Conservative Women’s Campus Group Creates Backlash Against Feminism
Members of the Women’s Guild, a conservative Georgetown University women’s group supported by the Independent Women’s Forum, have written a manifesto condemning modern feminism. A Washington Post article deems Georgetown University feminists’ response to this manifesto “unladylike.” Elizabeth Kastor, author of the Post article, reports that Women’s Guild members only “wanted to kindle a debate...hold a couple of public discussions and distribute to every female freshman a pamphlet attacking contemporary feminism.”
The pamphlet entitled, “The Guide: A Little Beige Book for Today’s Miss G,” “declares modern feminism irrelevant to contemporary women and claimed feminists continue to exaggerate the prevalence of rape and anorexia.” The pamphlet urges women to “Take Back the Date,” and to forget relying on intelligence and initiative to move ahead in the world. It instead encourages women to, “try a dash of grace, a flash of charm, a modest flirtation. Remember, the tigress who knows when to roar also knows when to purr.”
Dawn Scheirer, a 21-year-old Georgetown University junior and co-author of the Guide, attributes her boyfriend’s father’s stories “about feminazis” as the source for her current political beliefs concerning women’s struggles.
The Guide stems from a movement against modern feminism, reflected in Christina Hoff Sommers 1994 book, “Who Stole Feminism?.” “There may have been a time for the characterization of women as victims, but now the women’s movement has been stolen by chronically offended, hypersexed, statistically challenged women,” said Sommers at a recent Georgetown Women’s Guild forum.
Feminists on campus are attending the conservative Women’s Guild forums and continue to fight for women’s rights. Sharon Doetsch, a Georgetown grad student and member of the Lesbian Avengers, explains the current movement as a “backlash” against increasing university support for the campus Women’s Center.
Media Resources: Washington Post - January 12, 1998