Let’s not let anti-feminists control the definition of feminism

February 25, 2015

“Next time you hear that feminists are ugly or hate men — or any number of stereotypes about women who seek equality — remember that this is exactly what anti-feminists have wanted you to think for the last 200 years,” writes sociologist Lisa Wade on her Sociological Images blog. She points out that many people form their impressions of feminism NOT from actual feminists but from stereotypes propagated by those who oppose gender equality. To illustrate, she shows some of the cartoons, postcards, and posters that were used to persuade people to oppose voting rights for women a century ago.  You can see these cartoons caricaturing the suffragists in her blog post here.

Related:  On a more upbeat note, signs of changing attitudes show up in a brief video from Upworthy. Men on the street were randomly asked to define feminism, followed by a question on whether they considered themselves feminists.  The answers—once the men thought about it—are encouraging. Watch the video here.  It’s under two minutes in length.

 

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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