The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’

Posted on | July 14, 2014 | 240 Comments

“The supersensitivity of the [Women’s Liberation] movement to the lesbian issue, and the existence of a few militant lesbians within the movement, once prompted [NOW founder Betty] Friedan herself to grouse about ‘the lavender menace’ that was threatening to warp the image of women’s rights.”
Susan Brownmiller, New York Times, March 15, 1970 (quoted in In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution)

“What is a lesbian? A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. …
“It should first be understood that lesbianism … is a category of behavior possible only in a sexist society characterized by rigid sex roles and dominated by male supremacy. … In a society in which men do not oppress women, and sexual expression is allowed to follow feelings, the categories of homosexuality and heterosexuality would disappear.”

Artemis March, et al., “The Woman Identified Woman,” May 1970

No one can honestly discuss feminism without addressing the enduring question, “Which feminism are you talking about?” From its inception as the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s, modern feminism has been fractured by schisms that its would-be mainstream leaders have sought to conceal from the larger public.

Many women who today identify themselves as feminists have never examined the history of these conflicts and are unfamiliar with the militant personalities and radical ideologies that have influenced feminism for the past half-century. When confronted with the extremist rhetoric of feminists — vehement denunciation of males, condemnation of heterosexuality, claims that men (collectively) oppress and victimize women (collectively) in ways comparable to the Holocaust — the average woman is understandably startled and, if she thinks of herself as a feminist, she quickly shifts into denial mode. The anti-male passage you’ve just quoted to her is an aberration, an anomaly, an expression of fringe beliefs that does not represent the feminism that she endorses. She is not a Marxist, she is not a lesbian or a man-hater, she is not the kind of pro-abortion fanatic who views motherhood as male-imposed tyranny. The question thus arises: Is she actually a feminist?

Any honest person who undertakes an in-depth study of modern feminism, from its inception inside the 1960s New Left to its institutionalization within Women’s Studies departments at universities, will understand that without the influence of radicals — militant haters of capitalism and Christianity, angry lesbians who view all males as a sort of malignant disease, deranged women who can’t distinguish between political grievances and their own mental illnesses — there probably never would have been a feminist movement at all. Yet no matter how many examples of radical feminism we may cite, or how crucial the connection between ideological extremism and the rhetoric of “mainstream” feminists, many women (and men) will continue to insist that the evidence offered is irrelevant to the kind of feminism they endorse and advocate.

Unthinking acceptance of simple slogans, a superficial discourse built around glittering generalities — “equality,” “choice,” etc. — is not an ideology, nor could this bland kind of feminism ever have been enough to inspire an enduring political movement. Even while they ignore the chasm between radical theory and their own feminism, however, women seem surprised to find that real life contradicts even the least controversial understanding of “sexual equality”:

I have always found it hard and confusing to be both a feminist and happily married. Why? Because in a good marriage, where both parties are equally happy, no one is keeping score. Feminists emphasize equality of roles, but in a real life marriage, this isn’t always realistic.

If women make equality the measure of their happiness, they are hopelessly doomed to misery in real life, if their ambitions include men, marriage and motherhood. Somewhere, there may be a perfect Feminist Man acceptable to the egalitarian ideal, but feminists generally mock that possibility. “Not My Nigel” is feminist shorthand for the claims of women that their man — their boyfriend, their husband, their son — does not engage in the sexist oppression that feminist rhetoric attributes to the male-dominated system of patriarchy. Feminists scorn the idea that any man can be an exception to their general condemnation of men, so that the acronym NAMALT (“Not All Men Are Like That”) is deployed to ridicule any woman who takes offense at feminist claims about the ubiquitous villainy of males.

Even if a woman is certain that she herself is not being victimized by her husband, even if she refuses to accept the claim that all men are violent oppressors complicit in “rape culture,” however, she will find that the routine conflicts and misfortunes of her everyday life are characterized by feminists as proof of women’s universal victimhood. If she heeds the voices of feminism, she will mentally magnify her problems into evidence of a pervasive pattern, and view the men in her life — her husband, her father, her male co-workers — as participants in, and beneficiaries of, the system of “male supremacy” denounced in the 1970 manifesto, “The Woman-Identified Woman”:

Lesbian is a label invented by the Man to throw at any woman who dares to be his equal, who dares to challenge his prerogatives . . . who dares to assert the primacy of her own needs. To have the label applied to people active in women’s liberation is just the most recent instance of a long history. . . For in this sexist society, for a woman to be independent means she can’t be a woman — she must be a dyke. That in itself should tell us where women are at. It says as clearly as can be said: women and person are contradictory terms. For a lesbian is not considered a “real woman.” . . . [W]hen you strip off all the packaging, you must finally realize that the essence of being a “woman” is to get fucked by men.

