Lisa Witter is the chief operating officer of Fenton Communications, the largest public interest communications firm in the country. She heads the firm's practice in women's issues and global affairs for clients including Women for Women International, MoveOn.org, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association and many others. She is a co-founder of the award-winning website SheSource.org, an online brain trust of women experts to help close the gender gap among commentators in the news media. She was honored as an outstanding activist and expert on women's issues by Oxygen.com for her work on a national campaign against privatizing Social Security during the 2000 presidential election. Lisa is a blogger and political commentator with her work appearing on MSNBC, Fox News, The Huffington Post, AlterNet and Anderson Cooper 360. In 2004, she was a contestant on the Showtime reality show American Candidate. Witter is co-author of The She Spot: Why Women Are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them.
She is on the advisory board for Indianapolis University's Women and Philanthropy Institute, Pop!Tech, Momsrising.org, Women for Women International and Climate Counts.
Topic: Feminism's Third Wave
Lisa Witter: Yeah, it’s very, very big and important, you know, the third wave of feminism is really about defining feminism for what it means for you. For some women that means having a job and being a full-time worker and having children. For some women that means opting out and leaving the workforce after a career to go home and be a full-time mother. For some women that means being in a lesbian relationship and for other women it means being in a straight relationship, you know, for some women that means shaving their armpits and for other women it means not, and I think that in the third wave of feminism we’re thinking more about letting people define their own identity, what feminism is and I think that’s really powerful. I think Hillary Clinton was a second wave feminist person and a lot of women in the second wave had to fight so hard to break those glass ceilings. I mean I teared up during her speech when she said those 18 million votes were 18 million chinks in the glass ceiling and that is really, really true. I think the third wave of feminists, we’re doing things differently but at the same time I think because a lot of us haven’t had the same hurdles in our careers that we don’t quite understand the amount of sexism that still does exist in the world and for me the next great frontier of feminism is tackling what it means to be a parent in a capitalist society. Because a lot of women don’t have that choice to stay home and I’d like to live in a society where mothers can be great mothers and spend time with their children and also have a career and make money and have economic independence. So I think there’s this evolution going on and the big question I have is I am so curious how technology is gonna play into transforming what it means to be a woman. You’re already seeing it with women are able to be at home and start their own businesses because they have to opt out of working at somewhere like, you know, in IBM because it’s not a traditional-- IBM happens to be very good for working mothers but a lot of places aren’t flexible for people who wanna stay home with their children and not just for women, for men too, you know, I’m married to this remarkable guy who is an equal parent to me and so I think this notion of parenthood is really the next frontier in figuring out the role of women in society.