Poll: Most Americans Think Feminism Is ‘Too Extreme’

A YouGov survey finds most Americans are rejecting the label of “feminism” and say feminists are “too extreme.”

According to the poll of 1,000 respondents in web-based interviews, 53% of Americans – both men and women – reject the feminist label, while 26% say they are feminists. Among only women, 32% say they are feminists, while 45% reject the label. Of the men surveyed, 19% said they are feminists, while 61% say they are not.

The survey results come as Democrat candidate for president Hillary Clinton and the abortion industry – one of her major supporters – have continued to press the feminist narrative from the 1960s that women are the victims of men and that government is the protector and salvation of women. Clinton, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL – a political advocacy group for the abortion industry – have labeled those who wish to restrict abortion as “extremists,” while the results of the current YouGov survey would suggest most Americans view Clinton’s and her supporters views as “extreme.”

A thorough analysis of the Clinton-Planned Parenthood brand of “no men needed” feminism was recently provided at Salon by feminist icon Camille Paglia. She asserted Clinton has damaged herself by embracing a “blame-men-first” brand of feminism that “defines women as perpetual victims” who need protection and salvation from government.

Paglia says Clinton adopted a “second-wave” brand of feminism – propagated by Gloria Steinem, who stated, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” She contrasts Steinem’s message with that of her predecessor, National Organization for Women co-founder Betty Friedan, whom Paglia explains tried to draw men as well as mainstream wives and mothers into the women’s movement.

“Hillary has unfortunately adopted the Steinem brand of blame-men-first feminism, which defines women as perpetual victims requiring government protections,” she writes. “Hillary’s sometimes impatient or patronizing tone about men, which can perhaps be traced to key aspects of her personal history, may prove costly to her current campaign.”

According to the poll, among Americans under 30, only 30% say they are feminists, while 27% of those over age 65 say the same. The majority of Americans between the ages of 30 and 65 – 53% — reject the feminist label, however.

When political affiliation is a factor, 41% of Democrats say they are feminists, while 37% reject the label and 22% say they are undecided. Among Republicans, 71% reject the feminist label, while 12% accept it and 17% are undecided. For those who identify as “Independents,” 54% say they are not feminists while 23% say they accept the label, and another 23% say they are unsure.

Lower and middle income Americans are more likely to reject the feminist label. For those whose family income is under $50,000, 53% say they are not feminists, while 25% accept the label. Among those whose income is between $50,000 and $100,000, 57% reject the feminist label, while 22% accept it. For those whose income is $100,000 or more, 49% say they are not feminists, while 37% say they accept the label.

When asked why they are not feminists, 40% of all those surveyed said, “feminists are too extreme,” while 18% responded, “feminists are anti-men.” The percentage of those who reject the feminist label because they “believe men and women are not equal” was 11%, while 31% said they rejected feminism for none of the reasons given.

Among women who reject the feminist label, 47% said, “feminists are too extreme,” while 15% said they “do not believe men and women are equal.” Of the feminism-rejecting women, 31% said they rejected the label for none of the reasons given, while 7% said it was due to feminism being “anti-men.”


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