Is this brief excerpt taken out of context? Read the whole thing and see for yourself if the “context” attenuates the meaning. Nor can this manifesto be dismissed as an obscure fringe document irrelevant to feminist history. It was published less than two months after Susan Brownmiller’s important New York Times article about the nascent Women’s Liberation movement had mentioned the effort of Betty Friedan to prevent “the lesbian issue” from “warp[ing] the image” of feminism. Brownmiller herself dismissed Friedan’s fears, playing on the phrase “red herring” to mock the “Lavender Menace” as a “lavender herring,” only to see that clever jest thrown back in her face by the collective that published its manifesto as “Radicalesbians.”

Well,” replies the defender of “mainstream” feminism, “those lesbians were just a bunch of extremist kooks nobody ever heard of.”

Except they weren’t, and their kooky extremism did not hinder their influence. The “Radicalesbians” collective included Rita Mae Brown, a former staffer at Friedan’s National Organization for Women. In January 1970, Brown and another lesbian NOW staffer, Michela Griffo, resigned and joined forces with Ellen Shumsky and Artemis March (neé March Hoffman) to form a lesbian faction within the male-dominated Gay Liberation Front. In a series of meetings in Brown’s apartment, they formed a conspiracy to stage a disruptive protest as the Second Congress to Unite Women in May 1970. “The Woman-Identified Woman” was a statement largely written by March on behalf of the collective, and no one can say that either the manifesto or its authors were “fringe” obscurities. Artemis March, Ph.D., taught at Harvard University and was awarded a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute, without ever repudiating her militant anti-male ideology (here’s an example from 2010). Rita Mae Brown became a best-selling author whose 1973 lesbian novel The Rubyfruit Jungle is often featured in high school reading lists (e.g., Belmont High School in Massachusetts). Ellen Shumsky became a psychotherapist; her 2009 book, Portrait of a Decade 1968-1978, featured an introduction by lesbian historian Flavia Rando. Michela Griffo became an artist and was recently a featured Gay Pride Month speaker in Boston.

The authors of “The Woman-Identified Woman” were not as famous as celebrity feminists like Gloria Steinem, but even if they were completely unknown, their radical manifesto would continue to be influential, because it is routinely included in the curricula of Women’s Studies courses across the United States: Michigan State University, the University of Oregon, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Minnesota, to name a few. It is not difficult to trace the influence of this early radicalism down to the present day, or to cite similarly influential treatises — e.g.,  “Lesbians in Revolt” by Charlotte Bunch (1972) and “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” by Adrienne Rich (1980) — commonly included in the syllabi of Women’s Studies programs. Any attempt to separate this kind of explicitly anti-male/anti-heterosexual ideology from “mainstream” feminism would require us to argue that the most eminent academics in the field of Women’s Studies (including the lesbian editors of the widely used textbook Feminist Frontiers) are not “mainstream.”

Once we go beyond simplistic sloganeering about “equality” and “choice” to examine feminism as political philosophy — the theoretical understanding to which Ph.D.s devote their academic careers — we discover a worldview in which men and women are assumed to be implacable antagonists, where males are oppressors and women are their victims, and where heterosexuality is specifically condemned as the means by which this male-dominated system operates.

