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ISSUE 116 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/14/2003

Feminists split by politics

By Julie Gunderson
News Editor

Friday, March 14, 2003

I was raised in an age when little girls reigned on the playgrounds. Ponytail pullers were punished with a fiery wrath and the infamous mantra of "girls rule, boys drool" became an incessant battle cry.

It was an age, when equality was measured by the mobilization of schoolgirls marching from the blacktops of hopscotch into the rugged wars of dodgeball. It was an age when girl power was defined, not by how many skips of the rope you could jump, but by how far you could throw a football.

More importantly, it was an age that gave me no boundaries and no limits. I could fly to the moon or take up residency in the Oval Office, whatever my heart desired. And really that’s all a girl could ask for.

Unfortunately the blissful fog of childhood ignorance melts away and before you know it, you are standing on the brink of reality, facing the demons that you never thought you would be forced to overcome. Far away from the sandboxes of your youth, you begin to question the social order into which you were born.

Why is it, you ask, that women get paid less than their male counterparts for doing the same job? How is it fair that females are not given an equal opportunity to compete on the athletic fields of our country? And why is that women are still struggling to climb the corporate ladder of America in their stiletto heels?

These are questions that deserve to be taken up by the playground sovereigns of my generation. But it is these issues that are overlooked by an era of feminists, more concerned on becoming a political entity than advancing the issues of equality.

If you are wondering where all the bra-burners of past generations have gone, you need look no further than the reasons why the women’s movement is in decay. Women have never abandoned the original feminist platform that called for the noble dream of equality. It abandoned them.

Feminists have become keen on obtaining a highly politicized agenda. After achieving significant milestones in the feminist movement, such as gender advancement in sports through Title IX and growing protection for women with stiffer penalties against rapists, feminists have derailed these causes. They have neglected to take any meaningful steps to aid in the progression of women in our society.

It is the divisive issue of abortion that feminists choose to rally around. They call women to unite in the liberal ideals of a practice that is at the epicenter of an emotionally charged debate. The tactic has pitted female against female. The ‘old girls’ club that once governed the schoolyard has now broken into an all out brawl. It is a ‘girl fight’ of epic proportions.

Instead of working with a common unity to improve the workplace and athletics fields of America, feminists are simply out to promote far-leftist policies that support fewer and fewer mainstream American views. The battle lines have been drawn.

This time the primary targets of feminists are no longer just men. Conservative women have become public enemy number one when voicing their concerns on issues such as right to life, equality in the workforce and education, equal pay, and child-care improvement.

Today’s feminists treat the female population as if we are a single-issue voting block. They insist we are incapable of comprehending subject matter that extends beyond our biology. Thirty years after Roe vs. Wade, feminists are still refusing to advance the discourse of this nation beyond the polarizing issue of abortion.

What’s missing in this dying dialogue of feminism is the voice of the majority of American women.

What’s needed is a return to the basics of a movement that began so promising but has been led astray. Perhaps, it’s time to return to those feminist breeding grounds of our youth— to return to the authoritative playgrounds that gave raise to a generation of independent thinkers and powerful women. They sure weren’t our mothers’ playgrounds, but then again this isn’t our mothers’ feminist movement.

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