No one suggests men and women shouldn't have equal rights. So by the textbook definition, we should all be feminists.

Why then, do so many women — especially young women — refuse the label?

Feminism has gotten a reputation in the past few decades of being less about equal rights and more about crushing men in order to raise women up. A new report from the Heritage Foundation (a conservative think-tank and my former employer) suggests modern feminism (and some of second-wave feminism from the 1960s) no longer views the movement as being about erasing inequalities in opportunity, but about enforced parity.

"The dilemma for contemporary feminists is that although American women have gradually overcome the formal legal and informal cultural barriers that previously prevented them from participating in certain occupations and professions, this achievement has not led to statistical parity between the sexes in all areas of social, economic, and political life," wrote Christina Villegas.

We see this applied most notably to issues involving the workplace. Because women aren't 50 percent of CEOs or 50 percent of those in STEM jobs, there must be systemic discrimination, right? Well, not necessarily. Discrimination certainly exists in some places, but blaming that for every perceived inequality does no good and only alienates people.

"The conviction that behavioral characteristics typically associated with females and males result entirely from arbitrary social and cultural norms and that true equality will manifest itself in statistical parity has had a dramatic influence on contemporary feminists' understanding of rights and the role of government in protecting rights," Villegas wrote. "Once gender parity became the criterion for equality, group achievement rather than equal protection of individual rights and opportunity became the goal."

This is in contrast to first-wave feminists, Villegas wrote, who referred to the Constitution in their bid for equal rights. They also approached their movement from a limited-government stance.

But modern feminists request government assistance at every step of their quest to overturn perceived inequality. No longer are feminists devoted to equality — because men and women do have equal rights under the law (although Janet Bloomfield has pointed out five legal rights women have that men don't). The focus now is on parity, and the refusal to accept that men and women might just be different enough on aggregate that they have different priorities in life.

"A system focused on group achievement, in contrast, actually requires unequal, preferential treatment of some individuals over others based solely on their membership in a particular group or class," Villegas wrote.

That's right, this sort of thinking is what's driving the current feminist movement's claims of sexism while at the same time engaging in sexism against men.

There's a lot more in the Heritage report, and I urge you to read the whole thing.

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.