It’s definitely dead. When a movement reaches the point that it becomes fodder for fashion (ugliness so terrible that it has to be changed every few months). Then there’s no going back.
My favorite line: “reaching women who might not normally be receptive to any kind of socially progressive message.” As Fran Liebowitz said: “if I don’t want to talk to you, what makes you think I want to hear from your t-shirt?”
To be clear, it’s not that some fashion designers are using feminist slogans in their products, but the fact that this is regarded as some kind of significant event worth writing about that means feminism is dead.
The way forward for feminism is for feminists who take the idea seriously to back away from the intersectional third wave as if it were radioactive (which it kind of is) and get back to where they needed to be in the late 1980s before they went off the rails.
That means, stop obsessing about meaningless trivia like kimono appropriation or dead-naming and start addressing the incredible levels of misogyny found in non-western cultures. There’s a lot to take on and a good place is the rapidly traditionalizing gender essentialist habits of Muslims who are trying to normalize gender segregation and child marriage and female genital mutilation in Europe (and soon the US). Sub-Saharan Africa, all of Asia and Latin America also have a lot of practices that need to be changed or abolished.
One problem is that third wave feminists tend to be weepy, droopy and kind of pathetic and do not have the nerves or courage of the first and second wavers.
But that’s the way to make feminism relevant again.