Red State Feminist Commentary:

Principles and Policy Agenda of Red State Feminists, or Are You a Red State Feminist? Take This Quiz!

Red State Feminists are convinced that you can sincerely be both a feminist and a conservative. Many believe that feat impossible, but millions of women in the United States already live its precepts everyday. So how do you know if you are a Red State Feminist?

Below find an articulation of the principles and attendant policy agenda of Red State Feminists. In this list, you will note areas where we feel conservatives and feminists would find themselves in agreement, but we also note principles and policy stands that would divide a conservative feminist (or a feminist conservative) from both the stereotypical conservative policy agenda and also the stereotypical feminist policy agenda. Tally up how many of these points you agree with, and then check your score at the end to see if you are, in fact, a Red State Feminist!

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  1. Women should be accorded the same respect and valuation as men; daughters should be valued as much as sons. Comment: We don't think either conservatives or feminists would disagree.
  2. Women should not be subjected to emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, and the government should take action to prevent abuse and punish abusers. Such abuse includes practices considered traditional in some cultures, such as forced marriage, marriage of underage girls, polygamy, female genital mutilation, prostitution, human trafficking, and so forth. Comment: Ditto.
  3. Women should be paid the same as men for equal work, and the government should take action against employers who will not uphold this principle. Comment: Ditto.
  4. The standard of sexual behavior deemed appropriate for women should be the standard to which men should be held. Comment: Ditto.
  5. Women, even married women, have the right to say no to sex, without punishment or retribution. Comment: Ditto.
  6. The government should ensure equal access to health care, education, and training for both men and women. Comment: Ditto.
  7. Women and men should stand as equals before the law of the land. Comment: Ditto.
  8. Men are not more intelligent, more rational, more reasonable, or more virtuous than women. Comment: Ditto.
  9. It is not incompatible with feminism to be a Christian. Comment: Some schools of feminism would disagree.
  10. Abortion is a poor band-aid for what ails male-female relations in this nation; aside from cases in which the mother's life is at stake, the true issue underlying the abortion debate is the degree to which sex is truly consensual for women in our culture. Abortion is not the best answer to that problem, and a better answer should be urgently sought. Comment: Many feminists would disagree.
  11. The institution of heterosexual monogamous marriage must be upheld and privileged because of our devotion to feminism, and this is what we should teach our children. Comment: Many feminists would disagree.
  12. The single standard for sexual behavior in #4 should be abstinence before marriage, and perfect fidelity in marriage, and this is what we should teach our children (along with an age-appropriate understanding of human reproduction). Comment: Many feminists would disagree.
  13. It is not anti-feminist to have a large family. Comment: Some feminists would disagree.
  14. It is not necessarily anti-feminist for a woman to be a stay-at-home mother. Comment: Some feminists would disagree.
  15. Men are redeemable and perfectible, and as our brothers, we are concerned with their welfare both individually as as a group. Comment: Some feminists would disagree.
  16. Motherhood is one of the most profound female experiences, and if it is possible for motherhood to be voluntarily chosen within the bounds of marriage, a woman should seek it. Comment: Some feminists would disagree.
  17. Just as we would oppose prostitution and human trafficking as being anti-feminist, we also believe that practices that make women's eggs and wombs and embryos commodities to be bought and sold are also anti-feminist. In that light, we also oppose the exploitation of fetal stem cell research as being anti-feminist. Comment: Some feminists would disagree with one of more of these assertions.
  18. Women are as capable of being government leaders as men, and offer a unique perspective that should be proactively sought in government, perhaps by the institution of quotas for women in government. Comment: Some conservatives would disagree.
  19. Men and women were meant by God to be equal partners in marriage; a woman is not the subordinate of her husband, and they should share equally in the governance and finances of the home. Comment: Some conservatives would disagree.
  20. The Supreme Court ruled egregiously in the Lily Ledbetter case, mandating that a woman had to complain about wage discrimination within 120 days even if she did not know it was happening at the time. Comment: Some conservatives would disagree.
  21. New regulations that would ensure that the living standards of women and children after divorce were on the same level as that of men should be promulgated. Comment: Some conservatives would disagree.
  22. Men and women should more equally share housework duties, and there should be equally shared parenting where possible. Comment: Some conservative would disagree.
  23. Social Security should not penalize women for the years they spend in unpaid labor taking care of children, the ill, and the elderly of their families by denying them labor credit for those years. Comment: Some conservatives would disagree.
  24. The tax code should be reformed to permit credits or deductions for those, usually women, who are the primary caretakers of children, the ill, and the elderly. Any such benefit, if it resulted in a payment, should be paid in the name of the caretaker alone. Comment: Some conservatives would disagree.
  25. Part-time workers, overwhelmingly women who are also unpaid primary caretakers, should be entitled to wage and benefit parity with full-time workers. Comment: Some conservatives would disagree.
  26. Women should use their God-given talents in the public sphere, whether that be in paid labor, government service, volunteer work, social commentary, or church service: they must not bury their talents in the home, lest a female sensibility and perspective disappear from the public realm. Comments: Some conservatives would disagree.

As can be seen, Red State Feminism has the potential to ruffle the feathers of both stereotypical conservatives and stereotypical feminists. And yet this very Red State, very Feminist space, described above, is healthier than either sterotypical viewpoint, in our opinion. Red Sate Feminists are committed to the equal valuation of women; but they are also committed to God and family. Yes, we can have it all--if "all" is our heart's desire.

So, are you a Red State Feminist? If you generally agreed with

September 23, 2008 by RedStateGal