When I first moved to New York in 1992, I was amazed to find that many of the pioneering feminists I had read (or read about) in college were living in Manhattan and listed in the phone book. I called quite a few, and many of them graciously offered to have coffee or lunch with me, a passionate younger feminist, and share their stories and insight. I was a superfan, but I was also trying to figure out what feminism meant to me and my peers--and what we would be contributing to the movement.
Manifesto, the first book Amy Richards and I wrote, was an early reflection of third wave feminism. At the time of its publication (2000), it caused mixed emotions for many older women in the movement. One of its first, and most influential, second wave champions was the writer, activist, and teacher Ann Snitow--one of the many I'd met during my phase of calling up well-known feminists. Ann had founded the gender studies program at the New School as well as many organizations including No More Nice Girls and the Network of East-West Women. An intellectual who embraced complexity over doctrine, Snitow was uniquely well-liked among often contentious feminist factions. She conveyed a reassuring sense of plenty; she was generous with her apartment, for instance, treating it like a community center of sorts. Her easy smile and good humor, even as she stayed connected to injustice, made her a powerful role model for me.
Ann died this past August at the age of seventy-six. To honor her life and legacy, her friends have established the Ann Snitow Prize. It will award $10,000 annually to "a person of extraordinary vision, originality, generosity, and accomplishment who is currently engaged in work that combines feminist intellectual and/or artistic pursuits with social justice activism." Anyone can nominate (until March 1, 2020) and the first prize will be awarded in May of this year.
To nominate someone or to make a donation to this endeavor, please visit annsnitowprize.com (and questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org). Continue seeding the revolution.
New York, NY