Follow These Women on Twitter:
Women’s Health: @womenshealthmag
Caitlin Abber: @everydaycaitlin
Naomi Wolf: @naomirwolf
Uninterrupted is produced by Caitlin Abber and recorded at CBS Studios.
Our theme music is “Bullshit” by Jen Miller.