Feminist Identity, Feminist Politics: U.S. Feminists’ Attitudes toward Social Policies
Feminist scholars and activists have endorsed a broad and intersectional political agenda that addresses multiple dimensions of inequality, such as gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and class. We examine whether or not this perspective is also held by self-identified feminists in the general public. Drawing on public opinion polls from 2007 to 2009, we assess self-identified feminists’ attitudes toward a range of social policies. We find that after controlling for sociodemographic factors and political ideology, feminist identity is associated with progressive attitudes on policies related to gender and sexuality (e.g., abortion) as well as policies related to other social justice issues (e.g., immigration, health care). We also find some interactions between feminist identity and gender, age, education, and political ideology, suggesting some heterogeneity in feminists’ political attitudes. Overall, these findings suggest that feminists in the general public support an intersectional social justice agenda rather than a narrow focus on gender issues.
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Kelly, M., & Gauchat, G. (2016). Feminist Identity, Feminist Politics: U.S. Feminists’ Attitudes toward Social Policies. Sociological Perspectives, 59(4), 855-872.