Who Cares About Feminism? Young Adults’ Attitudes Towards Feminist Theory
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Feminism appears to be in limbo. With aims of the first, second and third waves of the feminist movement having been achieved, young adults are unsure what feminism stands for or refrain from identifying with the label believing it has become a negative image. This study aims to understand if foundational feminist theories continue to account for beliefs of Canadian young adults in regards to gender equality. Employing an online survey, concepts of four feminist theories, liberal, radical, socialist and multiracial feminism, were operationalized to test the extent of agreement with each. Whether or not specific identities also influence agreement with feminist values was also tested. Results indicate that only gender and feminist identification have a significant impact on agreement with all four theories, with males holding lower agreement than females, and feminists holding higher agreement than non-feminists. Overall, there appears to be a convergence of agreement surrounding feminism, and a lack of belief in the need for radical change in society to improve gender equality.