A New, Inclusive Feminism

By Mary Ann Glendon Los Angeles Times | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 8, 1995 | Go to article overview

A New, Inclusive Feminism


Mary Ann Glendon Los Angeles Times, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


What does it mean when nearly two-thirds of American women, young and old, tell pollsters they do not consider themselves feminists? Why do the same women welcome advances in education and employment, yet keep a distance from the movement that helped to win those gains?

There's no mystery. To many, the word feminism still connotes the peculiar phenomenon that took rise in the 1970s - distinguished by its sour attitude toward family life, its rigid party line on gay rights and abortion and its puzzling combination of sexual anger with sexual aggressiveness.

That strange brew was set aboil by the fateful coincidence of the birth-control pill with what demographers call the "marriage squeeze," the shortage of mates in the usual age range for women born in the early baby boom. Given the custom at that time for women to marry men a year or two older than themselves, the sharp postwar jump in birth rates meant that demography would be destiny for many unsuspecting girls who had been socialized for domesticity. (In the late 1960s, there were 1.7 million more women aged 20-24 than there were men in the 25-29 age group.) There was a domino effect as women in the Bella Abzug-Betty Friedan generation saw their husbands seduced by the unexpected change on the supply side of the sex and marriage market.

No wonder feminists of the '70s affected disdain for marriage and, to their everlasting credit, broke new ground in the economic and political spheres. No wonder they directed so much fury toward men, yet spent so much on cosmetics. No wonder they made common cause with advocates of alternative lifestyles. And no wonder that today most women have moved on, gratefully harvesting the gains while sloughing off the extremism, rage and promiscuity of an odd historical moment.

The many positive accomplishments of those years have been subsumed in a new, widely shared set of attitudes toward issues affecting women. Unlike its predecessor, the feminism now emerging is representative of the real-life needs and aspirations of a broad range of women. It wrestles with harmonizing family life and employment in a society where nearly five out of six women become mothers, where most mothers work outside the home and where divorce and poverty are ever-present risks. It has added up the costs to women and children of the sexual revolution. It sees women and men as partners rather than antagonists in the eternal quest for better ways to love and work.

The new feminism is a house with many rooms, inclusive rather than polarizing, open-minded rather than dogmatic, capacious enough to have attracted eloquent spokespeople as different as Pope John Paul II and Irish President Mary Robinson. Though far apart on issues such as abortion, the Catholic pontiff and the former international human rights lawyer are one in proclaiming women's rights to achieve their full potential in all spheres of life and in denouncing ideologies that pit women against children and men. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A New, Inclusive Feminism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.