Today on hour two of MPR's Midmorning, starting at 10 Central:
Is feminism dead?
The suffrage movement became irrelevant after women won the right to vote. Now with career possibilites no longer limited by gender, some say the feminist movement too has essentially served its purpose.
Guest: Kay Hymowitz is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She wrote an article titled The End of Herstory for the Summer 2002 volume of City Journal.
Feminism, like the civil rights movement, achieved all its goals at some interminate point in the distant past and is only promoted/clung to by dinosaurs who have not yet realized their own liberation, or by demogogues who make baseless allegations of sexism/racism to promote their own interests.
Or so the neocon party line goes, I think. After their first sentence, I usually start singing "Hey Mister DJ, put a record on, 'til they stop talking 'bout this bullshit."
(Previous joke shameless ripped off from Margaret Cho.)
When you ask young women today if they think of themselves as feminists, more often than not they will pause for a moment. Then they will answer something like: Well, I believe in equal pay for equal work, or Yes, I do believe women should have choices, or Of course, I believe women should have equal rights.
If these are the principles that define feminism, then we are all feminists now. And the future belongs to feminism, too: a 2001 American Demographics survey of adolescent girls entitled The Granddaughters of Feminism found that 97 percent believe women should be paid equally, while 92 percent believe lifestyle choices should not be limited by sex.
[. . .] But how do we explain that pause that comes when you ask women if they consider themselves part of the movement? The truth is, very few Americans are capital F Feminists. Polls show that only about a quarter of women are willing to accept the label.
[. . .] Activists who try to make sense of these young feminists who are not Feminists conclude that the movement has an image problem. The reason so many people believe in feminist goals yet reject the label, they say, is that the media have given us a cartoon picture of liberationists as humorless, Birkenstock-wearing man-haters, our eras version of the old-fashioned spinster. Feminism is still an unfinished revolution, they say, and young women share its goals. They just dont like the packaging.
But this explanation falls far short. Feminism is not simply suffering from a P.R. problem. Its just over. As in finished.
No, think I managed to preserve her meaning. Darn. I am still but a learner, it appears.