Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Founding and Future Feminists

By Guest Blogger, NWPC Intern Lauren Harding

I am a feminist. After studying feminist literature, participating in the Vagina Monologues, and spending the summer as an intern with the National Women’s Political Caucus, the label does not faze me. The Feminist Majority Foundation reports that 56% of women and an even higher proportion of young women self-identify as feminists, according to a Newsweek/Gallup public opinion poll.  Therefore, I am not alone. Or am I? 

While these numbers are encouraging, the common consensus between most self-proclaimed feminists is that they often feel that they are in the minority. Why do many women still resist the label of feminist?  Perhaps the resistance stems from the stereotypes that cloud the perception of feminism - which I need not reinforce here. Perhaps the resistance to labeling oneself as a feminist lies simply in confusion about the meaning of the word itself. Curious, I called upon our feminist Founding Mothers and current feminists at the National office of the NWPC to answer: What does it mean to be a feminist?