Feminism’s New Marketing Strategy

July 15, 2013
Feminism's elephant in the room

There’s no room left for feminists!

Yesterday’s fascinating piece in the New York Times Styles section, Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Tooreveals much about hookup culture and the choices of young women today. I’ll address it in some detail shortly, but first it’s important to understand the context for the article. It’s the latest salvo in Feminism’s marketing strategy. That may sound a little nutty, a little conspiracy theory-ish, so let me explain. The Women’s Movement was one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history, but feminism has lost its luster among Americans. According to Google Trends, web searches for feminism declined 60% between 2004 and 2014 (est.).

A recent poll by HuffPo/YouGov found:

Who identifies as feminist?


Strong feminist: 6%

Feminist: 14%


Strong feminist: 5%

Feminist: 18%

Ages 18-29:

Strong feminist: 9%

Feminist: 14%

College grad:

Strong feminist: 5%

Feminist: 15%

No doubt feminism is unpopular in part because it is now primarily a platform for sex-positive feminism, which holds minimal appeal for most women. Feminist hands are being wrung. There have been recent attempts to change the message.

Don Draper


Here’s a graphic history of Feminism’s marketing strategy for it’s Sex-Positive Product, a basket in which they have many eggs (click graphic for larger image)


Strategy #4 may be a winner in one sense – it separates out the 20% or so of women likely to enjoy no-strings sex as they aggressively lean in  and fantasize stepping into the shoes now occupied by Sheryl Sandberg. To the extent those women decide later that they want marriage and family, they’ll face longer odds, perhaps, but my guess is that most of them won’t lean that way. 

These are the alpha females, and that’s who feminism serves best. 

In my next post, I’ll discuss the continued bifurcation of the female population, which is feminism’s real legacy.