The Other McCain

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Essential Feminist Quotes: ‘Most Women Have to Be Coerced into Heterosexuality’

Posted on | September 19, 2014 | 84 Comments

Audre Lorde (left), Marilyn Frye (center) and Monique Wittig (right)

“I agreed to take part in a New York University Institute for Humanities conference a year ago. . . .
“I stand here as a black lesbian feminist, having been invited to comment within the only panel at this conference where the input of black feminists and lesbians is represented. What this says about the vision of this conference is sad, in a country where racism, sexism and homophobia are inseparable. . . .
“The absence of any consideration of lesbian consciousness or the consciousness of third world women leaves a serious gap within this conference. . . .
“For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power is rediscovered. It is this real connection, which is so feared by a patriarchal world.”

Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” 1979

“I want to ask heterosexual academic feminists to do some hard analytical and reflective work. To begin, I want to say to them:
“I wish you would notice that you are heterosexual.
“I wish you would grow to the understanding that you choose heterosexuality.
“I would like you to rise each morning and know that you are heterosexual and that you choose to be heterosexual — that you are and choose to be a member of a privileged and dominant class, one of your privileges being not to notice.
“I wish you would stop and seriously consider, as a broad and long-term feminist political strategy, the conversion of women to a woman-identified and woman-directed sexuality and eroticism, as a way of breaking the grip of men on women’s minds and women’s bodies, of removing women from the chronic attachment to the primary situations of sexual and physical violence that is rained upon women by men, and as a way of promoting women’s firm and reliable bonding against oppression. . . .
“There is so much pressure on women to be heterosexual, and this pressure is both so pervasive and so completely denied, that I think heterosexuality cannot come naturally to many women: I think that widespread heterosexuality among women is a highly artificial product of the patriarchy. . . . I think that most women have to be coerced into heterosexuality.”

Marilyn Frye, “A Lesbian’s Perspective on Women’s Studies,” speech to the National Women’s Studies Association conference, 1980

“A materialist feminist approach to women’s oppression destroys the idea that women are a ‘natural group’ . . . What the analysis accomplishes on the level of ideas, practice makes actual at the level of facts: by its very existence, lesbian society destroys the artificial (social) fact constituting women as a ‘natural group.’ A lesbian society pragmatically reveals that the division from men of which women have been the object is a political one . . .
“Lesbian is the only concept I know of which is beyond the categories of sex (woman and man). . . . For what makes a woman is a specific social relation to a man, a relation that we have previously called servitude . . . a relation which lesbians escape by refusing to become or to stay heterosexual. . . . [O]ur survival demands that we contribute all our strength to the destruction of the class of women within which men appropriate women. This can be accomplished only by the destruction of heterosexuality as a social system which is based on the oppression of women by men and which produces the doctrine of the difference between the sexes to justify this oppression.”

Monique Wittig, “One Is Not Born a Woman,” 1981

Two of these quotes (Lorde and Wittig) are excerpted from The Essential Feminist Reader, edited by Estelle B. Freedman (2007), while the quote from Frye is from her 1992 collection Willful Virgin: Essays in Feminism. Readers will notice that all three of these quotes were from the same era, 1979-81. Thus you see how early radical lesbians began consistently demanding that the feminist movement must challenge heterosexuality as “natural” for women, insisting that what Audre Lorde called the “real connection” of “lesbian consciousness” was “feared by a patriarchal world.” Marilyn Frye called for “a broad and long-term feminist political strategy” by Women’s Studies professors of converting their students to lesbianism “as a way of promoting women’s firm and reliable bonding against oppression.” Why? Because only by “the destruction of heterosexuality as a social system,” Monique Wittig said, can women “escape” their “servitude” and “oppression” by men.

Do you think these are obscure “fringe” feminists? Do a Google search for Audre Lorde and you get more 500,000 citations. Marilyn Frye was a professor at Michigan State University for more than 30 years who “was chosen as Phi Beta Kappa’s Romanell Professor in Philosophy for 2007-2008.” Google Monique Wittig and you get nearly 200,000 citations.

Are you tempted to reply, “So what?” OK, then, why don’t you Google the name of the editor of The Essential Feminist Reader — that’s another 200,000 or so citations — and you’ll learn from the Wikipedia biography of Estelle B. Freedman that she is “the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University,” that one of the books she coedited “received the 2013 John Boswell Prize from the Committee on LGBT History of the American Historical Association,” while another book co-edited by Professor Freedman “was cited by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his 2003 opinion for Lawrence v. Texas, with which the American Supreme Court overturned all remaining anti-sodomy laws.”

Do you still want to say, “So what?” Or are you ready to admit feminists mean what they say, and that feminism should be taken seriously?

BTW, Professor Freedman’s latest book is Redefining Rape, in which she “demonstrates that our definition of rape has depended heavily on dynamics of political power and social privilege.”

People had better wake the hell up.




84 Responses to “Essential Feminist Quotes: ‘Most Women Have to Be Coerced into Heterosexuality’”

  1. Adobe_Walls
    September 20th, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

    Quite right “Liberals” support religious and political freedom two things that all who are even a smidgen left of center are vehemently opposed to.

  2. Adobe_Walls
    September 20th, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

    Woodstock jihadis support Islamic jihadis.

  3. Adobe_Walls
    September 20th, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    Over ruled presupposing the left have minds, assumes facts not in evidence.