“But the hatred of women is a source of sexual pleasure for men in its own right. Intercourse appears to be the expression of that contempt in pure form, in the form of a sexed hierarchy; it requires no passion or heart because it is power without invention articulating the arrogance of those who do the fucking. Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men’s contempt for women . . .”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse, 1987

“Fucking is a large part of how females are kept subordinated to males. It is a ritual enactment of that subordination which constantly reaffirms the fact of subordination and habituates both men and women to it, both in body and in imagination.”
Marilyn Frye, The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory (1992)

“Male sexual violence against women and ‘normal’ heterosexual intercourse are essential to patriarchy because they establish the dominance of the penis over the vagina, and thus the power relations between the sexes. . . . Men’s sexual violence against women is the primary vehicle through which the dominance of the penis over the vagina is established.”
Dee Graham, Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men’s Violence, and Women’s Lives (1994)

“Male supremacy is centered on the act of sexual intercourse, justified by heterosexual practice.”
Sheila Jeffreys, 2005

All these quotes are from authors and academics whose works are widely cited in feminist journals and included in Women’s Studies curricula. To say that these feminists are outside the “mainstream” is to invite the question of who has the authority to define feminism.

If lifelong activists and professors who have devoted their lives to feminism aren’t “mainstream,” who is? To understand this problem, consider the career of Charlotte Bunch.

Then and now: Charlotte Bunch (left) in the 1970s and (right) as Rutgers professor.

In 1968, Bunch was one of the organizers of the first national Women’s Liberation conference and in 1971 — after being seduced by Rita Mae Brown — she divorced her husband and became a radical lesbian separatist, publishing “Lesbians in Revolt” in January 1972:

In our society which defines all people and institutions for the benefit of the rich, white male, the Lesbian is in revolt. In revolt because she defines herself in terms of women and rejects the male definitions of how she should feel, act, look, and live. To be a Lesbian is to love oneself, woman, in a culture that denigrates and despises women. The Lesbian rejects male sexual/political domination; she defies his world, his social organization, his ideology, and his definition of her as inferior. Lesbianism puts women first while the society declares the male supreme. Lesbianism . . . politically conscious and organized . . . is central to destroying our sexist, racist, capitalist, imperialist system. . . .
The only way oppressed people end their oppression is by seizing power: People whose rule depends on the subordination of others do not voluntarily stop oppressing others. Our subordination is the basis of male power. . . .
Lesbianism is a threat to the ideological, political, personal, and economic basis of male supremacy. The Lesbian threatens the ideology of male supremacy by destroying the lie about female inferiority, weakness, passivity, and by denying women’s ‘innate’ need for men. . . .
Our rejection of heterosexual sex challenges male domination in its most individual and common form. We offer all women something better than submission to personal oppression. We offer the beginning of the end of collective and individual male supremacy. . . .
Lesbianism is the key to liberation and only women who cut their ties to male privilege can be trusted to remain serious in the struggle against male dominance.

Is that an extremist statement? Do most feminists disagree with Charlotte Bunch? Did her radical lesbianism cause her to be ostracized, marginalized and excluded from the feminist “mainstream”?

Au contraire! Charlotte Bunch became one of the most influential feminists in the world. She is a professor and founding director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University. She is a top advisor to the United Nations on women’s issues; she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in October 1996; and in 1999, President Clinton bestowed on her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights. Let us ask an obvious question:

Q. If Bunch’s radical ideas are rejected by “mainstream” feminists, where are the books, articles and essays by leading feminists denouncing her as an irresponsible extremist?
A. There are no such denunciations, because the feminist movement endorses Bunch’s radical anti-male ideology.

How “mainstream” is Charlotte Bunch’s radicalism? In 2010, the Young Feminist Task Force promoted an International Women’s Day symposium where Professor Bunch was not only a featured speaker, but the agenda included a “Tribute to Charlotte Bunch” that included a preview of the film documentary Passionate Politics: The Life & Work of Charlotte Bunch. Her advocacy of “rejection of heterosexual sex” as a necessary means to ending “male supremacy” is therefore not radical feminism or extreme feminism, it is simply feminism.

Nevertheless, every time feminists complain about normal women who refuse to identify themselves as feminists, it is claimed that “the negative view of feminism” as being an anti-male lesbian advocacy movement is a false stereotype rooted in ignorance. The same feminists, meanwhile, insist that one cannot oppose their radical gay agenda “unless you are part of the extremely extreme extremist right wing.” One almost wonders if these feminists have ever read any feminist literature, or even if they are capable of comprehending the logic of their own words.

