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Notes from the third year: women's liberation

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Title:
Notes from the third year: women's liberation
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Koedt, Anne
Firestone, Shulamith
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[New York]
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[publisher not identified]
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English
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142 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Women -- United States ( lcsh )
Feminism -- United States ( lcsh )
Feminism ( fast )
Women ( fast )
United States ( fast )
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Pamphlets. ( gmgpc )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Pamphlets ( gmgpc )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (page 142).

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University of Florida
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00278627 ( OCLC )
72177199 ( LCCN )
ocm00278627
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HQ1426 .N67 1971 ( lcc )
301.41/2/0973 ( ddc )

Full Text
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- EDITORIAL
In its few years of existence, the feminist movement has grown at an extraordinary rate. We are no longer only a small collection of organized groups; the women's movement" today is found as well in the myriad new women's studies programs; in job actions for better pay; in child care and abortion projects; in the wealth of new writing by feminist journalists and writers; in the speak-outs and teach-ins; in the legal suits
challenging sexist laws; and in the changing consciousness of literally millions of individual women.
This explosion, rather than being a sign of disorganization or failure, is a sign of our success as a grass
roots movement. The women's movement is thus not only an organized political force but a state of mind as well. The contents of Notes From the Third Year reflect this expansion. This year has seen fewer manifestoes and more work on specific issues such as prostitution, women's literature, rape, and lesbianism. It has been a
period of intensive rather than extensive analysis.
But there are problems to solve if the feminist movement is to achieve its end of eliminating sex roles. A
euphoric period of consciousness-raising has come to an end, and a more sober evaluation has replaced it.
Women are beginning to see that consciousness-raising is meant as a stage of growth, not the ultimate stage of growth. It is limited as a tool. If we don't move on from consciousness-raising both as individuals and as groups, we face the danger of stagnation. Instead we must begin to use the knowledge gained to make both internal and external changes. Groups must move to analysis, small group actions and, most difficult, large
collective actions and organization.
In moving from the small amorphous rap group toward a more outward-directed group, the problem of
structure" arises. The women's movement will need to work out for itself a satisfactory form which can avoid the typical pitfalls of authoritarian leadership or inflexible ideology which so many. other movements have experienced. With so many women's present dislike for authoritarianism, perhaps one of the major achievements of feminism will be to work out new ways of organizing ourselves that will encourage responsibility in all members, but discourage elitism-a form which can encourage strength in all women ratherrthan create followers. Our success in accomplishing this goal will in no small part depend upon our ability to be as actively supportive of each other's new strengths and achievements as before (especially during consciousnessraising) we have been supportive and compassionate of each other's failures.
Another important development in the women's movement over the past year has been the increased
cross-fertilization between the so-called "women's rights" sector and the "women's liberation" sector. Feminists are discovering not only that moderate and radical feminists can be found in both camps (coming from the Left, for example, does not guarantee radical feminism), but also that they have a great deal more in common than was originally thought. Each sector makes important contributions to the larger feminist struggle; the "rights" sector's strong emphasis on legal changes, for example, must be united with the "liberation"
sector's stress on internal changes. Together we can win important victories, always with the understanding that no one issue wins the whole fight, and that the final victory lies both in destroying the institutions of
sexism and in the changed consciousness of all women.
Editors:- Anne Koedt, Shulamith Firestone (on leave); Associate Editors: Anita Rapone, Ellen Levine; Distribution Manager: Anita Rapone; Cover Photos: Ellen Levine. E Notes From the Third Year, P.O. Box AA, Old Chelsea Station, New York, N.Y. 10011. D NOTES is a yearly collection of radical feminist writing. We welcome articles throughout the year; final selection of material is made immediately before
RATES: Single issue: $1.50; 10 issues or more, 90c each. For women's" liberation groups: 10 issueso oe 75c. All prices include postage. I-I Copyright 1971 by Notes From the Second Year,' Inc.,l Rgt
Reserved. No quoion wtotpermission
B I
Ab rion Inf rmatio (Lists of clinics and otr r ucl udtd u h
reible referral sources listed above aetems urn
A How to find an abortion: Contact information. Post-16-week abortions and freeorlwcs
1.Women's Health and Abortion Project, 212-691-3396 or abortions are harder to arrange, but each of these evie
203(o oe'S Lieain .etr 36 West 22nd does try, so ask them ifthy can help. Post-16-wee, br
Street, New York City 10010). The Project Works closely -tions cost more: $250an up; after 24 ek brini with doctors to bring prices down; it's silaot$100 for illegal inNeYokulsyurif-sindgr. afirst-trimester outpatient abortion. Th rjc sks those B. How to start solving the problem b:y getting rido h who can pay to give a $10 donation to help them carry on laws in your state:- Every state has laws against aborin;3 their work. states still have laws restricting contraception. If yo wn 2., ZPG Referral Service, i212-489-7794 (Zero Population to work to erase them, NeW Yorkers; for Aborin a Growth, :New York Chapter, :353 west 57th Street, New Repeal has material that can probably help you; NlR i Yor Cty1009) ZG cn etyou an early outpatient si working on both kinds of repeal in New York n a abortion for $125-150. lieaur sfu people in every state (S50c for asml
3. Family Planning InfrainSrvc,2267-3040 (d/o pake) NYLwl elyorawu culrpa il Planned Parenthood of New YokCty '0 ark Avenue to haeyuhegil intouce das ad up a char South, New York City 10010) Aso ae17, the prices (25c shwn vr tate and federal restrictio0f on ot of abortions through PP Wereil reaivhih, but theycotaeinadabto.$5psyuonhemlngit ii do have suggestions for source ousd NwYrk State, if fo er NYAoLR, P 5 Boxt 240lnaiu Sthe atin, i~iiyou live far away. Ne Yr Ct 1002 Bo24,laerimSt




1Liberating History:
The First Feminists' Judith Hole and Ellen Levine /5 /
The Trial of Susan B. Anthony /1
2. Women's Experience:
Why I Want a Wife -Judy Syfers /13
Getting; Angry -Susi Kaplow /15
Woman in the. Middle -Florence Rush / 18
Black Feminism -Cellestine Ware /21
Loving Another Woman -Anne Koedt /-25
A Feminist Look at Childcren's Books -The Feminists on Children's Literature /30
Speaking Out on Prostitution- Susan Brownmlller/ 37'
Men an~d Viole ce- BA! Consciousness Raising /39
3. Theory and'Analysis.
The Building of the Gilded~ Cage -Jo Freeman /44
Independence from!,th'e Sexual Revolution -Draenmre /5
Marriage Sh~eila Crpnan /62'
ADC: Marriage to the State -Andr6 LeQo 66 Slavery or Labor of Love -Betsy Wfarrior /68
Prostitution -Barbara Mehrhof and Pamela Kearon /71
TheSpritalDiensonofWomen's Liberation -Mary Daly / 75
Rape: An Act of Terror -Pamela Kearon at d Barbara Mehrhof /79
The Woman Identified'Woman -Radu.calesbians /81 Lesbianism and Feminism -Anne Koedt /84/
A, Wo ma n's [Place is in the, Oven -Sherry Sonnett Trumbo /90
4. Building a Movemnt: ,,
Free Space -Pamela A lon / 9?
Consciousniess Raising: A Dead End? -CrlPye/9
The~~~ ~~ Cearin ofyn a9eiit9CacI~Dafs(0




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ILIB3ERATING .-HISTORY
The Firste ns ,
*by JUDITH HOLE Fn E NistsIN
JuihHole arnd Ellen Levine are the, authors ofs Rin.t and ELEULVN
Jvoit Reit f Feminism, a study of the resurgence of femiis nnte eted States. The book is a history and analysis of the origins, organizational development, philosophy, issues, and activities of the nw women's movement. The following exccerpt, the introductory chapter, is a brief discussion! of the first feminist movemnt~f in America int the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is not nmeant to be a detailed description of the earlier mvment, but rather to serve as an indication that the contemporary women's movement has a much ignored historical predecessor.
The contemporary' women s movement is not the tunities to women were made in the field of e4ufirst such movement in American history to offer. cation. In 1833, Oberlin became 'the first college a wideranging feminist critique of society. In fact, to open its doors to both men and women. Al.
much, of what seems "radical"~ in contemporary though female education at Oberlin was regarded feminist analysis parallels the critique made by the as necessary to ensure the development of good feminists of the nineteenth century. Both the early and proper wives -and mothers, the open admission and the contemporary feminists have engaged in a policy paved -the way for the founding of other.
fundamental reexamination of the role of women schools, some devoted entirely to women's educain all spheres of life, and of the relationships of tion.1 Much of the ground-breaking work~ in edumen and women in, all social, political, economic cation' was done by Emma Willard, who had camand cultural institutions. Both have defined women paigned vigorously for educational facilties for as an oppressed group and have traced the oinwomen beginning in the early- 1820's.' Frances
of women's subjugation to male-defined and male- Wright, one of the first women orators, wasaoa
dominated social institutions and value'systems. strong advocate of education for women. She
When the early feminist movement emerged in viewed women as an oppressed group anid argued
the nineteent century, the "woman isue" was [that, "Until women assume the place in society extensively debated in the -nation Ipress, in politi-. which good sense and good feeling alike assign to N Cal gatherings, and from church pul pits. The wom- them, human improvement must advance but feeen agropsth' latorm an r eadrsat-l~y" Central to her discussion of the inequalities
though not always well received or understood, between the' sexes was a particular concern with were extremey well known. Until recently, how- the need for equal educational training-for women.
ever, that early feminist movemn has been only It wys, in the abolition movement of the cutsorily dscussed in American history textbooks, 83shwvrtathe omnsihts moveand then only in terms of the drive for suffrage. ment as such had its political origins' When on




Ministers of Massachsetts typified the attack: They attacked as well the manifestations of "male A superiority" in the employment market. In a letter The appropriate dutis and influence of an are clear- ndition of Women in the United
13 stated in the New Testament.... The power of wornan is her dependence, flowing from the consciousness of States" Sarah Grimk wrote of:
that weakness which God has' given hr for her protection.... When she assumes the place and tone of man as
a public reformer... she ields the power which God has .t,, te disproportionate value set on the time and labor of gn a hc c b e uatr3 men and of women. A man who is engaged in teaching, can giv en~:: h er .,n e c a a t r b e o e n a tu ra l .. .. .. .
always, I believe, command a higher price for tuition than a
woman-even when he teaches the same branches, and is
The brutal and unceasing attacks (sometimes physi- not in any respect superior to the woman... [Or] for example, in tailoring, a man has twice, or three times as
cal) on the women convinced the Grimke~s that much for making a waistcoat 'or pantaloons as a woman,
the issues of freedom for slaves and freedom for although the work done by each may be equally good.7
women were inextricably linked. The, women began to speak about both issues, but because of the The abolition movement continued to expand, objections from male abolitionists who were afraid and in 1840 a World Anti-Slavery Convention was that discussions of woman's' rights would "muddy held in London. The American delegation included the waters," they often spoke about the "woman a group of women, among them Lucretia Mott Question" as a-separate issue (In fact, Lucy Stone, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, In Volume I of the
an early feminist and abolitionist, lectured on abo- History of Woman Suffrage, written tnd edited by lition on Saturdays and Sundays and on women's Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn r ights during the week.) Gage, the authors note that the mere presence of
In an 1837 letter to the President of the Bos- women delegates produced-,an "excitement and
ton Female Anti-Slavery Society-by that time vehemence of protest and denunciation [that] many female anti-slavery societies had been estab could not have been greater, if the news had come lished in response to the exclu.sionary policy of that the French were about to invade England.""
the male abolitionist groups-Sarah Grimk 6 ad- The women were relegated to the galleries and dressed herself directly to the question of woman' s prohibited from participating in any ,of the prostatus: ceedings. That society at large frowned upon women participating in political' activities wa on
All history attests that man has subjugated woman, to his thing; that the leading male radicals, those most will, used her as a means to promote his selfish gratifica- cnered wih.ocalinqull s
tion, to minister to his sensual pleasure to be instrumental .....
in promoting his comfort; but never has he desired to ele- criminate against women was quite another. The vate her to that rank she was created to fill. He has done events at the world conference reinforced the
all lhe could to debase and enslave her mind; and now he
looks triumphantly on the ruin he has wrough -t, and says, women'Is growing awareness that the battle for the
the being he has thus deeply injured is his inferior. .. But ablto of egosvrycudnerewn
a, ,:,- ........ ... :... - ..... .. .. ,boltion of Neg o slavery .. could never be ...won...
I ask no favors for my sex ..All I ask of our brethren is,
that they will take their feet from off our necks a.nd permit without a battle for the abolition of woman's slavus to stand upright on that ground which God designed us, ery :
to occupy.4/
Thechallnged oth thei assumpowr As Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wended their, TheGrink~ cmiulnge boh te asumtio of way arm in arm down Great ,Queen Street that night, reth "atra sipeirit of man" and th soia viwnSh, xiig cnso h a, hyare ohl insttutons redcate ntha asmin or ex-h a woa si rights covnto onthirreur.t.Aena.a thmmnnoho teyha jstliteedha.mniese
ample, in hr "Letterson the Equ lo the.. Sx- their. gratnedo.sm.euato.o ha usio




and men, coming from as far as fifty miles, movement .ridiculous. But Mrs. Stanton and Frederick
crodedint th smllWeseya ~hpel(no aDouglass seeing that the power to choose rulers and make laws, was the right by which all others could be secured, gas 'station) and approved a Declaration of Senti- persistently advocated. the resolution ....' 11 ments (modeled on the Declaration of Independence) and' twelve Resolutions. The delineation of Far more important to most of the women at the. issues in the Declaration bears a startling resem- Convention -was their desire to gain control of blance' to cotmoayfmns rtns oetheir property and earnings, guardianship of their
excerpts are illustrative:1 children, rights' to divorce, etc. Notwithstanding the disagreements at the' Convention, the Seneca We hold-these 'truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that' they are endowed- b' their 'Falls meeting -was of great historical significance. Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are As Flexndx has noted:
life liert, an hepuruitof hppiess...[The women themselves were fully aware of the nature of The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and the step they were taking; today's debt to them has been usurpations on the part of man toward woman, .having in inadequa tely acknowledged .... Beginning in, 1848 it was direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over possible for women who rebelled against the circumstances her. To prove this, let facts be submitted tp a candid of their lives, to know that they were not alone-although world .... often th news reached them~ only through a- vitriolic serHe has compeled her to submit to laws, in the formation of mion1 or an abusive newspaper editorial. But a mnovemenlt
whih se hs n voc~...had been launched which they could either join, or ignore, that would leave its imprint on the lives of their daughters H e has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly and of women throughout. the world.1
dead...
He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, From 1848 urntil the 'beginning of the' Civil
and from those she is per mitted to follow, she receives WaWmn'gt ovnin eeheld nearly
but a scanty remuneration. He closes agaist her all the
avenues to wealth and distinction which hie considers every year in different cities in, the -East, and Mid--'
most -honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, west. The 1850.Convention in Salem, Ohio:
medicine, or law, she is not known.
He w~ he incht h aswel a Stte ut sbotinae .had one peculiar characteristic. It was: officered entirely
position, claiming' Apostolic authority fox her exclusion by women; not a man was allowed to sit on the platform, from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any to speak, or vote. Never did men so suffer. They implored public participation in the affairs of the Church. jutosyawr;btn;tePeietwsiflexible-no
H1e has created a false~ public sentiment by~ giving to the mnsol ehad foemel~aoet aeasg
word difee tcoe o mral ft mn nd congestion he was- at once ruled- out of, order. For the first by hic moaldelnqun e wichexlud woentime in the wonl' history, men learned how it- felt to sit fro soety a no ony tlerted bu demedofin silence when questions in which they were interested
Ettleac ont inmanwere, under discussion.3
He ha surped th prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming
it as his right toassign for her a sphere of action, when As the woman's movement gained in strength,
tht elng t e oscene ndtohe Gdattacks upon it became more vitriolic. In news-t nevrd every way that he could, to destroyU ist her confidene in her own powers, to lessen her self- ppreioil n hrhsrosat-'riit
rep ,and to mak her wili tog lead a dependent argued vociferously that the public~ arena. was not {
and abect life. the proper place for women. In 'response to such
In ude intheIi pf wele rsoutins as criticism, Stanton wrote in an article in the Rochwhc red: Retfrd, hatit s he utyof heester, New York National Reformer:
eredh thead of cilbeinin pulpit at the bar, ort nf outehetiehls..NwsI




~uring, the six years tehe$hl WDclisi abeya
'Tdi e U e bro ~p nan to the slaves of the South, and labored to inspire the peo~
itSom 's.~~ junl'including The' Lily) h J4 pie with enthusiasm~ for the great measures of the RepuhiWomn' s 4dvQcate, Pttsburgh Visiter [sicl] etc. can party, they were highly honored as "wise, loyai, and4 th ~a~t ue wn wichth woenclear-sighted." But again when the slaves were emancipated One f te may isueswit whih -he wmenand they asked that women should be recognized in the activists were concerned was dressy reform. Some reconstruction as citizens of the Republic, equal before. the th "~lonie" o um ( ms- law, all these transcendent virtues vanished like dew before egi o erthe morning sun., And thus it ever is so long as woman nmer since Amelia Bloome~r, although an advocate labors to second man's endeavors and exalt his sex above of the loose-fitting dress, was, neither' its originator her own, her virtues pass unquestioned; but when she 'dares to demand rights' and privileges for herself, her 'motives') nor the first to wear it) in protest against the manners, dress, personal appearance, character, are sutbjects tightfitting and singularly uncomfortable cinched- for ridicule and detraction. 7 waisted. stays and layers of petticoats.. However, as Flexner has noted', "'The attempt at dress, reform, The Women met with the same response when although badly needed, was. not only unsuccvessful, te apindt e h od"e"addt
ut o~e~n~d~ad adtobeabndne.~iSthe proposed Fifteenth Amendment which would Women's- rights. advocates -became known as prohibit the denial of suffrage on account of
bloomers" and the movement, for.- equal right's as race.1/
well -as the indIividual 'women were 'subjected to As a result of these setbacks, the woman's
ncrasn idiul, lizbeh adyStntn, neof movement assumed as its first- priority' the .drive the"erlistto ea th mre omortl~e otftfor woman's suffrage. It must be noted, however, was one of the first to suggest its 'rejection. rn X that while nearly all the women activists agreed on
letertoSuan~.Anton se roe:the -need for suffrage, in 1869 the movement split over ideological and tactical questions into two We '~ut the dress on for greater freedom, but what is physi maorfactions. In May of that year, Susan B. Ancal. freedom compared with mental bondage? ...it is not wise, Suisan, to use up so much energy and feeling that thony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the way., Youi can put them to better use. 1. speak from experi National Woman Suffrage, Association. Six months ence.1
later, Lucy Stone and others organized the. Am~eriWhe th Ciil ar egn i 18b wmans can Woman Suffrage Association. The American, in rights advocates were urged to abandon their cause an atep tomk(hbdaofwmnssfrg
4 sppot te wr efor. Athogh nthny respectable, limited its activities to that issue,
~n4Statonc nlnud agung hatanybatle orand refused to address itself to any, of the more
fredommus inlue wmans feedmthe wom- "controversial" subjects such as marriage or the, an's movement activities essentially stopped for the cuc.TeNtotl nteoh ad m w~r Afer he ar nd he at~i- braced the broad cause of woman's rights. of duration of the which thee vote was senn prmail asaateasio cationi of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishingwhc tevoe asenprmilasa ensf slavery; (for which the women activists had cam-acivn tloerghsDunghstmeAth y p'aigned vigorously), the abolitionists began to adSatnfuddTeJeoukn h e press for passage of a Fourteenth Amendment to cm n ftebs nw fteid~nei women's newspapers. The weekly journal began in secure the rights, privileges, and immunities of citi-Jaur,16,ndto asism to"e thi zens '(the new freedmen) under the law. In, the




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Count ofthe Proceedings
on the Tria IOf
theChag oIlega Voting
on Sua Br Anthon
'the Presid entialEle tion
in Novernber,1872
JUDGE HtJNT-(Ordering the defendant to stand MISS ANTHONY-But your-honor will no~t deup), "Has the prisoner anything to say why sell- fly me this one and only poor privilege of protest tence shall n~ot be pronounced?" /aga inst this high-handed outrage upon my citizen's rights, May it please the Court to remember that MIS ATHNY-YSyou hno, hvesince the day of my arrest last November, this, is many things to say; for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled under foot every vihtarttmlta ihe yef raypesno naua igt,~ymy disfranchised class has been allowed a word of pricipe f ot ovenmnt.Mydefenise before judge or jurycivil righ~fs, my, political rights, my judicial, rights, are all alike ignored. -Robbed of the fundamental JUDGE HUNT-The prisoner must sit downprivilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the the C2ourt cannot allow it.
sta~isofa iizn t tht f aubec ndMISS ANTHONY-All of my prosecutors, from only myself individually, but -all of my sex, are, te8hwr onrgoeypltcawoe by -your honor's verdict, doomed to political sub- trdtecmlit oteUie ttsMrhl jection~ under' this, ,so-called, form of government.ComsinrDstctAone DsrctJd,
JUDGE~ HUNT-The Court cannot listen to a your honor on the bench, not one is my peer, but rehearsal of arguments the prisoner's 'toinsel has each- and all are my political sovereign;, and had' already consumed three hours in presenting. your honor submitted my, case to the jury,, as was




tied tostuo uy n owmni nildrcn mendments, that should declare all United
tot~franchise so no' i eulry le States citizens under its protecting eista
lawe is allowed to pratice in the courts, and noshould' declire equality of rights the national guarwoman can gain admission- to the bar-hence, jury, antee to all persons born or naturalized in' the judge, counsel, must all be of the superior class. United States. But failing to get this justice,-failJUDE HNTTheCort ustinistth prs-ing, even, to ge t a trial by a jury not o my peers-I ask not leniency at your hands-but rather oner has been tried according to the establishedthfulrgsofheaw
forms, of law.
MISSANTHNY-es, our ono, bu byJUDGE HUNT-The Court must insistfomn, la wte byl maeb men, int reofdmen ridhepiso atdw.
menadmnis redby en, n fvorof enandJUDGE HUNT-The prisoner will..stand up.
against women; and hence, your honor's ordered
verdict of guilty, against a United States citizen (Here. Miss Anthony arose again.)
for the exercise of "that citizen's right to vote,"
simply because that citizen was a -woman and not The sentence of the Court is that you pay a a man. But, yesterday, the same man made forms- fine of one hundred dollars and the costs. of the
of law, declared it a crime punishable with $1 ,000 prosecution.
fine. and six months' imprisonment, for you, or MS NHN -a t'es orhnr
me,~IS ANHOY-a ity olas your hoor gieacpoIodwtr
meor ny f u, t gie~ ciip f cld ate, shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.
crut o bead o a igt'sshete toa antngAll the stock in trade I possess. is a $10,000 debt,
fugitive as hie was tracking his way to Canada. icre ypbihn ypprTeRvlto
And4 every man or woman in whose veins coursed
/ qd oof-four% years ago, the sole object of which wa s to humn smpahy ioltedtha wikededucate all women to do' precisely as I have'done, lawrec~es ofconequnce, ad ws jistfi~ inrebel against your man-made, unjust, unconstituso doing. As then, the slaves who go t their free-tinl'om oflahttxiempso ad
rtist akeit ver orundr, r trouh te hang women, while they deny them the right of
uinust forms of law, precisely so, now, must wome ge the riht a vicein his oven / representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of 1ment, take it, and I have taken mine, and mean ta oetdbbtntapnysalg oti tak t veryposibleopprtunty.unjust claim. And I1 shall earnestly and persistently
JUD~GE HUNT-The Court orders the prisoner continue to urge all women to the practical recogto sit down,. It will hiot allow another word,. nition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "ReMi AN$GY-WenI ws r~uhtbefresistance, to tyranny is obedience to God."
you hno ortrial, I hoped for a broad and JDE UN-Madam, the Court will not or,liberal interpretation Qf the Constitution and i ts der you committed until the fine is paid.




2E WOMEN'S EXP.E RIENCE
Why 1 ant AWife<
by JUDY SYFERS
Judy Syfers has been in- the women's movement for almost two years sand is a member of Sudsofloppen, a small California group.
She was one of., the organizers of Breakaway, a community liberation school for women's studies and was a co-teacher in an introductory seminar called "A Wide Range Look at Women's Oppression" at Breakaway. She worked on and, spoke at the, August 26 demonstration last year in San Francisco and is now active in the Women's Abortion Coalition. On the less glamorous side, she says "I am married, am a housewife, and have two female children; all three of those factors serve to keep my anger
al ive."
I belojig to that classification of people known as I want a wife who will take care of my physiwives. I amn A Wife. And, not altogether inciden- cal needs. I want a wife who will keep my house
tally. I am a mothier.. clean. A wife who wil pick up after, my children,Not too long 'ago a male friend of mine ap- a wife who' will pick up after me. I want a wife,
peared on the scene from th~e Midwest fresh from who will keep my clothes clean, ironed, mended, a recent divorce. HeI had one child, who is, of replaced when need be, and who will see -to, it course, within hiis ex-wife. Hie is obviously looking that my personal things are kept in their proper for another wife As I li ought about him, while I place so that I can find what I need the minute I was ironing one evening, it suddenly occurred to need it. I want a wife who cooks the meals, a me that 1, too, wudlktohvawieWydowife who is a good cook. I want a wife who w i I want a. wife? plan the menus, do the necessary grocery shopI would like to go back to school so that I can ping, prepare the meals, serve them pleasantly, and
become economically independent, support myself, thien do the cleaning up while .1 do niy studying. I and, if need be, support those dependent upon want a. wife whio will care for mne when I am sick
Me. I want a wife who will work and send me to, and symnpathilze within my pain and loss of time N
school. And while I am going to school I want a from school. I want a wife to go along when our wife to take care of my children. I want a wife to family takes a vacation so thiat someone can o-1 keep track of the children's doctor and dentist ap- tinue to care for me anid my hlildreii wh en I need
pointments An d to keep track of- mine, too. I ,a rest anid a change of scene e.
wanrt. a wife to mke sure my I lildren eat proper- I want a wife -who will not botie e within ly. and are kept clean. I want. a wfe, whio will, rambling complaints about' a wife's duties. But 1, wash the children "s clothes and keep them menind- want a, wife whio will listen to me whien -1 feel the
etc i1 wan a ie who tae croft e ie, atawf h iltk aeo h eal
when they- resk awife< who arranges to be of my sociaj lie. When my. w% ife and 1: a< : In
wifes Is n incm rmme o t, bu t I guesi Iy epar e spa:: ecial meaud l~, vatt s m e alind my caOn olerat that e edes to s ay. mi wil fri e nd sOfrWor d and no ner twe I : talk aboutnthe :i :i darrang andpa fr th care oft children.......... whl thW~ns: eing hat itrest~y mhe an m rend.Iwn
.....wif.iswor nwac ifewoilhve aragd ha les chi rar
!: O~~i @:', : --r::::in copyright 97 ..y. Judy Syfers:" o" =tO -t ...............




fe4d and ready for bed before my guests arrive so that the children do not bother u.1Iwan a wife who takes care of the needs of my guests so that they feel comfortable, who makes sure that they
lave 'an ashtray, tat they are passed the hor '
d'oeuvres, that they are offered a second helping
of the food, that their wine glasses are replenished '
when. necessary, that their coffee is served to them
as they like it. And I want a wife who knows
that sometimes I need a night out by'myself.
I want a wife who is sensitiet ysxa
tds, a -wife who makes love passionately and
eagerly when I feel like it, a wife 'who makes sure that I am satisfied. And, of course, I want a wife who will not demand sexual attention when I am not in the mood for it. I want a wife who assumes the complete responsibility for birth conKtrol, because I do' iot want more children. I want
a~ wife who will remain sexually faithful to me so
that I do not have to clutter up my intellectual
life with jealousies. And I want a wife who under~stands that my sexual needs may entail more than strict adherence to monogamy. I must,, after all,
be ,able to relate to people as fully as possible.
if, by chance, I find another person more suitable as a wife than the wife I already have, I want the liberty to replace my present wife with another one. Naturally, I will expect a fresh, new
life; my wife will take -the children and be solely
responsible for them so that I am left free.
When I 'am through with school and have acquired a job, I want my wife to quit working and
remain at home so that my wife can more fully 4
and completely take care of a wife's duties.
My God, who wouldn't want a wife?




Getting Angry
by SUSI KAPLOW
In 1970 SusI Keplow was part of the nucleus of the now expanded women's liberation group in Paris. When she returned to N ew York in the fall of 10~0 she joined New York Radical Feminists. She organizedi four consciousness-raising groups and was, on th
organizing committee for the speak-out on Rape held in New York City.
Two scenarios. An angry nun: someone has in-. ant feminine. image to be angry. And the woman fringed on his rights, gone against his. interests, or fears her own anger: She., the great conicilitor, the harmed a loved one. Or perhaps his anger is social steadier of rocked boats, moves, out of her fear, ~-against, racism or midlitarism. He holds his anger to quiet not only others' anger but also her, ownin check (on the screen we can see the munscles of Small wonder that when the vacuum-sealed lid his face tighten,-~his~ fists clench> and then,- at the bursts off, the angry woman seems either like a strategic moment, he lets it g o. We see him 'yell- freaked-out nut or a bitch on wheels. Her frenzy.
ing, shouing his angry phrases with sureness and is intensified by the shakiness of her commitment confidence--or pushing a fist into his opponent's to her own anger. What if she's really wrong?
stomach with equal conviction. In either event, the What :if the other person is right? -Or worse (and anger is -resolved; our hero, has vented it and is this is the greatest fear) hits back with "You're content with success or accepts what he knows to crazy, I don't know what you're so mad about.' be unnmerited defeat. Why can't women allow themselves' the outlet
Dissolve to scene two. An angry woman: angry of their contained anger?' Why do those around
at her nun for cheating on her or (more likely) at them find an angry womani so frightening that the othe woman. If we're in the good old days, they must demoralize and deflate her into a deshestops p o hr mn nd egis o srea gaded, inauthentic calm? Healthy anger, says "I'm wildly, he holds her down with his pinky, her an- esn aecranhmnrgt hc o
get' -melts in, his embrace. After the fade-out, we can't deny. I have a 'right to be treated With fairfind a puzzled heroine wondering how she could ness and compassion, I have a right to live my li' have b~eeni angry at such a good man. Or she as I see fit, I have a right to get what I can for marches over to the local saloon,,- hurls a few myself without hurting you. And if you deprive choice epithets at her rival, and then the hair-pll-. me of my, rights, I'm not going to thank you, I'm ing~ begins. This ludicrous, scene is always-broken going to say 'fuck off' and fight you if I have up, -by the amused and slightly scandalized gentle- to.' A. person's anger puts him or her 'on center men on the sidelines.' In modern dres's the same stage. It claims 'attention for itself and demands to episode would be played differently'. Discovering be taken seriously, or else. (Or else t won't talk her husband's' or lover's infidelity, the woman to you, I won't work with. yo I or be friendly would smolder inwardly until the anger had toward you, or else, ultimately, our association is
t!une dwntoa iteresnten orbeoe ve.
suhapesrzdfreta tcudol oeEpesn ne en ikn.Rsigta h
oin II a aes ucnrlabeta hemn(ndohrprsnwl e n n eun isigta
thei=ii~~ auiece canI~ imiss]i ;!iti asiI R ii=i~ii1i [!ii iriona~ii~l.; "1i cant e r hewil msudestndthe age o eus
takt ouwe o' ietis"Hl ht ot da ihit ikngta h agrislfi ms
fury i;i!: lie womani!-!iii~! sioned placed or misinformed. Soi !!iili youi needi strengthilli: t!oil] =ii
For!!ili~! ai!i~ woman 'iiiiiiiiiii~iin u iei s eidte ~ a o'eagybt h org fyu oy
fortrigt epressio f er ealhy nger He at tins nd te 'bilty4to c~ep tht yur nge
tekimpts at phys iiianotions ri duos; myb unwarrantediiiiiiiiiii ithot eing crushd i nto 'lad i es" dio a sbw iriii leting out i the ire otingness You must not haveiiiiiiiiiiiii youri, tota~il worth
n i direetin cattii i~ l i es often d iirceasapso ridionth wrt f ac iditda Viiiii! ~ ~ ii i! i ..... ~ i!ii!iiii~iii~ii~ i i i~ii
aga inst i~i thidp yspcal ildren A woman case ofiiiiii angerioiiiii
hasi~ii! iiiii ] !=i i~i!i i1iU!] leared:!iii~iii!][:! ~ iii l !ii~iiii'li!i;i!i to ho i d: backi hi r!il anger-!!ii!i. !iiji;]ii iii I t's: ~i]i iii!!iiiiJii: unseem!iii~ l yi~~~l il ;ii;ifiii]!]])i ii i !~~i ~i:~ !~ii!i~ T husi a ngerII!:Ii i: I! :iii~ i iii i sei l f onident w iling to igh fo gethtc l 4jl igad gintth wet i1j itsel evn a th jeqrd of the.st.tu.q.o.ca.
......4i i,
A~i!iii iiii irIghlIbiyi vsii aplpwK ,4i 4 i ilii 44 4i i .................. i4 44444 4iiil ii i i 4 ii
i44,4444V4-< 4 44 iiiiiii!iiiii iiii~ ii 4444:4i 444 4




~ble of taking a risk and, if necessary, of accepting work. At 'the psychiatrist who called you frigid
',h nlogssadwho"
defeat without total demise. Above all, anger is because you1 didn't have vaginlogssadwh
assertive. The traditional woman is the polar oppo- told you you were neurotic for wanting more than site of this description. Lacking confidence in her- the unpaid, unappreciated role of maid, wet nurse, self and in her own perceptions, she backs away and, occasional lay. At employers who paid you from a fight or, following the rules of chivalry, less and kept you in lousy jobs. At the message lets someone else do battle for her. Strong emo- from the md hi younever ....... UnderstOod beia you never u dtod nbe
t .ons disturb her for the disruption they bring fore: "You've come a long way, baby-down the.t:ings-as-they-are. So shaky is her self-image that dead-end, pre-fab street We designed for youevery criticism is seen as an indictment of her per- Furious, above all, at men. For the grocer who son She is a living, walking apology for her own has always called you "honey" you now have a
\existence-what could be more foreign to self-asser-- stiff, eurt, "don't 'call 'me honey"' For the-~ino
tion? the street who visit their, daily indignities on your,
Although the reality' has changed somewhat, body, you have a "fuck off," or, if you're brave,
most women will recognize themselves somewhere a knee in the right place. For your male friends in this description. And society clings to this -mod-, (dteegtfwradfwer) who are "all for el as. its ideal and call an angry woman unfemi- women's lib" you reserve a. cynical eye and a' nine. Because anger takes the woman out of her ready put-down. And-for 'Your man (if 'he's still earth' mother role a's bastion of peace and calm, around), a' lot of hostile, angry questions. Is he out of her familial role as peacemaker, out of he. do ther m h political role as preserver of the status quo, out of fails to prove himself, your rage explodes. readily 'her -econornic role as cheap labor, out of her so- / from just beneath the surface., cial role as second-class citizen. It takes her out of This is an ncomfortble period to live through.
roles altogether and makes her a person. You are raw with an anger Ithat seems to have a
It is no accident, then, that the emotion which mind- and will of its -own. Your friends, most of
accompanies the first steps toward liberation is, whom disagree with you, find you strident ard for most women, anger. Whatever sense of self- difficult. And you, become all the more- so'because worth you have been able to emerge, with after of your fear that they are right, that you re crazy twenty or thirty years of having your mind after all. You yourself get tired of- this anger-it's messed with gives you the vague -feeling that your exhausting to be furious all the time-which won't situation is not what it should be and- sends you even let you watchaa movie or have a conversation
looking tentatively at the world around you for in peace.
explanations. Realizations are, -at. first, halting, and Blut from- your fury yo-rgiigstrength.
then begin to hit you. -like a relentless sledge ham-~ The exercise :of- your anger gives you a sense of mer, driving the anger deeper and deeper into sefado ef-worth. And the more this sense your consciousness with every -blow increases, the angrier you become. The two eleYour 'fury focuses on, the select group of indi- merits run in a dialectic whirlwind,, smashing idols
viduals who have done you the most damage.,You and myths all around them. You see,' too, that are furious !at yo...ur .. paretsi: :;: forhavng antd" yo cange angry a.d.t. osnt.il.pepl.h
S boy instead; at your mohr(n thi fur i don't...kill,, ou ,- th orddos'"ffaat
in ote hepblse oueoa or and ver sr thyopesdyu sr hycniu




marriage is the ultimate goal. $eeing this, you are more bullshit, to underscore your seriousness, to violent against yourself for every, time you were drtorieyour point home. afraid to try something for fear of failing, for all Through the exercise of your anger, as you see the hours lost on, make-up and shopping, for every its efficacy and thus your own,, you gain strength. woman you missed because there was a mani And the growing feeling that you control your anthe room, for getting yourself stuck as a house- ger and not vice versa adds to this strength. As wife or in a job you hate because "marriage is you gain this control, become su~rer of yourself, your career. less afraid of being told you're crazy, your anger
This phase of anger turned inward is terrifying. is less enraged and, in a sense, calmer. So it beYou are alone with your own failed 'responsibilities comes discriminating. You reserve it for those inditard yourself, however much you can still vdasand groups~ who are messing with your blame -others. It is this phase that some women mi nd--be ,they men or other women. fin d unbearable and flee from, returning t o the This progression of anger, finds its ultimate, first phase of anger or dropping out altogether. meaning as an, experience shared with other worn~e~ase inurnd agerdemndsacton-en. All striving to understand their' collective situa-. ehanse-an4 won't -let go until its demands begin tiop, women -in, a, group can help- each other to be satified, You can fall back on your inabili- through the first, painful phase of 6utward-directty to cotrol others and their behavior toward ed anger. Through. consciousness-raising each wornyu. But you can't, comfortably claim powerless- an can (at least ideally) find sufficient Iconfirmatness over your own conduct. Nor can you, at least tion of her perceptions 1to be reassured of her owns for Ion 'g o on being furious at others (the forty- sanity-and can find growing strength to do withive year old who still blames, motm founders) if out, such confirmation when necessary. you~ don't even try to get'yourself toether. In the second phase of inturned anger- women
This- in wrthse. around you that. yu're not having any
ON LOVE
"Shut up in the sphere of the relative, -destined. to the male f rom childhood,, habituated to seeing in him a superb being whom she.




