How would the women’s movement change if freedom feminism were its guiding philosophy?
First, gender gaps in wages, political leadership, and the professions would not automatically be taken as proof of discrimination. Freedom feminists allow that there could be innocent explanations for disparities. Instead, its focus would be on genuine injustice.
Second, the women’s lobby would muster the courage to address a root cause of poverty in America: missing fathers. Freedom feminists may well join their more progressive sisters in supporting initiatives to assist poverty-stricken single mothers; but the primary focus would be on combatting male-averse educational and social policies that have helped create a dysfunctional culture of fatherlessness.
Third, the geographic focus would shift from the United States to the developing world. Throughout Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, there are modern-day Elizabeth Cady Stantons and Frances Willards fighting valiantly to improve the lives of women. They are asking for our help. History suggests that a coalition of conservative and progressive women could be powerful force for change. In welcoming women from across the ideological spectrum, freedom feminism would build that formidable coalition.