More than four decades after Artemis March and her radical comrades took up the banner of the “Lavender Menace,” their rhetoric condemning “rigid sex roles and . . . male supremacy” is more influential than ever. University faculty devoted to the study of “Gender Theory” reject the categories of masculinity and femininity. What most people understand as the natural traits and normal roles of the sexes are, according to the proponents of Gender Theory, an elaborate deception into which we have been brainwashed by the anti-female, anti-gay social system called heteronormative patriarchy.

Such intellectual jargon strikes the normal person as ludicrous, yet it is taken so seriously on university campuses that no one who aspires to employment in academia would dare treat it as a joke.

The ferocity of campus feminists, most notoriously demonstrated by their destruction of Lawrence Summer’s tenure as president of Harvard University, imposes a fearful silence within the world of higher education. Unaccustomed to criticism or opposition, academic feminists are emboldened to speak in terms of hateful extremism. Seldom does anyone even notice the poisonous quality of this rhetoric, much less object to it. One of the rare critics, Professor Daphne Patai, spent a decade teaching Women’s Studies at the University of Massachusetts, and exposed the problem in her 1998 book Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism:

[M]uch of the zealotry we are seeing in the university (and out of it) on the issue of sexual harassment should be construed as an attack, quite specifically, not only on men but on heterosexuality itself. … [M]en are the main target and … the cessation of heterosexual expression — or even interest — seems to be the chief agenda of many feminists. …
[T]he standard feminist critique … sees private heterosexual life, and heterosexual interaction in school and workplace, as a patriarchal imposition that must be resisted and transformed.

What Professor Patai recognized was that feminism’s rhetoric about sexual harassment was focused entirely on condemning male expressions of heterosexual interest in women. This was a manifestation of the complaint in Artemis March’s lesbian manifesto that “all women are dehumanized as sex objects” by men, and of Charlotte Bunch’s celebration of lesbianism as a rejection of “the ideology of male supremacy . . . by denying women’s ‘innate’ need for men.”

Does heterosexuality “dehumanize” women? Has the woman who thinks of her sexual interest in men as “innate” been brainwashed by “the ideology of male supremacy”? Mocking laughter would be the response of most women to such claims, and if you told them that they had to accept such beliefs in order to escape the oppressive impositions of patriarchy, normal women might think you were insane.

Yet the faculty in Women’s Studies departments are not normal women, and the concept of “sexual harassment” was popularized by a lesbian, Lin Farley, who was the first director of what became the Women’s Studies program at Cornell University.

A man who expresses romantic interest in a female has dehumanized her as a sex object, feminism tells us, and if this male expression of heterosexuality occurs in the workplace, the man is guilty of sexual harassment — he has violated her civil rights.

No such condemnation can be made of women expressing their lesbian interest in other women. In fact, any woman who objected to a lesbian’s sexual advances could be accused of homophobia — possibly violating the civil rights of her lesbian pursuer!

This attitude of hostility toward heterosexuality as male oppression of women, and the celebration of lesbianism as the feminist ideal, has become so mainstream that we scarcely notice its manifestations. Why was it, we may ask, that both the American Civil Liberties Union and Florida’s largest gay-rights organization sided with lesbian sex offender Kaitlyn Hunt when it was claimed that homophobia caused her prosecution for molesting a 14-year-old girl ? The idea of a “lesbian loophole” in sex offender laws is startling, as is the number of recent cases in which minor girls, some as young as 12, were victimized by women teachers and coaches. The tenured radicals on university Women Studies faculties have been notably silent about such criminal cases.

Traditional morality is now routinely denounced by feminists as a “social construct” of the “heteronormative patriarchy.” What has happened in the past four decades is that feminism has waged a war on human nature, and has striven (with remarkable success) to replace our normal understanding of Right and Wrong with a new system of values: Women, good; men, evil.

Thus we return to contemplate the schisms that have divided feminists since the beginning of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Women who claim to endorse only “mainstream” feminism are quick to reject as a “stereotype” the image of feminists as man-hating lesbians. Yet these “mainstream” feminists refuse to criticize or condemn the influential man-hating lesbians who rule the academic world where feminist theories are promulgated. These campus radicals are not content merely to rule their collegiate domain, however. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is now pushing to introduce “gender studies” to the high school curriculum, “creating innovative spaces for young people to engage in feminism and activism, equity, and social justice in today’s classrooms.” One of the leaders of this AAUW program is Ileana Jiminez, a lesbian English teacher from New York who is, among other things, an alumnus of elite Smith College, a founder of the New York Independent Schools LGBT Educators Group and a board member of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

Perhaps someone should tell Ms. Jiminez that her feminism is not “mainstream.” Good luck with that. Feminism is no longer threatened by the Lavender Menace — now it is the Lavender Menace.