Nf4' Al
Woman in the Middle
by FLORENCE RUSH
Florence Rush came into the women's movement last October as a member of OWL (Older Women's Liberation) end soon after began, to write on -subjects pertaining to women. She now belongs to an independent con sciousness-raising group and is a member
of the New York Radical Feminists and the Westchester Women's Liberation Coalition.
The woman in the middle is between forty and dependency, children, long after maturity, continue
fifty-five years of age and at the point in her life to look to their parents for help.
when her aging parents are becoming increasingly We live in a society that does not assume re-.
dependent and her children, past eighteen, should \ sponsibiity for the most elementary human needs be increasingly independent, but are not. Her par- and provides, inadequate public service for the "ents may become helpless, ill, and although her poor, sick, aged, and young. The old, sick, and children may be in college or' living away from poor individual is at the mercy of a community 'home, they come back for holidays, also become with so'little concern for human life that it allows ill, get into trouble and mother is needed. The- old people to die alone every day from neglect woman 'in the middle -is caught between, two gen- -and starvation. Similarly, young people with few erations. She -has about ten or maybe fifteen good legal rights are subject to abuse, exploitation and years left and if she does not use them for her- forced destructive relationships with parents and
slshe will never have another opportunity. guardians. Children and the ae aen rtc
Contrary to popular opinion, many ,wemen look tion beyond the family. Because society has failed
forward to this period in life when, free at last, to make provision, it is, as. always, the wife, moththey can be concerned with only themselves. Some er, or daughter who must cope with and find solu~women plan to go back to school, take a job, tions for the needs of the family members. She study music, travel, or just enjoy some well-earned may do- a good job, a bad job, or -overwhelmed,
i~st.There may be those who break down from may even walk away from tejb u omte
lack of household chores, absence of children, or which, way it goes, the responsibility for the care
-the. feeling of not being wanted, but that is only of the dependent person belongs to the woman.
because these women have had no alternative way M4y train ing as a female to fill this role 'started, to live beyond child care and housework. If a at an early age. 'I was the baby daughter, cute,
' woman has -skills, job opportunity, lives in a world and, I'm told, always bad .a lot of feeling for oththat does not discriminate against women, particu- er people. At age four, when, I saw m~y mother larly older women, and is not programmed to'be- scrubbing the kitchen floor, I said, "Mommy, why
lieye in 'hePr own uslesnss los of% dependent do you work % so hard fo ^vyn My.- mother.




was a big girl (age ten), she thought it was time I mother returned the money. She would take help knew what kind of a man my father really was. from her daughter but not from her son. I once
When my father learned' that my mother con- asked 'a young woman who, was active in the fided in me, he demanded equal time and the women's liberation movement and wise in the both complained to me about each other. I was ways of sexism, why men responded so differently later surprised to learn that my brother, ten years from women to human needs and suffering, and my senior, was totally unaware andunaffected by she told me toexamine how differently the sexes my parents' actively hateful relationship. They are raised by their parents. I compared the attinever involved him because he was, after all,- a tudes of my parents to myself and my brother, man. and then my husband's parents' attitudes to him
Later, after I married and my children were fi- and his sister. Males are trained to do different nally grown and in the process of leaving home, jobs, have different responsibilities, and are promy father had two massive heart attacks. I was grammed to feel different feelings than females. drawn into a nightmare of, nurses, doctors, and At the other end of the spectrum, I had to hospitals, while my mother, crying and helpless, cope with my grown children and these problems also needed attentionn, I asked my brother to help were no less disturbing or complicated. For eightand he gladly agreed but since he had no prepara- een years I had raised my children practially tion for this kind of work, the instruction and alone because this 'is regaled as woman's work supervision required more effort than the job it- and my husband had little to do with th 0pb self, so I did everything. I was soberly informed by family and friends that I had this neurotic at- whnclehle wt homework, made. costachment to my father which would not allow me tumnes for Halloween, prepared birthday. parties, supervised heir sex edctin woffied::: abu tm
to have anyone else care for him. My father got p sI better and enjoyed .,one good year when 'wememhubscngadoerertisylearned he had terminal cancer. Doctors agreed toms, in addition to doing the usual cooking and that he had nine months to live ,but he survivedclaig for two years, and I -was needed more than-, ever. I $fr areIhdbe rie n became very. efficient at dealing, with hospital per-wokdaa oaloreswhnBbmyosonneI, became an expert at sick benefits. and in- ,s own f oclee n ne yduh surance, and even learned how to read X-rays. ter, was in high school, and Bill, my youngest son,
Anyway, my father died and left all his money was. in junior high, I decided to go back to work. to my brother. I didn't get a penny but fortunate I found an agency that would employ me after ly my m other had enough money to manage. At my long years of absence. Although initially nervmy father's funeral, my mothet~s widowed -state' ouls, Isoon found the, change of scene, the. chaIwas much discussed but was not of great concern lenge of the job, and. the weekly pay check the because she had a daughter to care for her. Later, most rewarding experience in eighteen years. Even I saw her regularly. I took her shopping, for doc- tog xrml isImngdcidebs tor's- appointments, kept her finances in order and band,'home, and job. Six weeks after Bob left for




tors, got books from te library, ndbeasheand his school problems, what they suggested was was a young, healthy man -who became bored and like a welcomed vacation. I gladly obeyed. irritable from being confined, I also received a One year later, I received a phone call from the large 'amount of abuse. My supervisor kept wanting school psychiatrist who did not bother to disguise to know when I'd come back to work and finally his annoyance and impatience, with me. lie quesI suggested she find someone to take my place. tioned my lack of interest in my son, wondered After seven weeks, Bob went back to school and I' why I never contacted the school or asked for a was without a job. progress report. Before I could protest, I wsinIt took me six months to find other employ- formed that my son was not only failing' everyment. After a year and a half -on my second job, thing, but was also 'using hard drugs. When- I the agency offered to -send. me back to school, at broke down in tears and confusion, I was told I their expense, to get my master's degree. It would hdgo esnt r eas ysnwssn mean, giving uip 'income for a year but I would ously emotionally ill and needed to be hospitalreceive, in return, after a year, a supervisory posi- zd tion and a substantial increase. in salary. While Ltr hnIcnrne il esoeh i completing \my school application, Bill's school not uedgswahvigtesmepolms in coneom nomdm ta yyugs hl private school as -in public' school, and .never spoke was failing miserably in junior high. He had never of this before because he was advised to c onsult beena god tudet ad sncethir grde ranonly with' staff and never to discuss 'anything with regularly to, school conferences, supervised his his parents. I didn't believe him., I dragged him to. studies and forced Ihim to do hated homework. doctors, put him through physical and psychologiNothing helped. The counselor offered no solution cal tests until one kind psychologist held me down to the present problem, thought the difficulty long enough' to convince me that Bill was not on might stem from the home, put it to me to figure drugs, was not sick, and there was no reason to something out, and of course I did. have him hospitalized. When the panic passe4 I
I found a very expensive private -school fully gained my senses and took Bill -out of school. staffed with hand-picked educators and psychiatric Very soon after, he got himself a job in ai hospital experts dedicated to help the underachiever., I gave working on a brain research- program, ran', a_ compmy school plans in order to earn the money puter, experimented- with cats, loved his work, "aid /necessary to pay for Bill's private school. Almost is now getting along just fine, every penny I earned went for tuition, psychiatric When -my daughter Anne graduated from coltreatment, carfare, lunches, etc. The school,- lege, she embarked on a career to conquer thesteeped in psychiatric principles, maintained that world, and I was her assistant. She went on a students who could not function academically usu- diet, lost fifteen pounds, went shopping, got great ally suffered from disturbed parental relationships. clothes, got her hair done at Sassoon, got -an ex-Since Bill's father had little to, do with raising his citing job, and,, thus armed, 'moved out of my son, it was naturally I 'who. was the controlling home to the world, life, and adventure. and domineering parent "Unable to let her son grow To her horror and mine, she discovered that




ed in hostility and fear. Unable to cope with the all. She mu~st, question and challenge the privilege outside rejection and isolation, Anne moved back that excludes men from responsibilities and/ inhome,- let her frustration out on me, an~d we volvement with other human beings. She must refought constantly. ject the passivity of husbands, fathers, 1and broth,-.
Finally. she left her job and experimented with ers who sit by while wives, daughters, and sisters different life styles. She moved to a farm and struggle alone with the devastating hardships i came home;, she went to the coast and came volved. in caring for the dependent. She must rehome; she found a commune and came home and ject the, lies and advices' of the, patronizing. pro fes nearly 'exhausted me with her activity and anxiety. sionals and experts who, because of their own inAnne's father never got too involved because he competence and inadequacy, have mystified reality did not wish to interfere in problems between and have shifted the blame. for their failure to mother and daughter. Finally, Anne became aware find social, economic,, psychological, and 'educaof her desperate behavior, stopped, found a better tional remedies onto the mother, wife, anid worn and more independent way to live, and we were an. again good friends. I am told that the women's liberation move.
It is hard, if not impossible, to estimate the ment is for young women, but older women are cost to a human' being- in terms of time, energy, looking to be liberated from their particular oppain, and guilt as a result of the above relation- pression, as well as the oppression common to all ships. The woman in the middle is the target of women. The only reason. I am writing this paper. all negative emotions stemming from each family instead of sitting, with my poor old mother or member's failure and frustration, and the damage sweating over a large family' dinner for children can never be measured. When things go wrong, and relatives is because my right to myr own life and they always do, she bears the burden, the has been supported by my sisters in the- move responsibility, and the blame. ment. Being fifty is, not so bad if you, are n~ot
If she, is to save herself, the woman in the mid- torn by gilt, brutal obligation,, and socially indle must learn, to 'reject the myths regarding her duced feelings of low self-esteem., Sooner or later, family ties and responsibilities. She must no longer the womnan in the -middle is you and me, and accept as natural her de.ndrl a evn together we must find a, way no~t to be crushed.
Back Feminis m
I I 'C.%._r1L1= V1IAM




,a t~eci nw tl n laanMr. Hernton -is displaying common anxieties and, y ~ ~ thtar h lot of black women For exam ple: fer n his emotionally charged statement about
S n er hy whie scity ~ ~w endngto c- the "Amazon mastery" that he says black women pt he1,ckwoan.moe eail tan heb~ kmae. develop over .,their white husbands. His translation First of all, the Negro woman, like the white- woman, does .of circumstantial necessity into a deliberate atnot represent to the white world as much of an a gressor tnp topeso goe oil elte:Ds against the present power structure as does the Negro man. tmta. prsininrssca- elte:Dg
crirnination and intolerance invariably force. interIt wasn't true any time in -the Sixties that black rca ope olv nbakcmuiis ra
-omjen were hired before black. men. On the con- lati elitgae ns
trary, black women got little benefit from the The lower-class black male sees black women as 4rie t fid lac alntbitches. The welfare check has made -the/ poor. The rare black -woman who had achieved a po0 black woman economically Iindependent of the
$ltiorn of prominence was bitterly resented by men who come and go in her life,' and on whom blac k males. Black personnel men have been^ she cannot rely. Poor, black, males complain of be-, -known, to lose the resumes -of prorpising black ing- told to "Get out! And, don't bring, your ass, Onesuh arpmstatr t afaousraio back here until you've got a job!" There is. antagwomn.onism between black males and femaless. especially
and television, station told a. black woman applicant: "We already have e nough sisters in the. com- in the poorest .segments of the community. Themuniatins ndutry Its tie te bothrs got women are contemptuous of the men for notbe
mun~aion idusry Its imeth brthrs ot ing able to find work and provide for their fakmialhead."
In the executive talent shortage of the 1960s, leo o hoigtermnyaa ngn~
bling, other women, and drinking. The me curse. some organizations 'encouraged women in the pa- thwoefrntbigfmnnendofrti.
tronizing way they had encouraged promotable Negroes when the Negro rights movement was popu- The mistake that sociologists are making and lar; but the efforts to see that, qualified women that black men seem to be making is the assumption that these women have chosen to be heads~o werprootd wremuc ior al hettd tan their families. They have become heads of houseths promoting Negroes. In 1967, for instance ,
15 r t of a'gpup of companies qieried 'by holds by default-'as the only responsible Iduts in
the Bureau of National Affairs said they had un- their families. It is interesting to note, tht th
dertaken aggressive recruiting of promotable Ne-' state menaces and subordinates, these women in,
Woe ii r~poseto ite VI, utonl oe cm- much the same way that the salary-earning male,
pany reported an aggressive poiyof rcutnhead of the house does his wife. Protection has, its
poic reritn
women. In the business world sex is more of 'a price..
barrier than race. It -is the pressures of poverty and slumn life that,
Yethisoryha made black women more inde- grin dontebakfmily and destroy the role ndntthn os Aieicn omn.Unbl t~ of the male: as. father-protector. It is these presdepend on the black man for the economic neces- srs o lc oeta aetecniec
cities or- for pDrotection, they did not acquire the man the- ghetto hero. In Harlem, in Watts, in '/




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women," she declared, "whose nose is 'too big,' their own money." whose mouth is "too big and loud,' whose behind It is, the 'fear and anxiety of thie black mal is"too big and broad,' whose feet are 'too big and that lead to the construction of the "'evil" lac fl.at,' whose face is 'too, black and shiny,' who's female. By now, the superstructure of the black c just too damned much for everybody.", She was bitch" bears as little, relation to the realbareferring to Sapphire, the Amazon of the black woman. as any myth to the reality.-The preeding male imagination. quotes suggest ta h e paighv~ohn
The 4istortions that underlie the transformation est contact wtha themen,- seing ae noe hog of the black mother into a witch-like 'figure with cal approach of the male to the female is anan magical powers to destroy are obviously found in cient orientation toward -women as the aliens df the educated as well as the ignorant. Recently a the human world.
b a k e u a o sad "F r t e b a k m n thTh co p an th t b a k w m n c alnba woman is too much like his m other. Hie sees black me~n is further p roof of the th r~eatening r4
her as domiineering, bossy, a -woman who runs ture of female independence to mo~st men..Pi things. Hie wants a desirable, easy sex companion,, Roth's indictment of the omnipotent Jewish tno and he finds her in the white woman." What will er with her all-devouiring love has become a faml happen when .this desirable white doll becomes iar theme 'of .our literature just as Jews have bed real? Perhaps she will be rejected for an easygoing assimilated into the- power centers of Amerin t Oriental? life. Although the parallels in the black and Jewi'
.A, black college student asserts: "We kind of tradiions are slight, bt utrsaenwrm
fw [my italics] the middle-~class. black girl we able for~ the vehemence Of the attacks on thei meet around school. She's snobbish, uppity, and women. I suggest that black literature ilin~r inclined to sneer at' a black man unless he excels / ingly consist of virulent attacks, on the evil -bac at something, White girls, for a lot of reasons, are ,mother as black men move into positions of pow
eair, less Victorian, and let's 'face it, they have Aer.
Loving Another Woman
interview by ANNE. KOEDT'
Anne Koet -a, fo under of the radical feminist movement in New York (NcYr a ~~ Wmn, The F~eminists~ an Now York.. Radical Femin~ists), is the editor of Notes From the Third Year and is at work on a book about feminism an~d sexuaityt be publishe b~y R~andom House'.
in the' same feminist group" together- and we wer
eMIfw's $frmatpd1~r(~ ih ~ aliakn eyabt~c~ bu o~At as




conscious of what you are feeling; rather, you sub- she felt- the same way, well, at that point there consciously, an d systematically, refuse to tealwt was really no space left for anything in your the implications of what's coming, out. You just mind. So we agreed to just drop'it and let things let it hang there because you're too scared to let happen as they would at a later time. My main, it continue and see what it means. immediate worry was that maybe I had blown a good friendship which 'I really valued. Also., even
0. What did you do- when you became aware of if she did feel the, same way,, would we know your mutual attraction? what to do with it? A. We'd been seeing a lot of each other, and I
was at her house for dinner. During the evening- Q. When you first realized that you were possibly we were having a nice time, but I remember also; getting involved with a woman, were you afraid or feeling uncomfortable-I became very aware of her upset? as we were, sitting together looking at something. A.- No. The strange thing is that the next mo rning, There was an unusual kind of tension throughout after 'I left, I felt a fantastic -high. I was bouncing th~e whole evening, -down the street and, the sun wa's shining and I felt
It was quite late by the time we broke up, so tremendously good. My mind was on -a super high. she asked, me whether I wanted to, stay over and When I got home I couldn't do any kind of sleep on- her couch. And I remember really being work., -My mind -kept operating on this emergency very Uptight-some thing I certainly wouldn't have speed, trying to deal with my new feelings for felt in any other situation with a friend. Yet, even her. So I sat down and wrote a letter to myself. when I was uptight and felt that in some way' by Just wrote it free assocation- didn't try to work it staying I would get myself into something, I out in any kind of theory-and as I was writing' I wasn't quite sure what-something new, and danger- was learning from myself what I was feeling. Unous-I decided to stay anyway. expectedly I wasn't feeling guilty or worried. I felt
It wasn't really until I tried to fall asleep, and great.. couldn't, -that all of a sudden I became very, very
aware. I was flooded with a tremendous attraction 0. When did you' start sleeping with each other? for her. And I wanted to tell her, I wanted to A. The next time we were together. Again, we sleep with her, I wanted to, let, her 'know what I really wanted each other, but to finally make the was feeling. At the same time I was totally' bewil. move, the same move that with a man would have dered, because ,here' I was-not only did I want to been automatic, was tremendously difficult.. and tell her, but I was having a hard time just facing exhilarating. Although we did sleep together, it up to what was coming out in, myself. My mind wasn't sexual; just- affectionate and very sensual. was working overtime trying to deal with thsnwAfter that evening we started sleeping together thing. Sexually, as well.
She was awake too, and so we sat and talked. 1, guess it was also a surprise to find that you It took me about two hours to build up the cour- weren't struck down by God in a final shaft of age to even bring, up th~e subject. I think it is lightening. That once you fight through, that, ital proba1bly one of the most difficult things I ever wall of undefined fears built to protect those' taq




and affectionate. I think I probably thought this We don't have any plans, any desie, to live because with men sex is so frequently confused together, although we do see a great deal of each with conquest. Men have applied a symbolic value other. We both like our own apartments, our own
to sex, where the penis equals dominance and the space.
vagina equals submission. Since sensuality has no I think one of the good things we did in
specific sex and is rather a general expression of beginning was to say: Let's just see where it will mutual affection, its symbolic value, power-wise, is go. We didn't say that we loved each other, just nil. So sex with a man is,,usually genitally orient that we liked each other.We didn't immediately ed. proclaim it a "relationship," as one is accustomed
Perhaps I wasn't quite sure what would happen to do with a man-you know, making mental
to sexuality once it was removed from its conven- plans for the next ten years. So each new feeling tional context. But one of the things I discovered was often surprising, 'and very intensely experi.
was that when you really like somebody, there's a enced.
perfectly natural connection between affection and
love and 'sensuality and sexuality. That sexuality is Q. What would you say is the difference between this relationship and those you have had with
men?
Q. owis exdifernt it a omnA. Well, one of' the biggest differences is that for [ O~. Hw is sex: difrn th aw an?: .. : ::: N n
A. One of the really mind-blowing things about alltie I
this has been that it added a whole new dimen- stomach undercurrents of trying to figure out what's really happening under, what you think is
technically, with a woman or a man. But at this happenin.
point in time I think women have a much broader I think it all boils down to an absence of rolesense of sensuality. Since she and, I both brought playing; I haven't felt 'with Jen that we've fallen
ourexerenesaswoento sexuality, it was into that. Both of us are equally strong persons.1
quite something. mean, you can ask yourself the question, if there
Another aspect of sexuality is your feelings, were going to be roles, who'd play what?, Well, I
Again, this is of course, an area that- has been dele- certainly won't play "the female," and I won't
- gtedto ome~ e ae sppoedto rovde heplay "the male," and it's just as absurd to imagine love and affection. It is one of our duties in a her in either one of them. So in fact what we male-female relationship. Though it has been very have is much more like what one gets in a friendo ppressive in the contex~t that we've been allowed ship, which is more equalized. It's a more aboveit, the ability to show affection and' love for board feeling.
someone else is, I think, a fine thing-which m~n I don't find the traditional contradictions. If I doo somthng.tr.gands.f.
should develop more in themselves, as a matter of dosmtigtrnadsefsetvshden'
fact. Love and affection are a necessary aspect of n nflictw
ful euait)And one of the things I really enjoy with me. 'I don't get reminded that I might be ful seuliy y: along with- tat:r
with Jennie is this uninhibited ability to show our mkn yef"eswmny"Adaogwt
feeins;that there's less self- censorship, too. There's a mutul nqified, support for dringy to try.ne ,w
Q.Jsth hyicl s~ct f w n oe reall thnsthtIhaen:e utekon eoe
begiigtt felehatI on'.hae..wek.bdy
Q.Yuebentgthrawhl nw ha' ou ht ybdyisntsm ido fpassi.e...g..g..
reaiosi lko h thrda .ritd.ytet.n.s. dw




A. One thiing is that I hesitate to show my affec- think she's the healthiest person I have ever been
tion for her' in public. -If you re walking down the involved with.. See, I think we were lucky, because
street and you want to put your arm around it happened spontaneously and unexpectedly from someone or give them a kiss-the kind of thing both 'sides. We didn't do it because 'we felt cornyou do without thinking if it is a man-well, pelled to, put our ideological beliefs into reality.
that's hardly considered romantic by most people Many feminists are now beginning to at least if it's don~e with someone of your own sex. I theoretically consider the fact that there's no reaIknow that if I were to express my feelings in son why one shouldn't love a woman. But I think public with Jennie, there would' be a lot of social that a certain kind of experimentation going on
intrusion that I woulId have to delwt.Sm-now with lesbianism can' be really 'bad. Beas
how, people would assume a license to intrude up. even if you do ideologically think that it is per.
on your privacy in' public; their hostile comments, fectly fine-well, that's a political position; but be.
hostile attitudes, would ruin the whole experience. ing able to love somebody is a very personal and So you're sort of caught in a bind. But we have private thing as well, and even if you remove poin fact begun to do it more, and more, because it litical barriers, well, then you are left with finding
bothers me that I can't express my feeling as I see an individual who particularly fits you.
/fit, without hostile interference. So I guess I'm, saying that I don't think women who are' beginning to, think about lesbianism
0. What made you fall in love with a woman? should get involved with anyone until 'they are* A. Well, that's a hard question. I think maybe it's really attracted to somebody. And that includes even a bit misleading the way you phrased it. Be- refusing to be seduced by lesbians who play the cause I didn't fall in, love with "a woman," I fell male seduction game an~d tell you, "youi don't love in love with Jen-which is not exactly the same women," and "you are oppressing us" if you thing. A. better way to 'ask the question is: How don't jump into bed with them. It's terrible to try
were yotk able, to overcome the fact 'that it was a to seduce someone on ideological grounds.'
woman? In other words, how was I able to overcome my heterosexual training and allow my feel- Q. Do you now look at women, in a more sexual
ings for her, to come out? 'way ?
Certa inly in my case it would never have hap- A. You mean, do I now eye all women as potenpened without the existence of the women's move- tabeprnrsNoNrdiIevreemnthat znent. My own awareness of "maleness" and "fe- way. As a matter of fact, I've never found myself mnaleness" had become acute, and I was really being attracted to a man just because, for examprobing what it meant. You see, I think in a sense pie, he had a good physique. I had a sexual relaI never wanted to be either male or female. Even tionship with whatever boy friend I had, but I, whten. I was quite little and in many ways seemed related to most other men pretty asexually. It's no feminine and "passive"-de on ee eta different with women. My female friends-well, I home with the kinds of things women were sup- still see them as -friends, because that's What they posed to be. On the other hand, I didn't. particu- are. I don't sit aroilind and have secret fantasies of
larly want to be a man either, so, I didn't develop being in bed with them.




this whole business of viewing women as potential 0. Now that you've gotten involved with a womnbed mates is the implied possessiveness of it. It a what is your attitude t r an4 lesia
has taken me this long just to figure out how men groups?
are treating women sexually; now when I see some A.I hae real mied feel a
lesbians doing precisely the same kinds of things, soeetnfor example, there has been a
kI'm supposed to have instant amnesia in the name, elh nepa ewentegymvmn n
of sisterhood. I have heard some lesbians sayst n Fe n h things like, "I see all men as my rivals," or have go influence on the gay movemerit because $ heard them proudly discuss how they intimidated women's liberation challenges the very nature of
S a heterosexual couple publicly to "teach the wom- the sex role system, not just whether one may be an a political lesson." This brings out in me the allowed to make transfers within it. On the other 'same kind of intense rage that I get when, for hand, the gay movement has helped open up the example, I hear white mendiscussing how black qusino oe lh
? .... : ,+... + ; '+:: :.que*stino f wo e lving other women. Thou,.._ ++
men are "taking their women" (or vice versa), some of this was beginning to happen by itself Who the hell says we belong to anyone? lesbians made a point of pressing the issue and therefore speeded up the process.
But there is a problem to me with focusing on
0. Do you think that you would have difficulty sexual choice, as the- gay movement does. Sleeping relating to a man again 'if this relationship broke with another woman is not necessarily 'a healthy Up? Tha t is, can you "go back" to men after har- thing' by itself. It does not mean--or prove, for ing had a relationship with a woman? that matter--that you therefore love women. It
A. It's an interesting thing that when people ask doesn't 'Mean that you have avoided b~ad "male"
that question, most often what they're really' ask- or "female" behavior. It doesn't guarantee you ing is, are you "lost" to the world of what's "nat- anything. If you think about it, it can be the ural"'? Sometimes I find myself not wanting to same game with new partners: On the one-hand, answer the question~ at all just because they're male roles are learned,,-not genetic; women can starting, out 'by assuming that something's wrong ape them, too. On' the other, the feminine role can with having a relationship with ~a woman. That's ~ comfortably be carried into lesbianisn, except now usually what's meant by "go back to men"-like instead of a -woman being passive with a man, you've been off someplace wild and crazy and, she's passive with another woman. Which is all
most of al1, unsafe, and can you fin d your way very fam-iliar -and is all going nowhere,
home to papa, or something. So first of all it' I guess to me, at this point in my life, femiwouldn't be "going back." nism. naturally incorporates the possibility of sleepAnd since I didn't become involved with a igwtanlong om ;buitsoly one of
woman in order to make a political statement, by many elements of what I define as radical femithe same token I wouldn't make the converse ~ nism-that is,' the elimination of sex roles. The statement. So, sure. I could have a relationship main point of feminism is, still to understand that\ with a man if he were the right kind of person we ,as women are a political group living on the
ties I ee o raso wh + +:,I shouldn :'t abe to em. ithinthat perspective, :+sleeping wihnd
love.. .+ h.. m as muhsInwlv hr oigwmnisol n osbiiy eoe
ate ++ +: o rking t:: owadcmiigmheelhtspcsweesmelsin nss htyuarntril
of so-ealled mae ab,:n female characteristic Tht's radi:alfemnis ifyouarenotin edeitha wrfl
whrI at 9!oad atswhtI' eiinga.Wihiswogpltial n utaeu e
to++ + teIzeIrepn4t in Qther++ people sorially
(++:+ + + + ++++++++ +++ ++ N++ a
/ I::, + + + +b ++++++ +++::++: '+ + :+'+ ++'++"+++: :++ m + + +,++:+: : s a+'++++' ++:+ + +
+++ +: ++ ++++,,++++'++,++0+ +b N + N+ + ++"+ I
++ ++ +::... + 4 ++




Q~Ddtefact that lesbians pushed the issue in ting hr myself anyway. I'd been thinking about the women's movement have a major effect upon it for a long time. Because it is a natural question; your townl decision to have a relationship with a if you want to remove sexual roles, -and if you wamzan. say that men, and women are equal human beings, A. I t's hard to know. I think that the lesbian well, the next question. is: Why should you only movement has escalated the thinking, in the wom- love men? I remember asking myself that question, men's movement, and to that extent it probably'es- and I remember it being discussed in many workcalated mine, shops I was in-what is it that makes us assume,
But at the same time I know I was slowly get- that you can only receive and give love to a man?
A Feinist Look
at chilren's Book
by the FEMINISTS..ON CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
Pemin ists on Children's Media is a collective of women who have prepared an Annotated bibliography of non-sexist children's books called Little Miss Muffet Fights Back.-* The< collective includes mothers, high school students, librarians, and other professionals in writing, publishing,.and education. This article Was-part of a media presentation on Sexism in Children's Books, given in cooperation with the Authors Guild on October 1.5, 1970.
Is the portrayal of females in children's books sex- number of influential lists. These were the Notable ist? That is, are girls and women assigned only- Books of 1969 (American Library Ascato) traditional female roles and personalities? And the Child Study Association's annual recomnmendawhen the female foot fails to fit that often too, tions for that same year, and the Newbery AwardA tight shoe, is "the girl or woman then seen as an winners.




