Monday, October 5, 2009

Feminism - good for families!

Cross post from former FMF intern Caroline Sellars's blog The Feminist Perspective.

Feminism Strenthens Families

The Values Voters Summit and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell have recently accused feminism of destroying the American family.

Since statements like these come from a hyperbolic stereotype of feminism, it's important to stop and appreciate the many ways that feminist principles have in fact strengthened American families.

Let’s break down what feminism actually advocates. Feminism is “the policy practice or advocacy of political, economic and social equality for women.” Each of these three equalities is crucial to the health and wellbeing of the American family.

1. Social Equality: Feminism advocates that women should have the same social choices as men, including the ability to seek personal fulfillment and economic improvement in the workplace. Some women are happier to work outside the home, and happier women in turn leads to healthier and happier children and families. I speak from experience on this one, as a child of two working parents.

It also gave women the chance to improve their families' economic well-being by providing extra income, and more family income means more opportunities all around.

2. Economic Equality: Once women have entered the workplace, it is important to make sure they are paid the same as their male counterparts. By advocating for pay equality, feminism ensures that women, and the families they spend their money on, are valued adequately.

Studies show that when you invest in women, they will in turn invest 90% of their future income in their families, as compared to 30-40% reinvestment for men. When women make more money, families (that means men, too!) have more resources.

3. Political Equality: Women vote differently than men. Among their top voting priorities are issues that directly affect their families, like the economy and health care. They also favor more cooperation in international strategy which would minimize the human casualties of aggressive and impulsive military tactics.

All these things make us a stronger, healthier, and well-protected nation. When women's voices are excluded from the political scene, countries suffer.

Feminism is about lifting women up, and when women benefit we all benefit. Empowered, healthy women lead to empowered, healthy families, and thus a stable nation. The real thing to fear is what families would be without the gains of feminism.

Photo: fifikins via Flickr

1 comment:

Earl Deliac said...

It's true, women vote differently than men: what is known as the "gender gap." It's also the case that unmarried women vote vote diffrently than married women: what is known as the "marriage gap." For more on women's voting, please visit Women's Voices. Women Vote at