Feminism Definitions of Terms
A.k.a. 'Boss Weed' feminism, a nick name that Wendy McElroy, an
individualist-feminist, coined for it, the branch of
gender-feminism that devotes itself to promote equal representation of women. In a Dec. 11, 2001 FOXNews.com article, Wendy McElroy defines the qualities of affirmative-action-feminism by measuring it relative to
The ideal of equal representation for women in democratic governments around the globe sounds praiseworthy. But its implementation has little to do with "equality" or "democracy." Instead, it has become a policy of privilege and quota, driven by elite powers that disregard the wishes of "the people" in regions where it is applied. It is affirmative action applied to the political realm.
Cries for political quotas are becoming more common. In the West, quota-advocate feminists speak euphemistically of "including the voices of women in government." But the goal has shifted from giving women the vote on an equal footing with men to enforcing the presence of women in governmental bodies. According to their theory, the lack of female officials is the direct result of discrimination that must be rectified by government policy. ...
Feminism is the belief that women and men should be treated as equals, but the definition of "equality" can differ widely. To
individualist feminists, or ifeminists, equality means identical treatment under laws that protect person and property. It is an equality of
rights, not of results. If women cast a ballot as men do, then women's political will has been actualized even if no females are elected. ...
Because gender feminism defines equality in socio-economic terms, it seeks to reorganize society to redistribute political, economic and cultural power from men to women. This equality of
results, not rights, leads to legal privileges for women, such as mandatory placement on ballots. ....
'Women who do, & Women who dont Join the Womens Movement. A book review.
Modern radical feminism can hardly claim to be representative of all women. While Womens Liberation was a genuine mass movement back in the 70s when they fought for equal rights and the freedom to choose non-traditional roles, there has always been female opposition from both inside and outside feminist organisations to the more extreme stances taken by the radicals.
Amazon feminism is dedicated to the image of the female hero in fiction and in fact, as it is expressed in art and literature, in the physiques and feats of female athletes, and in sexual values and practices.
Amazon feminism is concerned about physical equality and is opposed to gender role stereotypes and discrimination against women based on assumptions that women are supposed to be, look or behave as if they are passive, weak and physically helpless.
Amazon feminism rejects the idea that certain characteristics or interests are inherently masculine (or feminine), and upholds and explores a vision of heroic womanhood. Thus Amazon feminism advocates e.g., female strength athletes, martial artists, soldiers, etc. [TG]
Anarcho feminism was never a huge movement, especially in the United States, and you won't find a whole lot written about it. I mention it mostly because of the influential work of Emma Goldman, who used anarchism to craft a radical feminism that was (alas!) far ahead of her time. Radical feminism expended a lot of energy dealing with a basis from which to critique society without falling into Marxist pleas for socialist revolution. It also expended a lot of energy trying to reach across racial and class lines. Goldman had succeeded in both. Radical feminist Alix Schulman realized this, but not in time to save her movement. She's put out a reader of Goldman's work and a biography, both of which I recommend highly. [JD]
'Boss Tweed' Feminism
A nick name that Wendy McElroy, an individualist-feminist, coined for affirmative-action feminism, the branch of gender-feminism that devotes itself to promote equal representation of women. As Wendy McElroy explains in a Dec. 11, 2001 FOXNews.com article,
To ensure that women become government officials in sufficient numbers, organizations such as the United Nations and the Feminist Majority, an American group, are basically trying to rig the election. They're not trying to control the voting just the nominations. In the 19th century, Boss Tweed possibly the most corrupt politician America has produced declared, "I don't care who does the electing just so long as I do the nominating."
Here is Wendy McElroy's announcement of the article in which she uses the term 'Boss Tweed' feminism:
The new ifeminists column, posted each Tuesday at FOXNews.com and on the ifeminists.com site, is
[whose title is] "Boss Tweed Feminism." It addresses the idea of affirmative action in political representation which is growing in popularity in the UN and in Europe. The article is available at
I hope it is appropriate for reprinting or reposting. Thanks. And I hope you are looking forward to the Holidays!
Visit my home page at <http://www.zetetics.com/mac>
and drop by <http://www.ifeminists.com>
A number of women have chosen to call themselves pro-life feminists or Christian feminists. They feel that the word is broad enough to include all women who believe in women's rights and women's equality. While the desire to express support for women is understandable, it seems to me that there is a substantial difference between being for women and being for feminism.
Dale O'Leary The Gender Agenda,
However, there are "pro-choice" or pro-abortion Christian feminists:
Andrea Yates Shows That Mothers Need Our Help
Run Date: 07/19/06
By Anne Eggebroten
Andrea Yates is on trial again for murdering her five children in 2001.
Anne Eggebroten says mother-murder is a common phenomenon with
predictable causes. One woman's escape offers guidance on prevention. (full
As that story unfolds, it soon becomes obvious that Anne Eggebroten is
not writing about matricide but about child murders perpetrated by mothers;
and let there be no mistake, according to Anne Eggebroten's article, in
every case of those child murders the husband of the murderess is to be
blamed. As per Anne Eggebroten, "These mother-murders abound: a U.S.
mother kills her child at the rate of once every three days, according to
legal scholar Michelle Oberman at Santa Clara University in California."
A footnote to her article states that "Anne Eggebroten is a research
scholar with the Center for the Study of Women at University of California,
Los Angeles. Her pro-choice book "Abortion--My Choice, God's Grace:
Christian Women Tell Their Stories" (New Paradigm, 1994) is available online
or in bookstores."
Aside from that, Andrea Yates is not on trial again for murdering
her five children but because she wants to get out of prison.
Sex roles and gender expectations are extremely diverse from one culture to another, to the point of being completely arbitrary. Heterosexual sex, present in all cultures for reproduction, is sometimes the norm, the only approved sexual activity, and at other times accepted only as a grudging necessity. Gender, another cross-cultural universal, varies from being tremendously significant to comparatively minor."
Cynthia Eller, in The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Will not Give Women a Future
Which is the view, essentially an American belief, that "gender" is a social construct and not biologically determined. Cynthia Eller also asserts, so Lawrence Osborn reports in his
review of her book, that some cultures have a "third gender," but no more than anyone else tells us in which cultures "gender" is held to be relatively insignificant.
As radical feminism died out as a movement, cultural feminism got rolling. In fact, many of the same people moved from the former to the latter. They carried the name "radical feminism" with them, and some cultural feminists use that name still. (Jaggar
[sic] and Rothenberg don't even list cultural feminism as a framework separate from radical feminism, but Echols spells out the distinctions in great detail.) The difference between the two is quite striking: whereas radical feminism was a movement to transform society, cultural feminism retreated to vanguardism, working instead to build a women's culture. Some of this effort has had some social benefit: rape crisis centers, for example; and of course many cultural feminists have been active in social issues (but as individuals, not as part of a movement). [JD]
Cultural feminists can sometimes come up with notions that sound disturbingly Victorian and non-progressive: that women are inherently (biologically) "kinder and gentler" than men and so on. (Therefore if all leaders were women, we wouldn't have wars.) I do think, though, that cultural feminism's attempts to heighten respect for what is traditionally considered women's work is an important parallel activity to recognizing that traditionally male activities aren't necessarily as important as we think. [CTM]
I have often associated this type of statement
(inherently kinder and gentler) with Separatist Feminists, who seem to me to feel that women are *inherently* kinder and gentler, so why associate with men? (This is just my experience from Separatists I know...I haven't read anything on the subject.) I know Cultural Feminists who would claim women are *trained* to be kinder and gentler, but I don't know any who have said they are *naturally* kinder. [SJ]
As various 1960s movements for social change fell apart or got co-opted, folks got pessimistic about the very possibility of social change. Many of then
[sic] turned their attention to building alternatives, so that if they couldn't change the dominant society, they could avoid it as much as possible. That, in a nutshell, is what the shift from radical feminism to cultural feminism was about. These alternative-building efforts were accompanied with reasons explaining (perhaps justifying) the abandonment of working for social change. Cultural feminism's justification was biological determinism. This justification was worked out in great detail, and was based on assertions in horribly-flawed books like Elizabeth Gould Davis's _The First Sex_ and Ashley Montagu's _The Natural Superiority of Women_. So notions that women are "inherently kinder and gentler" are one of the foundations of cultural feminism, and remain a major part of it. A similar concept held by some cultural feminists is that while various sex differences might not be biologically determined, they are still so thoroughly ingrained as to be intractable. There is no inherent connection between alternative-building and ideologies of biological determinism (or of social intractability). SJ has apparently encountered alternative-builders who don't embrace biological determinism, and I consider this a very good sign. [JD]
I should point out here that Ashley Montagu is male, and his book was first copyright in 1952, so I don't believe that it originated as part of the separatist movements in the '60's. It may still be horribly flawed; I haven't yet read it. [CTM]
My Note: A serious conflict exists between the preceding definition and that of
radical feminism that is shown at the same source. WHS
Difference feminism alleges that society is designed and structured by men
for men and that women became subservient in the process. They want to construct a society for womenleaving room for menand believe that because of the better nurturing qualities that women possess, many of the problems inherent in society can be alleviated once women are in power.