several categories. Under the heading of ~'osadWhat would we like to see in children's books?
Girls" we found a ale to female ratio of two to il! i ii !:i f ei! iiWh: at were our cr! .icteria? We! wanted to see girl l!
one Under "Growing Up" the ratio was over readers encouraged to develop physical confidence three to one. And "Sports," of course, like certain and strength without the need to fear any, corres bars we could formerly name, was 100 percent ponding loss of "femininity." We would have liked male. The rest of the book list may not follow to see the elimination of all those tiresome referthe pattern of this sampling, but suspicion runs ences to "tomboys." Why can't a girl who prefers high! baseball to ballet simply be a girl who prefers
The thoughtful introduction to the Child Study baseball to ballet?
Association list makes the following statement: Many women have to-or simply prefer to-earn The books a child reads "should not shield him a living. Can't we encourage girls to find satisfacfrom knowledge of destructive forces in the world, tion and fulfillment in work, and lay aside forever but rather help him to cope with them." We the suspicion that for a woman, work outside the agree, for the most part. But why does the sen home is primarily proof of her inability to love a tence read "shield him" and "help him"? Sexism man, or to land a sufficiently lucrative one? Wom.
is such a destructive force in the world that we en do study seriously, work with enjoyment-or at feel the implicit sexism in this sentence should not least pride in their competence-get promoted, and be overlooked. (of course) fight sexism at work and in their famiThe introduction states also that a book's pos-. lies in order to progess. Let's show them as no
sible emotional and intellectual impact on a young less "feminine," despite the assertiveness and firm
reader" must be considered. Right on! Not even a sense of self required in this untraditional role.
problem of gender there. The CSA continues: Margaret Mead has written that "man is un... From its inception, it has been aware of the sexed by failure, woman by success." That is anV mental health aspects of reading and asks that other brutal truth we would like to see changed.
books, for children present basically honest con- And while we're about it, let's not overlook the cepts of life-, positive ethical values, and honest fact that boys, too, are denigrated and cramped interpersonal relationships." We ask no more than by sexism. Our current rigid role definitions rethat. The CSA has clearly been struggling to en- quire that a boy be all that a girl should not be: courage greater sensitivity to racism in books for unafraid, competent at "male" jobs, strong. A children. If only their future book selections could weeping boy is a "sissy" Words like "sissy"-and be made with an equally growing sensitivity to the "hero," too-should be dissected and exposed for impact of sexism! Many of the present selections the inhuman demands they make on growing boys.
fail to realize the promiseown introdc- Children's books could help.
tion. The list is guilty of sexism-if only through We object to a woman's being defined by the Z indifference. man she marries, or the children she bears, or the
Of course, a greater sensitivity to sexism would father she once obeyed. Let's see women who are
Sgreatly curtail the current lists of recommended people in their own right-independent of such children's books, at least for the next few years. compensatory affiliations. And if a woman doesn't Yet a scrupulous attitude on the part of prestig- want children, or even a husband, must this be
ious ognztoswuld surely sere powerfully in seen as ...peculiar? Wyntencourage grsi
rasn.tegnra.eiis.oscoses ftesearch for alternate life styles? Give agr l h
children's book world, making forever: obsolete Eve ...possible options for her future life cocsta Merram's rcnanacutecomment that "sex / ...you give a boy, all his freedom t nur n prejudiceis th prejudice now considered s- explore and aciv.Her options don't have to be!!
..... cially acceptable.": Ha bit dies hard. .. .. .. slanted toward certain currently sOcialy iosed
We'd like" to apologize for seeming to pick on preferences.
CSA. It is jUSt !that such a praiseworthy introduc- Thr.r bososproe a.Suer
tindsrvdatnio ntrm fisimplications .. ..women do exist. But many more book are... eneed S for the female image. Nor were webeing picky in eonwmn hosimply function very well and~i our exainiation of specific books: Chcigtefreely wherever they cos-raeforced-to apprealnc of so virulent a disease as seimr- pytheir abilities. i
qu...... iesth isolation of even potential carriers!. ....... We are bitterly tired of seeing depictions of the




IF -- !7 .7j i i'PI
... a Wt k ess analysis into several categories. n
hse portrayal of girls we frequently admire, simple, was the Sexist Book, in which girls and ippe nt picture books. In one women are eXclusively assigned traditional female
f these the mother reproves her son for spilling r te material may, un piy, be
spillinn though theastene
he ud he is playing with-even thugh the scene fairly true to life. i outdoors! In another, little sister (and we know We were forcibly struck by the purposeful sexwhere she learned her lesson) reproves brother for ist propaganda between the covers of some of the accidentally spilling paint off his easel. Little girls recommended children's books. Young women who are as capable of making a casual mess and as have found it an uphill struggle to identify with freely lost in creative play as little boys. A picture the popUlar female image will ecognize it as propbook that shows this beautifully is Rain Rain Riv- aganda and not simply as a natural reflection of ers by Uri Shulevitz (Farrar, 1969) which we were life. Unfortunately the girl reader is not yet so delighted to find on both the ALA and CSA lists. experienced. Books that outline a traditional back(We were as pleased to find the two previously ground role for women, praising their domestic acmentioned books ignored by both lists.) complishments, their timidity of soul, their gentle
And when, as must sometimes happen if books appearance and manners, and at the same time fail portray real life, there is an overcontrolling or. to portray initiative, enterprise, physical prowess, oobossy woman, she should not be made a fool and genuine intellect, deliver a powerful message or villain. A little understanding-of her problem, to children of both sexes. Such books are a social her frustration at not being allowed to play an poison. equal role in her family or her world, and her Take, for a horrible example, the attitude exonsequent misuse of energy to project her ideas emplified in the following line: "Accept the fact and ego through the lives of other'-is long over- that this is a man's world and learn how to play due. the game gracefully-" Those words fell from the
How about books showing more divorced and lips of a sympathetic male character in Irene, single-parent families? And, for heaven's sake, ev- Hunt's 1967 Newbery winner Up the Road Slowly ery divorced or widowed mother does not solve (Follett, 1966). Or take this uicy bit from the er problems through remarriage-or even wish to 1957 winner Miracles on Map ll by Virgi o so. Few do, you know!) Maybe she can start Sorenson(Harcourt, 1956): n the career she never had, and discover a new
concept of herself. The difficulties and the loneli- For the millionth time she was glad she wasn't a boy. It was all right for girls to be scared or silly or even ask dumb
ess are real, as are the child care problems. But questions. Everybody just laughed and thought it was funlet the woman find a new self-reliance in fighting ny. But if anybody caught Joe asking a dumb question or even thought he was the littlest bit scared, he went red and
er own battles, and joy in winning at least some purple and white. Daddy was even something like that, old f them. as he was.
There is also the question of language. No more
utomatic use of "he" to mean "child," or "man- Does that passage describe real life? Indeed it kid" to mean "manind." If atfst the alter- does! But a good book for children should comnatives seem forced, and they will, they won't ment and leave the child feeling something is
oundtha way forlong. wrong here. This one does not. In fact wevote Dept ourI criticis of socially assignd roles, it our supreme exmpe of th otthorughl e fN dntman to diminish or ignr temother relentless type of sexismfound in children' iterai
houewie, heis fte astrOng, wonderfully tu rre. The girl, Marly,, never overcoes her hr
human being. Her role can be vita, and some-, iworship of brother Joe or her compaatveinet on tat as eole.le can alSo cope skill- to explore the 'toll th at maintaining er tatu
ly wth oUsehold tasks, and not neceSsarily takes on Joe's character.
okfr 0twman o0r daughter to takethem off. Such perfect examples of core, ar not.th
I




too?" And the response is "No! Girls are no good She is happy and strong in her so-called tomboy at jumping. It's .a boy's game." Meindert DeJong role. Though her mother pressures her to become leaves it at that-and another eager little girl read- more of a "lady," -the reader feels serenely certain er is squelched. that Caddie will remain her own person. Alas, as
Those fictional girls who'join the prestigious the book draws to'a close, Caddie's father pleads:
ranks of male adventurers often do so at the ex- "t's a strange thing, but somehow, we expect pense of other member's of their sex. And small more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters an wonder, the tomboy-turned-tokenfemale is simply wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who kep the other side of the coin. The message is clear: If the world sweet and beautiful Thus subdued, a girl wishes to join the boys in their pranks and she joins the insipidly depicted girls at the weaving hell-raising, or to use her ianation and personal- loom. True, the boys do' ask hei toteach them el-asng thmmg to
ity 'in leading them, she renounces all claim to how to weave. Apparently they may choose, to supposedly femnine characteristics-tears and fears join, women at heir work, but, no longer my and pink hair ribbons. The line between tradition- Caddie choose to run free 'in the woods. And we ally assigned sex roles is drawn sharp. and clear, are left feeling cheated. Why should it be the rgh t
chic feor her obedientn to jmonn the. ......... and.
The girl who crosses that line is forced to desert y
her sex 'rather than- allowed to act as a spokes- beautiful" 'women of the world on their pedestals?
woman -for a broader definition. Why shouldn't she, continue to struggle for a life
Take Lulu 's Back in Town (Furk & Wagnal, in which she might fulfill some inner potential?
196$). The proof provided by author Laura -Dean The linking of a girl's growing up to the abanto show Lulu's final acceptance by the boys is the doning of her "tomboy" ways is a depressingly clubhouse sign: 'FOR BOYS OLY. No Girls Al- frequent, theme- in these ,books. As a, stage in lowed.' (Except Lulu.)" This is seen by the author, growing up, tomboy behavior appears to be ac-.
Who unfortunately happens to be a woman, as a ceptable. But the girl must in the end conform to,
satisfactory;, ending. But our committee was not so more socially approved behavior. In a widely
pleased. (Except to find that neither ALA nor bibliography compiled by Clara Kirchner int 1966 CSA. had listed it.) entitled Behavior Patterns in Children's 'Books: there is an entire section Called "From Tomboy to
Cop-Outs'. ~ < Young Woman." Here are two, random descriptions:
The~ CoisQt reook isn often theo motiniios
TheCop.Ou Bok i of~en11wmos inidius. A Girl Can Dream by Betty Cavanna (Westminster, 1948): At its 'worst, it promises much and delivers noth- Loretta Larkin, tops in athletic but poor in social graces ing. But the better ones are the most infuriating, and jealous of a classmate who shines socially, lnds -ut that being "just a girl" can be fun.
S- for, often the y are only a step. away from being
theeactlittur we'd.like t se f Billie by Esphyr Slobodkina (Lothrop, 195,9): Billie, who wore faded jeans and played boys' games because she'd14 p
girls and boys abut girls., The. actual cop-out may like being a girl, came to think differently after she tqqk
be only a crucial line, a paragraph, the last chap-baltesosolierua pjndnk.
Swhre, sexst cmproise s mae,
ter. But so awe asxs opoiei ae These books fit into the following categorl s:
somewhere th'e 'book adjusts to the .stereotyped Womanliness, Growing Upr, and Popularity.
roleof wrp~n o en fr th sak ofsocil prs- on reaer ofsc rivu opot sure fid onfi~~ity. Te comprmise brngs wit forcedto beiveta.tesun,.niiu.iy.~1d




A ew1Qo rcmmnddonbohth AAwho picked a little sack of soil would be "a farm. and the CSA lists is Constance Green's A Girl er's wife." One pulled a penny: she, would be very Called Al (Viking, 196 9). The main character rich. One picked a little plastic boy doll and she comes across as a nonconformist who truly enjoys would meet a "fine young man.", "Great happi-.
her individu~ality, and throughout most of the ness" was, in store for the one who got-a bluebook she eschews traditional female worries-how bird's feather. When one of the girls pulled out a she looks,, hooking boy friends, etc. Wonderful. jack, the fortuneteller chanted: "Butcher, baker,
~uttheendng is net lttl 41-Amricn pck- candle stick-maker; tailor, sailor, teacher, preacher;
age. Al gets thin, gets pretty, and now she will be doctor, lawyer, carpenter, smith-she would have popular. All these sudden switches hit the reader kept it up, but Helen guessed it. Betsy would marin the last few pages. Her pigtails make room for ry a jack-of-all-trades."
a feminine hairdo. Her closest friend explains: Not be, a jack-of-all-trades,, but marry one. Not be a farmer, but be a ,farmer's wife. The only
Her mother took her to the plac e she gets her hair done vocation predicted was that of teacher. Uifortuand had the man wash and set Al's -hair,_ and now- she wears
it long with a ribbon around it. It is very becoming, my nately, fortunetellers will be like that, until we mother says. She is right. But I miss Al's pigtails. 1 wanted have feminist. fortunetellers. That would certainly
her to wear it this wayt but now that she does I'm kind of brnYrgtrftrs
sorry. Sh~e looks older and different, is all I know.brn-bigtrfues
At the risk of carping, we felt that such a fine
Again, we are led to believe that another character book as A Winkle in Tme by Madeline L'Engle in our long line of individual heroines will con- (Farrar, 1962), the 1963 Newbery winner, had, a form to the role society has rigidly defined for hint of acceptance of woman's second-class status.
her. We find it hard- to buy the sudden change in This is almost the only -science- fiction book in Al. And we 'also 'miss the pigtails. which a girl is the main character. We even find a
Sometimes, it is the focus of a book that makes m ~ other who, is a scientist, perhaps one of the only
it a, cop-out. When we read the 1959 Newbery scientist moms mn juvenile fiction. But why did winner, Elizabeth Speare's The Witch of Blackbird father have to be a super scientist, topping mom
Pond (Houghton Mifflin, 1958), we praised Kit's by a degree or two?
independent spirit, her rejection of bigoted values, Poivemas
and her truly striking courage at a time when PoiveIas
women we're burned for Witchcraft. From a femi- Happily, if not of course, there are some books nist standpoint, the book is marred only by the for children which show female characters in flexi.
plot's revolving around the standard question: ble, diverse roles. They allowfrcactrdv'Whom shall Kit marry?" In too many books we opetbeyond the stereotype, and do not disapfind the male character worrying about what shall point us in the end. At first we tried calling these
he be while the female character worries about "Non-Sexist." But we found many booksWrno
wh o shall he be,. precisely either Sexist or Cop-Out, though someOnly a few hairs are out of place in Next Door hwte i o ut i u xcigfmns
to Xanadu by. Doris Orgel (Harper, 1969), also standards, usually because they did not deal with listed by ALA and CSA. The main character faces the questions they posed in a sufficiently, de1ar,
the too often very teal hatred of.pre..een boys.to real,+' ++ ....... ..... an afimaiv way. Th rare.. book....... that.. ............ d id !i i:i ~
woa prds saotneele."hetokotah special fie; hest eain shpewe
bolpt tonte abe fledi wt all sorts : of Cavi th.e bo wo l&asfrinod,' l anpsd to strane litle thngs. hen se said 'Whaong BopFie da lthe l.rtans.. They.espec
yo aest delv into the sert thefutur eachother's hmeads,... ..... a iego doe m n ot satapp in hod i toe' Her wreheforuns :of:: : the the+ esl:wa of hetre savin th e : yWiha ct buf-- i gil: h ir hopl e u tw safOey pins: cou.... +brag th:fatescues her lite o h e from iuldt. a e
wol e"h ohro ine ir o tixsll also! applude e imaethe mohe as Wolav ril'
Chak r~an aoterwoldbea.eahe..heon iascett who instlserid inBers child r+ i
34} ~ t u ee
..... ...... 4 i.... + N o-a~rd ,b to e : o ;




Another Newbery we salute is the 1961 winner, There seems only one possible justification for Island of th e Blue -Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell a separate category of books for girls: to spot and (Houghton Mifflin, 1960), one of the rare books recommend those books which, according to -our showing a' girl with strong physical skills. She kills highest, most stringent feminist standards are not wild dogs, constructs weapons, kills a giant- tenta- sexist. Pursuing this logic, when children's literacled sea fish, anid hauls a six-man canoe by her- 'ture no longer supports sexism, there will no longself. The Indian girl protagonist, Karana, spends er be any reason to list. books "especially for, eighteen years alone on a bleak and lonely island. girls." And there we are indeed tempted to ask why such The current lists of girls' books promoted by a marvelous heroine can only be encountered publishers show a preponderance of stories about" alone on ,.an islanid-and never in the mindst of so- love, dating, and romance. And there are the com-, ciety? 'panion books about young girls with problems like,
While on the subject of positive images, there isshnsoeeitgaeacadsonht
a new book, we hope will appear on the 1970 are supposed to interfere with romance, Certainly,, recommended, lists. Rufus Gideon Gran t by Leigh problems facing young girls should be dealt with Dean (Scribners, '1970) is about a boy, but we in the, books" they read, but we resent the implicawere taken by the following reference,'to a wom- tion forced on young girls that romance is the
a:"There inide this magazine was this lady, onl fufligftr o hm. Boys, too, are inclimbing giant trees and~ -playing with wild chini- volved in romance, but their hooks are about othpanze es .. ." And Rufus asks: "Can a boy be a er things., zoologist?" The lists 'for girls also include career books'
If we had time we would also like to discuss about nurses, secretaries, ballet dancers, stewardesssuch essentially positive-image books as Strawberty es. Why. not more female doctors? Bosses? ?Piots? Girl by Lois JLenski (Lippincott, 1945), Frm the Aquanauts? Present books simply reinforce the sex Mixed-Up Files of Mrs.' Basil E. Frankweiler by E. rbles imposed by society, and even then virtually L Konigsburg (Atheneum, 1967), Vera and Bill all the careers end in -a cop-out. When the ginl Cleaver's Where the Lilies Bloom (Lippincott, 'marries she gives up the 'career. But must marriage 1969), and IPippi, Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren and career be mutually exclusive? For their pub(reissued in paper by_ Viking, 1969). Padding our lisherteebosaejsiidb h akt Positive-Image list a~ bit we might add commenda- they are meant to sell rather than edifyif We hapble classics like Lewis Carpll's Alice in Wonder-peitbeevthtcrrboktatdfywl land (first published in 1865), Anne of Green Ga- also sell, and far more lastinglyr, as women, gain in bles by Lucy M. Montgomery (Grosset & Dunlap, thsrugefteifedo
1908, ad $b ea o Sunyh okFar~ b KaBut what about those lists of currently recoinDouglas Wiggin .(Macmillan, 1903). Of course there. mended books that are intended to edify?, In are some positive books that escaped our notice, 16,freape h hl td soito just as some of the negative ones may have listed eight books 'Especially for Girls." Of these,
Slppd y utw~wantdtocoer~.fort adwe were disheartened to find that only one was extr caegoy tat eem toOv~lapalltheothrsfree-or almost free-of sexism. Two -more were




myself on our one-cylinder Trumbull when I was 1969) is just as bad..The motherless teenage heroten." We welcome both reactions. irie cooks A the meals and does the housework Two more books on this list, A GilCle lfor her teacher-father, whose domestic ineptitude and Next Door to Xanadu,. have already been de- is paraded as one of his endearing qualities. A pair scribed above as Cop-Outs, though we did consider of sisters, in -the book are set up with mutually them both almost commendable. To' those three exclusive stereotyped female traits-and then shot acceptable books, we would also add .Julie's Deci- down for then. One is described as a "half-wit" sion by Rose A. Levant (Washburn', 1969) except for being concerned with looks and clothes; the that we 'were disturbed by what seemed a pater- other sister, a bookworm,, is- denigrated for not nalistic white attitude especially inappropriate in a caring about her looks or clothes. Damned if you book about a. black girl. do and damned if you don't.
But, after these titles, the CSA girls' list deteri- In another CSA recommendation, the boys in orates into sexism. It is shocking to find "recoin- the family are considered more important than the mended for girls", a: book like The Two Sisters by girls, even though the book is supposedly for girls. Honor Arundel (Meredith, 1969), which not only (Well, it happens in real life too!) The name of reinforces the stereotype of girls as .romantic, that prize is One to Grow On by Jean Little (Litclothes-crazy, 'and spendthrift, but whose moral tle, Brown, 1969). says that, when all is' said and done, love is a In A Crown for a Queen by Ursula Moray Wilwoman' s proper vocation and her future ought to hiams (Meredith,. 1969), the plot revol1ves aroundbe subordinated to her husband's. The young hero- get ready-a beauty- contest with the boys as mne in 'The Two Sisters has- just told her father judges! The most memorable (and most offensive) th~at she may abandon her university scholarship to line occurs when the heroine, Jenny, finally gets follow her husband who has gone off to find a the beauty crown. As we might predict, she "nex'better job 'in another city. Her father says gently: er felt happier in her life." This is scarcely the "Geoff's quite right to be ambitious and you're positive female image we'd been looking for, even right. not to stand in his way. A man who doesn't if we could all be beauty queens. get a chance to fulfill his ambition makes a terni- As our consciousness of "woman's place" ble husband." It 'doesn't occur to either that a ch anges, our recommendations of books for girls woman who sacrifices her potential can also end must change, As must -books themselves. Eventualup making a terrible wife. ly, we will have no more need for any list recoinJohn Rowe Townsend's Hell's Edge (Lothrop, mended "Especially for Girls."
Dear Mrs. Roth:
Thank you for your thoughtful note concerning Tonka Toys, We are pleased to learn 'that your daughter loves her
Torika Pick-up.5
Regrdng urslgan "ou ant aisSbysMitou




Spekig utonProsttuion
by SUSAN BROWNMILLER
Susan Brownmiller is a writer and critic and an active member of New York Radical Feminists. The following paper was
presented at an all-day fillibuster of a New York State Legislature hearing on "Prostitution as a Victimless Crime."' .
SUSAN BROWNMILLER: Gentlemen, you state uality-the Kinsey Report stated that two-thirds of that the purpose of your hearing today is to listen all American 'men have some experience with a to testimony on the subject of prostitution, what prostitute. In 1964, R.E.L. Masters estimated that you refer to as "a victimless crime." Prostitution the figure was closer to 80 percent. Now, having is a crime, gentlemen, but it is not victimless. counted the men in this room, I don't think we There is a victim, and that is the woman. need to play a shell game to figure out which one
I understand 'in the last week you received of you midght have a clean slate.
some urgent phone calls from several women who Now the stock your sex is buying with their consider themselves your peers-women fr t dollar 'bills is human flesh, for the most part, but New Democratic Coalition, a district leader or not always, the same sex as myself. And I say two-and they asked you to suspend the hearing. parenthetically "not always," because in this city They. told you that the women's liberation move- at the present time, you can go any evening to ment considers prostitution to be a women's issue, the corner of 53rd Street and Third Avenue, and along with child care, along with' equal pay for see men buying other men for sex. This is, seldom equal work, along with marriage, -abortion, contra- talked about, but it is relevant. Again the buyers
ception, and rape. These women told you that are always men.
they were planning a joint conference on prostitu- Now the myth has it that the female prostitute ohr
tion with the Radical Feminists, and that this con is the seller own flesh, that she is a free ference, to' be held before the start of the legisla- participant in her act, that she has made a con.r tive session, would evolve a new approach, a woin- scious choice to, sell her body.,, That is a male an's approach, to the issue of prostitution. But myth, 'gentlemen, one that your sex has rather you refused to cancel this hearing, ving ample successfully popularized for your own self-interest,
evi ceI ti~k toth eig u iveto he t has not only absolved you of your resp onsibil-'
political power of women. And so, against our ity in this terrible crime of buying another human will, we are forced to 'use your hearing. as our being's body, it has conveniently shifted your guilt forum. We do this with regret, in heat and haste, onto our shoulders. The' law in this city is applied without the proper thought, consideration, and to punish the woman and let the man go scot"
democratic spirit of inquiry that our women's con- free.
ference will have. 'Now there is something else that the male sex
As with most other issues of women's libera- has. always tried to do to cover up its crime: it
tion th prolemof posttutin, s unelivabl ha tridtospa.th omnenae i rotn complex, resin as't.os.nec.o.s.pyhl-ttin.r.. tereto.te.oe..nth.ulue




class and ambitious, and I have no trouble identi- a front page headline in the New York Times, fying with either the call girl or the-street hustler, "Mayor Stepping Up Drive on Prostitutes and and I can explain why in one sentence: Ive been Smut," I know that in a very real sense it is me working to support myself n the city for fifteen and my entire sex, that the mayor and the New years, and I've had more offers to sell my body York Times are talking about. And when this for money than I have had to be an executive. mayor appoints a task force of six men, and no Acc9rdlng to John Kenneth Galbraith, in a recent women to study the problems of pimps, pornograissue of he New' York Times Magazine, 96 per- phy, and prostitution, giving equal moral weight to cnt of all jobs, over $15,000 in this country are each category, I know that his.failure to appoint held by white men. The remaining 4 percent are even one woman to this task force is not an overdivided among blacks, browns, and women. Now, sight, it's just that the boys decided they've got to when I see a young girl hustling on the street, I get together and do a little superficial something see a young girl like myself who has ambition. to preserve their fun. But she has rno options. I mean, what else could Now I amworried that your purpose in holding she be? She could be a waitress, she could be a this hearing today is to open the doors to' the comptometer operator, she could be a welfare legalization of prostitution. Mr. Pete Hamill, for mother, she could be somebody's wife. one, has waxed eloquent on the 'subject in New
There was a time, when I was, an unemployed York magazine and in the Village Voice, extolling actress, andi working to support myself as a wait- the virtues of a legal brothel he had visited in ress aind a file clerk. The'disparity between my Curacao, where he got a clean lay at a fair price reality situation and my ambition for a better life with a medical guarantee of no venereal disease. A
I tI
was so great thatI gave. serious consideration to recent article in Look magazine reports on the
- I first le a m ri a rt el o ti eof Ren o Ne the social pressure todo a little hustling. And thata is -something, gentlemen, I really don't think that vada. Perhaps you saw the' story. In an interview you. comprehend. I don't think that anyone has with the pimp in charge, a white man described as ever asked you to sell your body, or presumed sporting two diamond rings on his fingers, this pig that your body was for sale. I wonder if a cab said, "First of all, the Icustomer doesn't have to driver has ever turned around to you and re- worry about getting VD. The girls are checked marked, '4I see you're a little short of -change. Per- every week by a doctor, and once a month they haps we could work together. I could steer some get a blood test." customers your way." I wonder if a man has ever Gentlemen, if you -intend to extend the definiwalked up to you in a hotel lobby, and muttered, tion of govern'ment-inspected. meat to the sale of (,(What's your price? Ten? Twenty? I'll pay it. I'll human flesh, you will do it over our dead bodies. pay it.' That happened to me in the Hotel Astor. The women's movement will not tolerate the legalI wonder, if you've ever applied for work in a ization of sexual slavery in this state. Yes, there is bar-restaurant, and the owner, or perhaps he was aprsiuon rblm Itis expressed by Judge only the manager, looked you up and'down arid -John A. Murtagh, who has written: "Most of the said, "Are you sure you're over twenty.-one? Why / men who visit prostitutes would be considered




i7' Hamill who daydreams about women in clean little ical need to pay a woman for the use of her
stalls, medically approved and at a price a work- body.
ingman can afford. Prostitution will not end i this countryuntil
There is a serious problem in our society, when men see women as equals. And men will never see
women with ambition must sell their bodies be- women as equals until there's an end to prostitucause there is no other way that they can earn tion. So it seems Ahat we will have to work for fifteen thousand a year. There is a serious problem the full equality of women and the end to prosti in our society when men think that access to the tution side by side. One cannot occur without the female body is, if not a diyine right, at least a other. In the meantime, it seems to me, it's fool
mnetary right.' ish to prosecute a woman for a crime in which
There has been but one in-depth study on the she is the victim. But it is equally reprehensible to
gratification. men get from paying for sex, and let a man go free for the criminal act of purchas
that study was conducted in the 1920s. And, per- ing another's body.
haps that is the area in which you gentlemen Now that concludes the formal part of my tes 7 could begin your research. Perhaps it is the only timony. I had a great deal of difficulty writing valid study a man could make in this day and age these words down because, as the poet Adrienne on the subject of prostitution. You might begin Rich once said in another context, "this is the with Marshall Helfand, who, according to the New oppressor's language. And it's very lear when York Times of July 24th, was arrested and you start to write about prostitution that you're charged with promoting prostitution. Mr. Helfand using the oppressor's language, which is the male is he owner of Tune Time Fashions at 520 Eight language. The institution is efined by the woman: Avenue, if you want to know how to reach him. prostitution; but'it is the man who does the buyOr perhaps you might want to fly in Mr. Weldon ing. There is no formal word to describe that Case of Elyria,, Ohio. Mr. Case was, 'arrested along man; we just have a couple of slang words like with Mr. Helfand and charged with patronizing a "john," "trick," that the Prostitute uses.'There is prostitute. He said in court that he was the presi- no formal word. Perhaps that's because it's all dent of the Midwest Intercontinental Telephone men, and men have never felt the need to use the Company, vyhich operates i twelve states. I, think specific word in the language that defines some a garment center boss and a major corporation thing that is their province. Anyway, 've had
president might have some very interesting insights trouble, and because of that I feel that other
on their concept of manhood and their psycholog- women from the movement must speak now
Men and Violence "
The+ following is+++++++ a t iansrip of a taped+++ ++ + + coscou- av ..a.. children. and the femle e+pos
ness-raising + sesin It+:+++:+:+:+:++:+,++:++:, i :+3: ++++ one of+ twenty +++:3+ such, tapes t:::++i,++++++++ ar ..... often ++ un be t +a R g p D
twic a++ week,+++++ an t +dy--n h WA t-o h Rporm eevdmr a hm~
dist rdc l tape on?+?i+ a + + sp+ii oi.o~frt racs nW31hsoy
The:+,+:: toic inhddAoNcn uet iul e br ftegopaeKt iSbr
(Ho I Ffr3st... Leared Aout.Men.ruai.,: Hose Fiser.Ma...Mede J/yi Ne Gru
wok atubqiftad ongmy chhMry Wnsqw ad oemryGffe Ther grm wabroacas in tw at nFi-(h notnaeywsa ntt+ngt"e
dasa oyr h dyiehurwscqsn ~ adViln+" a ae Tepora q +




SHh'BRN: Ijust started a new Job with a niessen- store. He blocked her way and he shoved her getr service,, arnd in thle last 'two days when my son against a plate glass window. And he called her a has been onl vacation I'-mm school. hie's been riding strange name. And all I could feel was contained in-tilhe car with mie mlaindy to save me from tow rage, because. if I -hit hifti, he would've killed me. away zones. He's nine years 'old. And, as we go He was really a violent man. Much larger, much around thle streets of New York, hie points out to stronger. And I had no effective way of dealing me every time a man is looking ill mly direction, with it. or, whiich is more obvious to me, whecn a man is If it happened again when we walked out of whistling at me. And hie has this kind of grin on the studio there would be no way of dealing with his face whenever hie does it. it. If you walk up to the police, as I wanted to Finally today I asked him why he felt so corn- do, the reality is that they probably wouldn't deal pelled 'to poin t it out, and hie, said that, he really with it, because it's much too frequent. So you
dintknow. But it seemed that he was getting a have to begin to choose your neighborhoods and grandstand view of male chauvinism and enjoying choose the hdurs, and choose the circumstances just as hie wats enjoying the sights of 'the World that you can be out. Trade Center or the heliport, you know? I came And that's. the rage I feel as a woman. That in on. that level. complete physical powerlessness in a situation.
And it became difficult because I was dealing And the only way of dealing with it is to react with that issue of the whistling, -which was out with some sort. of violence, which women don't tere, and here was my kid wyho was reflecting it want to do. I Idon't want to become a man, in all in my car. So I turned on 'the radio;, which the sense of becoming someone that can beat the was the only thing to keep them .. to keep al crap out of another person. Yet,, the only, alternathe sounds out.. five women have on the street is to become a, part
GLORIA: What I feel is rage,. I mean I feel of the street. To react in the same way men do, outraged in terms of the street and in terms of which makes them immune in the sense that nomy position on the street, in terms of the, fact body walks up to 'a huge man in the street and that the streets are, owned by men. I just feel that beats him up, or presumes upon him. the men stake out the street and each block 'is KATE: Or a..% ;s him for twenty cents, even. owned by different men, and that men travel GLORIA: Well, they might ask, but they'll ask those- blocks with the consent and permission of politely. Andl certainly they're not going to beat other men. Women travel those blocks also with someone up over twenty cents. It's really so, the, consent and permission of men, but on a dif- heavy. ferent level, in that you are at any time suscepti- SEBERN: So what are you going -to do? ble to those whims in far more of a real way than GL ORIA: I'm going to. start learning to be viothose men are. lent, I -guess. I mean I can only- contain fo r so
You -know, it's becoming a well-known thing long my pure thoughts about how one power that. women in the movement hate to be whistled structure shouldn't -presume upon another, and at.'They hate to be stopped in the street. I mean, how you don't remove, violence by being violent.




