Do you expect Harvard Law women to be card-carrying liberals? Then you haven’t met Cameron Casey ’03 or other members of the Alliance of Independent Feminists.
Casey, the student group’s president, says the alliance’s approximately 30 members range from women who characterize themselves as social conservatives, to libertarians, to moderates. “We are split ourselves on many issues, and I think that is to our benefit,” she said. “It makes for much more lively discussion.” They do share a belief that the word “feminist” should apply to “more than a very left-wing approach to the possibilities for women.” Many members, Casey says, want to look beyond reproductive rights and sexual harassment in the workplace to “higher priorities” such as education, health care, taxes, and foreign policy.
“We’re not here to attack anyone or stir up controversy for the sake of controversy,” she said, “but to get people talking.” Since the alliance was formed last spring, they’ve tried to “build bridges,” Casey said, cosponsoring events with other organizations, from the Women’s Law Association to the Federalist Society. Events included a debate between Diana Furchtgott-Roth, chief of staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and HLS Professor Christine Jolls ’93 on whether there is a glass ceiling for women.
Debate at the events–including questions from the audience–has been lively and the atmosphere sometimes tense, although civility has prevailed. “People are excited about hearing new things, whether they agree with them or not,” Casey said.