Can a Conservative Woman Be a Feminst?

Posted by Danelle

I recently saw the interview below with Katie Couric, Gloria Steinem, and Women’s Media Center president, Jehmu Greene. The question posed to the interviewees was: Can conservative women can be feminists?

Watch it here.
http://blog.enlightenedwomen.org/2010/10/11/can-a-conservative-woman-be-a-feminst.aspx


As I watch this interview, I spotted several comments, assumptions, and accusations that put conservative women in a bad light. Being a conservative woman, I have taken it upon myself to broadcast how one-sided the interview is point-by-point, and also demonstrate that Gloria Steinem’s view of conservative women needs to be updated. I will basically go line-by-line in the interview and address each point the three women make. As a disclaimer, the points that I bring up against Steinem, Couric, and Greene are not necessarily the opinion of NeW as an organization, but my own opinion.

1.)   Couric claims that Palin does not maintain “many traditional feminist points of view.”
Palin is a woman on the political scene who has balanced a career and family. According to the Betty Friedan – the first feminist to emerge in the 1960s with her book The Feminine Mystique – Palin has managed to break out of the feminine mystique and educate herself. She is the ultimate example of a modern conservative women – a woman who has the ability to do anything she puts her mind to, which includes raising a family and balancing a top political career. Couric improperly uses the term “traditional feminist.” I hope next time she is more careful.

2.)   Steinem says Palin called herself a feminist to get votes because she saw Hillary Clinton was getting votes.
Allow me to point out that Palin rallied conservative women and Hillary rallied liberal women – the third-wave feminists. In fact a CBS poll shows that women are more likely to hold their party loyalty. Thus, Palin probably called herself a feminist to rally women within her own party and change the image of modern conservative women, not to gain voters from the other party, which holds most third-wave feminists.
 
3.)   Steinem states that a woman cannot be a feminist if she wants to make abortion illegal.
Who is Gloria Steinem to restrict women from holding a certain opinion or title for herself? She did not coin the term “feminist” and has no right to narrow the definition to pass a political agenda. If she were trying to unite women – as she claims via The Women’s Liberation Movement, she would be more open to both sides, but her opinion only shows her agenda.

4.)   Steinem also asserts that 1/3 women NEED an abortion once in her life.
I could say a lot about this statement, but one thing I will say is that her word usage is outrageous. Women do not NEED abortions; it’s not a necessity in life, it is certainly not an innate human need, and it is definitely not a God-given right. Women do not NEED an easy way out of an “inconvenient situation.”

5.)   Greene says that feminists do not make their decisions “based on [their] reproductive organs,” they look at the issues.
Many of the “third-wave feminists” make the “choice” argument – that a woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her body and whatever life is inside her body because it is her property – which in actuality is centered around her reproductive organs. Pro-life women make the argument that abortion is murder because it is a life. Which side is really looking at the issues? I think it’s the pro-life side.

6.)   Greene states that Palin wants the government to “intervene in family planning” & “have the government…make medical decisions.”
 We all know government needs to exist for things such as security, protection of rights, etc. Again, this argument comes back to the fact that pro-lifers believe that abortion is murder, so the rights of the unborn child needs protected by the government. Since I am a strong conservative, I can assure readers that most conservatives do not want government in their lives; they want it out of their lives. The disagreement comes down to whether abortion is murder or not.

In conclusion, I think we can take a couple things from doing this point-by-point assessment: First, the word feminist can be and should be used by ALL women, and second, groups who restrict the word “feminist” are not helping the movement to unite women.

So this was for Ms. Steinem. I hope she has become enlightened. 

Tags: Gender Issues
Feminism and The Feminist Movement
Women

Categories: Feminism and The Feminist Movement

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3 Responses

  1. I have been so annoyed each and every time I read an article by a raging Liberal who says Conservative woman cannot be feminists. That is a ridiculous and stupid way of thinking. Two Conservative women whom I admire – Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann – both have 5 children each; Sarah was a mayor and a governor. Michele is a congresswoman. Both are outspoken women who are not afraid to say what they believe. They don’t take any crap from anyone, much less a man. They don’t believe in killing babies. They believe in life from conception to natural death. If THAT makes them not a feminist then it is not worth being one.

    I consider both Michele and Sarah feminists. And if Liberal women don’t like it, they can lump it!!!

    • I’m with you – a feminist has the right to think for herself- these liberal women – it appears- think for their women and expect every other women to believe what they believe or else risk being a victim of theirs. Very very sad!

      I would hate to think their description of the term feminist is the true meaning of the word. I am a feminist and I am pro-Life – I also voted for Hillary! Being a woman means I can think for myself!

      We can have children – or not- we can work outside the home – or not- be married – or not- be Gay or not be conservative – or not. Just who the hell are these women to sit and judge other women? Then they have the nerve to start a national women’s group and exclude other women? Gimme a break – they do not represent the majority of women but instead they appear to represent a minority of women – I guess that makes US – ‘the majority’ the real feminists!

      Somebody ought to enlighten them!

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  2. if we would fine men for producing unwanted pregnancies we would not have abortions.
    I find abortions a sad situation, but absolutely don’t want the government to regulate women’s bodies.
    besides that, the term feminist was coined before us. we have to give credit to the first wave and many of them were conservative. the left overs of the third wave have have become an appendix to the democrat party and have no strategy forward for pro women actions.

    recently checked the questionare from my local NOW for candidates to be endorsed by them. the 3 issues everyone questioned including school board members was : stand on abortion, stand on gay marriage and pay equality of staff. how does that measure school board members (they don’t have staff)? no mention of sexualization of girls, bullying depression suicide cyberbullying or content of teaching including women ‘s his/herstory. despiteh that I like Terry the current chair I think they are dinos with no relevance.

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