Do you call yourself a feminist?
This issue of who rightfully can be called a feminist is on the front burner because of the rise of women such as Sarah Palin and South Carolina Governor Nikke Haley, who are right-of-center, independent -minded leaders. Their political philosophy is about as far as you can get from the big government agenda of the so-called feminist organizations. Members of these organizations tend to go nuts if right-of-center women dare to identify themselves as feminists. The outrage!
Our friend Christina Hoff Sommers argued in her classic book, Who Stole Feminism?, that the feminist movement was sensible in its inception but was hijacked by the crazies. Now, Phyllis Schlafley, the grande dame of those who don’t call themselves feminists, the woman who almost single-handedly defeated the Equal Rights Amendment, even though the then-housewife came late to the amendment battle, coauthor of a new book entitled The Flipside of Feminism, is weighing in:
“Palin is not a feminist because she doesn’t adopt the victimology notion of the feminists,” Schlafly told The Daily Caller. “Jessica Valenti defined feminism in the Washington Post a few weeks ago as people who believe the patriarchy oppresses women and women can never succeed.”
Schlafly says that while the new breed of conservative women are strong and empowered they are the opposite of what it means to be a feminist.
We’ve often debated the issue of whether we call ourselves feminists at IWF. Some of us do, but I don’t, though recently I am tempted to-just to annoy the gals at NOW. But it is a serious and interesting question. Our own Carrie Lukas, quoted in the Daily Caller piece, deserves the last word:
“This word [feminist] is like a Rorschach test. I feel like if somebody wants to call themselves a feminist and they believe in women’s equality and think that women should have equal opportunities, then I think that is their right. If Sarah Palin wants to self-identify as a feminist then she should be able to do so,” Carrie Lukas, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, told TheDC. “I always hesitate to answer when somebody asks me if I am a feminist. You won’t get a yes or no answer from me, but you will get a long hemming and hawing from me about what the term means.”