Founded in 1924
Grant Gallicho, Matthew Boudway,
Mollie Wilson O’Reilly Feminism explained; achievements sung
Production Editor & Webmaster
Tiina Aleman What brand of feminism? on the definition of feminism I accept and
Copy Editor Kathleen Sprows Cummings has written use, which I touch on in my essay but do
a very entertaining essay on the tensions not state explicitly.
Christopher Cimorelli and compatibilities between feminism My definition of feminism is taken from
and Catholicism (“Do Women Have Stanford professor Estelle Freedman’s
Sandra J. Taylor Souls?” September 11). The only problem well-regarded No Turning Back: The Histo-
Development is that she neglected to tell us what she ry of Feminism and the Future of Women.
Christa A. Kerber means by “feminism.” When somebody Feminism has three components: First,
Poetry says, “I am a feminist,” and leaves it at feminists believe that men and women
that, what she (or he) means is anything are inherently of equal worth. Second,
Richard Alleva, Rand Richards Cooper but clear. feminists seek to accommodate innate
It is a word that needs specification, sexual difference (that is, biological dif-
Celia Wren since there are at least four species of ferences between men and women) but
Columnists feminism: egalitarian feminism, which to dismantle historically contingent, and
E. J. Dionne Jr., John Garvey, holds that all opportunities—occupa- thus inessential, differences of gender
Melinda Henneberger, Cathleen Kaveny,
Jo McGowan, William Pfaff tional, educational, athletic, etc.—that are (defined as the meaning that society at-
Marketing Coordinator open to boys/men should also be open to taches to biological differences). Third,
Colleen Gibson girls/women; sexual libertarian feminism, feminists recognize that oppression based
Advertising Manager which holds that women have a right to on gender is intertwined with other forms
sexual freedom and abortion; antimale of oppression, such as those based on
Commonweal, [ISSN 0010-3330] A Review of
feminism, which holds that men have race or class.
Public Affairs, Religion, Literature, and the Arts, always been—and still are—the enemy Everything contained or implied in
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of women, and that women should parts one and three of this definition is
Foundation, 475 Riverside Drive, Rm. 405, New therefore adopt an attitude of recipro- fully consonant with Catholic teachings
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cal enmity toward men; finally, there is about the dignity of every human being.
Toll-free: 888-495-6755. Fax: (212) 662-4183. quasi-religious feminism, which, rejecting Indeed, it was primarily because of those
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all traditional religions, draws from active teachings that I became so sympathetic
York, NY 11579 (516) 674-8603. postmaster: send membership in the feminist movement to feminism. Part two is a different story,
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many of the moral and psychological sat- though, and most of the myths, miscon-
isfactions that most people draw from a ceptions, and controversies about femi-
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undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Express traditional religion. nism derive from it. There is a tremendous