should Wear lighter colors and you'll, look better. tomers who were bored with the whole e to
And I just ignored him: I didn't pick t p on any get any kind of action going, and the feling was
of that. overwhelming.
Toward the end of the evening we were talking Her husband picked the child up and left be
about women and men's natural' superiority over cause he ,didn't want a fight, which not o had
women, and he kind of looked in my direction. undercut her argument, but really fulflled a
All of a sudden he became very agitated and said, that, sure, that guy could and would beat some"Well, if I really wanted to right now, I could kill body up over the issue of a child being up t
you. I could beat the shit out of you." And I late for his ethical standard. And, as he pushe looked at him and I said, "Probably, but that her out the door, he said, "You know,ou.. a
doesn't make you a superior person." And he said, woman, and I could really beat you up."
"But I really could. You know,' I really could beat GLORIA: It's so depressing.
you up." SEBERN: But the level at which we tak~ t'
I've noticed a degree of violence that men have in. You know, it's not only the circumstans t
in relationship to me. I think maybe that's their come from outside. It's the level to which you second line of action when the first line doesn't accept that in day-to-day, situations whih t really work. You know... ie when they walk up allow you to have an instantaneous reaon a4 .. you.... know that you're taking somebody off gu an
KATE: A male chauvinist would say that you chopping thenm or kicking them, but 'tell. yo
provoke that. -rather that you have to submit to constant 'puishMAR Y: You only' provoke it by assuming any mn fti id
kind of equality. The moment you begin to as- KA TE: Has anybody here . has anybody -ere sume equality is that moment that its provoked- ever been ... I mean my husband really bat me if you want to use that word. /up once. I mean really jist a solutel te me
GL ORIA: That's why the man stopped Vivian. apart,
And called her what he did. Like, which was a The way this arose, really, had a great
cold bitch. But the thing is that it was because do With my -own inability- to. express- angr at *rt she was walking down the street as though she And what I would do instead wa burst into t
had a right to be there. And as though she, you I mean, the-res some kind of relationship
know, she was walking into a store, she wasn't busig9t er n en etn~p
awareofanybody, she wasn't' looking at anybody And whenever I would do that with hi><'he
-.-we were just talking. But I've noticed more, would say, "Ican't deal with you when yo'r so
and more that whenever we're together there's less upset. Come back and, talk to me when your in
of an attempt 'to pick us up than an attempt to a rational frame of mind." 'would've liked to /
be violent, because it's happened a couple of anything to him. I just don't know quite 'what. To
times. me this 'was just -the most totally frustratingthn VSEBER N: Then there's the story of a friend of that' he ever said: "Go away while you resoupe
mine who went into coffee shop-bar setup with and then come-back." "




ten imwntes" my husband just absolutely pummeled the fact that if I had thought about it, and I me 'like he was crazy. guess I did think about, it, in the split second of But when I look back on that 'now, I think, Vivian walking through the door and him standing \you se it was a, time when I was asking him to there just totally smug, -you know, smiling-I could move~ out and nothing was happening. The very have, you know, kicked him or hit him. I could ~nex,, ay he -went out and got himself an apart- have hit him back a nd I didn't. I 'could have
me dai moved out right like that. And so in a taken him totally by surprise and really hurthit
certain kind, of way, it seemed to me. at that time and I didn't. I was within three' inches of him and that at least Wayne finally did something. I mean, he was totally secure about the fact that no one he saw only two alternatives; total withdrawal or was going to retaliate. And I didn't do anything. the t~tl opposite And I can kind of back that up even further SE*ERN: B~ecause of, the anger that has been because when 1. was: young I played with boys all repressed in us, the six of us in the. room could the time. I was a tomboy. And we used to rougheventually, you knew, send this city like, they had house and kid around and wrestle, and I ,was, never seen KIing Kong. equally as strong as them. I never felt weaker than
GLOQRIA:, But you see men allow themselves /them because they were all about my age and I thiat option of becoming violent. Women don't. didn't really think in terms of strength that Not oven~ with other women who they can 'beat these people were more-powerful than me. up! Or even particularly maybe with their chil- At. ten I was having this puppy love kind of cdren. But that's the only- visible way we allow thing with this little boy on the block. And someourselves' an outlet; toward something totally pow- -thing I had, done-I think I beat him in baseball erlesslike a child or an Aiimal. or something like that-something ridiculous-and
SEBZRN: Or yourself. he turned around and he punched me. in the arm.
GLQSJ4.: Or even yopnrself. B~ut anything that And my first reaction was to' hit him back. And I has -a modicum of consciousness, I -mean, you just had my hand up to hit him and, I just stopped. can't do it. 'There was no fear that he was going to beat me
MAR Y: .1 was thinking just in relation to what UP, because we were equally strong at that point. you were saying, Kathy, abou-t how' we cry and I'M Sure he's now stronger than me physically, but they hit. Even when it doesn't come to~that. Even a boy of ten and girl of ten are. about equally when it's just a simple argument,. there's always matched, since 16was even bigger than him physi. ih potntial for that kind of violence, even if cally. He was at little boy, and'I didn't hit back. yott're. i-a situation where you're not. getting hit And I think somehow that was a turning, point for or never have been. me.
still, sometimes, just the anger of my husband MAR Y: The' interesting thing to me is Gloria's h~as' made me. realize, you know,. why any anger is being ten 'years old and an equal physical match, so intimiating, because ultimately for, it to be- and still not doing anything about it, which seems conme physical is the only place it can go unless to me even more distressing. yo begin to defuse that anger by doing some- I was thinking about my children who are very




where women begin to dislike or- be conditioned romantic love, because she'd seen this couple that to dislike ainy kind of real aggressive behavior, she knew on the train and they were honlti
VIf VIA N: I don't travel the subway* too much hands and stuff and it 'was .very obvious that she~ .any more, but when I did every day I encoun- was this very romantic kind of schoolgirl. So she' tered two or three incidents always with extremely walking home through the park in broad daylight, well-dressed businessmen, and slapped them each and she's pulled into the bushes and raped. And time across -the face. And it works. Because they the whole rest of the story focused, on the chang"
were really horrified. And I think it tends to es that this girl went through and her inability t make them think twice about doing it, again. I accept I the fact that violence had come into he don't recommend it'at twelve midnight when the life, and had shattered so many illusions at once.
train is empty and you're looking at a man who And the whole inability to-not only react to the possibly might have a knife on him. But if it's a violence while it Was happening, but to accept the packed subway and the man looks like he, can be existence of it in her own head. She couldn't even
intimidated; I would say slap, him across the face. accept the fact that it existed at all.
But I should add to that that in the subway, most For many of us, during a great deal of o r of the people were- outraged at my behavior. lives, we have been protected'in one way or anSEBERN: Yeah. That's what happened to me. other by either our family or by a strong male-a VIVIAN: Very strange. But th~e men especially man who was going, to shield us in some sort of'
thought -1 was' just really horrendous. way from the existence of violence. It's that lack
GLORIA: The men, of' course, because they've of ease in that situation. That lack of knowing
probably done. it to a hundred women. I mean, I what your chances are. What your chances for es don't think it takes anything perverted or abnor- cape a re, what your chances to hurt that. person mal about a man making advances towards a wom- are, the way -any good fighter ould estimate. A an in the subway. It happens every day. I see it. woman, I don't think, has that ability, and can You know, you can see the men just walking only say "Well, he's going to ill me if I even around, going from one woman- to .another. The raise my hand.," So you don't do anything. When~ big thing seams to be to impose yourself in front in fact, -maybe it would be, better to fight because of a woman and to make her aware that you're maybe the element of surprise would allow' you to there and you have the power to do something. get away.'Maybe 't wouldn't. But the thing is'you More than (eVen doing it. I mean I've had men just have no real way of assessing it because you have
tand over me ominously, and you can alwa no experience. I think that's a part of it.
pic up those vibrations whether or not they're KATE: It seems to me that the reason we hav e doing anything to you-you can just kind' of look such difficulty responding adequately either to beup and know that these men are just really gloat- ing attacked or being put down or being used in ing about th ct that you're uncomfortable and some way, being disregarded, whistled. at or what
y rour suddenly re-arranging yourself, and you're ever, is' that on the one hand there is objectively a
checking to see that nothng's showing and you' e great deal of real danger, and to a certain eiteht really upset and uncomfortable. And eventually if we're'sensible we're going to back away. I mean maybe yo ll even get up and move your seat. that's 'a sensible reaction to real danger. But Qn
it's.th..feeling.o power o yo, asie from anyi invoking: male r.gan d htw ar ru4'
;i'::'It reemeramoie'rlte.t. i..I.a" dbiiae n hreaeas'etenlcniin
dent. Te gilwa omn hm from.school Sh woraly Itinisto uh




&. THEORY AND ANALYSIS
The Building of
the Gilded Gage
by JO FREEMAN
Jo Freeman 'is a graduate student in political science who, with any luck, will be the University of Chicago's first (unofficial) Ph.D. in women's studies. She has written extensively on women and women's liberation in feminist journals,* and publications such as Nation, Trans-Action, and the Valparaiso Law Review. Currently she is compiling an anthology of feminist writings to
serve as an introductory textbook for courses on women.
Hidden somewhere in the byways of social'science carefully marking the woman's ballot~ for her has is an occasionally discussed, 'seldom studied, fre- nothing to lose in that twenty-first year by pretendquently employed and rarely questioned field gen- ing to let her cast it for the alternative of her erafly. referred to as social control. We have so choice. Society has controlled not her alternatives thoroughly absorbed our national ideology, about but her motivation to choose any but one of those
living in a "free society" that whatever else we may alternatives."1
question, as radicals or academics, we are reluctant There are many mechanisms of social control and to admit that all societies, ours included, do an some, are more subtle than others. The socialization awful lot of controlling of eOveryone's lives. We are process, the climate of opinion in which people live, even more reluctant to face the often subtle ways the group ideology (political or 'religious), the kind that our own attitude and our own lives are being of social structures available, the legal system, and, controlled by that same society. the police are just some of the means. society has at
This is why it has been so difficult for materially its disposal to channel people into the roles it finds
well-off, educated whites-L-women as well as men-to necessary for its maintenance. They are all worthy accept the idea that women are oppressed. "Women of study, but here we are going to look only attwo can have a career (or do something else) if they of them-one overt and' one covert-to see what
really want to" is' the oft-heard refrain. "'Women are they can tell us about women.,
whePre theyu are because thylk-t-s nte.Teesis lc os AwhntygtodeThere ar man moe "Wme are their own worst- mine the> position of any-. group of people is with; ,, ;.: :;: ,, ,,< >::, .-.c enme."oe rfrt b w~ive ad ohes h legal system. >:?: ::> Thi 7 ma ,y strike us as i ttle
rather than cpetein : the.. hard, : aggress ive ma. i:!.:i >le strange s..: i nce ... our-.". aional : i deology i!<"i~-%ii% .i also.sys.tha
worldi.' 9" "Women ii enjoy. beiing:,.,7 femiine:: .. ey- li. to.. ...:"..b : -, tall men are equal..under.the law uni We re- .: .. .,....
be treated i ii' l ik i~ :. la d i .:/ : ."- "These are jusf variations,, on ber- thtteielg is aboutl correc in its -,>". .
...r.qesio r~yte hn hywn ttheyu i (min)an-oen hide at ... les are cnd:"i::} But~ wha's{. ~ u ~t pe in oltclceneW........... .....wthewatiprcsl toaryk ily becae sme of hemg (wit ma." fn l es(uo~ca). ....
whtso nt mu~s conro ifs it1n. s toeantaily n en evdwenlly raute on em e me uni Blaks.. .
tuqu Aste emspu i t "Wes overlook the 47% who mar n ,aethe "b eied ther mas .. m
fat t hescit tath sen wet year hood" since the lee kidapedrom Afrsciaain
:oy~tnQ17 bFeeiastc rs f l, !
'Ip~ arjao I'fh:e S a 3: : .... .. ... ...... ... ..i] it i: ...4




are. currently demanding it back. But women (5 1% throughout Europe, but it -was through Ae English ..... gh to'hi coprtof t of the 'population., black. and white) -how can a Comnmon Law that it was ~rug tohiy woman have manhood? and made part of our own legal tradition.
This paradox illustrates the problem very well:, Even here history played tricks on women.
because there is a longstanding legal tradition, reach- Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, ing back to early Roman law, -which says that wom- tremendous liberalizations were taking place in the en are perpetual children and the only. adults are Common Law attitude toward women. This was men. This tradition, known as the "Perpetual Tute- particularly true in the American. colonies where lage of Women"2 has had its ups and downs, been rapidly accelerating commercial. expansion often more or less enforced, but the definition of women made it profitableto ignore the old social rules. In as minors who never grow up, who therefore must particular, the development of property other than' always be under, the guidance of a male (fater, ad cit hso.s mn had always brother, husband or son), has been carried down in been held to have some right in movable property modified form to the present day and vestiges of it while only male heirs could inherit the family
can still be seen in our legal system., lands.
Even Roman law was an improvement over But when Blackstone wrote his soon-to-be-fa
Greek society. In that cradle of democracy only mous Commentares on the Laws of England, he
men could be citizens in the pols. In fact most chose to ignore these newte if r c
women were slaves, and most slaves were women.3 ing the old Common Law rules. Published in 1765, In ancient Rome both the status of women and his work was used in Britain as a textbook. But in slaves improved slightly as they were incorporated the Colonies andnew Republic it became a legal ~into the family under the rule of patria potestas or Bible. Concise and- readable, it was frequently the Power of the Father. This term designated-not so, only book to be found in law libraries in the United much a familial relationship as a property relation- States up until, the middle of the nineteenth ce'nship. All land was owned by families, not individ- tury, and incipient lawyers rarely delved past its
he seekin the, r. retoni fa le....
uals, and was under the control of the oldest male. pages wh se gal tradito
Wn ndt slaves ..oul not. asme p ret m +Thus when Edward Mansfield wrote the first major and in fact frequently were considered to be forms analysis of The Legal Rights, Liabilities and Duties o+f property. The woman in particular had to turn of Women i 1845, he still found it necessary to
-any income she. might receive over to the head of paho getteBlcsnedtretat"e
thehouehld nd adno ~gts o hr wn M- husband and wife are as one and that one is the.
dren, to divorce~ or to any life outside the family. husband." As 'he saw it three years before the SenThe elaionsip f wman o mn ws dei~ntedeca Falls Convention would write-the Woman's Dec~y te cncet ofmans (and undr wichthelaration of Independence'"it appears that the husWOm so Wd r s uer law-not: band's control over the person of his wife is so
even legal recognition. In any -civil or criminal case cmlt hth a li e oit loehr she had to be represented by the pate+r who accept-thtemarcli hrifsegsawyors
ed e~a jdgmnton iisel~ad i t n uded detained by others; that hie may maintain suits for
nbe e from under the angald that snot eeute ahmedeed 'or vai conved
another ....... Thi was.th.natur of th mital rad+eaion-"'. mos repetssh lse te owrf eronl ne
ship (rom wch coms our mo++ ..p.actice of : ;pendence and aoer ta o eprteatini fo hrhad nmani.... legalmattes. h ubn lohdams oa asking a,........woman' fath control+ <> ++++ ,+ over .... the, wife... s relan ero alpopr
Atmanig awoa was ;++ "bor again"+ into++>+ the + ++ +++; +




legislative ..elief during the nineteenth century, the managing the community, the wife has no power of core idea of the Common Law that husbands and control over, it and acting alone, cannot contract wives have reciprocal-not equaIL-rights and duties debts chargeable against it."10 In two of the states remains. The husband must support the wife and (Texas and Nevada) the husband can even dispose children, and she in return, must render serVices to of the property without his wife's consent. Included the, husband1 Thus the woman is legally required to in the property is the income of a working wife do the. domestic chores, to provide marital compan- which, under the law, is managed by( the husband ionship and sexual consortium. Her first obligation with the wife having no legal right to a say in how is,.to him. If he moves out of town', she cannot get it shall be spent. unemployment compensation if she quits her job to In common law states each spouse has a right to follow him, but he can divorce her on grounds of manage his own income and property. However, desertion if she doesn't. Likewise, unless there has unlike community property states, this principle been a legal separation, she cannot deny him access does not recognize the contribution made by a wife to their house even I 'f she has good reason to believe who works only in the home. Although the wife that his entry on a particular occasion would result generally contributes domestic labor to the maintein physical abuse to her and her children. He must nance of the home far in excess of, that of her maintain her, but the amount of support beyond husband, she has no right to an allowance,. wages or subsistence is at his discretion. She has no claim for an income of any sort. -Nor can she, claim Joint direct compensation- for any of the services ren- ownership upon divorce.1 1 dered 8'Marriage incurs a few Qther disabilites as well. A
Crozier commented on this distribution of obliga- married woman cannot contract on the same basis tions: ...Clearly, that economic relationship be- as her husband or a single woman in most states. In tween A and B whereby A has an original owner- / only five states does she have the same right to her ship of B's labor, with the consequent necessity of own domicile.. In many states a married woman can providing B's maintenance, is the economic relation- now live separately from her husband but his domiship between an owner and his property rather than cile is still her address for, purposes of ,taxation, that between two free persons. It was the economic voting, jury service, etc.' relationship between a person and his domesticated Along with the domicile regulations, those conanimal. In -the English, Common Law the wife was, cerning names are most symbolic of the theory of in economic relationship to the husband, his proper- the husband's -and wife's legal unity. Legally, every ty. The financial plan of marriage law was founded married woman's surname is that of her husband up on the economic relationship of owner and prop- and no court -will uphold her right to go by a erty."9' different name. Pragmatically, she can use another
This basic relationship still remains in force to- name only so long as her husband does not object.' day. The "domesticated animal" has acquired. a if he were legally to change his name, hers wouldlonger leash, but the legal -chains have -yet to be automatically change too, though such, would not broken. Common Law practices, assumptions, and necessarily be the case for the children.- "In a 'very attitudes still dominate the law. The property, real real sense, the loss of a woman's surname represents
and~~~~~~~~~~~~~ pesnl bruh by th woman to the4 mar th detuto1fanipratprto e esn




There was also a rise in the abortion laws. Orig- and their function as ""mothers to the race" justified
inally abortion was illegal only -when performed special class legislation. 9 With this decision as a without the husband's consent and the only crime precedent, the drive for protective legislation be was a "wrong to the husband in depriving him of came distorted into a push for laws that appliedto children."'5 Prior to passage of the nineteenth cen- women only. It made some strange allies, who had tury laws which made it a criminal offense it was totally opposing reasons for supporting such laws.
largely regarded as a Church offense punishable by On the one hand social reformers and many-femireligious penalties.' 6 nists were in favor of them on the principle that
The most frequent new laws were sex specific half a loal ,was better than none and the hope that
labor legislation. Under common law and in the at some time in the future the laws would apply to early years of this country there was very little men as well. 0 Many male union leaders were also restrictive legislation on -the employment of women. in favor of them, but not because they would proIt was not needed. Custom and prejudice alone tect women. As President Strasser of the Internasufficed to keep the occupations in which women tional Cigarrakers Union expressed it, "We cannot might be gainfully employed limited to domestic drive the females out of the trade but we can servant, factory worker, governess, and 'prostitute. restrict this daily quota of. labor through factory
As women acquired education and professional skills laws."v2'
in the wake of -the Industrial Revolution, they in- Strasser soon proved to be right, as the primary creasingly sought employment in fields which put use of "protective" laws has been to- protect the them in competition. with men. In some instances jobs of men by denying overtime pay, promotions, men gave way totally and the field became dorm- and employment opportunities to women. The Sunated by women, losing prestige, opportunities for preme Court has long since 'rejected its ruling that advancement, and pay in the process. The occupa- prevented protective legislation from applying to tion of secretary is the most notable. In most cases men, yet there has been no move by male workers men fought back and were quick to make use of to have the laws extended to them. Most of the real economic, ideological, and legal weapons-to reduce benefits made available by such laws have been or eliminate their competition. "They excluded obtained through federal law or collective bargainwomen from trade unions, made contracts with em-' ing, while the state restrictive laws have been quotployers to prevent their hiring women, passed laws' ed by unions and employers alike to keep women in restricting -the employment of married women, cari-_ an inferior competitive position. The dislike of these catured working women, and carried on ceaseless laws felt by the women they affect can be seen in propaganda to return women to the home or keep the- numerous cases challenging their legitimacy that them there."' have been filed since Title VII of the Civil Rights
The restrictive labor laws were the main weapon. Act was passed (prohibiting sex discrimination in
Among the earliest were those prohibiting women employment).
from practicing certain professions,- such' as law and These laws do more than restrict the hours which mn dicine. But most were directed toward regulating women may work. An examination of the state work conditions in factories. Initially such laws labor laws reveals a complex, confusing, inconsistent werel amd atprotecing both men, an woe hos-hren ttshaemnmm aelw
vald uin h nntenh etry heetn hi apl nyt oe. Autm en! W are
thnmen varied fstat o tte!u in 1905, under certain working coniton :consdrd aad
mao setbak Th"ureeCut !invalidated a Laws restricting the numb)er of hours a woa A! i
Ne' or awthtno~nl o fmle, wokrcol a work-generally" toeihtpr ayadiory be..required., or perm ittdtowor i aeries, moeeih erweek-arefoninorynesasad
such* .i oetive ,, r Ia: ws....... unconstitutonal: d i ..... 18 :: ............. .. night work tan~d limitatNins are.. mad m tle onii :




The ""weight and hours" laws have, proved to be that the position of women under the Constitution
the most. onerous anid are the ones usually chab- is not the same as that of men. The Supreme Court lenged in the courts. In Mengelkoch et al. v. the has ruled several times that' the Fourteenth Amend-. AIndustrial Welfare Commnission of California and ment prohibits any arbitrary class legislation, except
North American Aviation, Ince. the defending corpo- that based on sex. The last case was decided in ration has admitted that the women were, denied 1961, but the most important was in. 1874. In overtime and promotions to positions requiring Minor v. Happerset (88 U.S. 21 Wall, 162 1873), overtime, justifying their actions by the California -the court first defined the concept of "second-.class maximum hours law. In R.oig v. Southern Bell Tele-. citizenship" by- saying that some citizens could be phone and Telegraph Co., the plaintiffs are protest- denied rights which others had. The "equal protecigthat their current job is exempt from the Louisi- tion" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment did not
ania maximum hours law but that the higher paying give women equal rights with men.
job to which they were denied promotion is not. Other groups in society have, also had special One major case which challenged the Georgia, weight bodies of law created for them as a means of social lifting law is Weeks v. Southern Bell Telephone and control. Thus an examination of the statutes can Telegraph. It received a favorable ruling from the clearly delineate those groups which society feel's it
Fifth Circuiit Court but. the plaintiff has yet to be necessary to control.
given the promotion for which she sued. The statutes do not necessarily indicate all of the
But perhaps most illustrative of all is an Indiana groups which ~a particular society excludes froml full
case,~ in which the company tried to establish participation, but they do show those which it most
m iaxinmum weight lifting restrictions even though its' adamantly excludes. In virtually every society that
plant and the plaintiffs were located in a state has existed, the ciaste cleavages, as distinct from the which did not have such laws. By company policy, class lines, have been imbedded in the law. Differenwomen were restricted to jobs whose highest pay tiating between class and caste is often difficult as rate was identical with the lowest pay rate for men.. the two differ in degree that only at the extremes is Many, of the women, including the defendants, were seen as a difference in kind. It is made more diffilaid off while' men with less seniority were kept on,' cult by our refusal to acknowledge that castes exist on the grounds that the women could not lift over in our society. Here too we have allowed our thinkthirty-.five pounds. This policy resulted in such ing to be subverted by our national ideology. Our anomalies as women having to lift seventeen and a belief in the poten~tiality, if not the current existhalf tons of products a day in separate ten-pound ence, of high social mobility determined only by loads while the male sulpervisors sat at the head of the, individual's talents, leads us to believe that moth~e assembly line handling the controls and lifting bility is hampered by one's socio-economnic origins one forty-pound box of caps each hour. "In a but -not that it is 'made impossible if one comes number of other instances, women were doing hard from the 'wrong caste. Only recently have we relucmanu~al labor until the operations were automated; tantly begun to, face the reality of the "'color line"
then they were relieved of their, duties, and men as a caste boundary. Our consciousness of the caste were employed -to perform the easier and more, nature of the other boundaries, particularly that of




origin; these have been the categories for which South that "The kind of slavery is adapted tQ the special legislation hasexisted. men enslaved. Wives and apprentices are slaves, no
The law further indicates when restricted castes in theory -only, but often 'in fact. Children are, slatves are seen to be, most. threatening and the -ways in to their parents, guardians and teachers. Impsoned which they are felt to be threatening. If members of culprits are slaves.. Luiatics and idiots are slaves a group will restrict their own activities, or these also." activities ate inconsequential, law is unnecessary. No The progress of "out castes," particularly those, of law need be made to keep people out ,of places they the wrong race and sex, also have been parallel. The never considered going. It is when certain preroga- language of the Nineteenth Amendment was bortives are threatened by an outgroup that it must be rowed directly from that of the Fifteenth. The made illegal to violate them. Thus Jim Crow laws "sex"~ provision of Title VII (only. the second piece were not necessary during slavery and restrictive of corrective legislation pertaining to women that labor legislation was not extensively sought for until has been passed21 was, stuck into the Civil Rights women entered the job market in rapidly accelerat- Act of 1964 as a joke by octogenarian representa-, -------- ---II
................
.... . .. ... ..
W,: M.o,.. d :!i:: i ,
ing numbers at the end of the' nineteenth century tiveHoward W Smith of Virginia.29




~ept"i we n ftelwe atsi u oit boy is born, it is difficult to predict what he will be begins to revolt, the, others quickly perceive the doing twenty-five years later. We cannot say whethsimilanities to their own condition and start the er he will be an artist or a doctor, or a college battle on- their own grounds. professor because, he will be permitted to develop Thus it is not, surprising that these groups quick... and- fulfill his own identity. But if the newborn ty find that they have, more in. common than a child is a girl, we can predict with almost complete similar legal, situation. All of them, when comparing certainty how she W4ll be spending her time twenthemselves, to the culture of -the middle-aged white ty-five years later. Her individuality does not have male,3 find that they are distinctly in the minority to be considered;. it is irrelevant."3 position. This minority position 'Involves a good deal Yet until very recently, most women have remore than laws and a good deal more than econom- fused 'to recognize their own oppression. They have ic and social discrimination. Discrimination per se is openly. accepted the social definition of who arnd only one aspect of oppression and not always the, what they are. They have refused to be conscious of most, significant one. There are many other social the fact that they are seen and treated, before and psychological aspects. Likewise, being subject to anything else,. as women. Many still do. This very separate laws and having poorer access to the socio- refusal is significant, because no group is so opeconomic system are -only some of the chatacteris- pressed1 as one -which will not ,recognize its own tics of being in a minority group. 'This point h~as oppression. Women's denial that they must deal, b~een well explored by Hacker, who, has. shown the with their oppres.Ision is a reflection of just how far similarities in the caste-like status of women and they, still have,-to go. )blackS.31 There 'are many reasons why covert mechanisms
The Negro analogy has been challenged many / of social control have been so much more successful times on the grounds that women do not stiffer, with women. than with most other minority groups. from the same overt segregation as blacks. This 'More than most they have been denied any history.
poin iswel noed. ut t i imo an toreaizeTheir tradition of subjection is long and even this that blatant discrimination isjust one mechanism of history is purged from' the books so that women social Icontrol. There are many more subtle ones cannot -compare the similarities of their current conemployed long before such coercion becomes neces- dition' with that of the past., In a not-so-subtle way sary. It is only when these other methods fail to both men and women are told that only men make keep a minority group in its place that harsher history and W~omen, are not important enough to means must be found. Given that a particular soci- study. ety needs the subservience of several different Further, the agents of social control are, much groups of people, it will use its techniques to a nearer to hand than those of any other group. No different degree with each of them, depending on other, minority lives in the same household with its what is available andI what they are most susceptible master, separated. totally from its peers and urged to to. It is a measure of the blacks' resistance to the compete with them for the privilege of serving the definition which white society has tried to impose majority group. No other mino ity so thoroughly on them that such 'violent extremes have had to be accepts the standards of the dominant group as its used to keep the caste linesz intact, own andl intepnrae nyianefo hoevle




stated that *the female image is characterized as inant group's norms, and passivty .' Alipor was small, weak, soft and light. In the United States it is primarily concerned with, Jews and Negroes but also dull, peaceful, relaxed, cold, rounded, passive compare his characterization with the very thorough and slow."3 s A more thorough study which asked review of the litrature on sex differences among men and women to choose out of. a long list of young children made by Terian and Tyler.' For adjectives those which most clearly applied to them- girls, they listed such traits as. sensitivity, conformi selves showed that women strongly felt' -themselves ty to social pressures, response to environment, ease to be such things as uncertain, anxious, nervous, of social control, ingratiation, sympathy, low levels hasty, careless, fearful, full, childish, helpless, sorry, of aspiration, compassion for the underprivileged, timid, clumsy, stupid, silly; and domestic. On a and anxiety. They found that girls, compared to more positive side women felt they were: under- boys, were more nervous, unstable, neurotic, socialstanding, tender, sympathetic, pure, generous, affec- ly dependent, submissive, had less self-confidence, tionate, loving, moral, kind, grateful and patient. lower opinions of themselves and of girls in general,
This is not a very favorable self-image but it does and were more timid, emotional, mim rative, fearcorrespond fairly welt with the social myths about ful, and passive.8 These are also thekinds of traits what women are like. The image has some nice found in the Indians when under British rule, -_.in"
qualities, but they are not the ones normally re-_ the Algerians 'under the French,"0 and ~elsewhiere. ,
quired for that kind of achievement to which soci- Two of the most essential aspects of this "minor ety gives its highest social rewards. Now one can ity group character structure" are the extent to"
justifiably question both the idea of achievement which one's perceptions are distorted and' one's and the qualities necessarY_ for it, but this is not the group is denigrated. These. two things in- and if place to do so, Rather, because the current stand- themselves are very effective means of social "conards are the ones which women have been told they trol. If one can be led to believe in one's own do not meet, the purpose here will be to look at inferiority then one is much less likely to resist the
the socialization process as a mechanism to keep status that goes with the inferiority.
them from doing so. -We will also need to analyze When we 1ook at women's opinions of women some of the social expectations. about women and we find the notion that they are inferior very prevaabout what they define as a successful woman (not lent. Young girls -get off to a very Igood start. Theya ,successful person) because they are inextricably begin speaking, reading, -and counting sooner. They bound up with the socialization process. All people articulate more clearly and put words into sentences are socialized to meet the social expectations held earlier. They have fewer readingand. stuttering probfor them and it is only when this process fails to do lems. Girls are even better in math in the early so (as is currently happening on several fronts) that 'school years. They also make a lot better grades it is at all questioned. than boys do until late high school. B~ut when they
First let us further -examine the effects on worn: are asked to compare their, achievements with those
en of minority group status. Here, another interest- of boys, they rate boys higher in virtually every ing parallel emerges, but it is one fraught with more respect. ,Despite factual evidence to the contrary, heresy than any previouslW observed. When we look girls' opinion of( girls grows progressively worse wth at the P results of female socialization we find a alge whiles their opinion of boys and boys' abilities i stogsmlrtbewewhtorsctlaes gow bte Bylkwshvaniccinl
even e n osa t e iarfmnn"caatrbte pno ftesle n'wreoiino
st conty idelewee... hee.isotinsbeom.s.gos.ha,.ccrdn
In..his. si c tdyTeNaueafPeudc Al o oderb the.....imegrsrahcleete
potdeoesachpe ..."Traits Due to.. Vitmia hae ecm pejdce.aais.wme.Godb.




at the end of each article asked. the stu- to see how peer group pressures, coupled with our Sto ate th arties n value, persuasiveness, rigid ideas about "femininity" and "masculinity,"
an4 profun4y and the authors for writing style could lead to the results found by Honer, Lipinski, an Coptne The male authors fared better in and Pierce. Asch found that some 33% of his subfield, 'even in sjects would go ontrary to the evidence of their
and dietetics. Goldberg concluded hat own senses about something as tangible as the m.coi
omnr e prejudie agiseaepoesas parative length of two lines when their judgments
0f 4 wert vhercewih h
anO re'ardiess of the actual accomplishments of weea ariac wtthse made by the 'other he rofesionas, will firmlyrefuse to recognize group members.48 All but a handful of the other th as the equals of their male colleagues."42 67% experienced tremendous trauma in trying to tt ;these unconscious assumptions about wom en stick to their correct perceptions.
Sv Ut These experiments are suggestive of how poweryth that women do- not, produce high-quality fu a group can bedin imposing its own definition Of
pfqssional work. If the Goldberg findings hold in a situation and suppressing the resistance of individoter situationsn~, and the likelihood is great that ual deviants. When we move to, something as intandp, it-explains why women's work must be of gible as sex role behavior and to social sanctions far
aMch-higher- quality than that of men to be greater than simply the displeasure of a group of i~n wedge4 as merely. equal. People in our society unknown experimental stooges, we can get an idea spl-refuse to believe that a woman can cross the of how stifling social expectations can be. It is not.
tibfnes an4 'be competent in a "man's workl" surprising, in light of our cultural norm that a~ girl weveHow most women rarely get to the point of should not appear too smart or surpass boys in wrtn professional articles or doing other things anything, that those pressures to conform, so preva,h-put them in competition with- men. They lent in adolescence,' prompts girls to believe that the
SO!to lack -what, psychologists call the "achieve- development of their minds- will have o'nly negative me ftnotiv.< When we look at the little re- results.
se i hat has been. done we can see why this is But this process begins long before puberty. It th- case.' Iomer's recent study of undergraduates. at begins with the kind of toys young children are
thUniversity of-Michigan showed that 65%7 of the given to play with, with the roles they see their Nmn but' only 101o of the men associated aca- parents in, with the stories in their early reading mi- success wit1 aigngtv osqecs books, and the kind 'of ambitions they express or Frther- -esearch -showed, that these college women actions they engage in that receive rewards from ha What Homer termed a "motive to avoid suc- their parents and other adults. Some of the early ess" because they perceived'it as leading to social differentiation along these lines is obvious to us reje4tion hand, role cFonflict with their 'concept of from looking at young children and' reminiscing 4feminlnlty,"'4 4 Lipinski has'also shown that worn- about our' own lives. But some of it is not so en~ students associate success in the, usual sense as obvious, even when we engage in it ourselves. It something which is achieved by men, but not by consists of little actions' which parents and teachers V~men.41 Pierce suggested that girls did in fact do every day that are not even noticed but can have~ achievement m motivation but that they had d if-.rfont affect k te style a"n qality of a1 chil's




ception tests. These tests indicate that, boys perceive different from those applied b s.
more analytically while girls are more contextual- more affection, more protectiveness, m r o
although the ability to "break set", or be "field d more restricti Boys are subjected r
independent" also does not seem to appear until achievement demands andhigher expctatioi~5 I after the fourth or fifth year.49 short while -girls are not 'always enco t -.be
According to Maccoby, this contextual mode of dependents e, t su o u e
perception common to women is a distinct disad- to be independent and physically adive. "Suh nd vantage for scientific production. "Girls on the aver- ings indicate that the differently eatrefit o he age develop a somewhat different way of handling wo sgoa Wh incoming information-their thinking isless sons, socialization sem to f s' rily on- de
more global, and more perseverative-and this kind recting and constraining the boys' im ct on, the
of thinking may serve very well for many kinds of n nhdaughts ai ..s rtht
functioning but it is not the kind of thinking most tf envofi*nt conducive to high-level intellectual productivity, es- e boy is being prepared to mod his worl,, the
pecially in sciernce."s 0 girl to be molded by it.$8
Several social- psychologists have postulated that Tbis relationship holds true eross'.etd liurafly ev~en
the key developmental characteristic of analytic moet 0 i osi ou~r own society. -in studyi fig thinking is what'is called early "independence and child socialization in 11J0 non-litorate, Cultuztes,- ar
mastery training," or "whether and, how soon a Baacon,' nd Child, found
child i encouraged to assume initiative, to take nurturae, obedience, and ,sponsibili- i, m ......nibli ofe stronger for.+.: gils whereas+' dr +hte o~ :++ :+:+
repn -iiy for himself, and to solve problems by o togrfr~rs ra
brnself, rather than rely on others f be direction rh em
of his activities. "'S In other words analytically f y
inclined children are those who have not been sub- ences in soci on practices were coflt
ject to what Brofenbrenner calls "over-socializa- highly differentiated adult sex roles
.o and there is a good deal of indirect evi- T c
dence that such is the case. Levy has observed that en training for women
'(overprotected" boys tend to develop intellectually results beyond simply, curtailing analytic "ab ity. Jn
like I ing found that those girls who were
good at special tasks were those whose mothers left status position compared 'to maless' In. fact. .there
. I e to solve the problems by themselves was a correlation. with- the' egee of rigidity 'f
while the mothers of verbally 'inclined daughters sex-role socialization., and he -subservience of wom
insisted on helping them.5 Witkin similarly found en to mien.
that mothers of analytic children had encouraged In our society also, analytc abiltes" ae t 'e
only, ones vaud Bein+ ted, and conte
their initiative while mothers of non-analytic Chile g persn-orient
re had encouraged dependence and discouraged a! in pu tt
self-assertion. 55. One writer commented on these ma .ny fields, where,_nevertheless,. very_, ew' Oe s destat"hi s obeepetdfr'teinde- are found. Such characteristics are 'valble "th htldi s y to be ex.cte, ot sho ..e d d
+pglall bu.phsiclly an the+ phyicll active:: thti per htteeI +e ~
gtuallhve orekiestetc eperene wll
WI+: ... p tiareatinsip in +:+ l +i environment." A ra tdis av Whnw ur oseifccid-ern racie e+,-inepndn ?adnite1ta.in>#+
wefn ha h at.r epasisefacrdn-osc. .bneiilefeto i l c ii s the+ + x ftecil.Atog cmaaie tde eerie hr xeto'oi' eere+of of+: ,++ ++:i++/+ paetltram...fby.ndgrsar .o ..o.'htdrv hchp~~,~~te~ exenieths tathvebenmaeinict tatyndth ee f urial Adi p+ sl the ...< ++ tadioplpatcsapidt il r eykidftann htwxe 4 ,~~e
y++ I +/':+,: ::+ ::
+ ? ++?+%+?+5+++ %+:+: +$




are encouraaed to be dependent and passive-to be but at the same time it does not have to waste time "'fernine." In that process the shape of their mind wading through legal segregation before realizing is altered and their ambitions are dulled or chan- that the real nature of oppression lies much deeper. neled into the only socially rewarded achievement It is the more basic means of social control that will for a woman-marriage, have to be attacked as. women and, men look into Now we have come almost full circle and can their lives and dissect the many factors that made begin to see the vicious nature of the trap in which them, what they are. The dam of social control now our society places women. When -we become con- has many cracks, in it. It has held women back for scious of the many subtle mechanisms of social years, but it is about to break under the strain. control-peer group pressures, cultural norms, parental training, teachers, role expectations, and negative self /concept-it is not hard to see why girls who are FOOTNOTES better at most everything in childhood do not excel Snr ~ ay en W'eAlNnCncosSx at much of anything as adults. ists," Psychology Today, Nov. 1970, p. 26.
Qnly one'link remains and that requires taking a 2Sir Henry Sumner Mainie, Ancient Law (ILondon: John' Murray, 1905), p. 135.
brief look at those few women who do manage to 3AinW GolnrF;trPao(e YrkLnd: slip through a chance loophole. Maccoby provided Basic Books), 1965, p. 10. the best commentary on this, when she~ noted that 4 Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, The Ancient City (Gar-. the girl who does- not, succumb to overprotection dnCtNY:Duldy&C. 99,p.161~ 5Richard B. Morris, Studies in the History of American and develop the, appropriate personality and behav. Law (Philadelphia: Mitchell & Co., 1959), pp. 126-8.. ior for her sex has a'major price to pay: the anxiety 6 Mary Beard, Woman as a Force in History .(New York: that comes from crossing the caste lines. Maccoby Macmillan, 1946), pp. 108-109.
I 7Edward Mansfield, The Legal Rights, Liabilities and Duties feels. that "it is this anxiety which helps to account of- Women (Salem, Mass.; Jewett & Co., 1945), p. 273.
for h I k p d civit amng hos w en Sophonisba 'Breckinridge, The Family and, the State (Chiiwho do make intellectual careers-because I[anxiety] cago: University of Chicago Press, 1934), pp. 109-110. is especially damaging to creative thinking." The Ba eCoir Mrtl$pot"1 otnUiest r Law Review 28 (1935).
combination of all these factors tells "something of 10Philip Francis, The Legal Status of Women (New York; a horror story. It would appear that even when a Oceaiia Publications, 1963), p. 23. woman is suitably, edowedj intellectually and devel- Citizens Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Report of the Task, Force on Family Law and Policy, 1968, p. ops the right temperament and habits of' thought to 2 make use of her endowment, she must' be fleet of 12Ibid., p. 39.
13
foot indeed to scale the hurdles society has erected Leo Kanowitz, Women and the Law: The Unfinished Revolution (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, for her and to remain a whole and happy 'person 1969), P,. 41. while continuing to follow her intellectual bent.6 4George Gould and Ray F.' Dickenson, The' American
Theplo bhin th hrro sorysholdby owSocial Hygiene Association, Digest of State and Federal Laws Dealing with Prostitution and Other Sex Offenses,
be clearly evident, There is more to oppression than 1942. discrimination and more to -the condition of women 1Bernard M. Dickens, Abortion and the Law (Bristol: /MacGibbon & Kee, Ltd.., 1966), p. 15.




