Kathleen Parker addresses the question of feminist bona fides in her column today. She notes that the recent successes of right-of-center women in electoral politics have not exactly gladdened the hearts of many who call themselves feminists: 

Seeing so many accomplished women reach the top of the political heap, not to mention their professions in some cases, should be cause for feminist celebration — except for that one thing. Thus, left-leaning feminists in the blogosphere have responded breathlessly, which I mention only to suggest passion rather than to imply debutante tendencies, though who can be sure?

Is she a “real” feminist who walks in lock step with traditional feminist orthodoxy? Or is she a faux feminist, i.e. a woman who has benefited from traditional feminism, become all that she could be, but, alas, thinks independently on certain sacred tenets of the sisterhood?

Parker deals primarily with whether pro-life (and “pro-life-ish” women, as Parker dubs them) can call themselves feminists. The Independent Women’s Forum does not take a position on the pro-life issue, but I am nevertheless sure that some of my IWF colleagues will be delighted that Parker, who’s known to be highly-critical of Sarah Palin, did give her some credit here.

A good place to talk about this will be at the Network of Enlightened Women’s fifth annual conference Friday-here  is the 411 on the event, which will feature a talk by Christina Hoff Sommer, whose groundbreaking book Who Stole Feminism is Exhibit A any discussion of this issue. Hoff Sommers “will discuss modern feminism and the role that conservative women have to play in putting it back on track.” On a practical level, there will be a training session for those who want to become involved starting NeW chapters or working for its goals. 

I have a soft spot for NeW for two reasons: Founder Karen Agness, whom I interviewed years ago for IWF, is an impressive and bright young woman. She is just the sort of person we want to represent us. And the second reason is that NeW grew out of a book club at the University of Virginia-Karen’s alma mater-and I think that its origins predicted that NeW would be a thoughtful, intellectually-based group. The event is being held at the Heritage Foundation, conveniently located is near Union Station. Free and open to the public.