THE PLANNED DESTRUCTION OF THE FAMILY
by ERIN PIZZEY
Just recently a 'battered woman,' for that is how she saw herself, came to me
for help. Her lover, who lived apart from her and her children, had beaten her up
badly and she was forced to go to the hospital. He then took her back to her own house and
stayed with her in order to look after her while her wounds healed.
'You are not a battered woman,' I said with a sigh. I define a battered woman as a
woman who is a genuine victim of her partner's violence. 'You are a violence-prone woman,
a victim of your own need for violence.' I sighed because those two sentences
uttered twenty-five years ago in my early work at Chiswick caused me to be hated and
despised. I became the nation's conscience. I dared to say publicly that women
can be as violent as men and that women were a great deal more psychologically violent
than men. In this woman's case we have a great deal of work to do and he needs to
find himself a good therapist.
In 1971, inspired by the promise of women journalists and other media-manipulators, I
decided to join the newly founded Women's Movement. 'Sisterhood is powerful' they chanted.
'Sisters unite, no more competing, women helping women.' It all sounded too good to
be true. My first meeting filled me with doubts. It was held in a very
middle-class home in Chiswick and I gazed at the Mao posters on the wall of the
drawing-room. When asked why I was there by the hostess, I replied that my husband
was a television reporter and was very rarely home and I felt lonely and isolated with my
two children. 'Your problem is not your isolation but your husband. He
oppresses you and he is a capitalist.' I pointed out that she too had a mortgage so
she therefore was a capitalist, and far from oppressing me my husband was baby-sitting so
that I could attend this meeting. Her husband was out at a Union meeting organizing
the Brentford Biscuit factory with the help of his degree in Political Science, to prepare
for the forthcoming revolution.
What the woman didn't know, was that I was the daughter of a diplomat. I was born
in China, and traveled the world with my father. I also-worked in the Foreign Office
and was well aware of the atrocities both in Russia and in China. Then over cups of
tea, we were assured that women were a minority group. I pointed out that women made
up fifty-two per cent of the world's population. I was given Mao's little red book
and SHREW magazine. I took it home and was horrified at the hatred it spewed
I decided that this organization needed looking at. With both children in school
and time on my hands I went to work for The Women's Liberation Workshop in Shaftsbury
Avenue. I witnessed the women working there tearing open letters and pocketing the
three pounds ten shillings that desperate women were sending in to join the
movement. I tried to answer as many of the letters as I could. Some of that money
went into buying explosives.
Terrorists in the Women's Movement blew up the BBC van outside the Miss World Contest
and the top off the Post office tower. I called in the police. All this
rubbish and rhetoric was to culminate in the up-rising of the 'working classes' and the
death of Capitalism and the destruction of all men. Needless to say there were virtually
no working class women in this movement. Most of the revolution was fought around
middle class dinner tables in grisly Islington.
By now I was very firmly 'the enemy.' Men, at this point, took the whole movement
as a joke but it was no joke, as many homeless men deprived of their children will tell
you. Savaged by feminist lawyers and therapists, men have routinely been deprived of
their homes, their children and their incomes.
I knew that I wanted to fulfill my original dream. Women working with women in
co-operation with men. The idea that we should work with men was anathema to these
women. The Women's Movement was dominated by the Radical Separatist Movement.
They not only hated men but heterosexual women as well. I saw through their very
hidden agenda. I stood on platforms saying that if I had to pay three pounds ten
shillings, meet in cells and call my friends comrade, then they were asking me to join the
Communist Party, which was fine, but don't lie. Don't collect money under false
pretenses. I had plenty of good Communist friends, I wanted a movement that truly
represented women. Not tired hacked-to-death male politics.
The early collective meetings and conferences involved hundreds of women, mostly
middle-class women bored with their life-styles and they were terrifying. Anyone
brought up in a girls' boarding school as I was, knows how violent and manipulative women
can be. The bullying in the collectives was unabated. No lipstick, no high
heels, no deodorant, I broke all the rules. 'Why do you wear men's suits and ties,'
I asked. 'if you so hate men?' Silly question I suppose. 'We are wearing the
symbol of our oppression,' was the humorless reply.
By now I realized through reading the Women's Movement literature that those thousands
of women working in all caring fields, the journalists, the television makers, were
determined to destroy family life in England. [See
Manifesto WHS] 'Make the personal political,' was one of their many
banners. So thousands of violent and very disturbed women attacked normal happily
married women and our traditional way of life. Secret meetings were held (everything was
done in secret) and I received a letter '.....and the collective decided that until the
whole matter is sorted out, and you have given a statement of this position to a
woman-lawyer, or someone in the N.C.C.L., you should no longer work in the office or
attend meetings of any of the collectives.'
Profoundly depressed by my experiences in the movement, I went off to do what I always
believed would liberate women. A place to gather and to work together in
co-operation with men.
Soon beaten and battered women with their children were coming to me for help.
