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Kersten, a graduate of Notre Dame and Yale universities, began her career as a financial analyst for a Chicago bank. Subsequently, she worked as a budget planner for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After moving to the Twin Cities, she studied at and graduated from University of Minnesota Law School and began practicing law in Minnesota. After the second of her four children was born in 1985, she quit this job to become an opinion writer and commentator. She was a founding member of the think tank Center of the American Experiment and has written for publications such as Christianity Today and the Wall Street Journal.
Kersten has criticized the University of Minnesota and other institutes of higher learning for having what she perceives to be a liberal bias. She is a supporter of ROTC programs at the U of M. Before it closed in 2011, she was a strong critic of Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, which she argued is a religious Muslim school which should not have been funded with taxpayer dollars.
Kersten opposes gay marriage, which she has likened to a "perilous, slippery slope". She argues that "the primary purpose of marriage is to ensure the best environment for rearing the children born of male-female sexual acts" and that legalization of gay marriage may eventually lead to the legalization of polygamy as well. She also opposes affirmative action for racial minorities and compared President Clinton's handling of the issue to "the Phil Donohue school of policy making. It may make us feel good about ourselves, but it's unlikely to make much of a dent in the problems we face."
She has identified herself as a conservative feminist, arguing that women have suffered injustice and still do, that the solution rests on Western culture, and that the sexes must be equal although she also argues that perfection is humanly unattainable.
- "Star Tribune hires Katherine Kersten as Metro Columnist". Star Tribune Company. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- Kersten, Katherine (April 27, 2006). "University’s Praise For 1969 Violence Sets Ugly Precedent". Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.). p. 1.B.
- "While U of M campus sleeps, our military leaders are born". Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- "Teacher questions Muslim practices at charter school". Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- "Katherine Kersten: The perilous, slippery slope of gay marriage". Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- "Affirmative Action Not the Answer". Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- Kersten, Katherine, What Do Women Want?, in Policy Review, issue 56, Spring 1991.
- Dillard, Angela D., Adventures in Conservative Feminism, in Society, vol. 42, no. 3, Mar./Apr., 2005, as accessed Feb. 20, 2011, & Apr. 5–9, 2012, pp. 25–27 (seen via Academic Source Premier (EBSCOhost), as accessed Apr. 5, 2012) (DOI 10.1007/BF02802982) (author assoc. prof. history & politics, Gallatin Sch. of Individualized Study, NYU), citing Kersten, Katherine, What Do Women Want?: A Conservative Feminists Manifesto. (sic), in Policy Review (1991).
- "In a violent world, Ellison dreams of Peace Department". Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- "Wal-Mart means low-priced goods and good jobs". Retrieved November 27, 2009.