In her essay Feminism, Law, and Bioethics, which also contains comments about Liberal Feminism, Cultural Feminism and Postmodern Feminism, Karen H. Rothenberg argues that,
|Radical or dominance feminism, like cultural feminism, arose in large part as a response to the perceived inadequacies in liberal feminist theory. Catherine MacKinnon, the major proponent of dominance theory, argues with cultural feminists that men and women are different; however, unlike cultural feminists, she argues that these differences largely reflect the fact that in society women are subordinate and men are dominant (MacKinnon 1987; see also Littleton 1989). According to dominance theorists, it is this inequality in power to which the law must respond. Moreover, since the primary source of women's oppression is private power, particularly the threat of sexual violence, the solution is not--as the liberal feminists often claim--less state intervention, but more. Radical feminists argue, for example, that the legal system should abandon its traditional "hands-off" attitude toward violence in the family and move more aggressively to protect women from the abusive power of men in the private sphere. These arguments have produced concrete changes in some state laws that have made it easier for the [End Page 73] police to intervene in domestic violence disputes and for criminal law to recognize that rape is a violent act that can occur within the marital relationship. |
My Note: It may not seem entirely fair to leave the pink background for the preceding statement, but I don't have lighter shades of pink. The statement identifies what dominance feminists are about, and that the wishes of radical or dominance feminists resulted in very concrete changes to the extent of police intervention in domestic violence alleged falsely or not. The statement pays little attention to the reality that all of those changes meant recognition only of male and not female violence. It appears therefore that Karen H. Rothenberg sees nothing wrong with the growing anti-male discrimination caused by increasingly feminist jurisprudence. Whether she is a feminist or not, she sees things through the gender lens, therefore the background must remain pink. WHS
This branch of feminism is much more spiritual than political or theoretical in nature. It may or may not be wrapped up with Goddess worship and vegetarianism. Its basic tenet is that a patriarchical society will exploit its resources without regard to long term consequences as a direct result of the attitudes fostered in a patriarchical/hierarchical society. Parallels are often drawn between society's treatment of the environment, animals, or resources and its treatment of women. In resisting patriarchical culture, eco-feminists feel that they are also resisting plundering and destroying the Earth. And vice-versa. [CTM]
This is actually socially-conscious environmentalism with a tiny smattering of the radical and cultural feminist observation that exploitation of women and exploitation of the earth have some astonishing parallels. The rest of "eco-feminism" turns out to be a variation on socialism. The Green movements of Europe have done a good job of formulating (if not implementing) an environmentally aware feminism; and while Green movements were not originally considered a part of eco-feminism, they are now recognized as a vital component. [JD]
(If I remember correctly, a couple of feminist groups, including NOW have joined up with Green parties. [CTM])
The influence of eco feminism grew enormously since those days.
According to eco-feminists, men are the enemy of nature and of the
female half of all of mankind.
According to reasonable people, the eco-feminists are nuts.
Still, eco-feminists have influence in the war against men, fathers,
families and the Occident.
I often call Wikipedia politically correct, as apparently the vocal
majority decides the nature of the definition of a term, as if that
would matter in the debate of a scientific issue. No matter how
many participants in a debate claim to be right when in reality they
are wrong, they are wrong. Scientific truth is absolute or as
near to the absolute truth as is possible, it is not a matter of a vote or consensus.
A refinement of the scientific truth is based on mathematical proof.
It narrows and tightens the level of confidence and the extreme
limits of the range of the range of confidence into which acceptable
values may fall, with the values that fall outside of that range
being untrue or the more unlikely true the farther they deviate from
the absolute truth. It is not a matter of opinion or a
majority vote. The mathematical proof for a new or tightened
scientific truth makes all previously held truths that do not fall
into the acceptable range on a given subject invalid, no matter how
many contrary opinions they are comprised of.
Copernicus and Galileo would not have been able to make an
impression through Wikipedia, as their ideas would continuously have
been edited out. Fortunately, at Wikipedia that works to normal
people's advantage in the case of the views of politically-correct,
extremist minorities. Wikipedia shows the nature of extremist beliefs
and brings it to the attention of far greater numbers of people than
illustrating such beliefs by largely isolated and censored activists
in most other media would. In the end, the truth will always
win over unsubstantiated opinions. Wikipedia gives normal mortals an edge,
amongst many other subjects, in the case of
Eco-feminists argue that a relationship exists between the
and the degradation of
nature, and explore the
sexism, the domination of nature,
speciesism, and other characteristics of
social inequality. Some current work emphasizes that the
capitalist and patriarchal system is based on triple domination
Global South (people who live in the
Third World), women, and nature. (Quoted
It is clear that the preceding definition of eco-feminism
contains not an ounce of the truth and is entirely a matter of
Christina Hoff Sommers, the "First Wave" feminism that asked for "fair treatment, without discrimination."
The Backlash! Dictionary
[European] This seemed to start (as a movement) in Germany under the rule of Otto von Bismarck. He ruled the land with the motto "blood and iron". In society the man was the _ultra manly man_ and power was patriarchal power. Some women rebelled against this, by becoming WOMAN. Eroticism became a philosophical and metaphysical value and the life-creating value. [RG]
My Note: It's interesting that this definition mentions the "blood and iron" policy of Germany under the Kaiser but doesn't say anything about its implications. The "blood" of that policy was that of the men who had to leave their lives and health on the battlefields of the world, whereas the "iron" represented the arms industry created for no other purpose than to smash the bodies of men to a pulp.
Under the policy of "blood and iron" women were viewed as little more than breeders of human resources, primarily of soldiers to fight battles with, secondarily of manpower to fuel the growing manpower requirements of industrial and colonialization efforts. Due to the important role women played in that policy they were awarded special status with rankings according to prolificacy. Women revelled in that status and played happily along. Women happily did their duty to the state, raised their sons to be manly, much admired men for achieving military rank and bearing, sent them off to war and revelled once more in the veneration they received by making "their" large sacrifices, while the men died on the battlefields with the names of their mothers on their lips.
The important role that women played in Germany's plans for expansion was properly recognized by Heinrich Himmler after World War I and promoted by him to become an integral part of the Nazification of Germany and the deliberate creation of the aristocratic elite of the SS that was intended to eventually rule a Europe enslaved and dominated by the Nazis. A total of 240,000 German women willingly submitted themselves to the process of genetic and political screening necessary to enable them to become formally and ceremoniously married to members of the SS as part of the Nazi breeding program for the SS elite. (See Women in the SS) WHS
According to Selwyn Duke, in an article titled
When Science and Feminism Become Bedfellows, "femaleism" is the result of the feminists' reaction to the research done and published in the 1990s,
...research demonstrating conclusively that the sexes were different in everything but their souls, from the womb to the tomb. The feminists had been wrong - unarguably, unassailably, undeniably. Not that a collective admission of this and commensurate contrition would be forthcoming. Oh, the latter especially was most certainly in order, given the fact that child-rearing prescriptions based on their misconception had greatly contributed to the destruction of American parenting. But the feminist response would be quite different.
Seemingly without missing a beat, the feminists changed their tack. Yes, most assuredly these differences exist and surprised not are we. For, you see, they prove that women are superior! I am woman, hear me crow. In fact, it spawned a whole new, albeit obscure, branch of feminism: "Femaleism."
