- Women ought to be able to own property, instead of having a man (husband, father, brother, son) own and dispose of all property.
- Women can decently write books and be paid for it.
- Girls should go to school, not just to learn to sew but also to think and reason.
- Girls should be allowed some modest exercise to keep their bodies healthy.
- A grown woman is responsible for her own moral behavior.
How about comparing to a time less than 50 years ago, then. In 1963, the Kennedy administration published the findings of a moderate commission on the status of women, and in 1964 came the Civil Rights Act which covered sex as well as race discrimination. Do you agree that:
- It's unfair discrimination if a qualified woman is turned down for a job, and a less-qualified man hired instead, particularly in government and government-funded jobs.
- Women should be allowed to use contraceptives.
What turned "feminist" into a nasty epithet? Was it the introduction of issues around sexual promiscuity and pornography? Was it the opposition of domesticity to feminist belief, making a woman who enjoyed cooking, sewing or having a clean house feel like she couldn't be a legitimate feminist? Was it fictional portrayals of feminists?
I can't decide if it's a good thing that we don't have as deep a need to be feminists any more, or a bad thing that the word is still so tarred after 30 years. I'd be interested in hearing opinions on that and whether you, male or female, consider yourself a feminist.