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Do Thinking Women Really Want To Be Called Feminists?

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The Federalist has published two articles recently that question whether thoughtful women still want to be labeled as “feminists.” It is not a case of, “let’s toss out our high heels and head back into the kitchen where we belong.” Rather, it’s a case of how “feminism” got high-jacked.

Leslie Loftis says we should not throw out feminism. Instead, we women need to reclaim it. She says today’s feminists are allowing themselves to be used as pawns in political games, and that “feminist” has come to mean “victim” in the minds of far too many. Loftis then quotes Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who has spent much of her life speaking and writing about the treatment of women in Islam:

Let’s not throw away feminism. It’s like throwing away the Civil Rights movement and its history. It’s like throwing away the history of the Apartheid movement, or the anti-slavery movement. Feminism is not the monster. Some women are. We can reclaim it. We have to make it serious and you’re on the right path by standing up and giving them opposition.

I am a feminist. I am a grateful and vicious feminist. I’ll tell you what we need to fight against – the real war on women.

Heather Wilhelm also has problems with modern feminism, although she limits herself to seven of them in her piece, “Why I Left Feminism (Or, How Feminism Left Me).”

First, Wilhelm says, feminism has lied to women about sex. Modern feminism says casual sex is not only good, but empowering. Casual sex doesn’t have any consequences (and if it does, you can certainly take care of them, through the magic of modern science.) So go ahead: do whatever you’d like! (Never mind that casual or “hook-up” sex is devastating to both men and women.)

Why should a women learn to defend herself, a feminist may argue, when she should join in the campus march against muggers, would-be rapists and other marauders? Modern feminism says we women should be able to drink ourselves stupid and not have to worry about anything bad happening to us.

The goal is to encourage women to protect themselves, with reality being what it is. It almost leads one to wonder: Do feminists really care about women’s safety at all? Or do they care more about their dream world, where there’s an abortion clinic on every corner and a “Vagina Monologues” in every theater?

Either way, congrats, feminists: Thanks to you, thousands of college girls will spend this weekend drinking until they pass out or throw up all over the place. You go, ladies! You’re just as dumb as men!

Finally, what passes for feminism today does not allow for independent thinking: it’s their way or the highway.

Even though I’m a woman, I can think for myself. I can be pro-life if I want, and I am! I can vote Republican—and sometimes, gasp, Libertarian—because as of now, it’s still a free country!

Isn’t it great to think for yourself? In fact, it might be the most empowering thing in the world.

It’s small wonder that many young women today are passing up the label “feminist” and simply going about their business: learning, working, getting their degrees, starting families and doing all the things they know they can do and do well. Being a feminist isn’t nearly as important as being yourself.

Read, “Why I Left Feminism (Or, How Feminism Left Me)” at The Federalist.

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Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.

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