The Corner

Red-State Feminism

Kay Hymowitz’s essay in the City Journal is worth reading, as everything she writes is. (And be sure to read through to the end. There’s a sting in the tail.) I am left, though, with the same question I have whenever anyone presents Palin as a different kind of feminist, namely, what exactly is feminist about her? (Other than belonging to an organization with the word in its name.) Is it just being “pro-women”? Perhaps it is that she does not defer to men, has accomplishments outside the home, etc. But if believing that women can be terrific political leaders is all it takes to be a feminist, then how meaningful is the term? 

Another question: Over the years I have run into “conservative feminists,” “pro-life feminists,” “libertarian feminists,” “Christian feminists,” and many, many other varieties. In addition to not quite understanding what the “feminism” consists of, I don’t see the value of trying to stake a claim to the word. Most American women don’t consider themselves feminists, after all. This isn’t valuable real estate to occupy.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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