Femi-Nazis and Bra Burning Crazies: A Qualitative Evaluation of Contemporary Beliefs about Feminism
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Despite data demonstrating a substantial gender gap in the United States, many women do not self-identify as feminist. An evaluation of the literature suggests four potential reasons for the lack of identification, 1) a negative connotation associated with the term “feminist,” 2) the dichotomous presentation of feminism (e.g., the lack of grey area between feminism and non-feminism), 3) a belief that feminism may no longer be necessary, and 4) a perceived lack of cultural relevance. Previous research on feminism has not adequately addressed the dynamic and contextual factors that can influence a woman’s decision of whether to self-identify. Therefore, the goal of this project was to use qualitative methodology to allow for the identification of potential personal barriers for women associating with the feminist movement. The data suggest that feminism is viewed as an obsolete entity with largely negative connotations associated with the term. The implications of these barriers and several suggestions for change in the movement are discussed.
KeywordsFeminism Gender roles Self-identification Qualitative data
We would like to acknowledge Stephanie Jacobs, Stephanie Mannon, Tiffany Marcantonio, Allison Smith, Danielle Smith, and Ashley Walsh for their assistance with data coding. We are also grateful to Jill Cermele, Ph.D. and Damon Mitchell, Ph.D. for their comments on previous drafts of this manuscript.
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