Cornell University

April 2 2011

A Distancing from Women's Movement

Many young women unwilling to identify as feminists, Kowren writes

Kim Kowren '11 discussed her senior honors thesis at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, being held this week at Ithaca College.

Kowren is among several hundred selected to present at the event. More than 3,500 students from across the country submitted proposals, according to Jane Berger, Kowren's adviser and a visiting assistant professor at ILR.

In a summary of her thesis, Kowren said that "second-wave feminists of the 1960s and 1970s inarguably improved the lives of later generations of women and made countless societal contributions -- some of the most significant of which related to the world of work."

"Yet, in spite of these accomplishments, young women today are still overwhelmingly unwilling to publicly claim the term 'feminism' and identify as 'feminists.'"

"This research seeks to provide a possible explanation for this state of affairs by juxtaposing conservatives' and third wave feminists' critiques of the second-wave women's movement," Kowren said.

Her thesis title is "Contemporary Denunciation of Second Wave Feminism: A Comparative Study of Conservative and Third Wave Critiques."