Kathryn Lopez

Feminism, however, is broader than the likes of Ms. magazine and other liberals would have you believe. Heck, I'd call President Bush himself a feminist if I didn't think it would give the Texan the creeps. Heck, I'll do it anyway: George W. Bush is a feminist.

Want to make Ephron and Jong more outraged? The late Pope John Paul II was a feminist; he wrote about the "genius" of the feminine. Actress Patricia Heaton calls herself a feminist and is adamantly against abortion. In one ad for the group Feminists for Life, Heaton appears with the tagline, "Every 38 seconds in America a woman lays her body down, feeling forced to choose abortion out of a lack of practical resources and emotional support. Abortion is a reflection that society has failed women. There is a better way." She's not obsessed with keeping abortion legal like the establishment feminists, but she's seeking to reclaim the word feminism. And Heaton and her approach weren't born yesterday. The suffragettes -- the women responsible for the 19th Amendment that gave women in the United States the right to vote -- were against abortion.

I'm sorry, Ms. Ephron, but "feminism" is not only what you say it is. You'd think that those who hold the "feminist" banners might want to be a little more inviting at a time when most women want nothing to do with their doctrinaire sorority. In a recent New York Times poll, 68 percent of respondents said they do not consider themselves feminists. The sisterhood should embrace Laura Bush merely for being willing to use a dirty word. And they should be willing to rise to the challenge that feminists who follow the maternal instinct to protect all innocent life pose.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.