Feminism

An Open Letter to Anti-Feminists, on What Feminism Means

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Today, I saw a curious article making its rounds on many, MANY of my Facebook friends’ walls called “I Am A Mother Of Two Children And I Cannot (And Will Not) Support Feminism.” I tried to read it with an open mind, but it really bothered me that the article seemed to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic tenets of feminism. Since it was a Thought Catalog piece, I felt it was appropriate to respond with an open letter to Ms. Tara Kennedy-Kline. We actually have quite a few things in common, so I decided to address her work directly. I have included her original words in italics.

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On the Corner of Faith and Feminism: An Inclusive Alternative to Femen’s Goals

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Originally, this piece appeared as an essay for a Women’s and Gender Studies class. The content has been modified slightly to better fit an online format for a broader audience.

Janet Soskice opens Feminism and Theology with the observation that “it is no secret that some feminists regard the term ‘feminist theology’ as an oxymoron.” Soskice acknowledges in her introduction that Judaism and Christianity “are cast as prime villains in the Western history of the subordination and oppression of women. Their ideologies, their symbolism, and, above all, their established institutions stand accused of putting a stranglehold on women’s aspirations.”  Soskice notes Gloria Steinem’s telling response to the question of whether feminism had been a success – that forty years could not erase the 5000 of “racism, sexism, nationalism and monotheism!”

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