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The Conservative Christian Family and the “Feminist Revolution”

The Conservative Christian Family and the “Feminist Revolution”

Chapter:
(p.136) Nine The Conservative Christian Family and the “Feminist Revolution”
Source:
The Truth about Conservative Christians
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226306759.003.0009

The battle cry of the politically involved Conservative Christians is “family values.” Traditional models of the proper roles of men and women in and out of family relationships have been recast by the women's movement. One supposition is that the “family values” cry of the Christian right is a call to resist those changes. This chapter asks to what extent traditional convictions about family life have survived the feminist revolution—or more accurately, the technological and demographic changes that are articulated in the theories of the women's movement. It shows Conservative Protestant men and women have given up the hard patriarchy of an older generation for a still-patriarchal family life that is softened by what Swidler (2002) aptly calls “talk of love.” Soft patriarchy drops “what I say goes” and adopts the organic solidarity of partnership. Spouses contribute in distinct ways but share goals and support each other in the struggle to see their joint project through to success and happiness.

Keywords:   family life, feminist revolution, women's movement, Conservative Christians, family values, gender roles, soft patriarchy, partnership

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