Feminism: Selected Contentions

by Barry Loberfeld



From What's Really Reactionary?

The shift from liberal individualism to Leftist collectivism is ... what has largely defined contemporary "feminism." Early feminism was so opposed to any sexual "stereotypes" that many worried the movement was committed to complete androgyny. (Remember the controversy over pink-or-blue for babies?) Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was a clarion repudiation of gender collectivism, a call for sex, like race, to yield to content of character as the new standard of judgment. Appreciating this, Edith Efron, in her review, noted that Friedan "asks why the Nazi view of women [Kinder-Küche-Kirche] received such unanimous support from the 'thinkers' of America -- why it was so readily integrated into modern American culture." Efron answered: "Doctrines which deny mind, independence and individuality are magnetically attractive to Statist 'intellectuals' in all societies; [misogynistic sexism] was totally harmonious with the anti-reason, anti-individualism of modern American [Leftists]." (This history of the Left's fascistic sexism has been understandably expunged from the Left's history of itself.)

Efron presented this as analysis, not prophecy, but the irony is very obvious in light of what was to come. In the 80s, the women's corps of the Left's "Statist 'intellectuals'" seized the term feminism (like civil rights) to label their own doctrines, which did indeed "deny mind, independence and individuality." "Feminism," in the hands of collectivists (who, again, need collectives), was deformed into an ideology that assigns gender the same function that class and race serve in Marxism and Hitlerism, respectively. Very consciously aping the former, these "Second Wave" (AKA "gender" or "difference") feminists posited sexual identity as the "structure" that "engenders" (a jeu de mots that they evidently found endlessly delightful) all "superstructures." But the most strikingly reactionary aspect of all this was not the resurgence of sexism per se, but the resurgence of traditional sexism, e.g., the exact same connection of gender to "rationality" and "emotionalism." The superficially "new" feature -- the factor that makes something Leftist (and "revolutionary" and "progressive") -- was that while the old misogynists considered the former a "masculine" virtue and the latter a "feminine" vice, these misandrists valuated the former as a "phallocentric" evil and the latter as a "feminist" good. This polylogism of feminist sexism is one of the many commonalities with Marxist classism and Nazi racism. Too obviously, no one need fear even a trace of androgyny from these apostles of sexual Manichaeism. (The only gender differences these feminists denied were those that could actually be verified by science, a rival -- and predictably "androcratic" -- authority.)

What made such outrageous bigotry acceptable again was the gender feminists' focus on sex. That is, when male sexuality became "sexism," feminist gender bias ceased to be. This brazen act of legerdemain began with the anti-pornography campaign and tumefied into a state of hostilities where every expression of male sexuality was attacked by some feminists somewhere -- with, true, one exception: nocturnal emission. Feminists were the Sexual Revolution's reactionaries (who, tellingly, dubbed their villains "sexual liberals"). The nostalgic Sheila Jeffreys, for example, applauded Victorian Era writers who "felt sexual intercourse" -- a phenomenon common to pretty much every life form above Hydra -- "to be a humiliating practice because it showed men's dominance more than anything else." Sex, not sexism, oppressed women.

Following the standard script to the letter, these Leftists seized the movement's terminology, claimed its achievements for their own dogmas, and denounced any challenge to these dogmas as an attempt to "reverse" those achievements. Hence the "reactionary" threat came from, not the New Right fundamentalists (who proved faithful pro-censorship, anti-sex partners), but the advocates of the original feminist position -- the "liberal" feminists, as they were (rightfully) called by sideliners. For the usurpers' purposes, it was the feminist part that had to be negated, and in a 1995 Ms. cover story, Susan Faludi, an utter unknown a few years earlier (who, portentously, established her own "feminist" credentials by attacking Betty Friedan), condemned and purged Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers (Who Stole Feminism?), Rene Denfeld (The New Victorians), Katie Roiphe, and Karen Lehrman, accusing them of being "pod people" trying to infiltrate the women's movement. They were the retrograde embarrassments, not Jeffreys, MacKinnon, Dworkin, Morgan, Daly, French, Bunch, Chesler, Gilligan, Raymond, Griffin, Leidholdt, Gimbutas, Christ, Stone, Russell, Harding, McIntosh, Rush, Dines, Sonia Johnson, Cheryl Clarke, Budapest, Barry, Person, Jaggar -- or Faludi herself, whose diatribe, with its equal parts puerility and venom, was so lame as to dot every i of Denfeld's depiction of her. Worst, however, was how she wrote as if she could get away with selling the Emperor's new clothes, as if without her no one could tell who had infiltrated whose movement, as if 1975 wasn't within living memory. (This is a reflection of Leftism's centering in academia: Every radiation is configured as propaganda aimed at nineteen-year-olds.) ....