A term identifying the communist roots
(see Matriarchy in USSR
— off-site) of the ideology of radical feminism. It reflects that virtually all lecturers in women studies programs either call themselves
Marxist feminists or at least teach a
feminized variation of communism. A better and
a more definitive term, redfem, was coined by Dr. Charles E. Corry in the Feb. 2, 2004 issue of the newsletter by the Equal Justice Foundation. WHS
This term was "invented" by the radio/tv host Rush Limbaugh. He defines a feminazi as a feminist who is trying to produce as many abortions as possible. Hence the term "nazi" - he sees them as trying to rid the world of a particular group of people (fetuses).
This term is of course completely without merit, but there's the definition of it FYI. [CTM]
My Note: Nobody should blame Rush Limbaugh for justifying the term
feminazi on account of the feminist war on a group of people,
unborn children, although that alone was surely not his only reason for coining the name.
However, that "the term is of course completely without merit" is an unsubstantiated claim. Each year 1.5 million unborn children are being killed in the USA and more than 100,000 in Canada. The real horror is the world total that some people put at 55 million each year. Yet, the world is facing a looming
population shortage. The
developed nations are already in the grip of one.
Nevertheless, a more appropriate term to describe the
radical factions of feminism would be
femicommies or, better yet
redfems. That is because of the communist roots
(see Matriarchy in USSR
— off-site) and scope of their ideology and the fact that virtually all lecturers in women studies programs call themselves
Marxist feminists. WHS
Feminism and Women of Color:
In _feminist theory from margin to center_ (1984), bell hooks writes of "militant white women" who call themselves "radical feminists" but hooks labels them "reactionary" . . . Hooks is refering to cultural feminism here. Her comment is a good introduction to that fractious variety of feminism that Jaggar and Rothenberg find hard to label any further than to designate its source as women of color. It is a most vital variety, covering much of the same ground as radical feminism and duplicating its dynamic nature. Yet bad timing kept the two from ever uniting. For more information you might want to also read hooks' book and her earlier reader, _ain't i a woman?_ Whereas radical feminism was primarily formulated by educated white women focusing on women's issues, this variety was formulated by women who would not (because they could not) limit their focus. What is so extraordinary is that the two converged in so many ways, with the notable exception that the women of color were adamantly opposed to considering one form of oppression (sexism) without considering the others. [JD]
I think an important work in the history of feminism and women of color is Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga's anthology, _This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color_. It's my belief that the unique contribution of women of color, who experience at least two forms of discrimination daily, provides balance and reality to much of the more theoretical forms of academic feminism favored by educated white women. [EE]
Feminists for Fornication
These [sic] Pro-Sex Feminists believe that pornography can offer women a way to explore and affirm their sexualities, provide information on sexual techniques, promote sexual autonomy, and encourage female sexual pleasure. Pornography may be a means for women to "safely" experience sexual alternatives, break cultural stereotypes, and empower themselves through the assertion of sexual subjectivity.
We like men. We like sex with men. We love men. We love cock. We like looking sexy and we are not ashamed to do soand we're feminists. [Source]
My Note: Don't think for a moment that they won't cry "Rape" at a glance from you whenever they deem it to be convenient. WHS
Short for "Sex/Gender Feminism," according to
Christina Hoff Sommers, it is the doctrine that women are "in thrall to 'a system of male dominance' variously referred to as 'heteropatriarchy' or the sex/gender system." That is, a "complex process whereby bi-sexual infants are transformed into male and female gender personalities, the one destined to command, the other to obey."
The Backlash! Dictionary
Gender feminists do not refer to themselves by that name. Instead, they call themselves feminists and pretend to represent all women....
...Christina Hoff Sommers distinguishes between old, mainstream, or equity feminism (roughly equivalent to liberal feminism) and new "resenter" (angry at men), or gender feminism. Recently, some have taken to distinguishing between liberal, radical, Marxist, and postmodernist feminists.
Dale O'Leary (p. 23)
My Note: For some years now, since about 2000, I
noticed that some writers refer to PC Feminism. Gender
Feminism appears to be a faction of feminism that evolved into PC
Hegemonic feminists are not merely advocating that women should have the option to pursue a career or popularize that women don't have equal rights. Rather, they denigrate women who want to get married, and they demonize the concept of marriage. In short, they are advocating the elimination of a woman's choice to become a wife and mother. They would like to eradicate all vestiges of the "patriarchy" from society (patriarchy in that context is a term that was first popularized by Marx and Engels; the original communist goal of deconstructing the patriarchy later became the primary objective of radical feminism, a.k.a. Marxist- or socialist feminism) . That's
For examples refer to the following:
Individualist or Libertarian Feminism
Individualist feminism is based upon individualist or libertarian (minimum government or anarchocapitalist) philosophies, i.e. philosophies whose primary focus is individual autonomy, rights, liberty, independence and diversity.
In relation to the contradiction inherent in the feminist claim that all sexual acts by women with men even if they took place over a period of years are acts of suppression and of violence by men, Wendy McElroy sent ACFC an article she wrote, describing the heresy inherent in the stance of modern feminists with respect to the allegations of sex crimes when comparing it to
individualist feminism as promoted by 19th century feminists such as Sarah Grimke. WHS
Woman Responsible for Sex Acts Film at 11
by Wendy McElroy, June 15, 2000
|In her essay
[whose title is] "Legal Disabilities of Women," a famous plea to have womens consent taken seriously, the individualist feminist Sarah Grimke compared the legal status of married women to that of slaves. She wrote, "All contracts made with her, like those made with slaves by their owners, are a mere nullity." |
...She wanted women to bear legal responsibility for their bad acts as well. For example, she decried a law that stated, "A wife is excused from punishment for theft committed in the presence, or by the command of her husband." [See also Crichton]...Such pioneering feminists struggled not only for womens rights but also for womens responsibilities so that their sex could stand erect and equal with men. Full Story
|And, as the logical corollary that 19th century individualist feminists eagerly willingly embraced, whatever it is morally improper for a man to do, it is improper for a woman to do. This includes, first and foremost, denying responsibility for actions willingly taken.|
[See also the description of the
legal accountability of 19th century women as per Michael Crichton in "The Great Train Robbery." Make sure to read the
footnote pertaining to that excerpt. WHS]
There are a couple of points to make here. First is that Lesbianism is not necessarily a *de facto* part of feminism. While it is true that merely being a lesbian is a direct contravention of "traditional" concepts of womanhood, Lesbians themeselves hold a wide variety of opionions on the subject of feminism just as their straight sisters do.
On the other hand, Lesbianism has sometimes been made into a political point by straight women "becoming" lesbian in order to fully reject men. However, it is never accurate to characterise all feminists as Lesbians nor all Lesbians as feminists.
The reader should also note that homophobia is as present among feminists as it is in any other segment of society. Lesbianism and feminism, for all their common points and joint interests, are two very different groups. [CTM]
This is the variety of feminism that works within the structure of mainstream society to integrate women into that structure. Its roots stretch back to the social contract theory of government instituted by the American Revolution. Abigail Adams and Mary Wollstonecraft were there from the start, proposing equality for women. As is often the case with liberals, they slog along inside the system, getting little done amongst the compromises until some radical movement shows up and pulls those compromises left of center. This is how it operated in the days of the suffragist movement and again with the emergence of the radical feminists. [JD]
See also: liberal feminism,
Alison Jagger (pp. 5-37)
...Christina Hoff Sommers distinguishes between old, mainstream, or equity feminism (roughly equivalent to liberal feminism) and new "resenter" (angry at men), or gender feminism. Recently, some have taken to distinguishing between liberal, radical, Marxist, and postmodernist feminists.
Some have suggested that the term 'feminist' should be reserved for liberal feminists and others referred to as 'feminist extremists.' This would give the inaccuarate impression that the 'feminist extremists' are atypical, which is not the case. Liberal feminists are not the dominant force in the women movement. Among feminist theorists and feminist activists, the percentage of liberal feminists grows smaller every year. Furthermore, women who even suggest moderation are often castigated by 'true believers' as traitors to the cause or captives of 'backlash.'
Dale O'Leary (p. 23)
...Profamily advocates do, however, recognize the limitations of liberal feminism, particularly its failure to take into account the real and obvious differences between men and women and to recognize that many of the laws "discriminating" between men and women were not attempts to oppress women, but attempts to compensate for natural differences and protect women.
