Rebranding Feminism

gender(By the) recognition of the entire equality of man and woman as complementary parts of humanity–of one humanity. The complete dependence of man and woman, and their entire inter-dependence. This would mean equal opportunities for education on all lines to both sexes; the free use and development of all their powers; the sharing of by men and women in the great labor, in the results of which they have an equal interest, of framing, interpreting and executing the laws of society; equal advantages and protection under these laws, and equal representation in the government. — Rev. Annis Ford Eastman (1852-1910) 

An article in the March 3, 2014 issue of The Nation, “The Empowerment Elite Claims Feminism,” by Jessica Valenti, discusses efforts to subvert the feminist movement from its traditional focus on workplace discrimination and unequal pay. Valenti sees two threats: gentrification and politicization.

Regarding politicization, Valenti writes:

We saw it happen when Sarah Palin called herself a feminist. During and after the 2008 election, Palin–along with other conservative and anti-choice women like those at the Independent Women’s Forum and the Susan B. Anthony List–tried to use feminist language to push for a regressive agenda for women. 

Regarding rebranding, Valenti quotes Flavia Dzodan (writer, media analyst and marketing consultant):

Feminism as a brand then becomes another product we consume rather than a movement we build and a framework for political analysis.

Feminism isn’t defined by the media success of Miley Cyrus or Beyoncé Knowles, nor by the success of prominent women in cracking the glass ceiling in business or politics, nor is it represented by efforts to profit by selling pink handguns as fashion accessories. It is about Choice and Abortion Rights, Equal Rights, and Equal Pay.

Equal Pay Day comes on April 8th this year. The days from Jan 1 to April 8 represent how much longer women work to earn what men made last year. Until Equal Pay day comes on January 1, Rev. Eastman’s dream remains unrealized–the struggle for equality must go on.

For those interested, I recommend Jessica Valenti’s article.

© William Hungerford – March 2014

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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8 Responses to Rebranding Feminism

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    Excellent. Thank you.


  2. BOB McGILL says:

    If at first you don’t succeed, cry discrimination ! Women who don’t think they are being fairly should ask themselves ” what am I doing wrong” instead of trying to place the blame on someone else. Women are treated special from the time they are born, some just think they should be treated special their whole life.


  3. Barbara Griffin says:

    Dear Bob…what planet do you live on?


  4. Deb Meeker says:

    Clearly the “blame the victim” plan is still alive and well in some circles.


  5. BOB MCGILL says:

    There are far too many successful women for your arguement to hold up !!! If millions can “make it” anyone can.


  6. Deb Meeker says:

    Please name one successful woman who would agree with you Bob.


  7. BOB McGILL says:…/15-whos-who-of-american-women-2010-2011

    Containing 30,444 biographies of notable American women and featuring personal and career histories, education, achievements and memberships
    take your pick 🙂


  8. Deb Meeker says:

    Bob, name one of the women in your citation that would agree, that they do not deserve equal rights with men?


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