Jessica Valenti's recent article from The Nation addresses the appropriation of feminism by the Right. Historically, conservatives have been anti-choice, anti-equal rights, anti-any policy that guarantees women an equal playing field. So why is the Right embracing feminism or the women's movement? The answer rests with the female candidate. Falsely described as feminists simply because of gender, not because of their political philosophies, these female candidates loosely use the term damaging the movement's historical and present day relevancy.
Here's a sample of Valenti's article:
Sarah Palin opposes abortion and comprehensive sex education. While mayor of Wasilla she made sexual assault victims pay for their own rape kits. She also calls herself a feminist. Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell has said that allowing women to attend military academies "cripples the readiness of our defense" and that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands—but her website touts her "commitment to the women's movement." Pundits who once mocked women's rights activists as ugly bra burners are abuzz over the "new conservative feminism," and the Tea Party is lauding itself as a women's movement.
Read the entire article here:
Valenti offers a solution to the misappropriation of feminism:
If the new wave of feminists—the leaders of small grassroots organizations across the country, the bloggers who are organizing hundreds of thousands of women online, the advocates for reproductive justice, racial equality and queer rights—aren't recognized as the real advocates for women, then the future of the movement will be lost.
So instead of wringing our hands every time a new female candidate with distinctly antiwoman policies pops up, let's use it as an opportunity to re-establish what feminism is about and to support the up-and-comers in our midst.
Read it, post it, pass it along. It's high time we start our own wave of feminism.
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