26Gunnar Myrdal, An America Dilemma (New York: Har- Jems of'Sex Differences in Space Perception and Aspects of per, 1944), p. 1073. Intellectual Functioning," Psychological Review Vol1 4.
-George Fizhugh,Soci y for:the South (Richmond, No. 4, July, 1967, pp. 290-299; and Philip E. Verno Va7A. or isz1854, p.ioog 86. h, ot Rihod "Ability Factors and Environmental Influences," Americal Va.:A. orr s, 854) p.86.Psychologist, Vol. 20, No. 9, Sept. 1965, pp. 723-733. 28The first was the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which took 94 52 "i B.e S PsycR
years to get through Congress. Ui rnebenr Sm aiirAtcdnso
29Caroline Bird, Born Female: The High Cost of Keep'ing sponsibility and Leadership in Adolescents," Leadership %znd Wome Dow (Ne Yok: Dvid c~ayCo. 196), Cap- Interpersonal Behavior ed by Luigi Petru 'llo and Bernard M. Women. Down(New YOrk: David McKay Coi, 1968),Chap-. Bass (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1961), .
ter 1. 260.
30Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle (New York, Athe- 53D. M, Levy, Maternal'Overprotection (New York; Columnneum, 1959), p. 71. They were joined by one white and bia University Press, 1943).
one black man, William Lloyd Garrison and John Cronan. 54Maccoby, "Woman's Intellect," oc. cit., p. 31.
3 1 Jo Freeman, "The New Feminists," The Nation, Feb.. 24, 55H, A. Wit
199,2 22 nough, and S. A. Karp, Psychological Differentiation (NewA
~Myrdal, p. 1073. York: Wiley, 1962).
33Hacker, pp. 10-19. 56James Clapp, "Sex Differences in Mathematical ReasonBem and Bem, p. 7. ing Ability," unpublished paper, 1968.
35 David McClelland, "Wanted: A New Self-Image for Wom- 5 7R. R. Sears, E. {accoby, and H. Levin, terns of Child.
en," The Woman in America ed. by Robert J Liftoh Rearing (Evanston, Ill.: Row and Peterson, 1957).
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1965), p. 173. 58 Bronfeubrenner, 260.
36Edward M. Bennett and Larry R. Cohen, "Men and Herbert Barry, M. K.. Bacon, ard Irving L. Child, A Women: Personality Patterns and Contrasts," Genetic Cross-Cultural Survey of Some Sex Differences in ociabzaPsychology Monographs, Vol. 59, 1959, pp. 01-155. tion," The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology,
3'7Gordon W. Aliport,. The Nature of Prejudice (Reading, Vol. 55, Nov.., 1957, p. 328.
Mass., Addison-Wesley, Co., 1954), pp. 142-16 1.- 60,Marian R. Winterbottom, -"'The Relation of Need for 38 Lewis M. 1.Terman and 'Leona E. Tyler, "Psychological Achievement to Learning Experiences in Independence anpd Sex Differenees," Manual of -Child Psychology ed- by Leon- Mastery," Basic Studies. in Social.Psychology ed b~y H~arold ad'Camichael (New York' Wiley & Sons, 1954), pp Proshansky and Bernard Seidenberg (New York: Holt, Rine1080-1100. hart and Winston, 1965), pp. 294-.301.
39Lewis Fisher, Gandhi (New York. New American Li- M~ccoby, "Womani's Intellect," loc. cit., p.,37.brary, 1954).
4Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York:
Grove Press, 1963).
41. Smith, "'Age and Sex Differences in Children's Opinion Concerning Sex Differences," Journal of Geneti
Psychology, Vol. 54, 1939, pp. 17-25.
42 2
Philip Goldberg, "Are Women Prejudiced Against Women?,' Transaction, April,. 1969.
3McClelland, passim.
44Matina' S. Homre, "Woman's Will to Fail," Psychology Today, Vol. 3, No. 6, Nov. 1969, p. 36. See also: S.
Horner, Sax Differences in Achievement Motivation and /I
Performance in Competitive and Non-Competitive Situation',. unpublished doctoral dissertation, University ofMich,1
igan .1,968.
'Beatrice Lipinski, Sex-Role- Conflict and Achievement / k
Motivation in, College Women, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Cinncinnati, 1965.
"James V. Pierce, "ex Differences in Achievement Moti- "
vation of Able High School Students," Co-operative- Re- Q




n d enden fcrom the Sexua
Revolution
has by DANA DENSMORE
Dana Densmore has been active in the women's, movement in Boston since June, 1968. She helped start A Journal of Female Liberation (No More Fun and Games, The Female State) and her main energies have been devoted to it, as she believes that the dissemination of ideas and analysis is the-most critical need in making the feminist revolution. Her second priority is self.,defense. She has studied Tae Kwon Do for two and a half years, the last six months with Jayne West's Feminist Tae Kwon Do School. She is a member of Cell, i16 which puts out the Journal and is\in a feminist study group as well.
We human beings are not creatures who spring selves because they- see in themselves so many supfrom the earth, our integrity round and tight, our posed weaknesses and psychological problems that will free and objective. We are not only'influenced prevent them from being happy, well-adjusted, and by what goes on around us, we are conditioned effective. This is a characteristic of our society and created by it. and isolates ill of us, not just the 'women. (HowDesires and even needs can be created. We are ever, women, being the most oppressed, are forced all familiar with the ingenious techniques of Madi- to blame themselves the most for their impotence son Avenue to generate insecurity in' order to of- and thusdespise themselves the most and aremost fer their product or service as a means of assuag- isolated and afraid and anxious that no one will ing the insecurity. The most. effective techniques love them.) zero in on our fears of not being socially accepta- The very isolhon -the individualist ideology ii-n ble', 'not being loved, not being sexually attractive, poses makes us desire even more to be loved and
The seeds of this insecurity exist 'already in a accepted, and fear even more being unlovable.. But society whose ideology of individualisnm isolates we cannot escape our fears of being unlovable. people and throws the blame for all maladjustment "Who would want me?" we ask; "I have all these and failure onto the individual. We constantly hear hang-ups." A man may know he's inot a 'real the variations on this theme. It is -used to avoid man." He can't adjust. to his role, either:. he's admitting that anything could be wrong with the afraid of women'. As real people with free' will way our, society- is set up. "If you can't make a capable of challenging his right to rule (and' thus satisfactory, adjustment to life, it's your own prob- his virility), they are threatening, castrating. A lem: perhaps some professonal help is in order." woman may know she's unwomanly, neurotic, and ""Don't try to change the w orld-you'd better free selfish: sometimes'she feels trapped and. hates her your ini d instead." family.,/
Arid' we hear it thrown at us in response to the The solution, offered to all this is often to open threat of female liberation. "You should be initimi- yourself up until you can merge' selflessly with andaedbybeng :t on.b men, ..Lea.e your ote"eso.I an ae t se ictysx
f a i l i t' s o p e s i v I o o i t l k h u h s lt@s a l p i t t e e
wa yurloe trasyu



might be less degrading. And too often all they in that, especially when I'm still fighting the old reap is demoralization, damaged egos, emotional habits and old guilts that remain long after. the
exhaustion. intellect and the will have plunged on.
Under the banner of "not denying our sexuali- The worst part. about it i that even with perty" and pointing to repression in the past when fect sexual fulfillment, mutual guilt-free pleasure, women were denied the right to any pleasure in we are still oppressed. After all, some- women.
their bodies at all, many of us now embrace sex- managed to have vaginal orgasms all. along,. and uality and its expression completely uncritically, they were still oppressed; in fact, that was ho~w As if present excess could make up for past depri- you were supposed to achieve orgasm-by surrn vation. As if even total sexual fulfillment would dering completely to the man's will, by loving'bechange anything. Except ... is this true?-except in at
private dead-of-the -night fears that maybe we real- Sexual relations in the world today (arid perhaps ly are the sexually frustrated, neurotic freaks our in all past ages) are oppressive. The fact that your detractors accuse us of being. Are we chasing sex- lover gives you an orgasm changes only oiesmall ual fulfillment so earnestly because we have to part of that oppression (namely the part that dic prove that our politics are not just a result of our tated that you had to see yourself as a creature needing a good fuck. who was allowed only the muted, sensuous, seiThen there is the issue of orgasms. Among masochistic pleasure of getting fucked and never
those who were never well-adjusted and womanly the direct active transcendent pleasure 9f'orgasm).
enough to psych. themselves into an orgasm while If that were the only injustice, or even the mabeing vaginally stimulated by a man, there are jor injustice, done us, we would be very well of 'some who,~ when- they discover that their shame indeed. In fact, we would probably. be able to~ and misery were not only not unique but in fact bear it without concern, certainly without misery extremely common and. due 'to very straight-for- and self-loathing. It's the general oppression and ward anatomical causes,, react, to this discovery by degradation we suffer in the world 'causes us feeling that they must make it up-by demanding to be humiliated in the sex act as Simone de all the physical fulfillment they had been provid- Beauvoir points out If itweren't for the sense Qf ing the men all along a missing themselves. inadequacy and impotency we lean fromalother
What we lost wasn't just X many instances of aspects of our lives,- we vould kick our lover, out,
physical pleasure. The suffering that countless of bed if he was arrogant, inconsidert e, or ungenwomen have ,endured because they were told that tle.
if they didn't have vaginal orgasms they were frig- Some men do the dinner'dishes every night.
id-that they were- neurotic and selfish and un- That doesn't make their wives free. 'On th~e conwomanly and sexually maladjusted and unable to, trary, it's just one muore thing she has to feel let go and give and secretly resented the power of grateful to him for. He, in the, power. and glory of their husbands and envied them-this suffering is his maleness, condescenlded' to do something for staggering. and heartbreaking. her. It will never mean more than that until the
The best analysis and-rebuttal of this evil fraud, basic power relations are 'changed. As long as men
this cripplingz delusion that routinely sacrifices the are the superior caste and hold the politicalpoe happ, ...ines of on.e.oth.aiyofteohr.i.ntec.s1rl~onhpbtee ead
AneKets ril Th yho teVgnl twl e &fvryor9e < on V
Oras."Evr wma soldred.n...ppe.ipriusy o emndI, ndbq




denied to ug now. Our "right" to enjoy our own soft, emotional, expressive, giving, close to the bodies has not only been bestowed upon us: it is earth, physical, imprisoned by the frightening disalmost a duty. In fact, things have been turned gusting delicious all too perishable flesh. For such around to the point where the "fact" (actually a a creature to presume upon the territory of transmear device) that we do not engage in sex is scendence is horrifying, unthinkable, 'polluting the whispered about and used by men 't discourage high, pure realms of the will and spirit, where we "their" women from having anything -to do with rise above the flesh.' us.,This is one development that makes me laugh Unfortunately, the oppressed often adopt the out loud whenever I think about it. What would psychoses of the ruling class, transformed, some"Ask Beth" think about that! How can men pull times, until they seem no longer vicious and intelthis off with a straight face? They must be terri- lectually dishonest projections but a reasonable acfled indeed at the thought of losing their power ceptance of reality (and for the oppressed, reality to define what is proper for proper women. (For is in a sense what the ruling class believes). So we that power is exacly what we are challenging.) recognize that we have something of an intellect,
The right that is a duty. Sexual freedom that and perhaps even use it openly with tolerant or includes no freedom to decline sex, to decline to sophisticated men. But we still recognize that insobe defined. at every turn by sex. Sex becomes a far as we are, also women, we are soft, emotional,: religion, existing independently of the individuals expressive, giving, close to the earth, ruled at who share its particular physical consummation. times by our sensuality, our profound-, undeniable The media totally bombard us with it. Sex is ev- sexuality. erywherer. 1t's forced down our throats. It's the There are rewards for us in this. In losing ourgreat sop that keeps us in our place. The big lift selves in sexual surrender we bring that masterful, that makes our dreary worlds interesting. Every- rational, hard, unemotional analytical man to abwhere we are sexual objects, and our own enjoy- ject, total, frenzied' -need, of the flesh he likes to ment just enhances ,our attractiveness. We are wan- fancy himself above. And~ there is no question that ton.7 We wear miniskirts and see-through ,tops., for a woman sexual love contains as a strong com-, We're sexy. We're free. We run around and hop ponent'the desire to become powerful by merging into bed whenever we please. This is the self-image with the powerful. She sees herself as impotent we have built up in us by advertising and the and ineffectual, him as masterful and competent. media. It's self-fulfilling. And very profitable. It She longs for that sense of competence and the keeps us. in our place and feeling lucky 'about it confidence that comes to him from knowing it's (the freedom to consume, consume, consume, until "his world." In the, intimacy and ecstasy of sex we swallow the world). It makbs us look as if she seeks to lose herself, become one with him. we're free and active. (actively, freely, we solicit Children who are told over and over that theyr sex, from men). are liars or thieves become liars or thieves. People
And people. seem, to believe that sexual freedom 'who are told over and over -that they are crazy (even when it is only' the freedom to actively of- become crazy. If you are told over.-and over, that fer oneself as a willing object) is freedom. When you are a being who has profound sexual needs, men say to us, ."But aren't you already liberat- the odds are very good, that you will discover that




being a woman worthwhile. It's useless to claim kindness? And dd we "need" it physically or that we aren't programmed to desire sex, to reach psychologically? for it, to need it.. Even when we know something Intercourse, in the sense of the physical act is false our conditioning drives us to continue to which is the ultimate aim of so much anxiety, act it out. In this case it is very difficult even to plotting, and consuming, is not necessarily the sort out what is true and what is -false. thing we are really longing for, any more than, in
A woman in her forties wrote to me as fol- the more obvious cases, it is the consumer prolows: "Now I realize all that about its being an ducts advertising builds up -neurotic longing for. instinct, but I- think there's something more to the Physically, there is a certain objective tension an~d ~Story. When I reflect on my own past experience, release, at least for a man, when excitation pro-. I can rarely find a time when I1 was driven to it ceeds to, orgasm. With a woman even this physical from inside need. I'm not saying if I didn't have issue is much less clear: most women don't have it for a long period (which hasn't ever happened orgasms at all, and very fe lashave them. I to me), I might not feel the instinct, but I'm say-, think we might all agree that that isn't why we go ing we need some evidence of just how -much be- ~ to bed, with a man. In any case an orgasm for a cause I suspect that even the minimum is far, far woman isn't a release in the same'sense that it is less than 'is, believed. --.I know I talked myself for a man, since we are capable of an indefinite into most sex probably looking for the 'earth- number, remaining, aroused the while time, limited moving orgasm' which maybe was a hoax anyway. only by exhaustion. The release we feel, therefore, What if no one had 'given me those wod ihis psychological. A psychological tension to get which I talked myself into it?, I begin to -distrust this man, to possess him in a certain intimate it all. Reminds me of that line from Notes From. sense, is released when we 'get himi' -through -i the First Year: sometimes you'd rather play ping orgasm. We then enjoy the pleasure of closeness pong." because he is more open to us (provided' he is
No doubt there are 'some innate needs, or at open, and doesn't just turn over and go 'to sleep, least propensities. But a propensity can be cultur- or jump up to attend to something else on hi' ally built into an obsession or culturally killed off, mind, his attentin easily distracted now). sometimes: simply by never reinforcing it. I person- Without denying that sex can be pleasurable, I ally suspect that some form of sex urge may turn suggest that the real thing we seek is closeness, out to be innate. Human beings reproduced before merging, perhaps a kind of oblivion of self that they had an elaborate social organization' institu- dissolves the terrible isolation of individualism. The tionalizing sexual intercourse and before full-page pleasure argument doesn't impress 'me yery much. color ads in magazines urged women to "Be Some A lot. of things are pleasurable without ,our gettn Body." the idea that we can't live without them, even in And if it turns out that this urge. is not that a revolutionary context. I 'Can think of certamn strong, it might still be worth keeping (i.e., rein- foods, certain music, certain drugs, whose physia forcing) if it affords people physical pleasure or pleasurableness compares favorably eve n 0og pleasures of intimacy. But -it should be taken for sx
grante tAa it- mutb-laual4obohproevr etrcino h neo




of behavior that grow out of that assumption, are Either because the, mani just can't treat her as an destructive. :Most of us recognize that sexual rel'a- equal when he's so personally involved, or because tioriships often turn out to be evil and destructive he doesn't know how to treat a woman equally in in a society where dehumanization, exploitation, -a sexual relationship, or because he was secretly or and oppression of women is so deeply imbedded subconsciously after the conquest all along. into the culture. What we seek -is the exception; Another problem is that men have -a different the, rare case where we have, or think for a little view of love and sex than women and for the while ,that we might have, the right guy and the most part women do not know this. They assume right circumstances. they are making equal and similar investments.
But even in love we are limited when we be- Studies have been made of what men and woman lieve that we must screw to express love. We are think love is, what love means to them. Affection programmed to think that not only is. sex the and companionship are first on the women's lists, only way 'to demonstrate or prove our love, it is with security and other elements following, and the only (or best) way to-express it. And in this sex turns up as number 8. Men reverse this with dangerous. and alienating soity we are always 'sex first. Companionship and affection are second-; very anxious to demonstrate, to prove,, and to ex- -my goals 'for men. This orientation of men, coupress our love, and to have the affections of our pled with the set of cultural attitudes (and fears) lover demonstrated, proved, and expressed to us. men have toward women, make the sexual love For men this is doubly compelling because sex for relationship a poor place for a woman to seek a man. is the only or best way to. prove or express communication and human understanding. his virility, both by the demonstration of sexual However, as long as we are able to make clear potency and by the imposing of his will on her. demands of a relationship, to insist that the man
To the extent that Ithis'O is true, then, we are, fulfill certain requirements or we shall do withoutconditioned to that one mode of expression- and. him, thank you, then we can. keep our heads
-turn to it, uncritically. But we need to develop above water. These requirements might be. ( 1) -He new nonsexual ways of relating, to people, to men is sexually interested ini me, not just interested in as well as women. The obsession with genital sex- sex with me the one who is closest at hand. (2) uality, and screwing in particular, cheats us out of He is not indifferent to. me aside from. the sex;' he a world of rich possibilities. We think that love is has tender feelings, loyalty, perhaps even kwve for. sex, love, genital sex love. Therefore we can't love me. (3) He respects me as- a person,, is willing to, women or men we aren't sexually involved with or discuss things with me, does not browbeat me, lec. interested in. Affection too -is identified with geni- ture me, or disparage my opinions or projects. tai sex ,and except for children, pets, and, a few It is When we are not free, or do not feel free, close relatives, all physical affection must be limit- to make such a set of minimum demands on a ed to our assigned male isex partner. Even com- relationship that the serious trouble arises. And we munication, human 'contact and understanding, is are not free when we are in the grip of the false assumed to be available only in the intimacy of conditioning that decrees that we need sex. We are genital sexual contact. not free if we believe the culture's ominous warn.
AIIAll o desre f Nr love, m ainhp raf^ ings tha we wil beom "hony (what aValos




If it were true that we needed sex from men, tent. However, I and I alone will decide what imit' would, be a great misfortune, one that might port"nce these feelings have in my life as a human.
almost-doom our fight. (Meanwhile, the belief that being. We are not living in an ideal'society, an it is true can, serve the same function.) Fortunate- "post-revolutionary" characters or life styles might ly, it is not true. When we seek sex it is by con- well hinder revolution or make it impossible. The
scious, intelligent choice. We wish to experience fact that in a good society women might want t
through intimacy human kindness, communication, produce children, at least until the perfection of back-to-the-womb merging and oblivion, childlike the artificial womb, is no reason for me to take openness. We do it because we think it's the right, myself out of the struggle by having children now thing to do. We may be mistaken. We may only under these conditions. Similarly, the belief that think it's the right thing because we think that we sex would have a place in a good society does not will turn into neurotic bitches if we don't. But we necessarily mean that we must engage in it now.
don't do it because we are sexual beings who can- That decision mustbe based on the objective connot "deny our sexuality." According to this' arg'u- ditions of the present.
ment, to have sexual feelings, or an energy that Let me say something about the objective concould be rapidly converted into sexual energy, and ditions of the present. We are crippled people ivyet to choose not to engage in sexual intercourse ing in an evil and destructive world. We have a but rather to expend that energy on something great deal to do beyond the mere business of liv else which seems, at the moment', of higher prior- ing. There is much work that needs to be done, ity, is to "deny" our sexuality, and not, by any means, just the work Iof lierating
This is. what men have done to us all along, people and, making a revolution. There is the work
(They do not apply this same logic to themselves.) of rebuilding ourselves, learning to know ourselves Because they only relate to us sexually they con- and our potentials, learning to respect ourselves, dlude that we are just sexual beings. If we then learning to respect and work with other women.
function on any other level, something is seriously We must overcome all the self-destructive patterns out of' joint since 'in effect we are "denying" that we have been taught in a lifetime of being female.
we are primarily sexual beings. But in 'fact, it is This work of reclaiming ourselves and making a only if we are merely sexual'beings, exclusively revolution in women's minds in order to free all sexual beings, that choosing to put our, energy of us is the most important work. If a particular elsewhere indicates any kind of denial. (The great sexual relationship or encounter is convenient, apscientist or. artist or writer who puts all his energy propriate, and pleasurable, if it is not demeaning in his work is. no6t denying anything-that would or possessive -or draining in any way, you i ght
* be to insult him; he simply feels that the day is decide to choose to invest some of your precious
only so long and for this particular time his work self in it.is the 'most important. thing to him.) But, remember how precious your, time 'and
Personally, I recognize that I have sexual fee[- your energy and your ego is, and respect- yourself.
ings. Their' exact nature 'and origin is open to de" enough- to insist that the rewards be equal to the
bate, but I have no doubt that there is lan objec- investment.
tiephsia relt=novda lat osm x




Mrriag
by SHEILA CRONAN
Sheila- Cronan was a founding member of Redstockings and was active in THE FEMINISTS for more than two years. At present she is'attending law school at the University of California, Berkeley.
Marriage has been a- subject which has generated impression that love is the purpose of marriageconsidprable controversy in the Women's Move- after ai, in the ceremony, the wife promises to ment. So far as I know', no group otherthan The "love, honor, and cherish" her husband and the Feminists has publily taken a stand against' mar- husband promises to "love, honor, and protect" riage, although I'm sure it has been a topic of his wife. This promise, which women believe to be Sdiscussion'in most. central to the marriage contract, is viewed as irrelOne widely held view in the Movement is repre- evant by the courts. For example, in a well-known seated in the following statement: case here, in New York State, a woman attemptedto obtain an annulment ,on -the, grounds, that her
We women can use marriage as the "dictatorship of the husband -had told her that he loved her prior to proletariat" in the family revolution. When male supremacy,
is completely eliminated, marriage, like the state, wil the marriage and then afterward 'admitted that he wither away.1 : did not and never would. This was held not -to give grounds for annulment,' despite the fact that
The basic assumption behind this concept, and the man committed fraud, which ,is normally one that I- myself shared at one time, is that mar- grounds for' nullifying any contract. riage benefits women. This idea is veryI much part Teei ohn nms araecrmne
.... lntSi T i V ar ,There. is -nothig in most .marriage ceremonies of the male culture and is always being reinforced specifically referring to, sex, yet the courts have
y i, 's complaints about marriage and by the held. that "the, fact .that a party agrees to and notion that women are the ones who want to get does enter into the marriage implies a promise to m arried. We've all heard plenty of jokes about consummate the marriage by cohabitation, so that how women snare" husbands,, and popular, songs failure to do so gives grounds for annulment on with lines'like "the boy chases the girl until she the basis of fraud in the indeent.3 An anul~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~~~h basis of fr!' .. ,I S auld i1n the indUuement.; An :-iannul- ;c catches him. Mothers give their daugh ers advice ment was granted a New York, 'man on the on.how to get their boy friends to marry diem, grounds that his, wife was unable to have sex with The propaganda tells. us- that marriage laws are him due to an incurable nervous condition.4 operating in'the interest of, women and. in fact But then, one might ask, how is this particularexs to provide protection for the'Woman. From ly'oppressive to women? After all, men also enter this assumption it is. logical to conclude'that we into marriage with the understandin Ig that love, is nust retain the institution of marriage until such ceta.Mn -fusP n~aiigo~rpro/lhs




Sex is compulsory in marriage. A husband can The following is a description of mrita sps
legally force his wife to have sexual relations with bilities: :io
him against her will, an act which if committed
against any other woman would constitute the The legal responsibilities of a wife st to li in the h established by her husband; to perform the~ domestic chot
crime of rape. Under law, "a husband cannot be (cleaning, cooking, washing, -etc.) neces$ry to help ma
guilty of raping his own wife by forcing her to tain that home; to care for her husband and chlten.
The legal responsibilities of a, husband are, to prov have sexual intercourse within. By definition, home for his wife and children; to support, protect a
the crime [of rape] is ordinarily that of forcing maintain his wife and children0
intercourse on someone other than the wife of the
person accused. Thus the threat of force is al, The word "slave" is usually defined a' pers ways present even if it is not necessary for the owned by anoth.r.and. forced t. workwitho man to exert it-after all, -most, women are aware pay for, and obey, the owner. Although wivs a
of the "'right' of the husband to insist, on and not bought and sold openly, I intend to show t the 'duty' of the wife to 'submit' "' to sexual marriage is a form of slavery. We are told that
intercourse. marriage is an equitable arrangemnt entered
It, is clear that the, compulsory nature of sex in freely by both husband and wife.' We have se
nla~riage operates to the advantage of the male. above that this is. not true .with regard to. the sexThe husband theoretically has the duty to have ual aspect, of marriage-that in 1this reape't a r intercourse with his wife also, but this niormaily -rag is clearly set, up to benefit the ma~le. It ls
cannot occur against his will. Furthermore, as far is not true with regard to the rest of the mnrtal
as the enjoyment of the sex act is concerned, fig- responsibilities.
ures show that 'men (with the exception of impo- Women believe 'that they il givin
tent men who generally cannot have sex at all) their household services, whereas the courts h nearly always experience orgasm when they have that the 'husband is legally entitle d to his wif
sex. Women, however, are not so fortunate. Sur- domestic services and, further, that, sh cannot be
veys have, shown that: paid for her work.
fifteen to twenty percent of all [American] married women As part of the rights-of consortium, the husband is entile
have iever had an orgasm. About fifty percent reach or- to the services of his wife. If the wWe wn$ utsidet
gasm on a "now and then" basis, meaning that they expe- 'homefor strangers she is usually entitled to :her own earnrience full culmination about one' sex act out of three. is
Thirty to thirty-fi ve percent of American wives say that the husband are generally considered part ot hew '
they "usually" reach orgasm, meaning that they get there.
two out of three times or thereabouts. Only a -very few of what the law considers'the hsband is entitled t
women' can claim that they have an orgasm every time they of the marriage that it 'will not recognize' Iy. aeeme tak~e part in sexual activities.8 between the sp -ouses. which provides that the huisbanid isto
Thus sex as practiced in American marriages clear- pay for such services or society. In a Texas-caseD
promised his wife, Fai e, that he woul 14ive her $500Q i
ly benefits the male far more than the female. she would stay with him whilehe lit and continue I theempasi tht hs rcenly eenputcare of his house and. fairm accounts, selling his, butteran
Desitedoinl all the "other tasks which she had don~e. sinpe on the husband's 'duty. to give pleasure to his wife, marriage. After David's, death, Fanne sued, 4is ,,a fot this is not happening most of the time, and we all the money' which had been promised her' The "c that the contract ,wa unenforceabl since Vanie
know that interurs without orgas isq at West a ahe
wat ftm. rm'h bvefgrsw eeta oal budt oa Dvdswf
70 prcen of merian wves avtisbringan




and the necessary equipment for doing her from another point 'of vieW. A purchased slave is
he would get at least one day a week off valuable property who would not be merely cast a~d probably would be required to do considera- aside if the master no longer liked him, but would bly ls work than a wife and would normally not be sold to someone else who would be obligated be required to provide sexual services, to care for him. Furthermore, the necessity for Thus, being a wife is a full-time job for which purchasing slaves ensured that only people with one is not entitled to pay. Does this not consti- money could be slave masters, whereas almost any tute slavery? Furthermore, slavery implies a lack man can have a wife. of freed o f movement, a condition which also Given the existence of marriage and the fact exsts in marriage. The husband has the right to that women work for no pay but with the expecdecide where the couple will live. If he decides to tation of security-that is, that their husbands will move his wife is obligated to go with him. If she continue to "support" them-divorce is against the refuses, he can charge her with desertion. This has-., interests of women. Many of us have suspected been held up by the courts even in certain cases this for some time because of the eagerness with where the wife would be required to change her which men have taken up the, cause of divorce citizenship. 12 In states where desertion is grounds reform (i.e., making it easier to get one). When a for divorce (forty-seven states plus the District of "takes a wife" he is obtaining her unpaid Columbia), the wife would be the "guilty party" labor in return for providing her with basic mainand ould, therefore' be entitled to no monetary tehance. After twenty years of marriage in which settlement. she has provided him with domestic and sexual
The enslavement of women in marriage is all services, given birth to and raised his children, and th. more cruel. and inhmane by virtue of the fact perhaps even put him through medical school and hat appears to exist with the consent of the helped him build a thriving practice, -e is 'free to group. Part of the explanation for this cast her aside in order to replace her With somenomenon lie in the fact that marriage has ex- one more exciting. If there are' minor children inisted for so many thousands of years-the female volved, he will probably be required to provide role has been internalized in so many successive child support-which is only fair since they are his
rations. If people are forced into line long children. If he is'well off financially, and the judge
they will begin to believe in their own is sympathetic to the woman, he may be required in ity and to accept as natural the role cre- to pay alimony; if this occurs you can be sure 4te fr -themn by their oppressor. Furthermore, that he will complain bitterly anid claim that it society has been so structured that there is no constitutes oppression for him. B~ut what' is alira'atriv~e to marriage for women. Employ- mony after all? Isn't it ridiculous to require an
4n n iscrimination, social stigma, fear of attack,. employer to give his employee severance pay, when
sxaexploitation are only a few- of the factors he in fact owes him twenty years' back wages?
that' make it nearly' impossible for women to live Very few women get alimony anyway. Often
seen how we are made to belie..tod so3
yougirlrshnt.itexitely.ony.o.scve s l a of timeo
00 I wht te ral erm of he arragecon He productiv yeas hve ee.deote.tohe
...sband'sii itrssrte hnhronadsei




