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Letter to the Editor #1

Published: November 11, 2005
Section: Opinions


To the Editor:
I was disheartened to read Kevin Montgomerys article, The increasing irrelevancy of feminism, in last weeks edition of The Hoot. It was clear in reading the article that Montgomery knows little about the actions and goals of the feminist movement both at Brandeis and globally and that his attacks on the feminist community were baseless.

While all the information he cited from a May 2005 CBS poll was true, he omitted many key pieces of data and lost the general theme of the results in the process. While 17% of women are insulted by the term feminist, as Montgomery reported, 76% are not. When the term feminist was defined by the survey as someone who believes in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, 65% of women identified themselves as feminists, evidence of a stigma of the word feminism but not the ideology of the movement. 69% of women polled said that the womens movement has made their lives better. Only 48% of women believed this in 1999, showing a favorable trend for feminism. The results of this survey were overall very positive for the womens movement, though I would have never known with Montgomerys selective citations.

Montgomery attacked feminists on campus as being the PC Police. The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA), the feminist organization on-campus, has nothing to do with the use of the term first year at Brandeis and none of FMLAs members had a part in changing the name. FMLA focuses its energy on some of the very issues Montgomery cited as important to women, including fighting for equality in pay, protecting the right to choose, and defendingwomen against violence and objectification. FMLA raises money for breast cancer and advocates for access to emergency contreception. It brings speakers to campus and tries to foster a feminist dialogue at Brandeis. Simply, FMLA is a group of women and men who proudly call themselves feminists because they believe in equal rights for all people, regardless of gender. Montgomerys attack on feminism was ill-informed and unnecessary.

Emily Kadar '08