More millennial women are "feminists," though overall enthusiasm for the term remains low

Are you a feminist? Female Virginia voters weigh in

Last Updated Aug 23, 2018 9:28 AM EDT

When "Face the Nation" asked a focus group of female Virginia voters if they identified as feminists, none raised their hands.

"I think there's no definition for feminists," Winchester, Virginia, voter Rayvn Manuel told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan. "What it feels like is negative. It feels like a negative thing to be."

The term 'feminist' has long elicited little enthusiasm among American women. Just 38 percent of women identified as feminists in a recent CBS News-Refinery29 survey. 24 percent of women said the same in a CBS News poll over a decade ago, in 2005.

But the term is more popular among millennials.

In the same CBS News-Refinery 29 survey, 46 percent of women, ages 18 to 35, consider themselves a feminist. And when asked what comes to mind when thinking of the word 'feminist,' a majority of millennial women cited political, economic and social equality of the sexes.

"I believe that all human beings are equal. Man, woman, black, white, you know? No matter what, everyone is equal. So if that makes me a feminist, by somebody's definition, then okay I'm a feminist," Maria Buchbauer, the only millennial to participate in the focus group, told Brennan.

"But I'm not going to call myself a feminist because it, again, is a polarizing word."


"Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan sat down with a focus group of five female Virginia voters for the show's August 19, 2018 broadcast.

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