240 Responses to “Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’”

  1. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

    Orange who? Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?
    As for your assumptions that powerbrokers and “tastemakers” inevitably blunt and dilute ideologues so that their extremism is of no consequence, that is just complacency. Catharine MacKinnon’s feminist theories of sexual harassment were ratified by a unanimous Supreme Court in Meritor Savings v. Vinson. MacKinnon and Dworkin convinced some cities to enact their anti-pornography civil rights ordinance, which was only stopped by the federal courts. However, the Canadian Supreme Court actually adopted and enacted some of MacKinnon’s and Dworkin’s arguments in their R v. Butler decision.
    Anyway, there are other ways of accessing power and policy without being stopped by the men smoking cigars. Melissa Farley frequently testifies and consults with municipal governments to further her arguments that male use of prostitution is inherently violent. Gail Dines was been influencing Iceland to censor and prohibit pornography as a public health threat. As much as I would like to think that the cigar smoking city fathers will put the breaks on feminist crusaders, one cannot always count on that.

  2. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

    You were the one who suggested that non-radical feminists were equivalent to prison inmates.

    Even though they were guilty of no crime.

    Quit trying to speak for them and find out what they are saying and doing.

  3. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

    You are defending feminism while you are posting on a conservative blog. I want to know if you have ever defended conservatism while you were posting on a feminist blog. That way, I can better tell if your explanation for your repeated defenses of feminism here as some contrarian defense tendency is credible and authentic.

  4. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

    Wanna buy one? I know a guy…

  5. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

    Now the important thing here is that when you tire of the conversation, you try to shut them up.

    “Thou shalt not dissent.”

    It’s a very familiar bit. Admittedly you do it better than most.

  6. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

    No, I do not ignore them. People usually type the word “sigh” as some expression of frustration, contempt or condescension. And I think I responded appropriately to that.

  7. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

    Yes, I likened them to prison inmates to reject your analogy that one is required to talk “with” a group of people before one talks “about” a group of people. I also used the comparison of communists and Muslim Brotherhood Members.
    But whatever the analogy, the point was that people are not required to engage or personally interact with people or groups before studying or forming an opinion about them and their aspects. Most people do not care what Flat Earth Society members think about normal people who believe the world is round. However, our lack of care for their beliefs does not therefore mean we want them to be imprisoned. The fact that we do not care that feminists may have a negative opinion about conservatives does not therefore mean we want feminists to be imprisoned just for being feminists. Nor does it mean that we are required to proselytize and reach out to feminists. Freedom of association also means freedom not to associate, for either side(s).

  8. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

    Sure, right after you buy this bridge I happen to know about.

  9. Herb Borkland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

    “Really, if they were the robotic monsters some imagine, they would get into power and…”
    And Hilary Clinton for President.

  10. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

    And I do not speak “for” them. I let them speak for themselves. Lord knows they have enough outlets and mouthpieces. And that is the basis upon which I evaluate them and their movement. You’re the one who tells us that we must ignore that and base our judgment on the supposed silent majority of reasonable feminists you claim to know.

  11. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

    Sure, they may want others to recognize that, and they can present their reasons for it, and they could be good reasons. Or they may not be good reasons, and their variants may not be worthy of recognition or inclusion under the term of identity. The fact that some may do so does not therefore mean that the term “conservative” or “feminist” is some blank slate upon which any self-described adherent can shift according to his/her own self-assertion. Nor does it mean that others are obliged to legitimize their identification as such.

    If a person said, “I’m a feminist and I think women shouldn’t be allowed to vote and husbands should be allowed to beat their wives,” that does not mean that other feminists are required to acknowledge that person as a member of their group or that other people have to think the term “feminist” plausibly includes people who think women shouldn’t be able to vote and should be legally beaten. If a person says “I’m not a racist, but I think emancipation for black people was a mistake,” does that mean we are obliged to believe that a person can believe in slavery for black people but still not be racist? Mary Daly claimed that she did not hate men, but she just wrote lots of books comparing men to parasites and fantasizing about a future when men went extinct. So if we have to respect her self-identification, that means that dreaming of a future of male extinction does not equal man-hating.