Dale O'Leary (pp. 99, 100)
Marxist and Socialist Feminism
Marxism recognizes that women are oppressed, and attributes the oppression to the capitalist/private property system. Thus they insist that the only way to end the oppression of women is to overthrow the capitalist system. Socialist feminism is the result of Marxism meeting radical feminism. Jaggar and Rothenberg point to significant differences between socialist feminism and Marxism, but for our purposes I'll present the two together. Echols offers a description of socialist feminism as a marriage between Marxism and the roots of radical feminism, with Marxism the dominant partner. Marxists and socialists often call themselves "radical," but they use the term to refer to a completely different "root" of society: the economic system. [JD]
See also: Marxist and socialist feminism,
Alison Jagger (pp. 5-37)
In case you should have any doubts about the communist connection, consider this:
Status of Women (NAC) and the Communist Connection?
[that] the [Communist] Party work to strengthen its involvement in the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) at both the Canada-wide and regional levels
" [Communist Party of Canada Party Organization and Plan of Work]
A movement in the late 19th century to liberate women by improving their material condition. This meant taking the burden of housework and cooking off their shoulders. _The Grand Domestic Revolution_ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is one reference. [RZ]
This branch of feminism tends to be populated by younger women or other women who have not directly experienced discrimination. They are closely affiliated with liberal feminism, but tend to question the need for further effort, and do not think that Radical feminism is any longer viable and in fact rather embarrassing (this is the group most likely to espouse feminist ideas and thoughts while denying being "feminist"). [CTM]
number of articles have been produced in which PC feminism was
that none of those articles contains a definition of PC feminism.
In the absence of such a definition, it may help to understand
the term PC Feminism by considering some of the aspects and
attributes of PC feminism as described by the authors of such
PC Feminism And The
Aug. 21, 2007, by David Heleniak, Esq.,
PC Feminism: A Traditional Movement in Disguise?
Thursday, December 10, 2009, by masculinist
Defense of Beauty Pageants
November 19, 2004, by Wendy McElroy
...the assumption that all women are victims of all men.
That's the definition of
patriarchy: white male culture, white male government
that benefits every man at the expense of every woman. Women
are everywhere and always oppressed by men.
...in court proceedings on domestic violence cases and child
custody disputes, men should be guilty until proven
innocent. Society's institutions, such as universities,
should be organized to protect women against men: For
example, through sexual abuse tribunals that do not allow
accused men the right to such niceties as a lawyer or
questioning his accuser.
PC feminism has created a gender war in which daughters and
sons are pitted against each other in the courts and
institutions of society.
Feminist Fighting: Aren't We All Women?
November 26, 2002, by Wendy McElroy
appears that the concept of PC Feminism evolved out of, or is an
umbrella term that describes, a combination of various factions
of feminism, such as Affirmative-Action Feminism,
Total Rej (total rejection) Feminism,
and Victim Feminism, in short,
any and all forms of feminism that elevate women to the status
of a superior class of citizens and relegate men and boys to the
Therefore, PC Feminism not only
promotes superior status, rights and privileges for women but
makes all-out discrimination against men and boys politically
correct and desirable.
There is a great need to promote IMD
Men's Day) to raise awareness, largely even amongst men, about
systemic discrimination against men:
YouTube video about discrimination against men (off-site)
According to Susan Faludi's recent article in
Ms Magazine, apparently anyone who claims to be a feminist but supports equal responsibilities as well as equal rights, does not believe upper and upper-middle class American women are oppressed, does not believe 33 percent of women are rape victims, and advocates a policy that treats both women and men like human beings. Not to be confused with a "real" feminist, who is not to be confused with those women who "just play one on TV."
The Backlash! Dictionary
This term has appeared several times on soc.feminism. It appears to be a catch-all for the bogey"man" sort of feminism that everyone loves to hate: you know, the kind of feminism that grinds men under its heel and admits to no wrong for women. It is doubtful that such a caricature actually exists, yet many people persist in lumping all feminists into this sort of a category. [CTM]
POP FEMINIST - A person who demands rights and privileges for women and responsibilities and restrictions for men. Anyone who subscribes to
Faludi's idiotic pod feminist definition above.
The Backlash! Dictionary
There is absolutely nothing new about that sort of recent development.
The trend is nothing but a continuation of the chivalry by "men" of the
Victorian age (politicians, judges and lawyers) who did their best to give
women — in the name of liberating them from male oppression — more and more
privileges at the expense of common men. In that fashion
The Fraud of
Feminism (1913, by Belfort Bax) has been at work already for
hundreds of years to bring about
Legal Subjection of Men (1908, by Belfort Bax).
1996 review of
Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed (Edited by Diane Bell and Renate Klein, Spinifex, Melbourne), Alison Jones provides a glimpse into the world of post-modernist feminist ideology:
|I will leave aside the book's tedious and dangerous refrain about intellectual work being a diversion from the `real' practical work of changing women's lives. Waters' produces a division which neither interesting nor helpful; for a start, most supposed 'postmodernist feminists' would NOT say postmodernism is a `logical progression'; postmodernism eschews such notions. What interests postmodern feminists are the effects of the various discourses / theoretical frameworks /stories we tell, or use. They would ask: 'what are the multiple effects of stories about patriarchy and women's oppression? do they unintentionally re-produce those very ideologies they seek to dispel?' This is not to say they radical feminist theoretical terms are 'outmoded' - simply that they cannot be automatically and uncritically accepted, by any of us. This reflexive moment is the 'postmodern turn' taken up by many contemporary feminists, but rejected by radical feminism, and epitomised in this book's lack of a self-critical voice. The authors ask 'what are the effects of using philosophers (such as Foucault) who have never been interested politically in women?' In a postmodern spirit of self-critical inquiry, I think this is a useful and important question - one which has been addressed many times by large numbers of feminist theorists and researchers, including Elizabeth Grosz, Jana Sawicki, Lois McNay, Sharon Marcus. But there is only one answer in this book: and it is precisely its narrow perspective which makes Radically Speaking a tome of only limited interest: it offers us a predictable, repetitive and unself-critical version of radical feminism.
My Note: Alison Jones is located in New Zealand. New Zealand is the home of "The Gender Lens," the shameless euphemism for post-modernist feminism. The gender lens is the process by which all jurisprudence, legislation, judicial processes, administrative orders, and all aspects of life, especially those that are intended to be changed or to be newly introduced, are being evaluated by feminists in all sectors of government as to their relative merits with respect to how far they are of positive benefit to women and only to women.
Post-modernist feminism is radical feminism that openly divorced itself from all pretences that it is attempting to achieve equitable rights for women. After all, it would be futile to aim at achieving equitable rights for women when they already possess the lion's share of social equity. Post-modern feminism aims at nothing other than absolute supremacy of women.
Feminism by any other name stills smells the same. WHS
Working within institutional parameters for political gains is a central aspect of what [Naomi] Wolf deems "power feminism." Power feminism, ideologically, is Feminism Lite: dogma-free, except for an unequivocal belief that "women matter as much as men do." Among other things, power feminism "seeks power and uses it responsibly," "hates sexism without hating men," is "unapologetically sexual," and "wants all women to express their own opinions." Above all, it does not whine. Wolf reminds us of model Marla Hansen, whose face, badly slashed by two thugs, finally came to a point where she was ready to give up her identity as a victim, and sought medical treatment to remove her scars. `the women movement as a whole," observes Wolf, "is at exactly such a psychological juncture." It is ready to rid itself of "victim feminism."[Source]
Some of the feminists may be ready to do that, but it looks as if virtually none of them are. On the other hand, the whole non-feminist rest of the world is most certainly ready to sweep
victim-feminism out of the door. Nevertheless, going by the definition given in the preceding quote, power feminism doesn't sound all that attractive either. Marxism by any other name still smells the same.
Soon I began distinguishing among the feminism I loved (what I now call empowerment feminism) and the two forms of feminism I feared (victim feminism and competitive feminism).
Empowerment feminism empowers a woman by encouraging her to develop all of her potential without regard to gender. It is the feminism I shall always support.
