September 8, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Back in July, I had occasion to interview a feminist journalist regarding a particularly scurrilous article she’d written. She turned out to be nice enough (I’m certain she believes to this day that her intentions are good), but utterly clueless about feminism’s historical opposition to shared parenting. Somewhere in our conversation I pointed out that she was in fact squarely within the recent history of misandric gender feminism and went on to say that her type was very common in the 70s. She cut me off then, by, in a tone of exasperation, saying that she hadn’t even been born then, clearly intimating that she had no responsibility for having knowledge about that time. I started to mention that I hadn’t been born at the time of the American Civil War, but I know something about it. One’s birth date is not the cut-off for knowledge of the world. But I figured it would be pointless to acquaint her with that fact, so I let the matter drop.
Still, I thought of her when I read this article that’s dedicated to remembering all too well the origins of Second Wave feminism in the 1960s and early 70s (Women for Men, 9/3/14). The writer is Mallory Mallet, sister of Kate Millet whose contribution to the man-hating of the time was a ponderous and almost completely inane tome entitled Sexual Politics. In it, Kate Millet informed one and all that the seat of female oppression by men was the family and therefore that women’s liberation from the shackles of male-imposed slavery would come from the destruction of the family.
Mallory spent some time living with her sister in New York and witnessed the meetings of radical feminists who, in those heady times, believed wholeheartedly in everything Kate had said. Mallory describes one of those meetings thus:
It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China. We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:
“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”
Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears. Was I on planet earth? Who were these people?
“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.
Feminists of all stripes today, as well as everyone else would do well to remember those words “By destroying the American family.” That message resounded throughout the works of countless feminists and to some extent still do today. Of course it, like so many messages of radical feminism, would be a joke if they weren’t so serious. The idea, promoted by the most privileged women on the planet, that they were oppressed by families that sent them to Radcliffe, Columbia, Wellesley, et al, was and is absurd. The idea that women generally were the helpless slaves of their breadwinning husbands ignored the fact that women then as now were safer, happier, more prosperous and longer-lived than those without husbands and families. But of course radical feminism has always been long on theory and short on facts.
It’s one of the favorite dodges of feminists today to claim that feminism has no power, that policy-makers ignore feminist plaints with a barely concealed rolls of the eyes. But that too is as much bunk as Kate Millet’s belief that she was oppressed into a doctor’s degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Columbia. But VAWA alone gives the lie to the claim. Under that law, hundreds of millions of dollars flow to feminist institutions that discriminate against men and boys and attempt to convince women of exactly the message conveyed around Kate Millet’s table back in 1969.
What about federal governmental policies on sexual assault on campus? What began as the “Dear Colleague letter” from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Education was written by division chief and long-time feminist Russlyn Ali. It’s result? To make it easier for colleges and universities to expel men from higher education with the barest fig leaf of due process of law. More recently President Obama has bowed to feminist blandishments about a supposed “rape crisis” on campus. What did he use to back up such a patently false claim? In the finest feminist tradition, he cited two of the shoddiest studies imaginable for the proposition that one of every six women on campus is the victim of rape or sexual assault. Just imagine. That’s about 1.7 million women assaulted every four years, or 425,000 each year. Do their parents know how dangerous campuses are for their daughters?
No, of course they don’t for the good reason that there weren’t anything like that many sexual assaults on campus or anything close to it. As this publication of the Bureau of Justice Statistics demonstrates, in 2010, there were only about 270,000 incidents of rape or sexual assault against women and girls over the age of 12 in the entire country. And the rate of all violent crime, including sexual assault, has been dropping for the last 20 years. It’s come down over 70% in that time as the same publication shows. But no matter, no less than the President of the United States is now spouting the most extreme claims of feminists and promoting policy changes to go with them.
And of course the California Legislature just passed a bill aimed at the same thing — getting as many men out of higher education as possible by making claims of sexual assault ever easier to prove. Do I have to say that the bill was the brainchild of feminism and backed all the way to the governor’s office by feminist organizations and their yes-men holding office?
Which brings us to the decline of the family that, just coincidentally, has come in lockstep with the rise of radical feminism that’s never made a secret of its antipathy for men, husbands, children and women who dare to marry and give birth. What’s brought that about? A number of things. Take no-fault divorce for example that made divorce easy, quick and relatively cheap? No-fault divorce has always been enthusiastically endorsed by radical feminists. Plus, the idea that domestic violence is committed exclusively by males exclusively against females has long been a staple of the feminist pedagogy, so much so that 40 years of social science conclusively disproving it have dissuaded nary a feminist from repeating the claim as if it were a mantra.
That of course led to the elimination of any real form of due process of law when domestic violence is claimed and “dominant aggressor” policies aimed at men and men alone help ensure that, whatever the facts, he’ll be the one arrested in a DV incident. The result? A woman can have a man out of the house in the time it takes for the nearest police cruiser to appear on the scene. Once out of the way, the man finds he’s barred from his house, his belongings and his kids - the start of a divorce and custody case that’s all but assured to deprive him of his kids for good. Again, it was radical feminists who developed the idea that men are abusers and the “solution,” their removal from the family. “By destroying the American family.”
Meanwhile, on the pop culture front, we’ve had 40 years of movies, television programs, advertising, books, novels and short stories, college courses and the like that read and view like a radical feminist script. Men, particularly fathers, are evil incarnate. Purveyors of this stuff vie with each other to see who can depict men more outlandishly brutal, stupid, incompetent and perverse. My personal favorite is a movie in which Kevin Spacey’s character had gasoline poured on him by his father and set alight. You know, that thing fathers do so often.
What about the rise in single-mother child-bearing that’s spiked from 6% of all births in 1960 to over 40% today? Radical feminists have cheered every uptick and continue to defend mothers going it alone even though single mothers are far more likely than any other demographic to live in poverty and their kids tend to suffer a range of personal deficits. Why on earth would feminists, who are supposed to be on women’s side, countenance such destructive behavior by women? Because single motherhood helps to destroy the American family, just as Kate Millet and countless others so avidly desired.
The result? A divorce industry so stacked against fathers that the vast majority of them read the writing on the wall and don’t even try for custody. After that, it’s a draconian child support system based in large part on fraudulent statistics by the likes of feminist Lenore Weitzman that claimed that divorce plunges ex-wives into poverty. Never mind that her data were simply false or that she refused to admit the fact for a decade after it was well known.
Now, of course it’s possible that radical feminist promotion of every one of these disastrous laws and policies and their subsequent establishment have been just some strange anomalous coincidence. Indeed, that seems to be the conclusion feminists want us to draw — that feminist dogma and the establishment of policies reflecting exactly the same are in some way just dumb luck.
No sensible person believes it. Radical feminism displays its power countless times a day in courtrooms, newsrooms and the halls of state and national legislatures. Let no one pretend otherwise. And let no one pretend that one of its aims hasn’t been the separation of children from their fathers, i.e. the destruction of the American family.
Fortunately people like Mallory Millet are around to remind us.
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