The Many Faces of Feminism? (There’s only one).

To be against something, one must have a clear idea of what that something is. Since feminists themselves are not clear on what constitutes feminism, how is an anti-feminist to position herself?

The following is a discussion about the confusion around a) what constitutes feminism, and b) types of feminism.

The confusion around what constitutes feminism arises because feminist historians don’t agree on what of women and their activities can be included in feminism. Some feminist historians cast a wide net when deciding what constitutes feminism, while others prefer a more exclusive policy. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Antis. Part 2

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Proverbs 14:1

Caroline Fairfield Corbin started the Illinois Association Opposed to the Extension of Woman Suffrage in 1897. Corbin originally supported woman suffrage but then later, realizing it was full of false ideals, rejected it and fought to stop it. She wrote a series of pamphlets and booklets that clearly lay out the anti-suffragist philosophy. Continue reading

The Antis. Part 1

A woman is nobody. A wife is everything. A pretty girl is equal to ten thousand men, and a mother is, next to God, all powerful.

Philadelphia Public Ledger and Daily Transcript, 1848

Quite as many false ideas prevail as to woman’s true position in the home as to her status elsewhere. Womanhood is the great fact in her life; wifehood and motherhood are but incidental relations.

History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 1, 1881

During the latter part of the woman suffrage campaign in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a vocal, sizeable counter-movement broke out, called “anti-suffragism.” Those who were against woman suffrage were nicknamed “antis.”

While within the suffragist camp there were both “radical” and “conservative” elements, the term “conservative” in the case of the woman suffrage movement is employed in a relative sense. The cause was radical. Antis, on the other hand, were conservative—they were interested in preserving society in the face of new ideas that threatened the stability, order and happiness of their lives. Continue reading