“Conservative women have been trying to steal feminism for more than a decade,” says Jessica Valenti in the Nation magazine. You’ll never guess what group she puts in this category-yep, it’s IWF. (This is not Jessica’s first swipe at IWF.)
Ms. Valenti doesn’t really see feminism as being about the strength of women with independent points of view-she sees feminists as women who will march in lockstep with a definition of feminism that passes muster at The Nation. You could climb Mount Everest, write a book on philology, and be a ballerina-and you still couldn’t use the word feminist unless you passed Ms. Valenti’s muster.
She is having the vapors because right-of-center women call themselves feminists:
Feminists are understandably horrified-the movement we’ve fought so hard for is suddenly being appropriated by the very people who are trying to dismantle it. But this co-opting hasn’t happened in a vacuum; the mainstream feminist movement’s instability and stalled ideology have made stealing it that much easier. The failure of feminists to prop up the next generation of activists, and the focus on gender as the sole requisite for feminism, has led to a crisis of our own making.
If you’d like to read some warmed-over feminist theorizing that sounds like it was preserved in amber from debates in some 1960s commune (I particularly love the word “intersectionality!”), you’ll find this article meaningful.
If you are an independent woman, however, you’ll get a chuckle.
For the record, I’ve never called myself a feminist-the term was so completely appropriated by the hard left that it left me cold.
But now I am reconsidering.
Yes, I am a feminist!
Take that, Jessica!