And what was the bugbear of Faludi's Backlash but that the Patriarchal Occupational Government was at any moment going to snatch women (just when the Second Wavers were about to smash the glass ceiling for them!) and return them in chains to the kitchen -- that is, unless they immediately gave their support (moral and monetary) to Faludi and those she deemed real feminists? This was, in fact, an especially audacious claim for her to make. [Thomas] Sowell:

One of the great hoaxes of our time is that ["feminism"] has brought great improvements in the representation of women in higher occupations. In reality, women were better represented in many high-level fields half a century ago than today [in 1984]. Back in the 1930s, women received a far higher percentage of the doctoral degrees in mathematics, chemistry, economics and law than in the 1960s. They were far better represented in professional careers in 1940 than 25 years later. What has happened between the 1930s and today was (1) the baby boom and (2) the end of the baby boom....

In some fields, it is still not back to where it was two generations ago. In other fields it is. In a few fields, it is higher. In all fields, ["feminism"] takes the credit.

It is an indication of academia's "progress" that despite (or possibly because of?) the mushrooming of "Womyn's Studies" courses, this well-documented reality remains generally unknown -- indeed, effectively suppressed. It's also a demonstration that it is not merely socialist economics but the Left's very self-identity as the "revolutionary" and "progressive" force in history that cannot be falsified by "logic and evidence." ....

And most recently, "radical" feminists have limned a history of matriarchal antiquity, its conquest by the Learned Elders of Patriarchy, and its imminent restoration -- by the feminists themselves. (See Cynthia Eller, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory.)

From Liberalism: History and Future

As universal principles, the self-interest of capitalism and the self-sacrifice of socialism have both given way to the "special interests" of pressure groups. Consequently, we no longer really have political philosophies so much as political lobbies hiding under the wool. Feminism is perhaps but one of the more obvious examples. This is not an ideology but an advocacy group that will say whatever its takes to load the dice in its members' favor. Chants of "privacy" and "choice" are sufficient to establish a "woman's right to control her own body" (abortion), but not enough to establish a man's right to control his own mind (free speech). The politics of prohibition? While feminists widely dismiss that notion that the outlawing of guns will mean that only outlaws will have guns, they regard virtually as divine revelation the notion that the outlawing of abortion will mean that only outlaws ("back-alley butchers") will perform abortions. (Their conservative opponents, who ostensibly flip the issues, share this fair-weather recognition of the law of unintended consequences.) And while they oppose individualism and defend popular democracy, does the former find a better friend -- or the latter a fiercer foe -- than the feminist fighting to maintain the wall of separation between Abortion and Plebiscite? ....

Soon enough, however, such hypocrisy on everyone's part becomes impossible to miss, as witness the exchange of barbs on the sundry "debate" shows. And "victimology" -- of which the above feminism is definitely one of the more obvious examples -- collapses when everyone eventually claims (on one basis or another) victim status. The "end of ideology" truly has arrived. Laws are passed, not with reference to philosophic principles, but only with an eye on the polls; "social democracy" devolves into majoritarian democracy -- a one-party democracy, where Republicans and Democrats "run towards the center" as closely as possible. Realizing James Madison's great fear in Federalist No. 10, the country has come to that stage where "measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party; but by the superior force of an interested and over-bearing majority." ....

What limits the limited welfare state? Not only has "liberalism" meant ever greater economic controls, but now it means the application of socialist ideology to social issues. This has always been a dubious dichotomy -- Is a book a manufactured product or an expressed idea? -- and one that didn't exist among either the classical liberals or the Marxist regimes. Yet a surging number of voices tell us that "equality" demands, not only a redistribution of wealth, but also the banning of speech -- not only an end to "economic violence," but also the suppression of "verbal violence." How this rhetoric translates into reality can be glimpsed by looking north. The legal perversity that pornography constitutes the criminal "exploitation" and "objectification" of women -- a linguistic legerdemain whereby bourgeois feminists exculpate their own capitalist occupations as the "exploitation" and "objectification" of the proletariat, thus metamorphosing themselves from class oppressors into gender victims -- was affirmed by the Canadian Supreme Court. This idea, in turn, evolved into that of "hate speech," which was extended to "protect" other groups, such as homosexuals. So now when the Rev. Jerry Falwell airs his show in Canada, he must edit his preachings on homosexuality, which are not protected by freedom of religion or freedom of speech. Here is a "welfare state" that has gone well beyond taxing millionaires to house orphans.