— Warren Farrell
in Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say:
Destroying Myths, Creating Love, p. 2
A number of women have chosen to call themselves pro-life feminists or Christian feminists. They feel that the word is broad enough to include all women who believe in women's rights and women's equality. While the desire to express support for women is understandable, it seems to me that there is a substantial difference between being for women and being for feminism. Dale O'Leary (p. 23)
Provides the bulwark of theoretical thought in feminism. Radical feminism provides an important foundation for the rest of "feminist flavors". Seen by many as the "undesireable" element of feminism, Radical feminism is actually the breeding ground for many of the ideas arising from feminism; ideas which get shaped and pounded out in various ways by other (but not all) branches of feminism. [CTM]
Radical feminism was the cutting edge of feminist theory from approximately 1967-1975. It is no longer as universally accepted as it was then, nor does it provide a foundation for, for example, cultural feminism. In addition, radical feminism is not and never has been related to the Maoist-feminist group Radical Women. [EE]
This term refers to the feminist movement that sprung out of the civil rights and peace movements in 1967-1968. The reason this group gets the "radical" label is that they view the oppression of women as the most fundamental form of opression
[sic], one that cuts across boundaries of race, culture, and economic class. This is a movement intent on social change, change of rather revolutionary proportions, in fact. [JD]
Ironically, this get-to-the-roots movement is the most root-less variety of feminism. This was part of its strength and part of its weakness. It was always dynamic, always dealing with factions, and always full of ideas. Its influence has been felt in all the other varieties listed here, as well as in society at large. [JD]
To me, radical feminism is centred on the necessity to question gender roles. This is why I identify current "gender politics" questions as radical feminist issues. Radical feminism questions why women must adopt certain roles based on their biology, just as it questions why men adopt certain other roles based on theirs. Radical feminism attempts to draw lines between biologically-determined behavior and culturally-determined behavior in order to free both men and women as much as possible from their previous narrow gender roles. [EE]
The best history of this movement is a book called _Daring to be Bad_, by Echols. I consider that book a must! [JD] Another excellent book is simply titled _Radical Feminism_ and is an anthology edited by Anne Koedt, a well-known radical feminist [EE].
Radical feminist theory is to a large extent incompatible with cultural feminism. The reason is that the societal forces it deals with seem so great in magnitude that they make it impossible to identify any innate masculine or feminine attributes except those which are results of the biological attributes. (This is what I think the [above] "view[s] the oppression of women as the most fundamental form of oppression," [is getting at] although I don't agree with that statement in its context.) [DdJ]
See also: radical feminism,
Alison Jagger (pp. 5-37)
My note (WHS): It is amazing that here (as also identified by Dale O'Leary) it becomes obvious that radical feminism is IT, virtually all of feminism there is, most definitely THE feminism that is in power and crowding every other type of "moderate" feminism out of existence, yet, in the definition of
cultural feminism above it is obvious that the individual who provided that definition of that is clearly not of the same opinion as the ones who contributed to the definition of radical feminism.
It is far safer to assume, it seems, that Dale O'Leary's definition of radical feminism is the one to go by. Dale O'Leary quotes her friend, Claire Driver, "...who taught Russian literature at the University of Rhode Island," whom Dale O'Leary tried to get to clarify her own confusion about why the feminist ideology sounded so familiar to her. "She just laughed and said, 'Dale, they are all Marxists.' Class struggle, oppression, patriarchyI had heard it before. It had been a long time since I had read Marx, but I remembered, 'All history is the history of class struggle . . . Oppressor against oppressed.' The words fit the tune.
It had all been there, but I hadn't seen it. Looking back through the feminists' texts, I was amazed at how many of them quoted Marx and his companion and confidant Frederick Engels and, in particular, Engles' book,
The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State...." [Dale O'Leary (p. 97)]
Dale O'Leary illustrates by means of quotes from and comments pertaining to Shulamith Firestone's book
The Dialectic of Sex, that Firestone shows how Marxism can be transformed into radical feminism. [Dale O'Leary (pp. 104-106)]
At any rate, radical feminism goes by other names: Marxist
Feminism, Socialist Feminism (therefore the nickname redfem)
permeates and guides all of feminism there is and is most definitely
very much alive. See Women and Marxism, at
If the term "radical feminism" (a.k.a. Marxist- or
socialist-feminism) is somewhat new to you and after all of the
preceding explanations it still does not sit right, you need to
expand your knowledge. After all, radical feminism, the
currently controlling faction of feminism, governs just about
everything that is happening in your life. See,
Carey Roberts column
Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on
political correctness. His best-known work is an exposé on
Marxism and the roots of radical feminism.
Carey Roberts' best-known work, his exposé on
Marxism and the roots of radical feminism, is not necessarily
easy to find, but
this link will help with that. (Some of the URLs for
the article series appear to keep changing. For that reason
the identified link leads to an Internet search for the
series. The first or second link in the return list will
most likely lead you to the series.)
Many people believe the myth
created by radical feminists that feminism came on the scene in
the 1960s. That is largely true of Marxist- or radical-feminism
(although that had started with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
already in the middle of the 19th century), as the spread of
radical feminism began in earnest with the spread of Marxism or
communism in the early 1900's. However, it is not true of
feminism in general.
Feminism has been a social force for as long as humanity has
been around, while Marxism is not the only form of socialism
that ever existed. Socialism is an ideology that is as old as
civilization. It has been all-pervasive throughout most of
history, far more so than any religion and most definitely for
much longer intervals than the concept of democracy had ever
been in place anywhere. (E.g.:
The Socialist Phenomenon, by Igor Shafarevich)
Radical feminism has solid Marxist roots. It was promoted and
succeeded because it brought political power and financial
rewards for politicians and business. Those Marxist roots
are important and need to be eradicated. The planned destruction
of the traditional nuclear family is a main goal of Marxism,
therefore also one of the main goals of radical feminism.
Neither communism nor radical feminism can fully succeed without
completing the planned destruction of the family. In
consequence, radical feminism is therefore nothing other than a
renewed program that took over —
through subversion from within — all
social institutions where Marxism had failed to succeed through
bloody revolutions and military conquests to construct a global,
socialist, totalitarian regime.
a recording of a 58-minute radio program on the recent history,
evolution, consequences and aims of the social conquest by
radical feminism, presented and narrated by James Williams (from Express
FM Radio in Portsmouth), using material by George Rolph (writer on men's
and family issues), with the participation of
Erin Pizzey (author, founder of
the first modern women's refuge, Chiswick, London, England;
Harry, and Stephen Fitzgerald (former director of the U.K.
Popularly and wrongly depicted as Lesbians, these are the feminists who advocate separation from men; sometimes total, sometimes partial. Women who organize women-only events are often unfairly dubbed separatist. Separatists are sometimes literal, sometimes figurative. The core idea is that "separating" (by various means) from men enables women to see themselves in a different context. Many feminists, whether or not separatist, think this is a necessary "first step", by which they mean a temporary separation for personal growth, not a permanent one. [CTM]
There is sometimes some overlap between separatist and cultural feminists (see below). [SJ]
It is equally inaccurate to consider all Lesbians as separatist; while it is true that they do not interact with men for sexual fulfillment, it is not true that they therefore automatically shun all interaction with men. [CTM] And, conversely, it is equally inaccurate to consider all separatists Lesbians. Additionally, lesbian feminism may be considered a category distinct from separatist feminism. Lesbian feminism puts more emphasis on lesbianism -- active bonding with women -- than separatism does, in its emphasis on removing bonds with men. [EE]
Matriarchal separatist feminism, Alison Jagger (pp. 5-37)
My Note (WHS): Much of what the various brands of feminism aim at can be gleaned from feminist science fiction, although it may be even more revealing to read science fiction written by a renowned male science fiction writer who is not a feminist and who views a hypothetical futuristic scenario under the constraints of separatist feminism. John Wyndham did just that in
Consider her Ways. It is a far more frightening and more likely scenario than the popular one produced by Margaret Atwood in
A Handmaid's Tale.
Lawrence Osborn, June 28, 2000, at salon.com, provided a
book review of
The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Will not Give Women a Future, by Cynthia Eller, a book in which Eller (an "enlightened" feminist and independent scholar at Princeton University), debunks the pretentions of matriarchalists as well as the myth of the prehistoric matriarchy. Lawrence Osborn sums up Cyntia Eller's view of the matriarchalists' mantra:
|Prior to about 3000 B.C. horticultural, Neolithic societies were dominated by goddess worship. War was unknown, as was social strife. Women ruled and men accepted it. Ecological balance went hand in hand with a primitive sexual equality.... |
But then, believers claim, this hypothetical female Eden was shattered by some kind of patriarchal revolution. Along came male rule, war and sexism, and things have gone catastrophically downhill ever since.