While wives are "owned" by their husbands in Another argument against attacking marriage has
the same sense that slaves are owned by their mas- been that it is dying out a way. The
ters-that is, that the master is entitled to free use cited for this is usually the growing rate of diof the slave's labor, to deny the slave his human vorce. But the high rate of remarriage among diright to, freedom of movement and control over vorced persons show that divorce is not evidence his own body-the scarcity of slaves resulted in for the decline of marriage. We have seen that their monetary value. Any man can. take a wife divorce is in fact a further abuse so far as worand although he is legally required to support her, en s interests are concerned. And the fact is that there is very little anyone can do if he is unable marriage rates have been on the increase. FroM to fulfill this responsibility. Thus many women are 1900 to 1940 approximately one half of all Amerforced to work outside the home because their ican women over twenty year's of age were mar husbands are unemployed or are not making d ri at any given time After 1940 the 'figure be enough money to support the family. This in no gan to rise noticeably: by 1960 it had reached the
way absolves us from our domestic and child care raeof two-thirds of all women over twenty,5
duties, however. 14 The, Women's Movement must address itself toSince marriage constitutes slavery for women, it the marriage issue from still another point of view.
is clear that the Women's Movement must concen- The marriage relationship is so. physically ande eo
trate on attacking this institution. Freedom for tionally drai for w n X
women cannot be won without the abolition of cate ourselves. if for no other reason than t have ....en car o0sl~e :i d
marriage. Attack on such issues as empoyent the time and energy to devote ourselves, t buid
discrimination is superfluous; as long as-women are ing a feminist revolution.
working for 'nothing in the home we cannot ex- The. Feminists have begun to work on the issue pect our demands for equal pay outside the home of, marriage. It is only a beginning, however; all
to be taken seriously. women must join us in this fight
Furthermore, marriage is the model for all other forms of discrimination against women. The re- FOOTNOTE S
latonsip bewen mn nd omn otsde f Kathie Sarachild, "Hot and Cold Flashes," in The- Newsmarriage follow this basic pattern. Although the letter, Vol. 1, No. 3 May 1, 1969.
law does' not officially sanction the right of a man ...2Schdeffer P. Schaeffer, 160 AppDiv 48, 144 NYS 174.
to force his sweetheart to have sex with him, she 3Eugene R. Canudo, Law of Marr i orce and Adopwould. find it very difficult to prove rape in the
if heyhav ha areglarsexal4Hiebink v. Hiebink, 156- NYS(2) 394, aff'4 269,Appiv courts,. especially if7the8y6 ehad a, regur sex ul 786>56 NYS(2) 397.
relationship. Also, it is not unusual for a man.to 5Reportea in Gkamour Magazine, November, 1969 p. 214 expect his girl friend to type his term papers, iron 6Harriet F. Pilpel and Theodora Zaviz, Your Marriage and
his shirts, cook dinner for him, and even clean his teLw(e ok ole ok,16) .25
apartment. This oppressive relationship carries over 8
into employment and is, especially evident in the..
Marriage (New York:Lazcer Books, 1967), p. 18.
role of the secretary, also known as the "office .9Kenneth M. Stampp,, The Peculiar Institution (New York:.,.
wife'. Vintage Books, 1956), p. 192.
One. of the. argmnnts in the Movement aganinst Richard -T- Gallen- Wivesv' Legal Rights (New York: Dell o ur atta ng marae a e nthtmst wome Publ: ishigC 96) p
are. :::- ma: .Ti as itlways s eme strag t : 1iieln Zvi, p.ci.,'p 6 Fr ,Nw o4
siia oteTxa n td e qrokvGr k7
asitislie ayn wesoudntIoe oaginst Y 37.
oprsinsnealwmna e pesd lalUal p i. .6
ofal eoprssv is itutinmrig ste1R;o:o h akFreonFmyL n yt




. rriae to the Stte
by ANDRE LEO
Most women on welfare are on ADC (Aid to De- as if the mother is begging for it, and the state is pendent Children )-because they have children and doing her a "favor" by doling out money to they left the man they were living with or he left "help" her family. them. Maybe their husband died, or they were A social worker next to me at work sa, never living with a man but got pregnant and had "These women have no pride. Why don't they go a I child. The majority of people on welfare live out and work instead of getting handouts from under ADC and the majority of women eceiving ADC?" That same social worker's mother never ADC are white (contrary to myth); the average worked." But she is proud of her mother. and length of time on ADC is approximately two to would be thoroughly 'insulted if you said to her, three years. Almost all ADC clients are women, "Why didn't your mother have enough pride to go and the only parent in the home,,they are re- out and work instead of taking handouts from her I]
ferred to as "ADC mothers" in this article., husband?"
The average ADC mother has three children and The fact is that ADC is just a substitute MAN applied for assistance when she and her husband and I will refer to ADC as The Man" from now separated because she had no income and needed on as it makes' the whole issue a lot more clear. financial help. I have never had an ADC case Let me explain. where the woman received alimony. According to a lawyer I know, the vast majority of divorces do "'Woman's Work" not involve alimony, but often do involve child Tepicpleooi ataotti oit
Sis the division of labor between male and female down a father to pay for, his children (which'isn't wit "mn' laor bigpdfoan "woman's too often), he will have to. pay only about $ 10-15. wr"nt oe' okisdfnda hl er a week per child. None of the ADC mothers I ing, child raising, and housework. That's what evserice evr ot orethn $5 awek, f teyery little girl is told Ishe will do when she, "grows got that. Child support payments ordered by the u. h stuh otiko wmnswr"a
couts ae wll ndersubistnceleve an soAIXher main goal' in fife, and to b~e proud of thinking is available- and pays the woman -very little more. ti a-ic vrtigi h utr nne
In Michigan the budgets' are set up to includethsiaeuo'hrmn.Pobly er ohr $44 per month per person in the family. A maxi- thsiaeuoyhrmndPobly er ohr was a housewife and she will be one too, Such is mum budget for a four-person family (one parent tergdt ftesxa at ytm
antrecidn lok iehs
and hree cilden) ook lie tis:In the conventional image the girl will become
$176 food, clothing, incidenfals oswf n hl aie nyi h ao




but household work and child raising have no for her work, if she did demand pay? No one. monetary, value if done by a wife and mother for They'd even laugh her out of the w Iemployment a man. The only time women get paid for house- security commission offices if she applied for un. work is when they go to another woman's house employment compensation. Besides, she's still doand do "her" work for her, either because she's ing "her. work" and not getting paid for it. It's the working outside her home (and she certainly can't only layoff where the employee has to keep right get a househusband to do this work for her), or on working. because her husband is wealthy enough to give her- So she goes to the only place that is aailable, money to get out of the low-status housewifely to the S.S. (Social Services, that is) to get "welchores. Rich or poor, the woman still has the re- fare." She is made to feel that she is being "givsponsibility to do the housework or to get some- en something for nothing, Meanwhile she's still one else to do it for her. doing that housework and child raising' she wa
The fact that housework is low-status work is supposed to devote her life to. But now she's bad, important. -Housework when done by a "domestic lazy, and a leech for doing all that hard work worker"-i.e., paid for-is one of the lowest paid The ADC mother learns that there are two jobs in this society. But reall what is the differ- kinds of housewives, the ence between the actual work done by a house- "bad" ones. The "good" ones do the same work wife and the work done by a maid or domestic as she does but they are still living -with a man worker? It's clear that almost all women are do- who "provides" them with their needs from his mestic workers, whether paid or unpaid. Women in pay from his work. The "bad"" ones are those who male-dominated society are primarily a servant are not living with or being paid for by a' mn caste. With the passing of the, days of cheap and and so the state', replaces him in the form of an plentiful servants, one vast class 'of servants still ADC check ("'The Man"). remains with us: women. Women are servants in
their roles as wives, housekeepers, child raisers, "They Should All Go To Work" ..<; etc. Women's real and ancient servant status anda outterme function in male society remains basically uu- coul fdobs to sume t tha AD ther changed in s ite of industrialism and modem tech- had eno ugh pride to get 'off welfare? The stigma nOlogy.
lgof ADC2 is so -great that many ADC mothers beThe male-dominated Left also define s work as i'etsthmlv.Butearmntssalo what you get paid for. When talking about the
"working class," they include those domestic laborers who work for, other women for pay. But m sar m ( they conveniently excludeall women who work asm sew.. otlky..tb.. housewives full- or part-time for men, because -support her family on a woman's wage rate.' If Sboarddon't believe this, here are gures on wotheydont gt wgesonl rom ~d bardanden's wages (they are for -1966 'but the situation handutsnowandthe fro thir an empoy-has gotten worse for female labor since -then): -In er). The male supremacism of the Left has time and again interferred with the development of a
clea perepio of how 'women! ar economically_ $7,164; for a, nonwhite man, $4,528; a white"
Thns r stin ose ndte anbte




women are systematically kept out of the labor and throughout the agency; etc. ADC makes a market and dikriminated against more strongly concerted effort to strengthen the patriarchal fain-than any other group; their unemployment rates ily system and works to prevent the development are highest. of other forms of social structure for child raising
Even if a woman does get a job, she's likely to and work division. The agency literature is full of
get more money on ADC than from work outside patriarchal male-supremacist dribble all sugar-coated her home. She will also have problems finding and in terms of "helping" these women who are ADC
paying for baby-sitters or day care. This has been 'mothers.
a very effective way, so far, for this male-con- There is no just solution to the situation of trolled economy to keep mothers with pr-school 'women under welfare within the present malechildren out of the labor market. When she has dominated family system. The only way out is for finally got her job, she will realize why so many women to get together themselves and to create.
ADC mothers stay home. Now she has two full- new structures which do not treat women as a time jobs, and only one for pay! Her life will be, caste labor, group or oppres children. Structures a continual round of back-breaking labor with where women and men share all tasks and decihardly 'any time for leisure or the enjoyment of sions of the society for equal rewards and treather children. And all that for poverty-level wages. ment. The women's liberation movement has' al-, ready begun to bring women together to try to
The Man and Patriarchal Socifety ', work out alternatives to the present family, system; 'women on welfare- are also beginning to organize
When you put all these facts together some curious patterns 'begin to emerge. "The Man" (ADC) :themselves to confront the welfare system. The two groups need to work more closely' with each
has been set up to preserve the family system in other Ias they are confronting many of the same which men get pa -id and the women are unpaid issues-and the same white male-controlled system.
and kept in a colonized position etonomically andT
, 1 .: "... .. ..... .. ... The saddest ....... a o t h M n"' is... a
psychologically. This is done by refusing to pay e
.. .. ........ ..... hones work don in te h m ,bue un woman against woma. Som women <,
wome fo honst orkdonein he hmebut say with pride, "Well I got along without ADC
rather treating them as "'welfare recipients";, [The Mni why c 'by tey?" B c are,
: :, : .. . .: ... . .,:... " : :[ T e M a n ] w y c n t h e ? B t h a s a r e ,
maigAD hcs so :low: that womenhave :to ,:...
maigA.hcss lo tatwo e hv t those same women couldn't have made it without
live1 .with a -man to be Iadequately "provided" for; sm a opyfrte,\o eebr itr
by ~ ~ .. .... pr vi in child...........ers,..... fcso e m an to p.ay for them o em m e itr
bienif you have a child or the potential to bear a making it difficult to set. -them up; by perpetuatingchl-noerwdsifyueawmnyuae
sex discrimination in the Work Incentive Program aptnilrcpeto TeMn
by BETSY WARRIOR
CabigMsechusets02138. Bes Wrii a feinist and an anarchist.-":'.':. / ,,, iii
continues to be the case today Energ isbigsadrstaaeacpedfrmlwrkscn ..etda.mroigtecniioso.h.i hertclyb ppidt eae as~Tu hi
grnt worker mioit grusih lbrfrenult in raio n t aewrer a ee




workers nor has the labor they perform ever been either. job and are effectively kept at the lowes recognized as such. levels of the paid labor force.'On top 'of that they
The most obvious reason that no attention has have been used as scapegoats for every il of So been given to the situation of the houseworker is ciety\ because they are unable to give their full simply the fact that men aren't, engaged in this attention to the roles of mother, wife, and housework. As this position is unique to women, men keeper. don't see any direct benefit for themselves in the There are other equally discouraging deterrents improvement of it; therefore, it remans Un- of a psychological nature such as the belief that it changed. In. this respect, as in many others, men is the duty of a woman to be solely a wife and constitute an upper caste who have a monopoly mother and that she can't overstep these limits on economic and political power and Will use it except at the risk of losing her "true" identity. only when it is directly in theft interest. Females, Also a woman's education isn't geared to facilitate on the other hand, although they would benefit a successful or fulfilling career outside th home. from improvements in this area, are relatively pow Indoctrination and tracking take care of this. If in erless and so unable to implement the necessary spite of this, a woman decides to work outside changes. The failure of mento use their power to. the home, it can be taken for granted that some improve the situation of the houseworker is also of the psychological deterrents have been at least due to the. fact that they rightly feel that any partially overcome. But having decided to Work major changes in this area would undermine male outside the home, she comes up against other ob-supremacy. Men now have their domestic work stacles that are impossible to remove by a mere done for them free. If a change occurred in this change of thinking. area it might mean that men would have to share This brings us back to the problem of child tWs now low-prestige work and/or pay to have care and housework. In other countries attempts someone else do it. have been made to improve the status of women
It has been suggested that women will gain and release them from their unpaid drudgery by equality -only when* they are all employed in the. drawing. them into the paid. labor force. These at"public" labor force and that this step will by te mpts failed and were doomed to failure from some magic free them from the status of unpaid the outset because no adequate provisions were domestic slavery. The solution to this dilemma made for housework or the care of children. Be-. can't lie in the hope that all women will leave the cause of the reformist nature of- the changes in home and join the outside paid labor force. First the role of women in these societies, the very of all, women working outside the home receive basis of womn's oppression remained untouched
lowest wages and fill the lowest positions inFmlsdidn't actively share in' the 'decision-rnakthe paid labor force. Secondly, even in times of ing of these revolutions and in fact weren't equaleconomic expansion when new jobs are created, ly represented in any important, areas of these revthere aren't enough jobs to go around. olutions.
Besides these two factors that deprive women I don't think the feebleness of these reformist of incentive to join the "outside" labor force, attempts is wholly attributable'to innocent error' there~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ar te ltret.Oeo h andtr rafut nlsso h Aofmlscilt




son for this inequality. The revolutionary goal of the economy! The maddening persistence of this complete emancipation for the female half of 'the oversight lies in the male orientation. of all this human race has in all revolutions been. a goal of literature which does not -recognize labor except low priority which has later been neglected and "where men and women perform work of a comfinally betrayed. But this is an old story to the parable character." woman's movement. The phrase "'comparable character" betrays the pseudo-equality offered by these analyses. The
:,Tereorganization of ordiary home maintenance sewv- main fu nction of women, which she, is confined, to
ic is Ilong overdue. Household workers have, historically,
been low paid, without standards of hours and working because of sex and which distinguishes her from conditions, without collective bargaining, without most of. temae is just hti epnil o e ne the protections accorded by legislation and accepted as nor-th mae**twatirspnblfohrifnial by other workers, and without means and opportunity rior status in the outside labor force and everyadequately to maintaini their homes. (From American Worn- whr.Ti-ucini in no way comparable. to en (1963-,1968): Report on the~ Status of Wonwn Interdepartmental Committee) anything done by males. To offer the illusion that women will be equal by receiving equal pay for
This quote from The Report on the Status of work that is also done by males, is a conscious Women gives an understated and inaccurate ac- effort to keep women's s lavery intact. Women are count of the situation. of houseworkers: In fact it not just laborers in the male-defined sense of the is meant only to apply to the 'tiny minority of word. Women are the source of all labor in. that h ouseworkers who actually, do get paid! To say they- are the 'producers of all laborers. This is the that a, segment of the labor force is. lpw-paid is basic means of production (reproduction) in any quite different from stating that roughly half of society. It creates the first commodity, female and the labor force is un-paid-the half. that produces male laborers, who in turn create all other com- and maintains all labor pwrAloteqtemodities and products. Men 'as the ruling class doesn't recognize that this situation will exist by profit from 'this commodity through' its labor. necessity under the present economy and a real These profits come in two sizes: king-size and suchange can be effected only along with a complete per. The individual man who is king of his castle change in the sex role system. The situation of (the patrilinial family), has his labor power prothe, paid houseworker is indelibly tainted by the duced, prepared, and maintained for him free. economic status of the majority of unpaid house- When he sells his- labor power on the market he is work~ers. HUow mu~>ch remuneration is society willing selling a -commuodity he owns but did not produce,. to give for a service that is usually provided free? thereby profiting from the slave labor that went In another pamphlet 'put out by the Woman's into the making of this product. The male capitalBu~reau of the US Department of Labor, this ques- ist class makes a superprofit, when it buys this tion is posed, 'What is Equal P'ay?" It goes on to labor power and then receives the surplus value of explaini that "Equal pay means payment. of 'rate )its 'outside" economy production.
-for the job' without regard to sex-in the factory, It is clear to me that women will not be freed in the office, in -the school, in the store-and in fr om t heir sexual stattiu saey.b en ie all other places where men and women perform equal opportunity in the "outside" labor force; it work of a comparable character" has. been tried already' and has failed.. Rather, they




meaning. This means, in effect, the abolition of basis with a more efficient use of both time and "housework" and "domestic" service. in the sense labor and without the Waste, alienation and duph that it is now known. Once this work has to be cation now involved in child care-and home main paid for, it will be incorporated into the "public" tenance. Only when this is accomplished will womeconomy. This means that the work that was for- en be able to fight for their equality on a mor
merly done in separate, duplicated, single units nearly equal footing with men.
will be collectivized and industrialized on a large
44 rostitution
by -PAMELA KEARON and BARBARA MEHRHQF
Pamela Kearon and Barbara Mehrhof were founding members of Redstockings and are-now active in THE FEMINISTS; they w contributors to Notes From the Second Year. The following is the second part of a longer article by the authors ansing out of the group's activities on the issue of prostitution. The function theory first presented ir "'The Rise of Man" is here gien f further
development and has become basic to THE FEMINISTS' theoretical analysis of women's oppression.
Prostitution, Marriage, and Motherhood are the the unnaturalness of human existence. wor
three institutions which exist solely for the exploi- provides an 'artificial' world of things, distincttatlon of women. These- institutions are related in ly different from 'all natural surrounidings."
our oppression because they encompass all the op- 3) Action: "the, only activity that goes 0 i.
pressive functions imposed upon women by men. rectly between humanbeings ithotthe Miter
We cannot discuss prostitution ad what it real- mediary of things or mat .... Action, i
ly is without reference to thie Function/Activity far as it engages in founding and, preserving po Theory. This theory differs significantly from, the Fitical bodies, creates -the condition for remem
Role Theory of women's oppression. The theory brance, that is, for history
states that a/person's power in society is relative The hierarchy of power- amng these activities e
to the activity she/he performs, -and -that the es- pens on the amount 'of influence over. 'things 4an sence of woman's oppression is neither arbitrary people inherent in therm. Influencing peol is
assignment of roles nor an artificial status attached more 'powerful than having control of things to ... wht hedes bt nted a be found in th .yFncinw.ma.naciiy.l s acthtity itsef. An activity is defined b us asa une ob naua'o ftm o ow .. ++... : go.++++;> ingaditgae sto cswih aeagopi scey ihu hecnet gop pupoean t om etntdeie h actor. an hc dfnsth aue fg niner Thr r -he atgre o ua atvtin- Afnco susal frno
asenin rdr f oeran ifuece2 om f cto+ e+ a ew'o I)Lbr:4te ciit hc cr+po o oity e.ar o ap4In4 a
th boogcl r+e+ fth umnboy pcily n soityinW h xdmil >1wos potnou.r.tmeaols.ndpssbe....g.on vetal t
4i evnuldcyaebun otevtlncsi-i ao'atvte t e 'n o h .
tisprdce n f4inthliepoesbmaesorgnly pe eeete




fucions ini male society. They all' come under -black, but he could do the same to an Oriental or the heading of Labor' and together they can be another white. However, there is an act intrinsic understood as the single function of Servant. The to the male/female dichotomy. That act is sexual four functions are: intercourse. Every male can engage in it repeatedly
1) child-bearer: not as a biological ability but. throughout his lifetime. (This does not mean that as an imposed obligation, sexual intercourse is inherently oppressive to worn2) child-rearer:. attending to' children coupled en. "If women were the oppressors of men, the with the duty to instill in them male ideology, same act might serve just as well to express that 3) 'personal servant to the male: the obligation oppression, because it perfectly expresses the dito care for the biological needs of the male so chotomy.) Therefore, sexual intercourse is,. not that -he is free for Work or Action. merely a means for men of obtaining physical 4) sex object: ,the obligation to service the gratification. It is most significantly the easiest. and male sexually and to act as Object to the male most incontrovertible way of defining himself as a, $ubjectivity., memb-er of the upper caste. It renews a sense of These functions are by their nature powerless -ac- power for him and a sense of powerlessness for tivities and when assigned exclusively to one of the woman. It is the daily means of~ remindingth two groups, demeaning. sexes of their relative positions.
The root of our oppression is the- imposition of The "object" part of the sex object, function these. four functions, not the 'role" we are forced can be seen more clearly in the street scenes beto play. nor even the institutions. The role of tween men and women: the cat-calls, obscenities, women is rather the behavioral form dictated by moetnadwrto ltecnestostey the four. functions. The .institutions are, the partic- start up with us on the assumption that. we are ular political, forms which embody these functions their collective and always available. confidantes. and standardize their, performance. We are forced Here there is no question of, sexual gratification. it to perform these functions, though in a less strin- is purely the expression of woman's "oject-riess" geint-war) even if we manage to avoid these insti- couched in the convenience of sexual terms..Prostutio, hs. -iue xs ostsybthteeapcs.o. h
Prostitution is limited to the performance of' tttseitt aif ohteeapcso h p sex object function.
only: one of these functions:' sex object. The wom- A esnused as an object. and denied the an involved is customarily entitled- to a set fee for right of reciprocity is degraded.' Prostitution exists her- services. Marriage, on the other hand, includes to meet the desire of men to degrade women. all four functions (by law) and the woman is en- Studies made by men reveal that very few e en titled to room. and board and medical expenses-or pretend they frequent prostitutes primarily for sxjust what a slave was legally entitled to in the ual gratification. Young boys admit they. go. to South. Further, she is obligated to live in the resi- achieve a, sense of male camaraderie and free44imn dence established by her. husband and is by law They usually go in groups and gossip about it at subject 'to 'forced. sexual intercourse- otherwise length afterward in a way that is good for -th er
--kn own as rape. Motherhood outside of marriage ego's.. Other men have expressed the prime mo tye Includes 'the functions of, child-bearing and rearing. as the desire to reaffirm the basic' "filth" tall $epithe0r wife nor moAther is entitled to pnay for, her. woeArt.cerl.eart."od from ^ A94




the fact that although both marriage and free love evnoutlawing prostitutes. The impression tey have been on the increase, so has prostitution. hope to create is that the. sight of prostitutes Economic depression and war always cause an in- somehow offensive to "nice" women. Some wonmcrease of prostitution because both these situations en have given in to this male pressure and are., or impel men more furiously than ever to define pretend to be, offended.' Actually, the sight of their male status. prostitutes standing passively on street corners, like
Laws concerning prostitution have always been slaves on the block, could clue women in to the
part of the institution. They either define females basic shame of our existence. Or, thje sight of
engaged in it as criminals or regulate their activi- prostitutes aggressively pursuing a client might tur
ties and even dress in such a way that' they are a woman onto the idea of acting aggressively. and clearly distinguishable from other women. The hostilely herself. Both these impressions are potenUnited States for the most part outlaws prosti- tially radicaizing. That is the reason men want to tutes. (An exception is Nevada, where prostitution hide these women away, to confine them to is. legalized. Here prostitutes must live in brothels houses. or certain districts as an "affront to public
and are forbidden by law to single with the gen- decency."
eral population.) In New York State prostitutes Ultimately, however, the real affront i to men are arrested under four laws: themselves. Males generally walk the -strees in th
1) Prostitution: defined as sexual relations, for pleasant anonymity of one who meets the norn.
a, fe e. /Women are "different" and therefore conspicuous.
2) Soliciting for the purpose of prostitution; But prostitutes make men feel conspicuous-eyed, this is a Class misdemeanor carrying a sen- peered \at like objects. They invade male privacy.
tence of up to six months. A recent English government paper on the su b.
3) Loitering: A much vaguer and easier means jec states that the aggressive behavior of. prstiof rounding up prostitutes, loitering is a viola- tutes is hateful because it is an expression of tion with a maximum sentence of fifteen days. man-hating. Prostitutes on the street often put 4) Disorderly Conduct: An :even more enc om- males in the -position usually reserved for .us. We passing law, it refers to causing public incon- are told to take, uninvited touching, comments, venience by annoyance or alarm, abusive or ob- and -soliciting as ."flattery." When it happens to
scene language, physically offensive acts, etc. nien it is called harassmentan thwelso justice. turn.
There is another law in New York State known
a~ PNS peronsin eed f spewsio) wichThe money element/ in prostitution is somewhat
ambguus Males< feel, theysN~ debase th rittt
can be used against girls who are "potential" pros- abgo.Mie elte eaetepoitt
by offering money. Yet prostitutes, feel vindicated
titutes. Under this law .boys up to the. age of six. ytefc htte eioeP teir wo- k,
byh fact tha the gemnyfr
teen, and girls until they are eighteen, can be w uow
jailed for actions that would not be crimes -for Tiabgutupesmnwho hncmt
adults, such as truancy and something' called .in- that prostitution actually exploits them. The 1a
corrigibiity." However, only females are jailed un-aaisprttue hveoen mhsed S
der PINS for acts of promiscuity or pregnancy.. mnyemnt.4Bureainbtwn
It mih strike one as odd th- males, whuew men B nerl laieonomi iewen na d
"lealied.pr.tittio.".....tor...at.an retit eal au mas o cooi uvva eu ,o
th acivt o rotiues Wh prsttuio is ... el-beng ,




woman is oppressed by all of these institutions at who isn't a "tramp." You can be his beloved one once. minute and the next, nothing but a "slut." All The institution of Marriage is bad for the class women, including wives, are potentially "fallen of women. The "status" of wife depreciates the women." A man is never defined in these terms. position of other women. The desire for "status" The existence 'of a category, of women defined by is nothing petty for members of oppressed groups. this function of _sex object, plus the fact that Thus, prostitutes and spinsters enjoy at best a every woman must guard against ",slipping" into fringe existence in society; the prostitute being relP this category or being assigned to it (and the ab. e gated to the underworld, the spinster often de- sence of a comparable group of men), is sufficient prived of an' ordinary human and continuous con- to understanding prostitution' as oppressive to all nection to the heart of the world she, inhabits, women. By the ubiquitous "threat" of being treatMarriage provides a minimum of security for wom- ed like a "common prostitute," 'we are kept in en, which militates against the drive to achieve ec- our places and our freedom is further contracted. onomic ,power for the class of' women. Marriage The unabashed hatred and scorn men freely exalso divides women from one another, by ensuring press. toward and about prostitutes' is thinly 'disloyalty above all to a male, since 'he is the means guised hatred of women. The, wife "and the mother to both status and security. Therefore, it weakens are associated with -individual males and, conseany political movement women attempt -to. create quently cannot -be so openly degraded. Remember, for themselves.~ Most importantly, it devalues and she has in some way to be induced to carry out~ discourages the need for freedom and independ- all those other powerless and depressing activities ence in women. /for the male.
Motherhood is a male institution which confines Yet men have it both ways. When convenient,, women to the duty to bring, up properly tandthey can throw it up to, women that-they do not citizens for their place in male society. According have the "'spirit" 'a prostitute exhibits in flouting to men, just as we are all really whores at heart, society',s -rules-they are cowardly and conventionso we are all supposed to be born mothers. The al. Wives are ridiculed for the pettiness and frivolr tis- t -tnapolitical sentiniont and posture 'is ity which are actually p art of the nature of their imposed upon all women. We are obliged, 'to for- servitude and dependence on -men. Mothers are acgive and understand even the rapist,' since he was corded the responsibility' for every evil in society once only, a lonely, confused boy" himself. What's from juvenile delinquency to the war in Viet Namn. more,- women are -"naturals" for all low-paying Worse, both wives and mothers are .spuriously repjobs that require service, especially with respect to resented as powerful in society. This 'is really a children. /double bind: damned if~ you do, damned if you~
Prostitution, too, does not just oppress prosti- don't. Men never experience' this essential dilemtutes,. Since there is no physical sign at birth to ma:, to choose a bit of security 'and respect and, distinguish prostitutes from other women', all wom- forego freedbm) or to choose a, kind of freedom en are potential prostitutes. The existence of pros- (freedom from personal servitude, not freedom to titution is co-relative to the existence of the cate- accomplish aims and wield oe)and hav6 to live gor'es of "bad woman," "loose woman," or even in conspicuous ostracism from the mainstream of w.ome-an'sI- sra 'bhaio is stl domiate b.v the




ultimate in degradation for women and legally possibly can to leave prostitution' as we have, sanctions this kind of abuse of women by men. It called upon women to leave marriage. Those who
wol enforced examinations, licensing, and in- cannot leave now must begin to work at a plan t' spections. Women who did not comply with the achieve independence. This will not only weaken regulations would, of course, 'still be subject to the institution but will strengthen te women's arrest. From the evidence of countries that have movement. Finally, right now it is important t for legalized prostitution, this would be mi~ost women. prostitutes 'to realize our common -oppression as, We do not want women photographed, fingerprint- woman aind to become actively involved in the ed, and identified for life by this trade. At least movement. We must all work together to devise an now women are free to move in anrd out of. it effective strategy for action. according to need. As long as prostitution exists 2 we want' it as free as possible from any male regu- FOOTNOTES lation and laws that would punish women for it. w t eern o otepyia bite o ception, carrying, bearing, and suckling cidren but- to This does not mean that we are in favor of the institution of motherhood as a politilconcept which prostitution, any more than we support the inst4- deie oe s te bearer adraeom hlr tution of 'marriage. Needles's to say, this is what 2h o~wn itnto ewe ao ok n c tion is quoted from Hannah Arendt, TheHu an Condition the women's movement is all about: women get- (New Yotk, Doubleday Anchor, 1959), pp. 9411 ting together -and creating. enough power to throw 3The Wolfenden Report: Report of the C nmzittee on off these institutions (and 'the functions particular HonoseDay, Ofese9n6Pot3).on(ewYr:ti to them) which oppress us all. But this must begin 4in the Breitung 'Case of 19-23 Magistrate Moses R~. PRytwith, every woman who can do so leaving these tneghl htcsonx antb uj oax~
insituios nweve i itme.n5a ~we sandrdsince 'a muan cannot participate in, an act of prostiutio insituion 'nweve ifit ean alowr sandrdbecausel prostitution is a practice of women onl~y one of living or months of emotional distress. Sacrifice cannot be said to participate in unlawfulf ats unless he wol i- profits therefrom" if profitf" means money, thien of and courage are necessary to, change the wol i- course any crime not involving mney would 1by his 4ecinificantly. Therefore, we call upon all women who sion go by the board.
The piritua Diension.
of Women's Liberation
by MARY DALY
Mary, Daly belongs to NOW and1 is, active in the task force on women and organized religin. She is also, active 'in women's4 Q libieratlon at Boston College, where she teaches, and$ is one of the organizers of the Catholic Womns Caucus. She hotdsseveral degrees in theology and philosophy and is the author of The Church and the Second Sex (Harper & Rowv, 1968), which explores sexism in. the history of the church.




tt li ia n the of the universe that society be male-dominated.
Oppression of We.en Within this context a mystification of roles takes place: the husband dominating his wife can feel
The Judaic-Christian tradition has been patriar- that he represents God himself A theologian such
chal down through the millenia, although sometwomni or disgu The . is "o'otologically" subordinate to man.
Bible reflected the oppressed condition of women It might. seem that intelligent people do not ancient times. In the Decalogue of the Old. Tes- really think of God as an old man with a beard, tanient a man's wife is listed among his posses- but it is quite possible for the mind to function sion, along -with his ox and his ass. The biblical on two different and even contradictory levels at story of Eve's birth, which has been called the the same time.. Forexample, many speak of God hoax of the ages, fixed woman's place in the uni- as spirit and at the- same time, on the imaginative verse. The story of the Fall of Adam and, Eve level, envisage "him" as male. The widespread conperpetuated the myth of feminine evil, giving a cept of the Supreme Being has been a not very
powerful image of woman as temptress-a dominan thmein eserncutur fr touand ~subtle mask of the divine father figure, and it is nant i : th m in : Western culture for th usands ,of . .... : i .... ..":
.... .. .. t o s u r r i s n g t h a .. . i t h a s b e e n 'u s e d t o j u s t i f y
years. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul. put notospi
women in their place: veiled, silent, and suIbordi- oprsinepcalyttofwm ,whhisad
nate. In the' early centuries of Christianity the Fathers of the,- Church' classified women as fickle,,. In the third chapter of Genesis:
shallow, garrulous, weak, and unstable. In the Mid- Its. And, thy desire shall be to thy.husband
e Ages,- Thomas Aquinas decreed that they are and he shall rule over thee
misbegotten males, and theologians dutifully taught Doctri es about Jesus also have often reflected
mifo cenui e lo o s aa kind of phallic obsession Some theologians have In the modern period Popes and theologians argued that since Jesus was male and called only
greeted the first wave of feminism with the dou- males to become apostles, women should not be ble-talk- of the feminine. mystique: Women should ordained. The do'etrine of a uni )que "incarnation"
be equal but subordinate. On childbirth, Pope Pius 'in Jesus reinforced the, fixed. idea of patriarchal XII pontificated:.Selvsi tecid h religion.. that God is male. and male is God. So also 'More, the more pain it. has cost her." Today, 1 i h mg ftl ignke~n in adoration some liber 'al Catholic -and Protestant theologians b .efore her own Son. The mechanism that can be admit that sexism exists in the churches but show seen in al of this is the familiar vicious circle in little inclination to do anything about it. All of~ which the patterns of a particular kind of society.
this, of course, is in -blatant contradiction to Chris- are projected into the realm of religious beliefs tian teaching about the worth and-dignity of every and these in turn justify ,society as 'it is. 'The behuman person. lief system becomes hardened and functions to, reAlthough there have been outstanding "excep- sist, social change, which would rob it of its plausi.
tional -women. in every period of Christian his- bility'. (In a. matriarchal or a diarchal 'society, what tory, their existence has had almost no effect credibility. would the image of a divine patriarch