    If you think that every person’s individual version of a term is entitled to equal inclusion and consideration under the label, then that would seem to drain whatever label of any kind of coherence or descriptive power. Since Noam Chomsky sometimes describes himself as “conservative,” that would mean that the term “conservative” could mean anyone from Pat Buchanan to Noam Chomsky. Or the term “feminist” could mean anyone from Catharine MacKinnon to Sarah Palin (who herself tried to invoke the feminist label). We sensibly prefer to put limitations on what fits under “conservative” or “feminist,” so that the terms actually indicate or reveal something rather than being some nothing term which means whatever the next street hawker wants it to mean.

  12. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    If you are referring to the “precocious” teenager, I never denied or questioned her feminist self-identification. In fact, I think she seems to fulfill most typical expectations of a contemporary western feminist. Leftist or left-leaning politics in general, complaining about alleged unequal treatment of women, transitioning from heterosexuality to bisexuality, and even invoking more radical feminist notions by complaining about the malign influence of “heteronormativity” on the culture at large.

    If she succeeds in attending university (especially an Ivy League one) and takes Women’s Studies courses, I predict that her radicalization will accelerate dramatically.

  13. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

    Well then just tell me what feminist blogs you have posted on to defend conservatism or traditonalism and I can see for myself. What is the hold up?

  14. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

    Well then tell me what it is that “we”ll find out soon enough.”

  15. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    And as for the “most infamous members,” a lot of feminism’s “most infamous” still enjoy and hallowed and lionized status within the movement, despite their apparent extremism. Rita Mae Brown, Andrea Dworkin, Robin Morgan, etc. Even Valerie Solanas has been favorably profiled as just being misunderstood and made into a possible feminist martyr. Even Mary Daly received some glowing obituaries. Some feminists did denounce Mary Daly, but only because Daly hated transsexual people. All her books about male extinction didn’t seem to raise feminist hackles.

  16. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

    Your behavior tells me quite a bit.

    I don’t recognize that handle, but considering that I seem to be the only one that you’re talking too and this is the only thread you’re bothering to post on, well, that tells me something.

    The fact that you spent yesterday hovering over the keyboard waiting for me to post so you could tear in told me something else.

    Your clumsy use of English while choosing verbose phrases tells me something else again.

    There’s more, but that’s enough to rile you for now.

  17. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

    My point is (and has been all along on this thread) that some younger people don’t believe in the established institutions. Or the established language. Or in the origin myths that their elders continually trot out.

    And they have spent a lifetime learning to work around the usual rules.

    Nor are they the only ones.

    They’re looking for their own answers. This wouldn’t matter except the established institutions have been pushed to the breaking point.

  18. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

    But you see I know how this particular game plays out. I could list every blog or group I’ve posted on for the last five years. Then you ask “Why not ten years?” Then I post fifteen years. And you ask “Why not twenty? What are you hiding?”

    This way, we skip that nonsense.

    You can take me at my word. Or not. It won’t change what I post here. Even when I tell you that I value the individual above the group, you don’t believe me.

    It’s too delicious. I tell you the exact truth and you still look for nefarious motives.

  19. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

    I’m sure some younger people do not believe. However, I do not think the possible existence of such types negates or overrides the continued existence of certain movements and institutions, nor does their existence oblige observers to remove or blank our judgment of these entities based upon their demands, statements, advocacy and changes that they wrought upon society.

    And not all “institutions” get pushed to the breaking point all at the same time in one fell swoop. Feminism is one of many institutions that seeks to break and ruin others as a way to extend and cement its reach, and it thrives on the failures of others. Certainly not unique to feminism, but not something that should be overlooked about it.

    And when a young feminist starts eagerly parroting words like “heteronormativity” and “trigger warning” and “intersectional,” it seems that she is eagerly filling her head with what her academic feminist forebears have vomited out for her.

  20. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

    Because what I’ve said on other blogs doesn’t change what I have said here.

    Nor do I recognize your power to judge if I am worthy or not.