From The Politics of Anti-Semitism

The Left is also spreading anew the Ulrike Meinhof “Jews with money” strain of anti-Semitism. Now the Patient Zero is Norman G. Finkelstein, a Chomsky protégée who assails how “[t]oo many public and private resources have been invested in memorializing” – no, not the crimes of the Communists – but Hitler’s murder of the Jews. He believes that “American Jewish elites” have manufactured a “Holocaust industry” – “not because of [their] victim status but because they are not victims,” in contrast to “Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, women, gays and lesbians.” So here’s the line-up: Studying the Holocaust is a waste and a sham because the American Jewish family earns $8,000 more than the national average (largely a product of the age demographic, as Philip Greenspun points out), but “Womyn’s Studies,” to take one example, is a vital pursuit (no matter how much absurdity it subsumes) because of the female corporate executive who’s twenty-nine and still hasn’t crashed through her company’s “glass ceiling” and into its top boardroom.

And while no Jews are “victims” despite the presence of anti-Semitism (the one bigotry leftists can’t see anywhere, especially in the mirror), all women are indeed “victims” despite the absence of misogyny – which is exactly the reality that drove feminists to re-cast masturbatory periodicals (“pornography”) as anti-women hate literature so that they could have at least something to point to. Similarly, while history, even that of the Holocaust, doesn’t bestow victim status upon Jews, this same history so greatly bestows that status upon all women (no matter how comfortable they may be in contemporary America) that some feminists (e.g., Zsuzsanna Budapest) have re-worked the medieval killing of “witches” (which historically included both males and females) as a kind of Holocaust-of-women-by-Patriarchy, complete with demographically-impossible millions of victims. Perhaps Finkelstein and the feminists will justify this by decrying the gender imbalance of liposuction patients.

From Requiem for the Left

A clique of Critical Legal Studies professors at Harvard Law [in 1989] proposed that the professoriate and the custodial staff switch positions every six months.... And yet, [the professors themselves] would not translate this egalitarian theory into practice. What colorless "radical feminist" was really going to leave her lectern for a cart and allow the black cleaning woman to decide what should constitute "Women's Issues 101"? ....

The feminist anti-pornography campaign was notable for several reasons: its insistence that modern pornography was the "theory" to the ancient evil of rape's "practice"; its adopted Marxian disdain for liberty and evidence (e.g., Kathleen Barry: "It is costly for us to be diverted to false issues like freedom of speech or ... trying to prove through research what we already know through common sense."); its alliance with authoritarian conservatives and the Reagan Administration; and most striking, its eventual eclipse by the campaign against the "rape culture," which by 1993 led to an anthology of essays by such American feminists as Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, Andrea Dworkin, and Susan Griffin.

What is the "rape culture"? Considering how the writers point to everything from religion to sports to (of course) capitalism, we should really ask: What isn't the "rape culture"? To which only one answer emerges: the feminists themselves. It is only they, their ideas, and their actions that are not in any way indicted. They find guilt everywhere but in the mirror.

On the face of it, the very concept of a "rape culture" is an absurdity. How does one logically contend that the crimes of sociopaths reflect the values of society? Are we similarly a pedophilia culture, a murder culture, etc.? What, then, do feminists gain from this demonization of everyone else?

The canonization of themselves. It is widely but erroneously believed that Nietzsche's "beyond good and evil" refers to the rejection of any notion of right and wrong. He was in fact comparing two warring archetypes of right and wrong: "good and evil" vs. "good and bad." Among the differences, the man of "good and bad" wants an "enemy" in whom "there is nothing to despise and very much to honor," he explains in On the Genealogy of Morals.

Picture, on the other hand, "the enemy" as the man of ["good and evil"] conceives him -- and here precisely is his deed, his creation: he has conceived "the evil enemy," "the Evil One," and this indeed is his basic conception from which he then evolves, as a corresponding and opposing figure, a "good one" -- himself!