There was no literature on battered women, so I wrote 'Scream Quietly Or The Neighbors
Will Hear.' I was immediately in trouble because the book was not 'politically
correct,' it discussed family violence and I refused to let the Managing Director
politicize my book. By now I was giving the figure of 62 women out of the first
hundred women who came to the refuge were as violent or more violent than the men they
left. Also many were prostitutes taking refuge from their violent pimps. This
infuriated the Women's Movement. I knew that as soon as I attracted publicity and
funding, the Women's Movement which by now attracted neither, would be beating on my
door. When I called a small conference to help other groups get started, several
hundred women with feminists and radical separatist feminists invaded my conference.
They started their usual bogus rubbish trying to appeal to my mothers, making much use of
the phrase 'working classes.' My mothers were not impressed. One of my closest
friends at Chiswick said 'there isn't a working class woman amongst you.' Another
slightly bolder yelled 'go home and get your dildoes.' We left them to battle it out
by themselves. They then formed The National Women's Aid Federation.
This delighted my many enemies at The Home Office and The Department Of Social
Security. My chief enemy at my first meeting was a member of the sisterhood.
'How will you pay for your refuge?' she sniffed. 'I shall pray,' I said. I did
all the time and it was our prayers that sustained Chiswick for all those years. The
Federation used all their contacts in the media (many of them were journalists) to rubbish
me and my work. By now I was writing at home at night. They came to interview me
about my books but the books were never discussed, only how fat I was or how belligerent I
I recently asked The Home Office for their latest report and I was not surprised to see
that my name and 'Scream Quietly,' the first book in the world on wife battering was
missing. I knew from other writers that editors in the publishing world of London were
radical feminists and it was their habit to dictate their themes to desperate
writers, who were then coerced into writing the editor's book, knowing that should they
disobey, they would not be published. My brother Danny always wrote what he was told
to write. He complained down the telephone to me and finally, just before he died,
he said bitterly 'I have no contracts and no film deals in sight.' He rewrote the
four hundred page synopsis for his book four times to suit his agent and his publishers.
Throughout all the fighting I kept preaching that family life was and always will be
the foundation of any civilization. Destroy the family and you destroy the
country. I warned that of the violent women with their children coming to me,
virtually none used contraception. My mothers had an average of 5.1 children,
meanwhile non-violent families had a 2.5 average. I wrote reports, I drafted memos,
all to no avail. Nobody wanted to hear what I had to say. In the back of
'Scream Quietly' I listed all the agencies that had failed my families. I wrote that
I was not seeing social workers, I was seeing political activists with social work
degrees. The same went for teachers, and probation officers, editors of books and
magazines. Like a giant cancer this movement dug its crabs legs into anywhere they
could wield their power.
Many women, assisted by weak men, sought to destroy me and my work and I knew that
finally having fought court cases that involved disobeying judge's orders to save
children's lives, I knew I would be ousted from my own refuge. A few men bravely
tried to make their voices heard, realizing the dangers. They too were excoriated by
both men and women. Businessmen in the media, managing directors of publishing
houses, never understood that their editors were lying to them. Playing the numbers
game. 'Who do you think you are?' screamed one feminist editor. 'I must be
somebody,' I replied. 'After all I'm in Debrett's and Who's Who. You're nobody
in publishing.' Another said...'Why can't you write the sort of books you know I like,
Erin...... books about women loving women?' 'I can't,' I replied. 'I'm a
heterosexual writer and all my books celebrate family life.'
Because men looked upon the refuge movement as a 'woman's issue', newspapers sent women
journalists to attack me. I addressed a conference of
radical feminists and asked
them why, when I respected their right to practice their politics and define their own
sexuality they denied me my rights to my heterosexuality, my right to live and work to
preserve family life and to enjoy being at home with my family. That I think being a
mother and a grandmother has given me more joy than any other achievement. I was
screamed down and met with utter hostility.
When I published 'Prone to Violence', a book about my
work with violent women and the children in the refuge, I was picketed by hundreds of
banner-waving women. 'All men are bastards!' read some of the banners. 'All
men are rapists!' shrieked another. 'If those banners said Jews or black people, you
would have arrested those women,' I told the policeman who had come to say that I had to
have a police escort all around England for the book tour.
In due course, I lost the refuge but a carefully orchestrated campaigning the press
never allowed the people of England to know that I was pushed into exile. The
newspapers made much of my defection and I was helpless. My crime was to fight for
family life and values. A few months ago The Sunday Times sent a reporter to find
out why I was waitressing in a bar in exchange for food. 'There seems to have been a
conspiracy,' the reporter wrote. I knew that remainder notices would soon be
forthcoming and now my back list is remaindered. Thank goodness my books are selling all
over the world including sales to Russia. I own nothing but my four dogs and my cat
and I work internationally for peace in the family.
[Note: 'Prone to Violence' (1982 Hamblyn Paperbacks,
Middlesex, England) is not a book that's easy to find in the book trade (only three copies
of it were listed in the catalogues of Canadian university libraries in 1998).
However, it is now available as an Internet
edition. It was thoroughly boycotted world-wide by the feminists when it was
(a.k.a. redfems) went so far as to remove the copies of the books that
had already been shipped out and were available from the shelves of the book stores.
The publisher went into receivership over that.
However, the book is now back in print in an edition produced by
Commoners' Publishing Inc.. WHS]
(About Erin Pizzey)