Overall, younger women are still more likely than older women to identify as feminists — just 34% of American women 36 and older call themselves feminists. And yet, in a two-year period that looks like a revived women’s movement, many poll respondents told Refinery29 in follow-up interviews that they see no real need for the movement anymore.
Views on feminism are also highly influenced by partisanship: 63% of Democrats polled consider themselves feminists compared to 29% of Republicans and 48% of Independents. But, across party lines, young women had similar reasons for why they choose not to call themselves feminists: they simply don’t see themselves reflected in the current movement.
Republican women said that modern feminism is too much in conflict with other deeply held conservative values: “I associate feminism with a ‘women’s health’ movement that strongly pushes for the right to abortion, birth control, etc. which are not issues I identify strongly with,” one 27-year-old Republican woman told Refinery29. “Also, sometimes feminist groups lead events like ‘slut walks’ that promote what I feel is inappropriate dress and behavior. I see the point — yes, how a woman dresses is not an excuse for abuse — but that doesn’t mean we should promote indecency.”
If one thing is clear, it’s that millennial women’s views on the feminist movement cannot be summed up with pink hats and trendy tees.