I do think that millions of other teens (who, like me, never even what Sassy was, let alone that they should ask for a subscription for it) suffered without access to feminism. But there’s also the unique and poignant and enduring suffering of the women who become fodder for its formation and sustenance: postfeminism made them villains, and in so doing, made itself stronger.
I talk about this like postfeminism is a living entity, or a side in a war, with generals captaining it. Ideologies are never that coherent, that distinguishable, even if they do have people who benefit and profit from them. But there is no “outside” of ideology: We are all participants in a given ideology’s formation. Those who push against it can inadvertantly codify and reinforce its tenets. Those who ignore it nonetheless internalize it messages. The most effective and insidious of ideologies are those that make themselves invisible: it’s not a stance, it’s not political, it’s just the way things are.