Washington Secrets

Grrls rule! Younger women are stronger feminists than Steinem's generation

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

After years on the back burner of history as Generation X abandoned the feminist label embraced by Baby Boomers with their Ms. Magazine and National Organization of Women, the women's movement is surging back among Millennials, according to new polling.

And it's not just a rebound for the sisterhood: A new YouGov poll finds that women aged 18-29 are hugging the feminist movement even more than Gloria Steinem's and Betty Friedan's generation. The poll found that 42 percent of today's youngest voting-age women call themselves feminists compared to 41 percent of Baby Boomer women age 45-64.

That's a big turnaround for the movement shrugged off by Generation X women aged 30-34, of which only 32 percent consider themselves feminists.

The popularity of feminism, however, is just beginning thanks to the support of younger Americans. The poll found that just 28 percent of men and women consider themselves to be feminists, 72 percent do not. Women are twice as likely to embrace the label as men, 38 percent to 18 percent.

And the label has problems. Those polled are twice as likely to consider being called a feminist an insult instead of a compliment, 23 percent to 12 percent.

The poll of 1,000 was conducted April 27-29.

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