Thursday, June 10, 2010

Is the New Feminism Real? A response to the firestorm over Sarah Palin

What is True Feminism?

A response to an article written after the firestorm of invective after Sarah Palin called herself a Feminist at the recent Susan B. Anthony breakfast.

 I wrote this after reading the opinion piece (URL below), slamming the "New Feminism". I include a response written to me by a doctor that day, and a letter to me in the June 10 edition of the San Jose paper.   Look for a further discussion of the new feminism in the CCWF True Feminism blog later today.


June 8, 2010, San Jose Mercury News:

In "Sarah Palin is no Feminist" Ms. Valenti confounds feminism with radical feminism. Early 20th C feminism centered on women's equality in the vote and property rights. 

 Second wave radical feminism of the 60's still prevalent today concerns workplace issues, sexual objectification and abortion. It attempts to separate a woman's identity from her body in order to create a gender-neutral society and "equal playing field". This self-centered view has reaped a generation of women who wonder what they did it all for. 

 Third wave feminism seeks to define woman authentically, welcoming her function as life-giver and primary nurturer as of primary importance to the well-being of society while recognizing that taking life is not "women's rights". It seeks to establish a homeostasis between family and work that uplifts the spirit, honors the complementarity of men and women and enables women to utilize all their talents to better society.

Michele Coldiron, Ex. Director, CA Catholic Women's Forum


June 8, later in the day:

"Thank you for your articulate letter defining third-wave feminism. Many of us have moved away from identifying ourselves with the "feminist movement" because it no longer represents what we believe. As a Christian wife, mother, and physician, I espouse all the values of third wave feminism! Thank you for helping our voices be heard!" M.D. in Bay Area.


From June 10 edition, San Jose Mercury News:

"Sound of a woman going backward

Michele Coldiron (Letters, June 8) seems to have a problem with the strides women have made since the 1960s. Feminism doesn't want to "separate a woman's identity from her body" but it does want a woman to be able to control what happens to her body. I don't know a single woman, or man for that matter, who "wonders what they did it all for," but I am thankful every day for the advantages I have that my mother and grandmother didn't. And if I decide to never have children, to not be a "life-giver," does that mean I am not an "authentic" woman? She can use all the pentasyllabic words she wants, but it still sounds like going backward in time to me."  Mountain View.




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