How Dare Sarah Palin and Other Anti-Woman Conservatives Call Themselves Feminists
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It is true that 19th-century feminism was disorganized and fractious compared to modern-day feminism, but that’s because early feminists hadn’t had nearly two centuries of experimentation to figure out the best ways to achieve the goals laid out at Seneca Falls. (It’s worth noting that modern anti-feminists claiming to be feminists still disagree with some of the Seneca Falls demands, especially in terms of ending male dominance at home and in church, as well as ending the sexual double standard.) The demands of modern feminists for reproductive rights and health care stem not from blind loyalty to some arbitrary liberal platform, but because we actually see how these policies will further our goal of equality for all women.
Douthat is right about one thing. The current crop of female conservative leaders does owe a great deal to the modern women’s movement. But anti-feminist women taking advantage of feminist gains without so much as a thank-you has been the pattern throughout history. Women who opposed the vote or equal pay happily took these things on for themselves after they failed to stop progress. The new crop of conservative women will happily gobble up the rights won for them by others, while insisting that no one else gets to join the party. Sorry, Ross, but that doesn’t make them feminists. It just makes them greedy.