I wrote June 4 about a battle that has emerged over the meaning of what it means to be a feminist.
This is due in large part to wife, mother of 5, and former AK Gov. Sarah Palin, who calls herself a feminist but rejects the modern liberal pro-abort understanding of the term for the originalist, suffragette, pro-life, “mama grizzly” definition.
The new issue of Newsweek features a cover story about “Saint Sarah” by religion editor Lisa Miller (who 3 weeks ago called the excommunication and reassignment of a Catholic nun for authorizing an abortion in a Catholic hospital “authoritarian meddling”).
Clearly the sticking point is abortion. Wrote Miller…
Traditional feminists see Palin’s feminism as a joke. “It’s such a contrivance,” says Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of North America. “There’s nothing there. I don’t think Sarah Palin is going to change the national scene on choice or on feminism. Her rallying cry is pretty empty if she’s against women’s rights.”
There’s also a cosmic ideological divide, noted by Harvard professor R. Marie Griffith, author of the book, God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission, in Miller’s piece: “You hate to say it, but mainstream feminism has had an antireligious bias for a really long time.”
In Miller’s piece the word “submission” and “submissive” both came up twice as part of the mix. In general I found her article offensive and misunderstanding the pro-life female conservative culture. (Cecile Richards retweeted the piece, which indicates liberal pro-aborts must have loved it.) Here was Miller’s definition of Palin’s brand of feminism:
“Within these circles, there is very much an ideal Christian woman model,” explains Griffith. “It’s an image that blends this kind of submissive, pretty, aw-shucks demeanor with a fiery power, a spiritual warfare.” Palin may say she’s a pugnacious jock primed to take on the big boys, but her family, beauty-queen figure, and glossy hair are her calling cards.
So there’s their definition of of the conservative definition of feminism.
But what is your definition? And under those terms, would you consider yourself a feminist?