Much to the dismay of radical feminists, a recent poll shows that 72 percent of Americans reject the feminist label. Why would any woman with self-respect be a champion of “reproductive rights,” biological equality, and female victimhood? We care about many issues, and don’t want to be defined by our “lady parts.”
Unfortunately most young women are coaxed into thinking cradle-to-grave government dependency is elevating as we saw with “Life of Julia” in the 2012 election.
The fairer sex desires an alternative to the status quo. One answer lies in “freedom feminism.”
AEI fellow Christina Hoff Sommers wrote Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today to debunk the assertion that women behave collectively and are self-hating.
Her book notes, “Freedom feminism stands for the moral, social, and legal equality of the sexes—and the freedom of women to employ their equal status to pursue happiness in their own distinctive ways. Freedom feminism is not at war with femininity or masculinity, it does not seek to bring down capitalism, and it does not view men and women as warring tribes…Put simply, freedom feminism affirms for women what it affirms for everyone: dignity, fairness, and liberty.” (6-8)
“Freedom feminism” encourages women to pursue happiness in their own right–whether it be a full-time career, marriage, and/or childbearing. In contrast, radical feminism heavily frowns upon marriage, the right-to-life, biological differences, and free enterprise.
Hoff Sommers details two strains of feminism: egalitarian feminism and maternal feminism. Egalitarian feminism espouses the idea that “men and women are essentially identical” with “secular, universalist, progressive” undertones (11). Alternatively, maternal feminism stresses that “men and women are different but equal” and traditionalist, religious, and family-centered undertones (11). The latter, Hoff Sommers writes, is more popular and influential.
Radical feminism promises young women a life of liberation, but fails to deliver happiness.
Don’t shy away from pursuing happiness in your own right. Regardless of what radical feminists say, don’t be afraid to consider marriage and raising a family. Having a career is important and self-fulfilling, but exploring happiness beyond the office can be even more rewarding.