From Suffragists to Pussy Hats: The Decline of the Feminist Movement

From Suffragists to Pussy Hats: The Decline of the Feminist Movement

Feminism.

It’s a word that can have positive or negative connotations, depending on who you ask.

Webster’s Dictionary has two definitions for feminism:

  1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
  2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

Although early feminism may have adhered to these definitions, feminism today has taken on an entirely different meaning – eliminating any differences between the sexes altogether.

Today, we hear stories about this in the news all the time. Recently, a self-described “feminist mom” enrolled her son in ballet classes because he told her, “Flowers are pretty and I’m a boy” after she tried to give him flowers. She claimed that his rejection came from “cultural conditioning.” In other words, society has taught him that boys cannot like feminine things such as flowers, so he needs to be reprogrammed to eliminate any traces of masculinity.

Stories like this are pretty common today. Fortunately, though, not everyone is on board with third wave feminism’s desire for gender neutrality.

Natasha Devon explains in her article “Modern feminism has got it wrong about men” how she has been accosted for not jumping on the men-are-misogynists bandwagon. Although Devon writes about her experience with modern feminism in England, her experiences are relatable to many conservative women in the U.S. who might actually – get this – like men. Devon asserts:

Today’s feminism teaches British women to see themselves as victims and victims cannot exist without a villain, in this instance – men.”

This pervasive attitude is a far cry from the days of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, when feminism meant equal rights for women, such as the right to vote. Now, as anyone who read Buzzfeed articles will attest, if you are a feminist, then any man who simply breathes in the wrong direction is evil incarnate. Actually, any man is evil incarnate for simply existing, because he must be inherently sexist, right?

How did we get here?

19th century and early 20th century feminism, often referred to as first wave feminism, focused on issues such as voting rights and abolitionism. Suffragists fought for women’s right to vote, and many also worked to end the abolition of slavery, believing that all men and women were equal in the eyes of God.

The second wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s brought about the women’s liberation movement, bra burning, Roe vs. Wade, and the National Organization for Women. The self-proclaimed feminists in this era focused on issues such as women’s sexuality and birth control. It was during this time that radical feminism came to represent mostly liberal women.

The third wave of feminism began in the 1990s and continues to today. Queer women and Muslim women who wear hijabs are protected classes (although ironically, Muslims have the worst track record in history on treatment of women and gay people). Anyone who disagrees with anything they say or do is a hateful bigot. End of discussion. Also, wearing a pussy hat shows how serious you are about how mean Donald Trump is.

Because of what third wave feminism has come to represent, it’s difficult for me to give a simplistic answer when someone asks me if I am a feminist. If they are asking if I believe that both men and women are equal in the eyes of God, then yes, of course I am a feminist. I don’t know anyone who would disagree with that idea. If they are asking if I believe that men and the “patriarchy” are the bane of every female’s existence and must be destroyed, then no, I am not a feminist.

It’s pretty clear that conservative women who actually like and respect men are not welcome in today’s feminist movement, although considering the fact that 42% of Donald Trump’s votes came from women, third wave feminism definitely does not speak for all women.

Conservative women care about tax reform. We care about illegal immigration and its effect on Americans. We care about foreign policy. We care about health care. We care about the preservation of the second amendment. All of these are “women’s issues” because they affect all people. We don’t vote based on our gender, but on our values and our desire for a safe and prosperous America.

Personally, it’s not necessary for me to be included in today’s feminist movement. I speak my mind about issues that are important to me, and it’s okay with me that not everyone agrees with me. I am a woman, but, more importantly, I am a human being, and I have a right to my own thoughts and opinions; I don’t have to conform to the Left’s ideas about what women should think and believe, including man-hating.

If anger is going to be the overarching force behind today’s feminist movement, then count me out. I just prefer being happy.

 

About author

Stephanie Cerce
Stephanie Cerce 2 posts

Stephanie loves God, family and enjoying life. She is passionate about conservative causes. Stephanie lives and works in Northern Virginia. You can contact Stephanie at stephanie.cerce@yahoo.com.

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