Traditional Christian ethics also have been to a deeply buried in. the fundamental a ive
great extent the product and support of sexist sexual alienation which the women's movement is
bias. Much of the theory o Christian virtue ap- seeking to overcome.
pears to. be the product of reactions on the part
of men-probably guilt reactions-to the behavioral The, Spiritual Potential of the. Movement
excesses of the stereotypic male. There 'as been
theoretical emphasis upon charity, meekness, obe- eff upon t f o c b n
dience, humility, self-abnegation, sacrifice, service.
Part of the, problem with this moral ideology is trch
never existed before-into a diarchaI situation that [ ,:that it became generally :accepted-not by men but
tha i bcam gnealy acete nt b mn ut is radically new-it will,' I think, become the great:by women, who- have hardly been heled iby an iisra I :,,
by omnwh hvehadlyben eledbyanest single challenge to Christianity to rid itself of
ethic which reinforced their abject situation.
This emphasis upon the passive virtues, of itoprsvetdeieorgouofbsis.Be
bt liefs and values that have held sway for, thousnds couse hs ot halege eplotaivnesof years will be questioned as never before; The
supported it. Part of the whole syndrome has been mit
the reduction of hope to passive expectation of a
rewrd romthediineFatierfo folowng prophetic dimensions, is possibly also the greatest
sigl priotpe fo th uvvl neeomn.o
rules. Love or charity has been interpreted to si he vv p
autenic sprta cohsciousnes over against the i'
mean that people should turn the other cheek to
their, oppressors. Within the perspective of such amaiutve nd xpitiv porofthoc
privatized morality, "sin" often becomes, an of- ray
fense against those in power, or against, "God"- Tecrctr fahmnbigwih srpo the two being more or less equated. The structures sne ytemsuieseetp ee~ o t
of ppessonareno sen s snflexistence upon the acceptance by women of -the
It is consistent with all of this that the tr'adi- oeasge ote-h tra aiieyb
tional Christian moral consciousness has been' fix- /cmn hl esn o~e ~ngnrt ~i ated on the problems of reproductive activity to atefceothplaiaon fhu nbensnt degree totally disproportionate to its, feeble con- thsseropsfrngienorex ieter cern for existing human life. "The deformity-of ow setenio.Thsnvmeft>artebperspective was summed up several years ago inoigo hlehmnbig, otedge Archbishop Robers's remark. that "if contraceptives i uces ilta omt~vh~ z4srb
had been ,dropped over Japan instead of bombs of our soc iety, including religious symbols.
which merely killed, maimed, -and shriveled up~ h oe~lbrto oeet1 prt~
thosads liethee oud hveben a squeal of movement because it aimis %at' humanization of~
outraged protest from the Vatican to the remotest women and therefore of the species. At its core it Mass center in Asia." P~ertinent also is Simone Ide is spiritual in 'the deepest sense of the wor, beBeauvoir's remark that the church has reserved its as tmastesl- tai~ini raie1
man potential in the struggle against oppresson uncompromising humanitarianism for man, in the Snetepoetoso a aca eii
fetal, cohdition. t lc h yimc fgetvtsl-c a
t~ usrp athorty ovr th manbut t ~a l tin of pl tuno-z rp4rlthei iene o dmwsfrs omdteiio t aragywihisnwi t t
'adAca wsn t edvd u h oa in~hp o he eegec
ben jciewsi h rneso,"tl~oscncosesTebc ~ l~




been extra-envronmentals, that is, since we have emerges into a world without models. There is not been part of 'the authority structure which also the anxiety, of guilt over refusing to do what uses "faith" and "revelation" to reinforce the society demands, an anxiety which can still hold a mechanisms of alienation, our emergence can un- woman in its grip long after the guilt has been mask. the idolatry often hidden behind these ideas. recognized as false. To affirm oneself and one's sisters in the face of all this requires courage.
The head of every man is Christ; and the _ _ _
Fhe a "d of every woman is man ...' "Likewise, ye wives, be in- subjection to your SaintPaul: (Corinthians ,!1:3). own hu a off ....... .... I ': Saint Peter (Peter 1,3: 1 ) : :;
There could result from this becoming of women a remythologizing of Western religion. If the need
f.r parentl for Godpersists, someth~~inS Such courage expresses itself in sisterhood, like parnth symbols fo o persiswhih is not at all -merely the female counterpart
lieteFather-Mother God of Mary Baker Eddy wi
will be more acceptable to the new man and of brotherhood. Sisterhood is a revolutionary fact.
th{ new.m.n.than th~eFatherGodf ~t h~ep~a~s.AIt is the bonding of those who have never bonded symbolization for incarnation of the divine pres. before, for the purpose of overcoming sexism and enenhuabio .e to b its effects, both internal and external. It is the e.: nce in um a beings. may continue :to be needed ... ......".
in the future, but it is highly unlikely that women coming together of those who are oppressed by
:$a :that 1 ( sexual definition." The Chrstian chrches have been : or men will find plausible that symbolism which is seuldfnto.TeCrtincrhshaebn
epitomized in the Christ-Mary image. Perhaps this fond of preaching the "brotherhood of man,"
will be replaced by a bisexual imagery which is which included women incidentally, as baggage.
non-hierarchical. Hw.ever, the concept has never been realized beThe becoming of women can bring about a cause brotherhood in patriarchy,- despite frequent
transvaluation of values. Faith can come to be un' attempts to universalize the term, is exclusive and derstood in a non-authoritarian and universalist divisive. "Brother means us versusthem. It begins
~by excluding women as "the other"and continues i sense. Hope, rather than being restricted to expec- it exludings fom ere, c uttg o "the other" c tation of rewards for conformity, can come to be i diveness from there, cut off"the othr"
experience and understood as creative, political, by familial, tribal, racial, national, economic, and expeiened nd ndertoo ascretive poitial, ideological categories. and revolutionary. Love will mean uniting to over- Wmencaleaing to b come oppression. It will be understood that the Women are learin to beare tat brothermost loving thig one can do for the oppressor is hood, even when it attempts to be universal, :.:,: :,: :: : : means. a male univrsalism. The chrches, the to fight the oppressive situation that destroys both mn a e Ne L .e
... .. ... :i I: J. .. .. ............ . .. :- ..... ... ='.... ... peace m ovem ent, h N w ft. fo th o t
the oppressor and the 'oppressed. Suffering, which pe N Le f the most part has, been so highly esteemed, in Christianity, will fail 'to notice the need frcage in the situation
be. seenasacceptableno~twon abjectly a s of the more than 50 percent female membership
be end b t when abjecl an sub of the groups to which they would extend their missvel enured bu whn eperince inthebrotherhood. s .ru ....for.liberain. eThe "sisterhoods", of patriarchal society have
"And if they will learn anything, let them ask really been mini-brotherhoods, following male their husbands at home; for, it is a shame for I mode andi erving maele% proe 1.Th e%'rligou
wonen to speak In :.church." I itrooswti thCthli Chuch for. exam (Corinthians 1,14:35) pe aebe aedmntdacrigt ao Th ticeegng in th e :struggle :has as its Law These oiuities hog the hav offred
secu i for thesak ofliberation It mns no ist and divisive snse and have supportd thideol-. :ii' ..
oyriskn th;loss ofjobs,, friens and social : ogY of sexism, ... : ....+::
c... ouner d in ejndctedn, teriory hr itrtei poazto nwhichidfentro'alf
whlnin t imswhn h od ipl manns, inena woensso onnes because. as inthe roedeiitos an life : exetain have bee case.of-al oprese grops women suffer from a rooted ':; ;:7 outan reece opny and a woma duality of. consiousness 7 7 771 ;:,:7. We ntrnlie th,<'i {77;7!7;; 7
7 7 i ; L : < r : ". ; . 7 ] : r :, 7 0 :L' : 7, ;7 ; : 7, ;
{7 ; <, 7 i +L : ,/ : .: p ,, 7 ; ) : 7 ; : ; 7 ' t : 7 7 7 : ; i : i ( (




image that the oppressor has of us and are there- which is what Christian brotherhood was'' l am
fore divided against ourselves and against each to be but failed to be. It is at war with 'the is other by selfhatred. We can only overcome this of patriarchal religion, but it is in harmony wit by bonding with each other. Sisterhood implies what is authentic in the ideals of the regious tr'polarization also for the sake of political oneness, ditions. In this sense, the movement i t depe to achieve liberation. However, its essential dy- dimension is itself both anti-church andchurc'l. I namic is directed to overcoming the stereotypes has the potential to release the authentic value that, reduce people to the role of "the other." that have been distorted an s y h
That is, it points toward a unity deeper than most sexism of syn and
theologians are capable o~f envisaging, despite the ...... ..
great amount of ink that has been spilled on the FOOTNOTE
subect of "the bonds, of charity;. :i ...
subec o "te ons f carty" A documented historical study and4 criticism of this can b~e
Sisterhood is an event that is new under the od mbo The Church and the- Second Sex (Nw
sun. It is healing, revolutionary, and revelatory- York: Harper andRow, 1968).
Rae: An Act of 'Terror
by BARBARA MEHRHOF and PAMELA KEARON
To see rape within the system of female oppression The imposition of the dut y to labor exetplified is to understand its'non-accidental arnd non-arbitrary in marriage cancels out whatever, "pappr. rights"
nature and to gain insight into its special purpose (i.e., legal or public) women might possess because for the class of men. There is no group other than it maintains her private status-servan 'to the male.
slaves that has been singled out for such systematic It is in this that women'are distinguished as a: group and total exploitation and suppression as the class and subjected to a rule of governance.-by whc of women. The condition of women exceeds the they are treated, differently fromp other citizen. Ths, bounds of the definition of oppression and in the rule of governance is the, direct, rule by.,men. Tljs modern Western world her situation is unique. fact~ that woman qua woman. exists ,uts' deth.
We are given to understand that in Western soci- protection of the law, is crucial innderstadig
ety the ru le of law operates in contradistinction to rape and h~ow it can be used ,.-mn as a terror
the rule of men. This implies that society is built' tactic.
upon principles derived from Nature or God which. The justification of this rule of women by men is
are generally assente to by the governed. By its the Ideology of Sexism, which fromn a sin a'e
nature- law'deals-i generalities; the governed are sumption, see ks to explain th& meaning of slaves.. ho v r,hehtrditionalyie u sn oadep
this ruleAw since.lawalsthm. T antn h Mt fr w n 4 the..p....ic affirs ofeemnaesaiie. h ; d esrs utb
public............... ;el sweeml neetgop iewt rse-l ften a l,
eNl te o~et itr n h wrdo a eae aedzia
thns t sec svsb t n hr r tcn hrfr asa ni fm
stttsacpedRt.Wmnan lvsaerle x soto e oi




met Wut rather maleness itself. So the ideology is whole class of women-a strange lesson, in that it not subject to criticism or adjustment despite the does not teach a form of behavior which will save obvious existence of droves of grotesque or pa- women from it. Rape teaches instead the objecthetic. male individuals. Like Nazism and racism dyve, innate, and unchanging subordination of which also posit superiority a prior, sexism is women relative to men. grounded in a physical manifestation of' the as- Rape supports the male class by projecting its surned superiority. For Nazism it. is blond hair and power ,and aggressiveness on the world. For the blue eyes, for racism sk~n color, for sexism, the individual male, the possibility of rape remains a penis. But skiln, eye, and hair color are physical prerogative of his in-group; its perpetration rekintraits, which are-simply exist. They cannot engage dies his faith in maleness and his own personal int activity.' There is, then, no unique act. which worth. affirms the -polarity Aryan/Semite or white/black. Rape is only a slightly forbidden fruit. It is Sexual intercourse, however, since it, involves the assumed to be condemned by law in our society, geiiitals,(tlhat particular difference between the sex- yet an examination of law reveals that its forbides selected by the Ideology of Sexism to define den quality is more of a. delectable fantasy than superiority/inferiority), provides sexism with an in- reality. In New York State,, for instance, the law imitable act which perfectly expresses the 'Polarity stipulates that the woman must prove she was Male/female. The Reality created by the Ideology. raped by force, that "penetration" occurred, and makes' the sexual act aeewal of the feeling otarnf that someone witnessed the rapist in the area of power and prestige for the male, of impotence, and the attack. Although the past convictions of the submission fo r the fem ale,. Rape adds the equality, defendant are not. admissible~ evidence in~ a rape of terror. trial, 'the reputation" of the rape victim is. The
Terror is an integral part of the oppression' of police will refuse- to accept charges in many cases,, women. Its purpose is to ensure, -as a final ntea- especially if the victim is alone when she comes in sure the acceptance by women of the inevitability. to' file them. -In New York City only certain hosof male domination. -.The content of terror. in- pitals will accept rape cases and they are not cludes the threat of death, destitution,. and/or i-bound to release their findings to the courts. Fihuman isolation for the female. The most impor- nally, the courts consistently refuse to indict 'men tant. aspect of terrorism is its indiscriminateness for rape. with respect. to members of 'the terrorized class. It is clear that women do not come. under th e ~ There are no actions -or forms of behavior suffi- law on anything like an equal footing with mencient to avoid its danger. There is no. sign that Or rather, that women as women do not enjoy the designates a rapist since each male is potentially protection of law at all. Women as victims of oe. While- simple fear is utilitarian, providing the rape, unlike the general victim of assault, are -not impetu's to, act. for one's Safety, the effect of ter- assumed to be independent, indistinguishable, and
-0i iS lu raeil cin mosbe equal citizens. They are viewed, by the law as subThe earlier and' more thoroughly the woman is, ordinate, dependent, and an always potential hinvterrorized, the more -,ompletely she.. is. incapable of drance to male action and male prerogative. Rape acting against the existing Reality modeled on the, laws are designed to -protect males against the




er to be, denied. labor in service to the male. and primary loyalty
Women, through terror unable to act, do not to him.
test the Reality dictated by Sexist Ideology. When The first step toward breaking the 4debilitatig an individual, woman manages to experience rape hold on us -of the Sexist Ideology is the creation as an act which oppresses and degrades her and of a counter-reality, a mutually guarantee support limits her freedom, when she sees it as political of female experience undistorted by male interpret and useful to all males, she cannot count upon tation. We must build a consensus among us. Powsupport from other women. Many Women believe er for a group is consensus and organization. Terthat rape ,is an act of sick men or is provoked by ror depends upon the scattered, confused character the female. Thus women as a class do not. yet of the terrorized. class. We. must understand rape have a .consensus on a counter-reality which de- as essentially Ian act of terror against wornfines the true meaning of rape for us. Women do whether committed by white men or minority not yet have the means of communication to group male s. ,This is the, only means- of .freein~g, our. build such a consensus. We have io media provid- imagination ,so that. we can act togetlwt-or alone ing instant and constant communication; we are fi oe oi-a'antti otpretfp physically, economically, 'and socially isolated by litical crimes. the institution of marriage which requires lonely
The Woa Idetfd Woma
by RADICALESBIANS
What is a lesbian? A lesbian is the rage /of all never truly find peace with herself. For she -is women condensed to the point of explosion. She caught somewhere between accepting society's view > is the womn who, often beginning at an extreme- of her-in which case she cannot accept herselfly early age, acts in accordance' with her inner and. coming to understand, What, this sexist soIciety compulsion to be a more complete /and freer hu- has done to her and why it: is functinal and nec-man being than her society-perhaps then, but cer-t essary for it to do so. Those of us who work that tainly later-cares to allow her. These needs and through find ourselves on the other side of a tor-'v actions, over a period of years, bring her into tuoxs journey through a night that may hav been' painful conflict with people, situations, the accept- decades long. The perspective gained from I'lat ed ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, until journey, the liberation of self, the inner peace, the' shie is in a state of continual war with everything real love of -self and of all womeh,_ is'somnething' to, around .her, and usually with her self. She may be shared with all women-because 'we are all. not be fully conscious of the political implications. women. of what for her began as personal necessity, but It should first be ii ders'tood that lesbiaiism, on some level she has not been able to accept the like male homosexuality, is. a category of 'behaio




feelings, the categories of homosexuality and heter- tion. Herein we find the overriding fear of many o's'exuality would disappear. women toward being used as a sexual object by a
But lesbianism is also different from male ho- woman, which not only will bring her no malemosexuality, and, serves a different function in the connected compensations, but also will reveal the society. "Dyke" is a different kind of put-down void which is woman's real situation,. This dehu.
from "faggot," although both imply you are not, manization is expressed when a straight woman playing your socially assigned sex role are not learns that a sister is a lesbian; she begins to relate therefore a "Teal woman" or a "real man." The* to her lesbian sister as her potential sex object, grudging admiration felt for the tomboy, and the laying a surrogate male role on the lesbian. This queasiness felt around a 'sissy boy point to the reveals her heterosexual conditioning to mae her.
same thing: the contempt in which women-or self into an object when sex is potentially involved those who play a female role-are held. And the in a relationship, and it denies the lesbian her full investment in keeping women in that contemptu- humanity. For women, especially those in the ous role is very great. Lesbian is the word, the movement, to perceive their lesbian sisters through label, the condition that holds women, in line, this male grid of role definitions is to accept this When a woman hears this word tossed her way, male cultural conditioning and to oppress their sisshe knows she is stepping out of line. She knows ters much as they themselves have been oppressed that she has crossed the terrible boundary of her by men. Are we going to continue the. male classi sex 'role. She recoils, she protests,, she reshapes her fication system of ,defining all females in. sexual actions to gain approval. Lesbian is a label invent- relation to some other category of people? Affixed by the Man to throw at any woman who dares ing the label lesbian not only to, a, woman who to be his equal, who daresto challenge his prerog- aspires to be a person, but also to a..ny, situation atives (including that of all women as part of the of real love, real solidarity, real primacy among exchange medium among men), who 'dares to as- women, is a primary form.. of divisiveness among sert the primacy of her own needs. To have the women: it is. the, condition which keeps women label applied to people' active in women s. libera- within the confines of the feminine role, and it is tioi is just the most recent instance of a long the debunking/scare term that keeps women from hi tory; older women will recall that not so long forming any primary attachments, groups, or assoago, any woman who was successful, independent, ciations among ourselves.
not orienting her whole life about a man, Would Women in the movement have in most cases hear this word. For in this sexist society, for a gone to great lengths to avoid discussion and eonwoman to be independent means she can't be a frontation with the issue of lesbianism. It puts woman-she must be a dyke. That in itself should people up-tight. They are hostile, evasive, or try to tell s where women are at. It says as clearly as incorporate it into some "broaer issue,". They can be said:'women and person are contradictory would rather not taIk about it. If they have to, terms. For a lesbian is not considered a "real they try to dismiss it as a "lavender herring." But womian,"l And yet, in popular thinking, there is it is no side issue. It is absolutely essential to the really only one essential difference between a les- success and fulfillment of the women's liberation bji an d other women: that of sexual orientation movement that this 'issue be dealt with. As long as
b nga "woman" isto get fucked by men,,. ~ he itr, ke e from.ivin primacy to a y
'Lsin soneof the sexual categories by/ thn othe tha men n ail-he ota x
w m n ar e u a e d a s e b e t a h b w o m e n se in .a c. o h e.t e.. .. ....yo f a r
......"ject of..men the ar g!iven: c ertiomensations: ma comite nt wich indssxa lov...,.they.
identification ith is power, ..s ego, is; status, wil be ....deny ...i hemelye th ov n aute
hi rtcion (from othr mals), feelig like a readil accor tomn tu fir]n her "real woan,"finding :social acceptance, by adr- ond-cas: status. Asln sml a~eabiiyI
hesl ycnrniganother womanthere are moemntasawhleth tm lebin .....be
fewe rationiziationSfewer 'bufr by which to : used effetivl agait women Inoa as mn avi testr hror f e dhmaiedcndat onl more: privleeswihnt stehy . . : <7: :" { 7. ; . .. .... :; : 7 7 ; 7:7 7 ; ; 4




-do n t want to. antagonize male power. They in- rienced as discomfort with her role, as feeling stead seek acceptability for women's liberation, empty, as numbness, as restlessness, as a paralyzing and the most cruciil aspect of the acceptability anxiety at the center. Alternatively, it may be exis to deny lesbianism-i.e., to deny any fundamental pressed in shrill defensiveness of the glory and challenge to the basis of the female. It should also tiny of her role. But it does exist, often beneath be said that some younger, more radical women the edge of her consciousness, poisoning her existhave honestly begun to discuss lesbianism, but so ence, keeping her alienated from herself, her own far it has been primarily as a sexual "alternative" needs, and rendering her a stranger to-other worto men. This, however, is still giving primacy to en. They try to escape by identifying with the men, both because the idea of relating more com- oppressor, living through him, gaining status and pletely to women occurs as a negative reaction to identity from his ego, his power, his accomplish.
men, and because the lesbian relationship is being ments. And by not identifying with-other "empty characterized simply by sex, which is divisive and vessels" like themselves. Women resist relating on sexist. On one level, which is both personal and all levels to other women who will reflect their political, women may withdraw emotional and sex- own oppression, their own secondary status, their ual energies from men, and work out various alter- own self-hate. For to confront 'another woman is natives for those energies in their own lives. On a finally to confront one's self-the self we have different political/psychological level, it must be gone to such lengths to avoid. And in that mirror understood that what is crucial is that women be- we know we cannot really respect and love that
gin disengaging from male-defined response pat- which we have been made to be.
terns. In the..privacy of our own psyches, we must As the source of self-hate and the lack of real cut those cords, to the core, For irrespective of self are rooted in our male-given identity, we must where our love and sexual energies flow, if we are create a new sense of self. As- long as we cling to male-identified in our heads, we cannot realize our the idea of "being a woman, we will sense some
autonomy as human beings.. coict with that incipient self, that sense
But 'why is it that women have related to and that sense of a whole person. It is very difficult
through men? By vir'tue of having been brought to realize and accept, that being "feminine" and up in a male society, we have internalized the being a whole person are irreconcilable. Only male culture's' definition of ourselves. That defini- women can give to each other a new sense of self.
tion consigns us to sexual and family functions, That identity we have to develop with reference and excludes us from- defining and shaping the to ourselves, and not in relation to men. This conterms of our lives. In exchange for our psychic sciousness is, the revolutionary force from which'
servicing and 'for performing society's non-profit- all else will follow, for ours is an organic revolu~ making 'functions, the man confers on us just one tion. For this we must be available andsupportiv
thing: the. slave status which makes us legitimate to one another, give our commitment and our in the eyes of the, society Iin .Which we live. This love give the emotional' support necessary to susis called "femininity" 'or "being a real woman" in tain this movement. Our energies must flow toour culturaf lingo. We are authentic, legitimate, ward our sisters, not backward toward our oppresreal to the- exen tha we r th% prpet of ss As lo Ing as womxrnan's liberationn tribes to free some.man whose... na e webear. To b e a woman : women ihu aigtebschtrsxilsr:
wh eog on a st eivsible, pathetic, ture. thtbnd si oet-nerltonhp
of; what w ze h.....v.... to be in Ordrobe acceptablee :;... ,to( flwit.tyn.o..agte pe~h t~
b ~ c anno cn irm orp rood, 6ur, own, ingo m ak te ne mn.ot.... n h
selves-,,> asa' lfs sln sw r eedn elso htii ilalwu ete"e




with,1eac4, other, which. is at the heart of wone 's alienation, of being -cut 'off,ofbig ehn a Uti :i Off, me o: f being behind a i .ibertion,. and the basis for the cultural revolu locked window of being unable to get out what tion., oqe4 we t must find, reinforce, and' vali- we know is inside. We feel a real-nsfe tls date ,our authentic, selves. As we do this, we con- we are'coinciding with ourselves. With that real firm, in ech other that -struggling, incipient sense self, with that consciousness, we begin a revolution of pride and strength, the divisive barriers begin to to end the imposition of all coercive identificamhelt, we feel 'this growing solidarity with our sis. tions, and, 'to achieve maximum, autonomy in hu4 ters. IWe, see, ourselves as prime, find' our centers man expression. inside of ourselves. We find receding the sense, of
~by ANNE KOE DT
Female homosexuality is becoming an increasingly irnpor- was involved with a man, she feared being considtant problem, It is believed by some that women are be- ered Unfeminine and Unwomanly, and thus be Iing coming rapidly deferinized as a result of their overt desire for emancipation, and that this "psychic masculinization" rejected. There was also the larger threat: the fear of mdern women contributes to frigidity... Some sex- of male rejection in general. Since it is through a ologists fear that this, defeminization trend may seriouslyhubntatwmngiecoicndsil11eaffect the sexuhappiness of modern women. They claim h it will more than likely influence the susceptibility of many curity, through male employers that they earn a to a homosexual way of thinking and livingeowe that
-Frank S. (2aprls M.D., living, ale powerdthat Variations in Sexuai Bel avior they survive, to incur the wrath of men is no
***small matter. Women knew this long before they Feminism is the theory; lesbianism is the Practice. put it in -femninist terms. Thus it is not just vanity
-Attributed to Ti.Grace Atkinson and personal idiosyncrasy for women to wish to
When Gertrude Stein entertained friends, she conversed remain in the good graces of men. It is a practical onwith the e an etAieTk.te duty of talking reflection of reality.
with he laies.For feminists the main educational value of les-Sionede eauoir Th SeondSex bian baiting has been its exposure of the very Only women can give each other a new sense of sef.... clear connection in men's minds between being We muist be available and supportive to one another, [and] "unfemi~nine" and being independent. Being called give our commitment and our love ...
-Radicalesbianis, "Woman Identified Woman" un .feminine is 'a comparatively gentle threat informl~restsan4dont dtd hr lgs.ing you that you are beginning to waver, whereas I like he rat n'o' udrtn'e es being called',a lesbian is the danger signal-the final
$-Jul Johnston warning that. youi are about to lave the Te'rritory 4




purpose is more to scare the women back into of radical feminism is the concept that biology- v"
"place" than to pinpoint any actual lesbianism.) not desti and that male and; femae roles ar
The consideration of lesbianism as a personal learned-indeed that they are male political c
option grew 'out 'of very different reasons. For structs that serve to ensure power and superior many femnists there had always been a logical, status for men. Thu s the biological male is the theoretical connection between the elimination of oppressor not by virtue of his male biology but sex roles and the possibility of loving other wOm- by virtue of his rationalizing his supremacy n the,, en. With some this became a reality when they basis of that biological difference. The argument met a woman they were attracted to. For others, that man is the enemy" is then true only insofar,
lesbianism has meant a freedom from male rela- as the #an adopts the male suprerna.yjlet.
tionships in general, a release from the task of What then is the' relationship between lesan' looking for that elusive "special" man who wasn't ism and radical f6minism? Taking even the most
male chauvinist. Other feminists saw a love rela- miimal definitin of. leb imin
tionship with a woman as a positive thing because yo.ind o .t f en biol they felt other women the ogy does not determine, s roles. us, i oles
passivity and submissiveness that they had previ- are learned thereis nothing inherently "masculine"
ously found themselves falling into, with i ien. or "feminine" in behavior.
Most important of all, perhaps, women found that Beyond these basic assum tions, however.here there were, other women to love in their own right are important differences. Radical feminism natu
as persons. rally incorporates.thenotion of lesbianism t*-t
with strict reservations. Mainly I think that many >
Definitions radical feminists have resented the whole,- baggage,
With the increased interaction between the ga of assumed implications that some gay womenand women's liberation movements, a heightened have tagged onto lesbianism. It hs. been'' presented'
consciousness about, lesbianism has evolved among too ten cep
feminists-and along with it a corresponding dis- teie flsinsyuwudnc~aiya5
agremet ad cnfuio asto hatexatlyit have to accept a whole gay position which freagr : : ':eement and :confuson:-as means to be a, lesbian. IIt is clear thatt more 'iunlsun otay or~~l.fnl
being implied than the straight dictionary defini- Tefloig4esm ftepit fd
" .......reement:
tion> of women sleeping with members of their agemn:1
own sex. Some women define it as meaning having
.sex exclusivey with women, a more rigid defim.. a
tion than the one commonly used. *Other gay The agreement that there is nothiing innately
women see lesbianism as, much more than a defin- sick about, persons having sex with somee. of
ing term for the sex, of your -bed partner; to them- their own sex does not mean that, tlkbrefoie al' it is a "total life commitment to a life with',Vom- gay behavior is healthy ini fnui st trmns. A lesen" and "an entire system of world view and life' bian act-Ing like a man -or a gay man acting lik~e a,
living."'i Indeed, some gay women seek to equate woaCio eesry sikr -than heterosxul their :lesbaimwt agadrdca eiimatn u h am oe;bti sntha
im ian i nowt s arb inced .
wIa 'om n il o tha xite+ variusn"ife style"n arumnt *hedosno tisd




is being. acted out. A male homosexual who dress- fying the sex role system. It is an act of rebellion.
es up~ with make-up, makes catty remarks about In the case of lesbianism, the act of rebellion ofother women, worries excessively about boy friend ten has earned the woman severe social ostracism.
approval, and' in general displays the insecurity and However, it becomes radical only if it is. then helplessness that have been the symptoms of worn- placed in the context of wanting to destroy the en's oppression, is as far away from being the full "system as a whole, that is, destroying the sex role person he could, be as the woman. acting out that system as opposed to just rejecting men. Indeed, same. role. The point is that they are, in a-, \sense, there can be reformism Within lesbianism too; both'in drag. when a lesbian says "I have nothing against men; I
On' -the other hand, two lesbians who have just don't want to be. involved with them," she is
chosen not to fall'into imitative roles, but are in- really describing an accommodation within the sexstead exploring the positive aspects of both ".m~s- ist system even though -she has performed the reculine" and "feminine", behavior beyond roles- bellious act of violating that system by being a forming -something new and equal in the process- lesbian. It is also in thisA co .ntext that a statement would in my opinion probably be healthy.. like "feminism is the theory; lesbianism is -the practice" is erroneous. For not only is the sex of
Ga~y as Radical Feminist Vanguard a Woman's lover insufficient information to infer
One position advanced by some lesbians is the radical feminism, but there i Is .also the false implitha lebias ae te angardof he ome's cation that to have -no men in your personal life ~dea means you are therefore living the life of fighting movement because 1) they broke with sex roles
before there even was a feminist movement, and frrdclfmns hne
The notion that lesbians have no need for men
2 thy hve n ned fo me at ll.(Somhowat all also needs clarification. First of all, since we they are 'the revolution.) The following is one exampe o ths psiton:are all women living. in a male society, we do in Feel the real glow that comes from "our" sisterhood. We fatdpn reurluonmnor aycuil
can teach you something about being gentle and kind for things,. even if we do not choose to have men in we, never felt competitive. Remember WE long before YOU our personal relationships. It is for this reason that
have known discontent with male society and WE long before YOU knew- and appreciated the full potential of every- onwrnnane ilntbeflyieaediti
thing female .... It is WE Nwho say welcome to you, long all women are liberated. However, taking the stateblind'-and oppressed sisters, we have been fighting against metomanhvgnoedfrmninpsnl
male suipremacy' for a long time, join US! We are not inAidated by relational differences, for we have never felt relationships (which cain be an important achieveni~ gged y so ety3ment for women, since one should obviously want Several points seem, to be ignored with this the person, not the man), one must still ask the
kind, of argument. For one, there is a confusion of qusinhatemlerebeidscrdTs
a persona- with a political solution. Sex roles and again the crucial point is not the sex of your bed
mle supremacy will not go away simply by worn-. partner bu-t the sex role of your bed partner.
en becoming lesbians. It will take a great deal of
shisticated political muscle and collective energy Gay Movement as a Civil Rights Movement
for. women to elimnate' sexis.m. So at bes.-t aies The orannized gay mnomentI seeks- to+roe,




socialized more toward the male role, did not in Millennium),- and makes the case for politically their childhood choose to reverse sex roles. Each identifying yourself with the most discriminated was saddled with a, role (as were we all) and had against elements-even though you might really beto make the best of it in a society that scorned lieve in bisexuality.* such an occUrrence. Merle Miller in an article in Taking that' argument at face value (and I don't the New York Times (January 17; 1971), where completely), I think it is a dangerous thing to ad he "came out" as a homosexual, said: "Gay is vocate politically. For by, in effect, promoting exgood, Gay is proud. Well, yes, I suppose. If I had clusive homosexuality, they lend political support been given a choice (but who is?), I would prefer to the notion that it does matter what the sex of to be straight." His point was not that gay is sick your partner may be. While I recognize the abso but rather that he did not choose his gayness. lute necessity for the gay movement to concen And, furthermore, had he been trained heterosexu- trate on the freedom of people to sleep wit ally, society would have been a great deal easier members of their own sex (since it is here that on him. Which is a'very' understandable sentiment discrimination exists), it must at the same time given the cruelty and discrimination that is prac- always be referred 'back to its larger, radical perticed against homosexuals. In such cases the bray- spective: that it is oppressive for thaf very quescry and rebelliousness is to be found rather in the tion even to be asked. As a matter of fact, if ability to act out homosexuality in spite of social "freedom -of sexual, preference" is the de.man, the abuse. solution obviously!,must be a bisexuality where the
In uniting. to change oppressive laws, electing question becomes irrelevant.
officials who -will work toward these ends, and I think in fact that the reason why bisexuality changing social; attitudes which are discriminatory' has been considered such an unpopular word by ,against homosexuals, the gaymovement is address- most gays is not to' be found primarily in the ing itself to its civil -rights. It is my feeling that arguments just discussed, but rather, in gay ad)herthe. gay liberation issue is in fact a civil rights ence to a kind of fierce homosexual counter-defl-. issue (as opposed to a radical issue) because it is nition -whih has developed. That is, a counter united, around the secondary issue of "freedom of identity-a "life style" and "world view" has been sexual preference." Whereas in fact the real root created around the fact of their homosexuality. of anti-homosexuality is sexism. That is, the radi- This identity is so strong sometimes that to even cal gay person would have to be a feminist. This advocate or predict bisexuality is considered "gentracing of the roots of gay oppression to sexism is ocid&'- The following 'is an example: In a response also expressed in,, Radicalesbians's "Woman Identi- to a statement by Dotson Rader that "as bisexual. fled Woman": ity is. increasingly accepted, as the norm' the posiIt shold first be. understood that lesbianism, like male tion of the homosexual qua homosexual will l4onosexuality, is a category of behavior possible only in a fae"oe-gyresponse was tha Tehmsx sexist' society characterized by'rigid sex roles and domi-fae on-gyht"e msx nated by malf. supremacy .... In a society in which mein ual, like the Jew, is offered the choice between, do not oppress women, and sexual expression is allowed to sitgain-rteg) hme.3 inat, "inegrtio or the!! < gas chamber. > :
follow feeling, the,, categ ies of homosexuality and heterosexuality would disappear.Itintwtth acul-gy onerlue tha I wan toqarl14hnkiiar i4
BisexuaityL1 stA.dbl reato toa inlrable xIusit, ^:




