The New York Times today has an interesting article about the rise of moderate Democrat female legislators. Throughout the country, women legislators are gaining parity with men, and in Minnesota, Democratic security moms swept three traditionally Republican seats. Not surprisingly, Old Guard feminists are not certain how to feel about this.
"Some people in Minnesota say a trend away from the old liberal feminist base signifies a triumph--the mainstreaming of female politicians who can no longer be pigeonholed about their beliefs or interests. Others say the new mood of caution and conservatism in the capital is a loss in the fight against imbalances against women that still persist in American society. Minnesota was among the first in the nation to enact domestic violence protections, equal pay requirements and parental leave legislation beginning in the 1970s."
This is exactly why the old-school feminists are so totally irrelevant. Tying feminism to liberalism is philosophically inconsistent. Feminism is about choices and equality, not about strict adherence to liberal ideology. Whether choosing to work in the home, choosing to be an activist, or choosing to enter the political arena (whether as a Republican, Democrat, or any other bent), women should not be judged for these choices or expected to conform to a specific voting bloc. True equality will come when women are represented as equals in all circles of politics (and society)--perhaps especially in conservative circles. I may not agree with all of these voices, but I'm glad to have them there.