Although Lawrence Osborn is undoubtedly correct in tacitly approving Cynthia Eller's view that "matriarchy is part of the general feminist atmosphere rather than a tenet of a specific school," he did a disservice to mankind by not focusing on giving matriarchalism more weight.
No matter how mythical its foundations, matriarchalism is, after all, the primary rationalization and motivating force for all feminists who seek destructively, if not successfully to bring about what never existed in either historical or prehistorical times: universal matriarchal rule. The danger of matriarchalism is not so much that it is silly, but that a large number of people believe in it. Any ideology, silly or not, will turn into a danger to mankind if a sufficient number of fanatics adhere to it.
Still, Lawrence Osborn addresses that danger in the last paragraph of his five-page review:
|It's possible, then, that in an odd way the sentimental, gawky matriarchalists, with their gung-ho celebrations of seething procreation and female fecundity are addressing something that mainstream feminism ignores or arrogantly trivializes. The resentnik myth is largely twaddle. But its emotional roots may not be so easy to dismiss. |
Neither should we dismiss its poisonous fruits that are being eaten by so many.
Here's a new euphemism that
victim feminists are beginning to use for themselves:
Culled from the GSN (Global Sisterhood Network) forum:
....An already highly-developed sense of mistrust made it difficult enough to break the silence and come out as a Survivor. i live in the hope that there are many out there who understand as i do that the issue was hijacked and still being held prisoner. i fuel my efforts with the belief we are gathering once more for surges of Outrage.
The debate on "victim feminism" shut up a lot of us. Some have very little sense of the enormous struggle to shift from "victim" to "Survivor"; and maintain that seemingly fragile position. Considering the degree of betrayal and exploitation by mental health professionals, the wall of Denial society still wants to maintain, this was/is another broadside.
And what of Survivors' other avenue? Getting a *just* day in court is an onerous process where every meeting with police/prosecutor is a reminder of victimhood. That in-credible woman constantly reflected in their eyes. It seems more are reporting but the system is disappointing to say the least. At every step there is discouragement to continue. It is dispiriting to be constantly reminded that "all these people are working hard but chances of conviction are slim." They must hedge their bets after all!
Total Rej (total rejection) Feminism
Feminists who purport that, "Our culture, including all that we are taught in schools and universities, is so infused with patriarchal thinking that it must be torn up root and branch if genuine change is to occur. Everything must go - even the allegedly universal disciplines of logic, mathematics, and science, and the intellectual values of objectivity, clarity, and precision on which the former depend."
The quote is from Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, "Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women's Studies" (New York, Basic Books, 1994), p. 116
"Victim feminism," according to [Naomi] Wolf, claims power and purity by identifying with powerlessness itself. Coming out of the radical 60's Left, and misshapen by crude interpretations of 70's feminist theories--"all men are rapists," for example; "all women are lesbians"--victim feminism has repulsed the mainstream and ossified women's communities for years. A sort of evil twin of power feminism, victim feminism is responsible for "man-bashing," overt censorship, and a pervasive elitism that has forced the vast population of women to turn from Bella to Oprah to get their needs met. It is, according to Wolf, "sexually judgmental"; "casts women...as good and attacks men...as wrong"; and "wants all other women to share its opinions." [Source]
A more expansive
collection of quotes and comments relating to victim feminism
An outgrowth of victim-feminism is "survivor-feminism" different name, same thing, except for the time frame involved. Victim feminists live off the imagined oppression and insults they experience now, while survivor-feminists obviously can't let go of the "memories of their pains", no matter how far back in time those are alleged to have occurred and no matter how much power they managed to garner on account of their treasured victim status.
|[Other categories? Both formal and informal are welcome.]|
[Largely contributed by Dave Gross. Exceptions noted.]
It may seem odd to include some notes on men movements in a description of feminism. However, many of these movements were started in reaction to feminism: some inspired by and others in contra-reaction to it. In this context, examining men movements tells of some specific reactions to feminism by men. [CTM]
Most men movement historians date the men movement back to the early seventies. In 1970, according to Anthony Astrachan ("How Men Feel" p. 291) the first men's center opened in Berkeley, Calif. and the magazine "Liberation" published an article by Jack Sawyer entitled
[sic] "On Male Liberation."
The men movement equivalent to the catalyst provided to the women movement by Betty Friedan, was "The Male Machine" by Mark Feigen Fasteau in 1975. My edition has a forward by Gloria Steinem in which she writes: "This book is a complement to the feminist revolution, yet it is one no woman could write. It is the revolution's other half."
But a reexamination of the male gender role certainly predates the 1970s. In fact, the book "The American Male" by Myron Brenton, complained that "when the plight of woman is given such intense scrutiny, a curiously distorting effect tends to be created. Suddenly the world is seen only through the feminist prism." This quote, which would be comfortable coming out of Warren Farrell's mouth in the 1990s, was published in 1966. The book was essentially a male-friendly, pro-feminist examination of the male sex role, and started a theme of portraying masculinity as dangerous and destructive (physically and emotionally) to men -- a theme that was to also provide the basis for the works of Fasteau, Goldberg and Farrell in the 1970s.
And R.F. Doyle, who was to form one of the rare traditionalist men's groups, was already fighting for male-friendly divorce reform in the early 1960s (his Divorce Racket Busters in 1960 is in a direct line of parentage to his Men's Rights Association in 1973).
Barbara Ehrenreich in "The Hearts of Men" traces the men movement back even further. She believes that the current men movement is only the latest representation of a long-term male revolt against the "breadwinner ethic:"
"I will argue that the collapse of the breadwinner ethic had begun well before the revival of feminism and stemmed from dissatisfactions every bit as deep, if not as idealistically expressed, as those that motivated our founding 'second wave' feminists." -- p. 12
Furthermore, she writes that
"The great irony... is that the right-wing, antifeminist backlash that emerged in the 1970s is a backlash not so much against feminism as against the male revolt." -- p.13
In the mid- to late-1950s (although she traces the roots even further back than this), non-conformity becomes a hip topic. Playboy magazine started publishing in 1953, and by the early sixties had started offering "something approaching a coherent program for the male rebellion" (p. 50). The magazine's trademark T&A was only a side-issue, designed to make the rebellion against the male sex role (aka The Playboy Philosophy) a safely heterosexual one.
The Beat movement "establish[ed] a vantage point from which the 'normal' could be judged, assessed and labeled -- square" (p. 67) and then "cardiology... passed its own judgement on the 'normal' masculine condition, and [came] down, without fully realizing it, on the side of the rebels" (p. 87).
The Human Potential Movement combined with cardiological concerns encouraged a change in men's lives; the Vietnam War further tarnished the image of masculinity; the 60s counter culture allowed androgyny;[*] the second-wave of the women movement pushed for a critique of gender roles; gay liberation groups differentiated themeselves from heterosexuals, allowing straight men to change their roles without being accused of homosexuality.
Voila! The genesis of the men movement in a nutshell!
The men movement, as a movement, has from almost the beginning been split into various camps based both on ideology and on what concerns the members most wish to concentrate on. What were once scattered "consciousness raising groups" have evolved into the following sub-movements:
*Androgyny: the confusion of male and female sex roles. WHS
Feminist Men Movement:
These groups are closely aligned ideologically with the feminist movement. They believe that we live in a patriarchal system in which men are the oppressors of women, and that the men movement should identify this oppression and work against it. Most of the [City-name] Men Against Rape groups fall under this category. The largest feminist men's group is the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (Formerly the National Organization for Changing Men). Some publications from this viewpoint are "Changing Men," the journal of NOMAS, and the following books: "The Liberated Man" by Warren Farrell, "The Male Machine" by Marc Feigen Fasteau, "The 49% Majority" ed. by Deborah David & Robert Brannon, and "Refusing to Be a Man" by John Stoltenberg.
"For these men," according to James Doyle ("Sex & Gender" p. 341), "the question of unfair divorce settlements, child-custody cases, and the like are a ruse used by some men who favor perpetuating their own dominant status in society." This perhaps is a little harsh, but many in the feminist men movement are suspicious of those who would work for men's political concerns without first relinquishing the patriarchal reins of political power.
