Tikkun Magazine

Why Progressives Should Follow Feminism’s Lead in 2012

Outraged by the escalating “war on women,” feminists nationwide are organizing new boycotts, petition drives, debates, and demonstrations. Here, feminists hold a general assembly at Occupy Wall Street in New York. Credit: Erik McGregor

Some progressives, disappointed in Obama’s performance, are expressing apathy about the 2012 election. Feminists, however, facing an escalating “war on women” and recognizing the enormous political stakes, have been organizing with renewed energy. The “gender gap” that emerged from 1970s feminism has made women’s votes such an important force that politicians who attack women’s rights in order to rouse their base are at peril of rousing the ire of an expanding female voting bloc. It’s time for progressives of every gender identity to join this bloc and follow our lead.

An overwhelming majority of female voters favor contraception and abortion—those most basic of women’s rights. Many are so outraged by current attempts to limit reproductive freedom that they are organizing new boycotts, petition drives, debates, and mass demonstrations on behalf of gender justice. Women know that winning this election is essential because one party supports abortion and one opposes it, and because the Supreme Court balance—holding the fate of Roe vs. Wade—will be determined this year for a generation.


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Alix Kates Shulman’s two latest books are Ménage (a novel) and A Marriage Agreement and Other Essays: Four Decades of Feminist Writing. Her website is alixkshulman.com.

Source Citation

Shulman, Alix Kates. 2012. Why Progressives Should Follow Feminism’s Lead in 2012. Tikkun 27(4): 50.

tags: Activism, Politics & Society, US Politics