  21. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

    I do not look for nefarious motives, but I do not take people at their word, especially when their supposed assurance is the only thing they actually present. I’m not going to ask for the past ten years. Just give me a link to a feminist blog in which you posted something in defense of conservatism. Just one link. Then I can perhaps see that what you say is not spun out of whole cloth this very minute.

    The more you resist or object to actually something beyond your assurance, the more one can rightfully suspect that your assurance is not worth much, and everyone here can take that into account.

  22. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

    Don’t you think it’s better to find out what that person thinks a feminist is?

    Stars above, why in the world are people so obsessed with labels?

  23. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

    What have (or have not) said on other blogs does change and affect how what you say here, because it can determine whether or not your claims about being a principled or reluctant contrarian are authentic or were just some cheap pretext you spat out.

    And shouldn’t you care about how I judge you? We live in the small world, don’t we?

    But if you’re going to claim that you do not have to recognize how others judge you, then likewise, posters here do not have to recognize how you or feminists may judge them.

  24. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

    Sure, and I will try to find out if I can. And then I will decide whether the label of feminist is coherent and appropriate with the person’s definition. Sometimes it may be, sometimes it may not be.

    Stars above, why in the world are you so obsessed with making sure people don’t think bad things about labels? Specifically, feminist labels?

  25. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

    And yet the folks here at this site (including RSM) kept trying to link her to radical feminism.

    I went through similar arguments a few months back here. No matter what I said, some people kept trying to make a link between homosexuality and pedophilia.

    This kind of problem isn’t unique to this site. But it is the thing that I argue against.

  26. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

    Yep, frustration.

  27. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

    Well, please, don’t keep these wonderful revelations a secret.

    I’ve posted on other McCain threads, and I made other posts on this thread. You were the only person who contested and responded on this one, and when people respond, then I respond. If another person were responding, I would be talking to them as well.

    If you don’t like it when people respond to you promptly, you can stagger your posting sessions.

    As for my verbose phrases, unfortunately, it can sometimes require 100 words of sense and clarity just to clean off 5 words of stupidity.

  28. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    And yet of all the groups you could have picked…

    A local union, the PTA in the next city, a parkour group, the Elks, you could have used any of them. But no, you had to go pick law breakers.

    Another interesting bit.

  29. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    But you don’t let them speak for themselves.

  30. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

    They were not wrong or unfounded to try to link her to radical feminism, as she does manifest some familiarity and sympathy for radical feminist concepts, terms, and arguments.

    Connections between homosexuality and pedophilia can be argued, but the LGBT movement and the feminist movement demand that any discussion of possible connection be preemptively shut up from the outset would suggest that the issue is one of political sensitivity, not open inquiry.

    It’s nice to know that you argue against supposedly bad conflations. Now if we could just see some proof that you argued against pejorative conflations against conservatives made on feminist sites.

  31. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

    Perhaps you’ll *sneeze* this time?

  32. NeoWayland
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

    It was a genuine offer, just so you know.

  33. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

    Not all communists or Muslim Brotherhood members are law breakers. And there are some common aspects of unions and fraternal orders that could make them part of the analogy too.

  34. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

    What are you talking about? I don’t control what Feministing or Jezebel say. That is totally up to them. I just read it and form my opinion based upon it. If any feminist wants to come here and speak, he/she is certainly free to do so.

  35. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

    No thank you to your genuine offer. Good luck to your friend, the “shelterini” salesman.

  36. Durasim
    July 17th, 2014 @ 9:56 pm


  37. Quartermaster
    July 18th, 2014 @ 11:07 am

    You flatter yourself, then put words in my “mouth.” Beyond being an ignorant popinjay, what is your function in life?

  38. Geosystem
    July 18th, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

    Actually, writer and noted anti-feminist Karen Straughan as pointed that very thing out, that modern “feminism” is really a front for Marxism:

  39. News of the Week (July 20th, 2014) | The Political Hat
    July 20th, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

    […] Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’ No one can honestly discuss feminism without addressing the enduring question, “Which feminism are you talking about?” From its inception as the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s, modern feminism has been fractured by schisms that its would-be mainstream leaders have sought to conceal from the larger public. […]

  40. Weekday Reading | The Ordeal of Consciousness
    July 27th, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

    […] Robert Stacy McCain – Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’ […]