"They may feel only a vague pricking of conscience about their own complicity in the imbalance," writes Anthony Astrachan of the feminist wing of the movement (How Men Feel, p. 302), "or they may openly acknowledge that men as a class (which does not mean all men) oppress women as a class (which does not mean all women). In either case, what they feel is guilt." (Astrachan dismisses what I will call the Men's Liberation movement as "the no-guilt wing.")
As can be expected, there is much debate among feminists, women, and other men about the validity or real intentions of such groups. The entire question of "feminist men," especially ones that disagree with aspects of "conventional feminism" sparks much debate. Some accuse them of pandering to the feminist movement, others of having a hidden agenda that's really against feminism. Female feminists disagree wither men can be feminist, some arguing that there is nothing to prevent men from being feminists, and others arguing that you have to know what it is like to be a woman -- or even BE a woman -- to be a feminist. [CTM]
Men's Liberation Movement:
Other names: Masculist
[*] movement, Men's Rights movement. These groups, while quite similar to feminists in several areas (gay rights, belief in equal opportunity in the workplace, etc.) generally do not believe in the theory that we live in a patriarchy in which men oppress and women are oppressed.
"My thinking has led me to conclude that men as a class do /not/ oppress women as a class. Nor do I believe that women as a class oppress men as a class. Rather, I feel that men and women have cooperated in the development of contemporary male and female sex-roles, both of which appear to have advantages as well as disadvantages, but which are essentially restrictive in nature, growth inhibiting, and, in the case of the male, physically as well as psychologically lethal." -- Richard Haddad "Concepts and overview of the men's liberation movement"
Characterization of the men's liberation wing as being a reactionary or traditionalist movement is common among feminists, but doesn't seem to hold under closer observation. Fred Hayward addressed this view in his keynote speech to the National Congress for Men in 1981:
"We must not reverse the women movement; we must accelerate it... [Men's liberation] is not a backlash, for there is nothing about traditional sex roles that I want to go back to...
"We must give full credence to the seriousness of women's problems and be willing to work toward their solution, but if the others do not return the favor, it is they who are the sexist pigs. It is they who are reactionary. When I look at feminists today, I don't want to call them names -- I only want to call their bluff."
Some of the groups with this viewpoint are: Men's Rights Inc., National Coalition of Free Men, National Congress for Men, National Center for Men. Some of the publications from this viewpoint are "Transitions," the journal of the NCFM, and the following books: "Why Men Are the Way They Are" by Warren Farrell "The Hazards of Being Male" by Herb Goldberg "Men's Rights" by Bill & Laurie Wishard "Men Freeing Men" ed. by Francis Baumli.
* "Masculist" is not a word that is part of the English
language. The proper word is "masculinist". --WHS
Mythopoetic Men Movement:
These are the ones you see on TV and in magazines wearing masks and beating drums. Robert Bly, the father-figure of this movement, says:
"I see the phenomenon of what I would call the 'soft male' all over the country today. They're not interested in harming the Earth, or starting wars, or working for corporations. There's something favorable toward life in their whole general mood and style of living. But something's wrong. Many of these men are unhappy. There's not much energy in them. They are life-preserving, but not exactly life-giving...."
"Men are suffering right now -- young males especially. But now that so many men are getting in touch with their feminine side, we're ready to start seeing the wild man and to put its powerful, dark energy to use. At this point, many things can happen."
-- interview by Keith Thompson
Utne Reader, Nov/Dec 1989
This talk of "powerful, dark energy" worries some, including Bly's ex-wife, who compared this movement to fascism:
"The men's separatist movement is frightening. Separatism, breeds feelings of superiority and imbalance -- male bonding usually offers permission to regress."
-- "The danger in men's groups"
Utne Reader, Nov/Dec 1989
A more common reaction to these groups by outsiders is bewilderment and ridicule. "[T]heir words revealed a kind of gooeyness wrapped in clinical psych jargon," wrote Jon Tevlin of his Wild Man Weekend. It's possible though, that these groups outnumber all other men's groups combined. There are a surprising number of magazines, books, journals, retreats and gurus associated with the mythopoetic men movement. "Iron John" led sales of hardcover nonfiction longer than any other best seller in 1991, according to the 1993 Writer's Market.
"What I'm interested in is the return of mythology, and he timportance of initiation -- I think that's essential...I'm not interested in all the men having opinions on men's rights, and attacking women. I'm not interested in a national men movement."
-- Robert Bly, quoted by Tim Warren in
the Baltimore Sun, 28 October 1990
On the other hand,
"I don't want to omit people like Warren Farrell and Herb Goldberg who are doing men's stuff; they get omitted far to[o o]ften when the Men Movement is discussed. If Robert [Bly] is one of the leaders and perhaps the father of the mythopoetic Men Movement, then Goldberg, Farrell and Pleck are the Grandfathers..."
-- John Lee, quoted by Woody Harper in the
Men's Council Newsletter, August 1990
This movement is less political than spiritual, and it's difficult to identify just what these folks stand for. But if you want to try, check out the interviews with Bly and with Shepherd Bliss in the Nov/Dec 1989 Utne Reader, or pick up "Men's Council News" or Robert Bly's surprise best-seller "Iron John."
The New Traditionalists:
I don't know much about these groups. The only one I'm aware of is the National Organization for Men run by Penthouse columnist Sidney Siller. Maybe R.F. Doyle's Men's Rights Association (if it still exists) qualifies as well. These groups look, on the surface, much like the Men's Liberation groups, but underneath there is a current of resentment that the old sex roles have dissolved. Some openly say that women just aren't men's equals, and should have stayed home with the kids. This is that "male backlash" you've probably read about. Read "The Rape of the Male" by R.F. Doyle for a good idea of how these folks think (the front cover is a picture of the crucifiction). Also, Esther Vilar's "The Manipulated Man" (written by a woman in 1972, and pretty scary).
My Note: It's quite clear that David Gross is not a pro-family advocate, or else he wouldn't have excluded himself by calling
pro-family advocates new traditionalists and "these folks." Thereby he puts himself unequivocally into the camp of the
And, b.t.w., Richard Doyle and the
Men's Defense Association are very much alive. WHS
The Father's Movements:
Some people hold that this is a separate group from the Men's Liberation Movement. There are some groups that are only interested in issues like divorce reform, and ignore issues like violence toward men, gay rights, and the draft. Many of these groups are very similar to Men's Liberation groups, and only differ by their concentration. Some explicitly exclude issues like gay rights in order to not risk offending some of their members, and this could itself be considered an ideological position which would separate them from the Men's Liberation groups. Anthony Astrachan ("How Men Feel," p. 311) reports that some Father's Rights men boycotted the 1983 National Congress for Men meeting in Los Angeles, and speculates that this was because men's liberation members had proposed resolutions supporting gay rights.
Publications would include: "How to Win Custody" by Louis Kiefer "Weekend Fathers" by Gerald and Myrna Silver
|"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute." -- Rebecca West, 1913
To paraphrase that last sentiment
so as to change the perspective:
|I myself have never been able to find out precisely what rational and reasonable justification the feminists have for the vilification of all men: I only know that feminists call me a woman-hater whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a feminist, such as when I speak out in support of traditional family values. |
Walter H. Schneider, 2000
When Rebecca West made her statement that became so popular with many feminists, a contemporary of her had this to say about feminists:
That love without marriage is holy, and that marriage without love is illegitimate.
That only a narrow soul would object to an intimacy between its mate and an outsider when the giving of love to the hungry was a real charity.
That marriage shall not require the sanction of priests, magistrates or other functionaries.
[A feminist a]dvocates a free contract in marriage, and that separation may occur at the will of either "mate."
That divorce shall be made easy.
That there may be a "novitiate of marriage," in other words, a "trial marriage," and that after a period, if either party is not pleased, the final "mating" need not be consummated.
[That] If children should result from such "trial," the duty of the state is to care for them, and the parties may enter into other "novitiates."
If a Feminist wife works at household duties, she demands wages from her husband for domestic service, but household duties would be better done by expert "household engineers"the wife going to work outside, and the children being sent to a state nursery, kindergarten to school.
The whole Feminist cult is rankly atheistical, and they despise the teaching of St. Paul and of the church.
Like Herodias, they lay snares for John the Baptist and have their daughters perform "interpretative dances" and then demand the head of the Baptist on a charger [a serving platter].