  4. Adobe_Walls
    September 20th, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

    Perhaps you feel lie crying because you lack the ability to laugh at people who suffer from self inflicted pain. You might want to work on that.

  5. RS
    September 20th, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

    In fact, I remember a gaggle of girls tended to be very mean to their own.

    When my daughter was growing up, I recall thinking that the boys her age had friends. The girls had allies, and those alliances shifted seemingly daily. And you’re absolutely right in your last sentence. The sad thing, these modern Feminist harridans wish to cheapen and pervert the influence of fathers on daughters by claiming it’s part of some “grooming” process. I would hope, those women who had loving fathers are smart enough to see through that, but many are not obviously.

  6. RS
    September 20th, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

    I love Derrida. You can make any shitty assertion, but you’ll seem smart if you drop his name. All purpose validation.

  7. Zohydro
    September 20th, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

    +1 for “harridans”…

  8. Drumwaster
    September 21st, 2014 @ 12:00 am

    Religions are not required to have a Deity to still remain a religion. Buddhism and Shintoism are but two such.

  9. Bob Belvedere
    September 21st, 2014 @ 2:36 am

    Me too, but not just for this particular talent.

  10. Bob Belvedere
    September 21st, 2014 @ 2:37 am

    For me it was Barbara Eden, followed up my The Golddiggers.

  11. Bob Belvedere
    September 21st, 2014 @ 2:39 am

    And what would Lorde do it a Burkean walked up to her and slapped her upside the head, shouting ‘STFU’?

  12. Bob Belvedere
    September 21st, 2014 @ 2:49 am

    I think it more likely that the Feminist Lesbian Womyn’s Front would triumph…or may be the Lesbian Front of Feminism.

  13. Bob Belvedere
    September 21st, 2014 @ 2:51 am

    This is why the Feminists [and all the Left] are so determined to take control of the education of our children – get ’em when they’re young.

  14. The Camp Of The Saints
    September 21st, 2014 @ 2:52 am

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    What are we to do with the Left, who have successfully imposed their funhouse mirror view of the World on us and succeeded in creating nothing but Misery and, many times, Death? Frequent TOM commenator RKae has found the answer by looking to the past a…

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  17. shenanniganist
    September 21st, 2014 @ 10:45 am

    So heterosexuality is a choice but homosexuality is genetic…consistency is hard

  18. shenanniganist
    September 21st, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    It heresy to advocate for any group other than the Front of Lesbian Women*drumroll*

  19. foramerica
    September 21st, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

    Three very disturbed women. You have to pity such people who are trapped in a hopeless ideology that leads them nowhere.

  20. RKae
    September 21st, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

    Holy smoke! The Golddiggers! Yeah!

  21. Jeanette Victoria
    September 21st, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

    Normal folks don’t think very much about their “sexual orientation” that is what disturbed folks do. Sadly it is the loons who seem to be running things these days

  22. Jeanette Victoria
    September 21st, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

    Yup Oh for the days when disturbed like these women went to”Happy Acres”. We now live in a culture that doesn’t recognize the mentally ill and demonizes normal reactions

  23. RS
    September 21st, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

    What they don’t realize, is that by reducing their Humanity to nothing more than what tickles their genitals at the moment, they have destroyed their essential human-ness. Stated differently, they have defined their Humanity out of existence.

  24. Nan
    September 21st, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

    Are you sure it was love rather than a response to which you were cleverly guided by the heteronormative patriarchy? I hear the HP is very clever and can make women think that they’ve reached conclusions on their own, when it’s well known that the first thing a man says to a woman is “oh, honey, now that you’ve met me, you don’t need that brain” after which the zombie woman does what the man wants rather than running off with a pack of radical feminist lesbians.

  25. Nan
    September 21st, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

    And they’re still pissed because of it.

  26. Nan
    September 21st, 2014 @ 11:34 pm

    The problem isn’t that they lack the ability to understand a hard science but rather that they prefer to ignore the truths of science.

  27. Nan
    September 21st, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

    Are you blind to the coercion of hiding your options from you? Clearly the gaggle of mean girls pressured you to remain in the group and let them be mean to you.

  28. Nan
    September 21st, 2014 @ 11:38 pm

    The homosexual genes are more noticeable 😉

  29. Daniel Freeman
    September 22nd, 2014 @ 3:06 am

    A catchy word for your idea is even better than a good argument for it, since there are people who will agree just from hearing about it, and also (sometimes the same) people who are bad at analyzing arguments.

  30. Andybob
    September 22nd, 2014 @ 8:10 am


    Fixating on your sexual orientation to the point where it becomes your whole identity is dehumanizing because it prevents you from developing your full potential.

    This is why the lesbians featured in the article come across as caricatures – their ideology has stymied what should have been their natural progression into fully-realized people. They are spiritually, socially and intellectually malformed.

    One of the greatest mysteries that future generations will ponder is how such rampant and obvious stupidity was ever allowed to flourish in academe and achieve such power and influence in our society.

  31. A6
    September 22nd, 2014 @ 9:15 am

    Even if you can read these without yawning, how can you read them without laughing?

  32. Daniel Freeman
    September 22nd, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

    A star in many films.

  33. Eldrick Wo
    September 23rd, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

    how is being hetro a choice-but being gay is pre ordained-do these people listen to there own selfs

  34. Eldrick Wo
    September 23rd, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

    i don’t believe the pictured women had much of a choice