The Definition of Feminism – A Response to Kellyanne Conway

During yesterday’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Kellyanne Conway attempted to portray her opinion on feminism, and what she views as “classic” feminism.

For me, it’s difficult to call myself a feminist in the classic sense, because it seems to be very anti-male and it certainly is very pro-abortion”.

Instead, Kellyanne spoke of an “individual feminism” in which “you make your own choices”. She believes she is a product of her choices, not the “victim of my circumstances”, and that this is, in her mind what “conservative feminism, if you will, is all about”. Yet, a key principle of modern feminism – and indeed, feminism throughout history – has been providing women with the opportunity to make their own choices in their own lives.

The Oxford Dictionary defined ‘feminism’ as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”.

screenshot-2017-02-24-09-08-02
The definition of feminism according to Merriam Webster.

Feminism is not the idea of female superiority, and this perception appears to arise primarily through the female prefix of the word, ironic when compared to ‘male’ words such as ‘history’. Feminism is clearly not the idea of female superiority, but equality of the sexes.

Feminism is the belief that women, all women, are equal to their male equivalents. Feminism does not run on an ‘anti-male’ agenda, it works for all women, not just women in boardrooms or running for elections, but for transgender women, women within the LGBT community, women of minority races and minority religions; it works for ALL women.

There is an extreme difference between being ‘pro-choice’, fighting for the ability for women to have control over their own bodies, and being what Kellyanne calls ‘pro-abortion’. 21st Century feminism is unapologetically pro-choice, one of the many reasons why feminists everywhere are fighting to keep Planned Parenthood open in the USA, as well as fighting for reproductive rights for women where access to abortion is forbidden or limited to extreme cases.

Kellyanne Conway, when speaking about the millions of men and women who marched for women’s rights the day after Trump’s inauguration, claimed that “it turns out that a lot of women just have a problem with women in power”.

If anyone should have a right to utter those words, then it’s Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In my opinion, you would struggle to find a person, anywhere in the world, who took part in the marches on January 21st who has “a problem with women in power”. You would also struggle to find anyone within the majority of the popular vote who voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has “a problem with women in power“.

A quick visit to the website of ‘Emily’s List’ would disprove Kellyanne’s theory. As a response to the election of Trump, and by extension the movement that has grown since that faithful November night, when the woman who won the popular vote for President lost the Presidency, more women than ever have shown interest in running for elected office.

Emily’s List is aiming to provide women with the tools to run for and succeed in elected office. Their ‘Run to Win’ campaign, is “a national recruitment campaign aimed at recruiting and helping thousands of pro-choice Democratic women around the country run for office and win”.

Feminism is not an ‘alternative fact’, it fights for the equality of all women, and it is neither ‘pro-abortion’ or ‘anti-men’.

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