They proclaim the "New Religion" and the "New Freedom of Women," for by these they are "emancipated" from all moral and religious restraint.
As a tactic to advance their propaganda, they advocate Woman
Suffrage, to gain the help of a sentimental class of women, who in reality desire to uplift and purify politics. Among other things they claim to Suffragets that by means of votes for women prohibition will be secured, child welfare will advance, when in fact the Feminists do not care a picayune for either. And it is certain that the plane of politics cannot be elevated when the heart and soul of the cause of suffrage is composed of Feminists-Socialist[s]for no fountain can rise higher than its source, and if the fountain head is filthy the outlet will be impure.
Feminism advocates "votes for women," and all Feminists are Suffragettes. Feminism declares for the economical freedom of woman, so that she may have a gainful occupation, independent of her husband and home, thus liberating herself from "sex slavery" to the end that she shall not be dependent on any man nor be "kept by any man." This to the end that she may be free to leave her "mate" at any time she will, regardless of the "conventionalities."
She declares that "motherhood" is a mere animal function, and that even a cat may have kittens; that motherhood has been made too much of in the past. [She] Advocates with the Socialists that the State has a superior right to the parents over the nurture, conduct and education of the children.
[She] Frowns on "compulsory" motherhood and advocates the "control of births" by artificial measures.
[She] Suggests that any woman may reject motherhood, and any woman with "mother love" may accept motherhood whether she is married or single.
They abolish the laws of Moses and in their places announce, "A new law give I unto you." "Love yourselves and your sexes. Worship Eros and Venus as your goddesses."
They make Cleopatra and Delilah their models, and if mere men do not bow down to their wills, they treat them as Delilah did Samson. [Holy Bible, Judges, 13 - 16]
The Feminist is a man hater, except as she may be able to use him for her purposes.
She claims that man has subjected her to "sex slavery" and "economical servitude," from which she demands "liberation," so she may be made a "free woman."
In advocacy to this "New Freedom" she has many journals, among others being the "Bondwoman" and Harper's Weekly. She tells all sorts of lies about the "inhumanity" of man to woman, men with their inborn chivalry have been maligned without protest, mistaking these female hyena iconoclasts for women.
Benjamin V. Hubbard
(Socialism, Feminism, and Suffragism,1915, pp. 142-144)
The more things change, the more they are the same. Almost a whole century later,
feminist still have the same attitudes towards men. Men are still being subjected to the same vilification, only more so and in ever new and inventive, scandalous ways and with a vengeance, along with the vast majority of women that still wish nothing more than to live in harmony with men, to raise their children with the help of their husbands and to live out their days in the far superior comforts and safety of marriage. However, virtually all of the pathologies that Benjamin Hubbard foresaw are now stark reality.
Benjamin V. Hubbard demonstrates throughout his book that feminism and
socialism are so strongly intertwined as to make them almost inseparable. In the end the reader is left with the inescapable conclusion that communism by any other name is still communism and that feminism is nothing other than communism in drag.
Matriarchy in USSR — off-site)
There may well be more male feminists than female ones, although the male faction of the feminist movement and -revolution manifests itself mostly in the form of western chivalry. There most certainly are more men that consider any opposition to feminism as being
not chivalrous toward all women than there are women that consider themselves to be feminists. (Read also Stephen Hawking and the burden of western chivalry)
No matter how much men bend over backwards to please women, they will be exploited for it all the more. Most feminist factions are absolutely ruthless in their quest to destroy the Christian cultural heritage of the West (and all men in the process). There never was a feminine code of ethics equivalent to the masculine code of ethics (a.k.a. chivalry) that forces men to be fair and generous to women. Feminists can afford to be ruthlessly selfish without having to feel any pangs of conscience or moral constraints. In the end, the one and overriding goal of feminism is this:
Women, like men, should not have to bear children.... The destruction of the biological family, never envisioned by Freud, will allow the emergence of new women and men, different from any people who have previously existed.
Alison Jagger - Radical Feminist
The consequence of that will not be a better society but a loveless conglomerate of self-centered individuals that have no reason for existence other than to please themselves. Families, the glue of society that once made civilization what it was, will then no longer exist, nor will in all likelihood society exist as we once knew it. It will be a "new" society alright, one that is different from any that previously existed, but it will be chaotic, oppressive and totalitarian.
Although it is obvious that feminism is far from a unified ideology, other than perhaps that the vast majority of its various factions is to varying extents united in its opposition to traditional moral standards and especially all things male, there is another reality to the vast number of variations amongst feminist factions. That is the enormous variety of what constitutes lesbianism. Even though not all feminists are lesbians (for one thing, many feminists are male), a survey apparently compiled by a lesbian of what all may constitute lesbianism is quite revealing:
Quote: ...TERMS you might encounter when discussing butch-femme gender online. (As always, our language has it's limits...so mileage may vary!)...
(The page at the preceding link no longer exists at the address where
it had been located. Fortunately, an archived copy of the web page
can be accessed if you click on the indicated link. It truly is
fascinating how useful a tool for the preservation of the truth the
Internet can be, isn't it? Still,
the web page in
question can also be found at a new location. — F4L)
So much for the "theories" of anyone who ever thought that there were only two "genders" as far as sexual orientations are concerned. Counting the various orientations listed in the compilation (the list is not exclusive), there are at the very least (it's very confusing to see your way through all of the definitions) thirty different sexual orientations in lesbianism welcome to the
curiously confusing brave new world of SAD (sexual attachment disorder).
|1. faqserv@GZA.COM, FAQ soc.feminism, Obtained 2000 02 22 WHS
Cindy Tittle Moore[CTM]
David desJardins [DdJ]
Jym Dyer [JD]
Thomas Gramstad [TG]
Rebecca Grinter [RG]
David Gross [DG] (incl. all info on men movements)
Stacy Johnson [SJ]
Rudy Zalesak [RZ]
2. The Backlash! Dictionary
Words are not like chewing gum, to be molded, masticated, squished and spit out. Imprecision -- loose definitions -- leads not to understanding, but to imprecise and loose thinking. (Rod Van Mechelen, in
The Backlash! Dictionary)
3. The Gender Agenda, by Dale O'Leary
Whatever positive image the word feminist may have had, it has been tarnished by those who have made it their own, and I, for one, am content to leave the militants in full possession of the term. But, that leaves us with the problem of what to call those who oppose militant feminism. Dale O'Leary (pp. 23, 24)
Dale O'Leary then proposes that all such people should be called pro-family advocates and states that they "are unequivocal in their support for women's equal rights." Of course, the term
pro-family advocate would include all men who are opposed to feminism as Dale O'Leary is, which is fine, because just as there are men who are feminists there are also men (most of them, actually) who are pro-family advocates. Dale O'Leary makes it abundantly clear in
The Gender Agenda that all feminists can be safely considered to be anti-family advocates. She provides the following definition of the family.
The "family" in all ages and in all corners of the globe can be defined as a man and a woman bonded together through a socially approved covenant of marriage to regulate sexuality, to bear, raise, and protect children, to provide mutual care and protection, to create a small home economy, and to maintain continuity between the generations, those going before and those coming after.
It is out of the reciprocal, naturally recreated relations of the family that the broader communitiessuch as tribes, villages, peoples, and nationsgrow.
[Dale O'Leary, The Gender Agenda, p. 24,
original source: Allan Carlson, "What's Wrong With the United Nations Definition of 'Family'?"
The Family in America (August 1994), p. 3]
Out of the families as described by Allan Carson also grows civilization. Destroy the families and all of civilization ceases to function. That is what Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx called for in no uncertain terms, so that what they considered the fundamental cause of all class struggle would be eliminated. Their legacy is being promoted now by the gender agenda that is being driven by radical NGOs. In that fashion, radical feminism is nothing but communism under a different name.
4. Alison Jagger, Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation: Feminism and Philosophy (Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co. 1977)
How Dramatically Did Womens Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government? by John R. Lott, Jr., and Larry Kenny, Law School, University of Chicago; John M. Olin Law & Economics Working paper No. 60 2nd Series.
The paper can be downloaded without charge (209 kB PDF file)
The Social Science Research Network Electronic Paper Collection (Abstract)
If you have problems downloading the paper, let me know, and I'll send you a copy.