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Reclaiming Feminism

August 2, 2008 | NeW Staff

Check out the latest publication by Christina Hoff Summers from the American Spectator titled, “Feminism and Freedom” (http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.28410/publication.asp). She looks back to the origins of feminism and the motives driving the women then to fight for the right to vote. How times have changed, as feminism has completely transformed into a radical movement, one that goes well-beyond the intentions of the original feminists. She explains,


“Few contemporary feminist historians want the true story of women’s struggle for equality to be told. This is because it is classical, and not radical, feminism that offers a tried-and-true roadmap to equality and freedom.”


As conservative women in the academic world, we often find ourselves surrounded by this version of modern day feminism. It seems as though everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with women studies departments, the Vagina Monologues, and pro-choice rallies. Typically, we find it easy to sit back, ignore, and go about our merry way. But Summers turns this mentality on its head, challenging us to fight reverse the trend. Despite a seemingly powerful opposition, she provides us with a vision and a hope for the future. She writes,


“Young women [feminists] can be reasoned with, and many are fully capable of allying themselves with moderate and conservative women to work for common interests. It is time to reclaim true feminism, restore its lost history, and make the movement attractive again for American women and for women everywhere who have yet to taste the liberty Western women have won.”


Have we embraced this challenge as an opportunity? Do we fully recognize the dangers of feminism to the women of this country? It is when we reflect on the origins of feminism and how it has skewed today that we understand how great a need there is to work to bring about a new generation of young women: Women who can rejoice in their freedom as human beings, but who also embrace their distinct gifts and characteristics as women.

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