Feminism = Liberalism?

September 23, 2014

Damon Linker at The Week asks, “Is ‘feminism’ just another word for ‘liberalism’?”  What do you think?

He (mostly) sounds like a liberal, for whatever it’s worth—e.g., he states without qualification, “Women continue to be paid less than men for the same work,” which we know either isn’t true or isn’t known—but even he is struck by the implicit tension between different “waves” of feminist doctrine.

Is this politically savvy anti-abortion woman an anti-feminist? Or a feminist role model?

If abortion is too much of a hot-button issue, how about paid family leave, which would guarantee a paycheck to people who take limited time off from work to care for newborns and others family members in need? Both Shulevitz and Traister strongly support it — as have I, for many years. But what are we to make of a libertarian woman who writes influential essays against paid family leave because she believes it will produce far more harm than good for working men and women by driving companies out of business and leading to a net loss in jobs?

Is this woman an enemy of feminism? Or an exemplar of feminism in action?

. . . [The New Republic editor Rebecca Traister] wants to elect a feminist woman president, which means that she wants to elect not any woman, but only a liberal woman.

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One Response to “Feminism = Liberalism?”

  1. Will S. Says:

    I’m disappointed to see that First Things publishes someone like him…

    Anyway, I don’t know that feminism and liberalism are the same thing, but there is certainly much overlap between the two, shall we say, and moreover, those who are both only like their own, rather than all women. And when someone like Damon Linker buys into that B.S. stat, same as how Sarah Palin bitches about a ‘conservative glass ceiling’, they are employing the language of both feminism and liberalism, even if they deny they are either, just because, say, they oppose abortion. They are femiservatives; neither proper trad cons nor liberal feminists, but an especially galling mixture of the two, which like oil and water, do not properly mix…


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