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Righting Feminism Conservative Women and American Politics by Ronnee (Assistant Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University) Schreiber


Righting Feminism Conservative Women and American Politics by Ronnee (Assistant Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University) Schreiber

When we think of women's activism in America, figures such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan invariably come to mind-those liberal doyennes who have fought for years to chip away at patriarchy and achieve gender equality. But women's interests are not synonymous with organizations like NOW anymore. As Ronnee Schreiber shows, the conservative ascendancy that began in the Reagan era has been accompanied by the emergence of a broad-based conservative women's movement. And while firebrands like Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schlafly may be the public face of rightwing women's activism, a handful of large and established women's organizations have proven to be the most effective promoters of the conservative agenda. Righting Feminism shows that one of the key-albeit overlooked-developments in political activism since the 1980s has been the emergence of conservative women's organizations. It focuses on the most prominent of these groups, Concerned Women for America and the Independent Women's Forum, to reveal how they are using feminist rhetoric for conservative ends: outlawing abortion, restricting pornography, and bolstering the traditional family. But ironically, these organizations face a paradox: to combat the legacy of feminism-particularly its appeal to the majority of American women-they must use the rhetoric of women's empowerment. Indeed, Schreiber amply illustrates how conservative activists are often the beneficiaries of the very feminist politics they oppose. Yet just as importantly, she demolishes two widely believed truisms: that conservatism holds no appeal to women and that modern conservatism is hostile to the very notion of women's activism. Based on interviews with colorful conservative activists and extensive analyses of organizational documents, Righting Feminism offers a new way of understanding the unlikely intersection of women's activism and conservative politics in America today.


This compelling study proves definitively that women are major players in modern conservative movements. By examining how conservative women's organizations frame their positions toward such issues as abortion, pornography, and violence against women, Ronnee Schreiber shows that the politics of gender is transforming conservatism in complex and unexpected ways. A 'must read
for anyone interested in women and politics today

. * Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh * Serve(s) as a detailed analysis of two highly prominent conservative women's organizations... does much to illustrate several key players in the conservative women's movement. * Feminist Review * Schreiber's case-study method enables her to take a step back and ask big question. * Women's Review of Books * This book would be excellent reading for courses on feminism, women in politics, and social movements. * Contemporary Sociology * An important and timely analysis of the role of right-wing women's groups in contemporary America. * Political Science Quarterly *

About the Author

Ronnee Schreiber is Assistant Professor of Political Science at San Diego State University.

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Book Info

Publication date

19th June 2008


Ronnee (Assistant Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University) Schreiber

More books by Ronnee (Assistant Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University) Schreiber
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Oxford University Press Inc


192 pages


Politics & government
Feminism & feminist theory



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