The disagreement with feminism comes rather ual relations with women. Leaving aside for a miin' an attempt to make a revolutionary political ute the motives for making such accusations, there postin out of this adjustment. The often heard is an outrageous thing going on here strictly in complaint from feminists that "we are being de- terms of pressuring women about their personal fined onceagain by whom we sleep with" is cor- lives.
rect, I think. The lesson to be learned from a This perversion of "the personal is the politifeminist analysis of sex roles is that there is no cal" argument, it must be noted, was not invented behavior implied from our biology beyond, as Wil- by those gay women who may be using it now; ma Scott Heide has noted, the role of sperm do- the women's movement has had sporadic waves of nor and wet nurse.4 A woman has historically personal attacks on women-always in the guise of been defined, on the basis of biology, as incom- radicalism (and usually by a very small minority plete without a man. Feminists have rejected this of women). I have seen women being told they notion and must equally reject any new definition could not be trusted as feminists because they which offers a woman her identity by virtue of wore miniskirts, because they were married (in one the fact that" she may love or sleep with other group -qjuotas were set lest the group's quality be women. lowered by "unliberated women"), or because th'ey
It is for this reason, also, that I disagree with wanted to have children. This rejection of, women
the Radicalesbian concept of the "woman-identi- who are not living the "liberated life" has predictfled-woman." For we ought not to be "identified" ably now come to include rejection on the basis
on the basis of whom we have relationships with. of the "unliberated" sex life.
And there is a confusion in such a term; it seems The original genius of the phrase "the personal to mix up the biological woman with the political is political" was that it opened up. the area of woman. I think the often used feminist definition women's private lives to political analysis. Before of "woman-identified" as meaning having identified that, the isolation of women from each other had with the female role in society is more useful; it been accomplished by labeling a woman's experirefers to a specific political phenomenon of' inter- ence personal." Women had thus been kept from nalization. So far as finding a term which de- seeing. their common condition as women and
scribes women's solidarity or sisterhood on the ba- their common oppression by m:n.
sis of our. common oppression, the term is femi- However, opening up women's experience to nism. Beyond that, what is left is 'the biological political analysis has also resulted in a misuse of female-an autonomous being who._gains her iden- the. phrase. While it 'is true that there are political tity- by virtue of her own achievements and char- implications in eeyhn oa u oa acteristics, not by virtue of whom she has a love experiences, it is not therefore true that a worrelationship with. an' s life is the political property of' thewomen's Once we begin to discuss persons as persons (a movement. And it seems to: me' to show a disrewod which doesn't ask the sex of an individual), spect for another woman to presume that it is any eventhewor "bsexalit" my eentall be group's (or individual's) prerogative to pass revoludropped, since implicit in its use is still an eager- tionary judgment on the progress of her life. ness to inform you that it is both sexes. Perhaps There is a further point: Even the most radical we -will finally return to a .simpler word like "sex- feminist is, not the liberatedl wom-an. We areM l ualit; ,i, where ..,,. the relevatinformation is simply: i:...... ;'craw in ;out ofN fem ninity into ..... a new sene o
if yu are a fmiis wo isnt.leein wit mett-hne hyso os nyi'te
a: woman yo, u a y riskf l ern n fteflo- sei nthi w efitrs.I h oe'
in cuain:"o'eopessing.me if yo mmet ies that ?:femnismi;, n oe'
don't leep; with 'women",;,- "Yo'r nt rdial self- intrste hets thn i~t ei t
fmstif ;you don't;:"- <-': slee wit "'women" ; or" "You understood;' :: ;
by om lsbian :becas she was inot, haig sex;:> like< ":e,,,tyo ';don'tlv oe f o o' ie




with them" must above...all be dismissed on the actualized through socialization. Deviants who ingrounds that it is confusing the right to discuss advertently were socialized differently, or who feminism with the right to, uninvited, discuss a chose differently, are thus a threat to the remise woman's private life and make, political judgments that biology is destiny. Thus, to have another man about it.: break rank is to threaten all men's group-supre
However, taking the issue presented in the acy status. Also, for a man to leave the "superior"
above accusation (outside of its guilt-provoking group is to go down'-that is, become inferior" or personal context*), there are several points to con- "feminine." Frequently male homosexuals may sider. One element of truth is that some women touch on the unspoken fears in many men that are unable to relate sexually to other women be- they are not powerful and "manly" enough to tXl cause of a strong self-hatred for themselves as fill their supremacy destiny, and the gay male thus women (and therefore all women). But there may becomes the symbol of total male "failure." sti41 also be many other reasons. A woman may not be other men display a robust camaraderie (A la Mail-.
interested in sleeping with anyone-a freedom er) where "buggering" a fellow male obviously women are granted even less often than the right means that one would have to play woman and to sleep with other women. She may not have' good fellowship wouldn't allow another man such
met a woman she's attracted to. Or she may be degradation.
involved with a man whom she likes as' a person, To understand men's fear of homosexuality, without this necessarily being a rejection of wom- then, is above all to understand men's fear of los en. It should also be* noted that the women who ing their place of power'in society with women.
suffer from strong self-hatred may not necessarily And to hold that'power, men must preserve both find it impossible to relate sexually to women. the "absoluteness" of their ideology' and the group
They may instead find that taking the male part unity of their, members.
in a lesbian relationship will symbolically remove 'it must be kept in mind that, while homosexthem from .their feminine role. Such a woman uality. does contain an implicit threat to sexist 4de- I then may become one who "balls" women so as ology, it is,, at best, 'only a small part of the < i
not to be one. whole fight to bring down the sex role system
~All in all, as has been noted earlier, there is no' (Indeed-; if the gay movement were to b~e seen as
~magic that makes lesbianism proof positive of any only. the demand for the 'right 'f making role high feminist motives. Rather, what the woman transfers within society, for example, it would brings to her relationship as far as relinquishing work against feminism by' supporting a reformed
sex roles will, I think, determine her ultimate atti- version of the sex 'rol system.)
tude about really, loving other women. Thus it is. only in the most radical interpretaconcusin tonsthat lesbianism' becomes an organipato
the larger \femnist fight. I this context it joins
Homosexuality, with its obvious scorn for theth muiud ooherbe nsw enhv
rules"' of biology, chaUlehge's a cornerstone of sex- be aigaantteigecie oeb t~
istidolgyan cnsquetl mkemot enwork, in law, or in personal relationships. As with:
nervous. There is' at this time less fear of femalealsuhrblin teyreoyproalco
hooeult hno aehmsxa ityp~i oain olvn nasxs o't ne
bl bcas mn tilf~elseue ha ioatd eg
b( "7ian ixm, s ilnttmtms wmnaa r nesod7olt~lyadfuh o o
frog: her rsrieaeiin oean ehp ivl.Telagrpltia rt i tl h
also : beas ebaimi rqety:e ymn e iigi aeoit hr e assmtigeoi i emaa ecnstntepwradw 4 u fml
obet nmnsee vn)hnmk rato hti tii ioeta :e01
reansxia xedec ran:in hto ;ad




AWoman's Place
is,, in th e ven
by SHERRY SONNETT TRUM8O
Sherry Sonhett Tumbo is a writer 'Who lives in California.
One of the most valuable qualities of television Is Well, what 'can you expect? The movie was its ability to keep us in touch with the -past. Tune made in the Fifties, right? And things have
in, any time arnd thrin the form of countls changed: if the movie wasmaenwthyog
old movies, the American past, unadorned and man would see it's all hype-empty, pointless-and without comment, unwinds before, our eyes. The he, would split, 'Searching out who knows what, movies of the past foty'years provide a history'of but at least, free and together. Progress, right? May
what this country 'was thinking, feeling, valuing, I now draw your attention to the little woman?
admiring, and condemning at any given time. The- In both the actual -and hypothetical'versions of message may not be at, all what Was -intended, this story, it is the woman who represents home, since time has a way of distilling intentions until family an uy. Whether this is seen~ as security only actualities remain) But intended or not, the hence good, or, security hence' stultifying, the message is there an~d it is ours if' we sit back and woman's role and position have not actually bear with, the commercial interruptions. changed. In spite of .all. the' progress we are eager
The other night I watched. a movie called ."The to tell ourselves has been made in the last few
Bachelor P~arty." Made in .the. middle 1950s, it's yerw an count on the depiction of woman's about a young married couple in New York He place to be pretty much the.same. ("A woman's
works as a bookkeeper ,during the day and attends place is in the oven."
school four nights a, week to, qualify as a CPA. Lately, we have'had a rash of "'tell it like it is"' She discovers she's pregnant and that means of movies-all with men as the central characters.
course she'll have to' stop working (her job is soThese movies. are about men who try the Syte
iconsequential tat We. never .learn what it, is), and leave, or men who from the beginning have
which is a blow both to! the current, finances and thing to' do with the Sytm orSse mn
teir future plans. who somewvhere toward the last reel begin to see
The wife, upse afiro ~t 4ikiy adjuskt~ mo theA the3 ligt.1f (Whethe-jr theyx reAly ll it 1iiti
/ ies o pare thoi~ j and l k fowr to !it. i! Th remain a qu...i.. wot sig)-hs e r
wanti!iii ,iito a PA i i llwothit 'ital wit ha t onljt.Aiealh iotnts har- !i menigth epins th. .........dom.. th tigu. cteihca eeme hr ter diens that.
Intecus o ~enghh ok t u oehn i er rn with...the owityasit
i ith the. hepofaso.d.erois.icudn.tereel..s.ft.te...hy.e.etatte al
stnadnynpo "utsyy oem!) nde o i nieywt~nteslta s
eN en, h retun tohso n an borlisi sceywihf etmitodh araffirmdi hshv fr iswfhi eie o i...ade..~n vn naualrjs




chance to see a man, some man, trying to work Said." Sister to Catherine in "Jules and Jim,' she out solutions and pursuing alternatives. Characters very clearly exemplifies the waste and confusion like Bobby in "Five Easy Pieces" and the driver in that make up the lives of most women. The fact "Two-Lane Blacktop" give their male audience a tha ~h edscrbdathwiewilte model and a starting point. Depending on the de-. men are' the 'basketball player, the revolutionary, gree of response and identification, men who see the professor, is the e these movies are at least made aware that. other is, the victim of -men's attitudes toward her. Inmen in other places are trying other, possibilities. dulged, placated, protected, she is partially forced This almost subconscious transmission of abstract partiIly. allowed to remain in a virtual state ideas is where the real power of any art form lies., of childishness-irresponsible, unpredictable, withBut where is the movie about a woman going out direction or purpose. Expected to do nothing, through the same processes? Where is the movie allowed to do nothing, she slips into boredom and that shows us what alternatives and possibilities apathy, the central emotions of her life. are open to us as women? A script for that movie This seeming contradiction is at the heart of is probably lying right now on some female writ- the dilemma in which women often- ind themer's desk-or more likely in her head, unwritten, selves-prized yet ignored prized as object, ignored because who would make it anyway? as person. It is this that makes it exremely ffiFor women, there are very few relevant models cul. .nt ocn offered by 'Movies, or the, rest of the culture that whc hylive and compels them to attribute will help easeto th f d pain f libe n Con-faults and neuroses .wit sider the movies just mentioned as useful to men.. themselves. Sufferng from that air The girl in "Two-Lane Blacktop" screws. her way which comes from having. nothing to~ do, $1bl to around the country; if she didn't, it isn't likely achow she .in the men in the movie would want her around for chn~iOlive can only: alleviate -it' through, temvery long. At no time are we given a'clue to who porary distractions- adultery and, fnly pregthis girl is. She is not permitted to express a sin- contempt qor 'the men
nacy aOf cours she has
gle' desire, thought, or feeling. She is totally non- around her; it is they Who, through uncnsous person, without even the single emotion credited conspiracy, keep her there to the driver and the mechanic-love for the car,. Ilythis time we can all cite the diciiation an inanimate object. In all fairness, it. should be and the prejudices with which we_ as, women ae noted that no -one in the movie is alive-it has a confronted every daiy. But if we are -to go byond, certain kind of austerity and super-coolness that is this awakening, we must: deal with the ways in no more real, in our time than college movies of which this discrimination 'as damaged usl Above the Thirties and Forties were in theirs., all, we must realize that .it has lef us without any
In "Five Easy Pieces,' Rayette, the 'Waitress, is structures," traditions, or guidelines to ;support us
typica ubbodgetfrsakn pwt in, the search for, free'doin, Perhaps, the bravest,the but you wouldn't want 'to introduce her, to your most determined anid the lucliest -f us -can man family. She loves the lug even though he treats. it on our own, but most, of qU ', n orde e ven to




preach is to.hreatenin. Never taught to fune choose. No one claims that all women must live in n as otal, Independent beings these women a certain way, but every, woman must be free to don t believe they can. assume full and total re- select from all possibilities. All options must be sponsibility for their own lives. For them, it is open to her; it is she, and not society, who will safer to remain. in a familiar prison than to veni- close some of them. Women as a group will find ture out into an unfamiliar freedom. liberation only through unity, but what, we make
This is not cowardice. It is the understandable of that liberation depends on who we are as indifear of, say, a woman, married, out of the labor viduals.
market or perhaps never in it, totally dependent In the past, we were told that if we were good, and totally defined by the man to whom she is quiet and didn't make any trouble, some of 'us married. How is she to deal with the challenges would be allowed into the real world, the man's thrown at her by young women who have turned world. We were told that if we wanted to be wa -from the ideas and values -which she has among those few, we had betterplay by the rules been told make her life worthwhile? How is she and make the required adjustments. It was,, for to face the possibility that most of her life has example, a woman who wrote 'Five Easy Pieces,", been, if not exacy wasted, then at least a lot a fact which says a gregt deal about what women
duller and emptier than it needed to have been? are forced to do in order to compete.
What is she to think of the women who tell her What we need now are, women who spek, thi? And how is she to 'prefer them to the men write, and act as women. There have ways -been wio tell her that she is right not to respond to women -who have managed to "beat the system'"
thee women who hallenge her? and "make it in a man's world." But too often in
For these reasons we must realize that while a the past, these women have jealously guarded their
direct battle cry mobilizes some, it alienates oth- success and, purposely disassociated themsele
We must make certain that themessage is sent from other women. These are women whse in41n l sorts of ways, directly and -indirectly, tity and self-assurance comes precisely from viewatly A stridently, subtly and outrageously. ing themselves as different from and better than
unotntly ti hesblgentle, and in-U o~iatly t s he uble getl, ndin- other Women. Telltem1l ythn Jie a
i t- voic that is completely smothered by the and it is a compliment; tell them they are like a at.lrg....e.u..the a of W n' Lwoman and it means weak and emotional. They cutr tlreBcue-h deas of Wmen's Lib .....
A so foreign and threatening to the people who would not wish to work foranother woman, but rol t dissemination of ideas in this society are puzzled when they are not promoted or given
(me" and some bamnboozled women), and because jobs of real responsibility.
threatenn very basic Structures of the society,Thsm tsopToeofuwomag,4e
se. idas are rarely presented as a natural, com- spite all the odds, to achieve some influence and
a .to speak where we can be heard, mnust learn to
liberation is 41ways made to seem as if it re- help each other. We must remember that we are
lire special crumstances, special strength.. We only one of a larger group an t our strength
aemade to think that any -try at change, and as individuals, is ,directly proportional .to ,ou~r
~ive~~nft il e r s slae ,revoabl cut... strength as a grou. we mustlea rn to speak.t
v pff rom w~t ha,., e uscmfort and support, eac ther, tomk ac te aaeo rp
~~,,... a t N t e p i a e t sho ho l s b i s, capabiiies, an e a ~ e O r freedo us anhep ae te, can upoterc oter will not. be handedtusb scie bt twilb
ug sarde1peiec with e comasio and... -... > !taken when we a a group hiave th trength and' <"
..mp...i -force to -demand 'it. : -.::! ..
We... : ut::, al O. wha we andeth adrs Andye itisthi v0yie ftencsiyo goreve ietyt h ~usq oe'
edep e id uladta i tteo ymkn uethti l forlvsW




4. BUILDING A MOVEMEN
Free, Space
t.... vby PAMELA ALLEN
us in our endeavor
,Introuction to becom autoomou u'inh thought and behavior. We call these proesses I noied my group, Sudsofloppen, at its second V)
metingin September, 1968. I wasneW. to San "opening up," .shang," "analyzing," and
. .... ... .. distracting They are our way of keeping in to'ikh
Francisco, having moved from New York City Wih.u.eotos,.....neaote..f.. ..
where I had been active in women's liberation. I about experience wea ha, i brought to the group a political commitment to stand the m n o ta building a mass women's movement. The group ex- ting that tar i ioa i
pe.ence has helped me to synthesize and deepen potential as human beings and the reality of or
my emotional and intellectual understanding of the
. ... ... ... ,: .. , *, so c iety iL e., d e i ng a d o o y
predicament of females in. this society and.,of the s d i e
The group processes are described below, It concerns with which we must deal inbuilding s be unesodta-hyaentt
women's movement.
separate prcsss rahrteei ra elo
We have defined our group as a place in which s
overlap. But the emphasis in opening up is on ou to think: to think about our lives, our society, feelings; in h oe i
and our potential for being creative individu~als-and ig nortikn;adi btatno
inhg, ....... our thn in ;ad.n'abta.ig.o u for building a women's movement. We call this evolving.theofree Space. We have had successes and failures in
utilizing this space. Usually our problems stem I have cho ritr
from -our failure to be completely honest with ha d e. pd.ntho..s.oe..
ourselves and each other-failing to question ands in
disagree with another's ideas and perspectives and een
..... view 'of 'reuaisty n otikineednlo to say what we think is an alternative., Our failure onve fraiy~n otikidpnetyo
to be truthful has always had a egative effect o m stv I p w the functioning. of'our group. Thus individual in- e anoeou rsdntnyhwyth
tegrity--intellectual and emotional honesty-is our society works to. keep women. oppressed but ways,
ourselves from dependence on male values and in- The group processes described in this. par
s itutions, it is a temptation to transfer our identi- were discussed and identified, by Sudsofloppe
ties ntthgrutleouthnigb deV4er ter we, ha ben Pneti ftor ve ra ear Tl4' una
.;' '- stand. the. mmselvesie,: the...... n;;(ir own n!f .... eeds,; the workings of,! s, tepocse mysmai e airr
our... socet, ndth ned of others. hu we ... tr n.o.srcurd.u eaeagr~e
torss h emtto osbereoridvd- ivsta heei lasasth ,ta h
aliy i te gou ansrugleinead tomkeise st cncoul cos ,wlle




the, meetings and that it was very easy to avoid seriously. Isolated, always getting negative respons, ares otha difficult. es to her attempts to communicate her feelings
Te ess as described here are fin about her condition, the woman finds .it easy to personal and they ensure that those of us who begin to question herself, to see her problems as find' i hard to open up about our feelings will be personal ones. challe'nged todo so. The same is rue for women The group offers women a place where the rewho 'analysis and would rather r only sponse will be positive. "Yes, we know." "Yes, we on the s"ijective level. The total process s noti understand." It is not so much the words that are easy bt we feel that each process is necessary to said in response that are important as the fact und standing the human experience. We believe that someone listens and does not ridicule; somethat- ,o and 'analysis which are not rooted in one listens and -acknowledges the validity of anconcrete experience (practice) are useless, but we other's view of 'her life. It is the beginning of also maintain that for the concrete, everyday expe- sisterhood, the feeling of unity with 'others, of no riences to be understood, they must be subjected longer beimg alone. to 'the p-rocess's- of analysis and abstraction. The early group experience of, ploseness-the honeymoon period as some call it-fosters opening ....on,' Up. up about one's feelings toward oneself and one' a very individual need: the nee for a life.' But as the group begin's to function on a
woi t op.nu-and talk abou her feeligs +long-term basis and the members participate in act self dherlfe.Ite, bennin of a tivities in a women s movement, it becomes harder
ab se an her fe. n th begnng ofa to be honest about ones feelings for sometimes gro p erienc openin up is a: ....h.n. out .they are negative and may involve another woman.
find~4~n cntac wih oherwome.. ate it Yet such disclosures are necessary if trust and 'sisbeq es wa toconmuniatato thes aout terhood are to become long-term realities. Neither
oe.eflg o t a group nor a movement can function if there is
the....n.....vem ..t about one's..life,-latent distrust and hostility or overt backbiting go- 7
Our society alienates us from our feelings. ow- g on. In tion an.nd ul n be fre to eve, s is less true for women than for men. It if is imperative for, our understanding of ourselves tuti esl n nohr fsei upesn and for our mental health that we maintain and n r deepen,. our-.contact with our feelings. Our' first ldatity Opening up is a personal need to admit to and coi emmus ~t b wih heter hee feligs express one s emotions--her joys as well as her sorarego4 r ~l bt ha thy re Feligsar a rows. In addition it is a group need, in that no reality...- To deny their existence does not get rid
of the Rthe i i~thoug aditingthm tat group can continue to function over a long period of time which doe s not deal with the feelings, of oneca bei~ to dal i~h hr'feeins.its members. Unless women are given a no~n-judgipn~ up is an essential but difficult. process mntlsaeiwhcto xpsshmevse for a group. In its early stages a group uisuallywinerhaeteseghorteprctono
fostra fee~ $~f itimcy nd tt~s Whih fees deal with the ambivalences which are a part of us women to. discuss their fears and problems. This is al.Iiesntlththegopgurtecni
hay ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ l. fIun other wesietesevsaesu- ru omtentithut hih thepgureane noi
tratc witli ther ~~tas woen inthis ociet. #s
Evr oa~wohstiedt riuN ehrls




spond with recognition to someone's account, but problems are grounded' in the 'way women. r we add from our own, histories as well, building a treated, in the -way women are allowed to liWe collage of similar experiences from all women pres- Isolato turn fstainnose-lubt, butjoi ent. The intention here is to arrive at an under- ing together gvswmen perspective that can lead standing of the social. conditions of women by to action. Through sharing they can see flit pooling descriptions of. the forms oppression has. have been lied to, and begin to look critically at a taken in each individual's life. Revealing these. par- society which so ,narrowly definies Oh e role they A ticulars may b~e very painful, but the reason for may pla B fut before the ca ae h est ie dredging up these problems is not only he thera- into teir own hands, they mnust understand' the peutic value of opening 'up hidden areas. Through objective condition Qf w'o men and the mnany -form the' common discussion come's the understanding that oppression takes in the lives of women.' that many of the situations described are not -personal at all, and are not based on individual ad-Analyzing ~< quacies, but rather have a root in. the social. order. A third stage, -now takes plac p; the opti What we have found is that painful "personal" experience of analyzing the reasons for and .theproblems may be. common to many of the women causes of, the oppression of women. This,4nls. present. Thus attention, can turn, to finding. the rises out of the questions which are posed by the real causes of these problems. rather than merely bai.a aao h pnn in hrz i emphasizing one's own inadequacies. ods, It is a new ~wyo okn at W e' cohd
Almost any topic can be used for the,,sharing tion: the development of concepts which ateniPt process. All that is necessary is that women have to define niot only, the why's' 4ndow 6 outexperience in that area. Some of the topics we op, ressioni -but ways of ihigta ~~ a have used for. discussion have been -communal liv- Because th 'analysis takes Plhce after the 'a #i ing, Job experiences, experiences in the civil rights. of individlull examples of oppeaoiI ae movement, SDS, and, the peace movement, ela- on- a female understanding of terealityof wohi1 tionships with men focusing on examples of male en's c~onditioni. chauvinism, relationships with women with empha-! This pflod i m titbcuetite g sis on our adolescent experiences, and how these" ning of going beyond, out personal experiete affect, our present feelings toward women, and. our Having gain ed a $rspectve on~ our- lves throflgIh self-images-how we perceive. ourselves and how we, the' sharing' proess, we now begin to 1ok'a think others perceive u.Agreeing on -a, topic and womns predicamient Wth some objectivrity.'Ti preparing for. the discusson for. a week or so seem new approach- is difficult for many of tus, f6r as to ensure the, most productive sharing discussion... women we eist predomiinan~tly in the re Am of
The sharing occasions, have shown us. that the subjectivity; we perform fuinctins but- seldomn -gt solutions to our problems. will be found in joining on, top of a situation to 'understand hoW sd e" with other women,, because, the basis of many of thing, wortk s and: whyO' Analyzigis a new and dfour. problems i s our status, as- women. It. wa~-npt- ficut. proca ure'to learn. only' sharing the stories of our chidhood,, school, 1w analy z g-the o le the-- group p has, playediIn marriage, and job experiences that led us to this our -ives, for example:, we, have' come to, undr-




Photos: Ellen Levine
......... .
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en present, a necessity if'women are to take them- could be if freed of social oppression. We see this selves seriously. abstracting experience as the purest form of Free
We have had to face realistically the inability of Space.
many of us to think conceptually. This inability We are only beginning to experience this Free comes from being encouraged to stay in the pri- Space, abstracting, now that, we have had a year vate sphere and to relate to people on ersonal of opening up, sharing, and analyzing behind us.
.levels even when working. We a e trai'ng our? We, are beginning to see how different institutions selves to get out from under our subjective re- fulfill or prevent the fulfillment of human needs, sponses and to look at our reality in new ways. how they work together and how they must be Although this is not easy for us, we see the abso- changed. We are beginning to gain an overview of lute necessity of analysis, for our oppression takes what type of women's movement will be necessary
both obvious and subtle fo.ms which vary with to change the institutions that oppress women.
our class and educationa status. The complexity Specifically we have begun to have a clear unof women's situations ne~cessitates our bringing -in- derstanding of what .role the small group can and formation outside our individual experiences to cannot play in this social revolution. It is clear to
bear on ou'r analysis of women's oppression. This usAat the small group is neither an action-orientis the period ,when questions can be asked about ed political goup in and of- itself nor is it an how the entire society functions. This is the peri- alternative family unit. Rather, this is where ideolod when books and other documentation become ogy -can develop. And out of this emerging ideolcrucial. o will come a program grounded in a solid unIt is our contention,, howeve that this period derstanding of women's condition that will have
of analysis belongs after the opening up and shar- its roots, but not its totality, in our own experi ing experiences, for concepts we find must answer ence. Intellectually this is the most exciting stage.
the questions. which come from our problems as It is a joy to learn to think, to begin to comprewomen. It is not in our interest to fit experiences hend what is happening to us. Ideas are experiinto preconceived theory, especially one devised by ences in themselves, freeing,. joyous experiences men. This is not only because we must suspect all which give us the framework for formulating our
male. thinking as being male-supremacist, but be- actions.
cause 'we must teach ourselves to think independ- It is important to -stress that opening up, sharently' Our thinking must grow out of our ques- ing, analyzing, and abstracting are not limited to tions if it is to be internalized and if we are to certain periods of time. One never completes any have. the tool's to look objectively at n~ew experi- of the processes. Opening up is not limited to the ence and analyze it correctly. Thus a period of past and one does not graduate through the vaianalysis will come after each new experience and ous processes until one is abstracting to the excuwill add'new thinking to an ever growing ideology. Sion of all'else. Analyzing'and abstracting are only valid, processes if they continue -to be ,rooted in
Ahsratig hep'esntfeelings and, experience of .particiA synthesis of the analyses is necessary before pants. The order may be fixed but the processes
decisions can be made as to priorities in problems -themselves are ongoing.
an aprac. orthstohape acetandis- Thetoal grou poes is!. no terp bcas
S tance ms exist between us land our concerns. .. we.tr to..find thesocial!assfr u xei
W Y he d~lwe arenfole ou......... .. rselves from immediate neces- ences and th e possible 'programs..... ..... fprtecocps n naYtchan.....cing... lhset :u~i ... :tt i l etki ii ...
a.....re : able ito ..k.t.h.tt.it.f.henaue.f.o h[ stu.tion does occur adi ecsayi
muatd fom dsusions ofi th ayfrsor bt theOeing :up n hrn hsso h
to om tent, exprience a... vision of our huan obetvl a u rdcaetacp ing wha r ptentialThs oe not mawebecome more realisticall ou : :resoblit t hag adu
JoreenCrsms17




Co sciousness isin A Dead End?
by CAROL WILLIAMS PAYNE
Carol Payne is a relative newcomer to the women's movement. She has been a member of an unaffiliated conscio'uness-rataing
group in New York for a year and a half.
For almost a year and a half I have been a mem were elements of group therapy in what we we ber of a group of women which has met regularly trying to do,4o help each other deal with personon Thursday evenings. Some of us are married, al problems: We finally realized that we could not some single, some. divorced, some with children, handle confrontation and hostiity in the, manner some without, some established in professions, of group therapy because we did ot bae a some trying to decide what kind of work to do. trained leader who could remain bjective and call Our ages range from mid-20's to mid-30's. Mem- a halt if someone was being hurt. W decided t t bership in the group has shifted; some people have we should be supportive and, avoid onfronttion moved away;' others became frustrated with the di- We. never re solved the question of what ':om rection the group was taking or felt that they en's liberation group was supposed to do. re didn't want to contribute. was always a conflict between those who 'favored
The group was formed when two women began the personal, psychological approach and t
talking to each other about starting a group to who felt that a women's group should be buidg talk about starting a group to talk about problems a bridge between the personal Insight gai by 9 women have in working and wondering whether being in a small group and political action with a
their self-doubts and lack of self-confidence were larger body of women.
related to their being women. They found enough We would discuss one persons p blein in balfriends and friends of friends interested in the ancing work and family responsilities, other same problems to start a. group.~ There were seven in handling the aftermath of a divorce, another "s of us to begin with; then two more joined.. The with her husband who felt. threatened by her benumber has remained between six and nine, longing to a women's liberation group; hut w
We have talked about many problems which never tried to relate these problem to the strucconcern us-work, competitiveness .with other tural problems of women in society nor 4 d we women, jealousy, relationships with men, our think, about how they could be dalt with heyond
childhood, our parents. We have tried to under- the personal level of these particular women in ~
stand how we have. been shaped by society's ex- their particular situations.
pectations of us, how we share problems and fears Some women in our group were engaged in P o-'
and how we can help each other. litical action or work hich v Ived them everyostne pa boti.MreoewoeehlOhee l f swr :s n
wate o pakabu smthngiitaete ds pr uimr hnoeeeigaw A
cuso.Digt i rae rbe~bcu~te wsese ocniu h a




at the halth food store. At these meetings we the movement is stagnation. It is pointless to dewere all.. unconsciously expressing our frustration velop the self-confidence to challenge assumptions with our purposelessness. about women's roles and an understanding of the I continued to come for several months aftgr I way society. channels women without then collechad realized that things .would probably not tively doing something about these problems. change nd hat the majority of the members were There must be a way to retain the intimacy and not, as frustrated as I was... with what. the group sense of belonging that comes from being part of was doing. Because I had become attached to the a small group and lik it to a sense of purpose ro: up and didn't want to leave, J kept hoping that and relationship with other groups. we would come to a resolutiop. I am not sure where to go from here. I feel f left. because the group did not change and I isolated because I was not connected with any needed to relate to the women's ovement in a women's organization except the small group. Bedifferen way. I felt that nothing could be accom- yond the group I am related to nothing but the plished by becoming pore and more intimate with brrage of distorted images of women's liberation a small group. of women and that if women's projected by the mass media. groups are not political then they, are nothing Where should I fit in among the ideological .more than,,aateur group therapy or social clubs. schisms which are dividing the movement? What The. -consciousness-raising group was one of the organizations are still in existence? At this point, great sccesses of the beginning of the women's is developing a" theoretical base and a strategy for .i beration movement, It.was, a great way to reach action more important than specific actions? And
large numbers of women and to provide a setting if action, what action? in which women could develop self-confidence and I don't think my time in the group was wasted a realization of what they shared. The groups met but now I need to work. with women in a differa need and they proliferated. ent way on specific projects with tangible re ults.
But now, my, staying in a small group which The question is what? and how? and with whom? just talks and which does not relate to the rest of
The Selling. of a'Feminist,
by CLAUDIA DREIFUS
Claudia Dreifus is a writer and-an active member of Media Women in New York. She has worked as "one of the few female labor nion organizers for Local 1199 of the New York Hospital Workers.
(Review of THE FEMALE' EUNUCH by Germaine Greer) iEarly last year, whenthe high priests of publishing tiful Kate Millett, whose Sexual Politics was for a
deai],,,' there. wasi muchr[:' iscussio Ras to; wh, ihi of: s .. rting.:...... her b"isexuality.. tim ok u oe fti
i t i resto~ine, hauthorofTheDileti c themselveiwere a puli ity mn's ightare. of i"::.'i. ,ii= Sex 1 and oraliz o New Yor Radica Femi- Somenne.more.palatable would have to be found.




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