Class Year


Document Type


Date of Creation

Fall 2020

Department 1

Political Science


Feminism in the contemporary United States is a diverse field of thought with several strains of ideological leanings, including liberal, neoliberal, and the contested conservative feminism. Each is uniquely situated in the American context due to the heavy influence of American values and culture-specific definitions of justice, success, and progress. Entrenched in the Western conceptions of secularism and advancement, “modern” feminism in the United States prides itself as the example of peak progressivism, yet does so without critically engaging with its definition of modernity or secularism. In particular, the relationship between religion and feminism is complicated in the U.S., with intersections between the ideas of secularism, justice, and tradition resulting in conflicts between religious and secular understandings of feminism. This paper draws on the results from interviews with 6 college-age and 2 Gen-X subjects of different religions, and analyzes the state of the contemporary understanding of the relationship between feminism, religion, and the valuation of breadwinning versus caregiving in the U.S. The interviews point to a widespread liberal feminist outlook that prioritizes social justice and a choice-based approach to work-life balance, and highlights the divides between those who see feminism as naturally religious, those who are caught in the entanglement of patriarchy and religion, and those who see feminism as a secular endeavor.


Written for POL 382: Feminist Theory in American Politics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.