On Feminism, Family & Community

On Feminism, Family & Community

“I must write a piece on feminism, family and community,” Jean Bethke Elshtain declaims in her opening sentence. And, alas, since she has, so must I. If only she had published her rambling, pretentious essay somewhere else, like Commentary or, perhaps, The Pro-Family Reporter, I would have been spared this unpleasant task and could be spending the day doing something Elshtain and I are probably in substantial agreement about, like the laundry. But since she presents herself as a feminist and publishes in a journal of the left, she has a claim on my—and other feminists’—attention, and I’m not so sure that this isn’t what she’s looking for. A “feminist” who devotes much of her considerable journalistic energy to attacking feminism is bound to be an attention-getter, and while I appreciate the novelty of her stance, I am not so sure about the ethics of it.

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Duggan | University of California Press Gardels