It is the evil of the Other that determines the good of oneself. Consequently, the greater the former, the greater the latter. What moral distinction did self-professed "feminists" gain from opposing only rape? Not much: Who doesn't oppose rape? In contrast, the anti-pornography campaign cast them in the role of crusaders -- against violence and for "equality" and "civil rights." But even this placed them only in the company -- i.e., on the same moral plane -- as the Religious Right and many other Americans. But the "rape culture"! Now their moral distinction, their moral superiority, was unmistakable when contrasted to the great evil of the masses....

And how to make that evil greater but by making it absolute, i.e., manifested in every possible alternative? Consider this in relation to one of the Left's more asinine projects: Is the purpose of "politically correct" Newspeak to construct a language free from bias? An intriguing answer can be found in the example of feminist "thealogian" Mary Daly. Using a sometimes-specific term in a universal sense (e.g., "the pseudo-generic 'man'") will earn an accusation of sexism, while using only universal terms (e.g., "human") will draw an accusation of deliberately trying "to avoid confronting the specific problems of sexism." No matter what language a person uses, the Left reserves the right to condemn it for bias -- and to damn him as evil.

(And to exempt itself from any standard. After all, if not to "gender angle" the tragedy of violence, why speak of only a "rape culture"? What about other acts of violence against women -- robbery, assault, murder? Has it anything to do with the fact that these, too obviously, are also crimes against males?)

Even the economic inequality of the market substantiates the moral superiority of the Left, since the latter is the singular good that will vanquish the evil of the former. "Greed," like rape and racism, is judged yet another evil spreading throughout society. And the greater the evil of the social masses, the greater the need for the good of the socialist elite. "What you need," reveals Catharine MacKinnon, "is people who see through literature [!] like Andrea Dworkin, who see through law like me, to see through art and create the uncompromised women's visual vocabulary." While the Left condemns the free market for a division of labor based on ability and the alleged concoction of "false needs," its own politics centers on the dire need of the endarkened masses for axiological experts.

It is precisely the mechanics of this moral elitism that produces a superstructure of political elitism, the coercive rule of self-appointed experts, which is what every socialist government to date has been. What the Left has always condemned "capitalism" for most profoundly is its legal egalitarianism, its "formal equality" -- that is, its granting of political equality to moral unequals. In such a society, a Catharine MacKinnon has no more power than anyone else to censor others. Would-be Lenins and Maos and Castros are reduced to the Man on the Street. Each citizen controls his own property, and no cete of socialists is authorized to redistribute that wealth according to any scheme.

The equality of political liberty is the fundamental evil the Left opposes -- and the foremost evil the Left seeks to abolish. The feminists didn't legislate an end to rape, but an end to freedom of speech. What they achieved (especially in Canada) were laws that controlled speech in accordance with their dictates. And once they established this in connection to pornography, they then went on to declare that everything was "pornography," i.e., an agent of rape causation. (The title of that 1993 text? Transforming a Rape Culture.) The Communists didn't end hunger and poverty, but any economic (and cultural) activity not under their direction. This abolition of capitalist evil -- of capitalist "sham-liberty" -- is the one undisputed accomplishment of all socialist revolutionaries and the reason for their praise (and often iconization) by the West's would-be revolutionaries....

Leftists have a very real reason for wanting their moral status -- their moral superiority -- to be established in that way (as opposed to more conventional, "reactionary" ones). When challenged for any studies supporting the claim that feminist censorship would stop rape, Susan Brownmiller responded: "The statistics will come. We supply the ideology; it's for other people to come up with the statistics." All right, so let's move from the issue of women's safety to that of women's health, where feminist laetrile peddlers are claiming that their product will stop breast cancer. When pressed for any kind of proof, a representative releases this: "The statistics will come. We supply the ideology; it's for other people to come up with the statistics." Moving back to the original context, is Brownmiller's statement any less corrupt, any less contemptible?

When Viva magazine editor Patricia Bosworth made revisions in an article submitted by Andrea Dworkin, Dworkin "threw me to the ground and practically pinned me. She physically held me there and said, 'I won't let this run until the cuts are restored.' If you know how slight I am and how big she is, you can imagine my dilemma. We reached a compromise and the piece, which was about the horrors of Chinese footbinding, ran." The horror of a physical assault of a woman in the workplace, however, didn't prevent Dworkin from going on to provide the introduction to 1992's Sexual Harassment: Women Speak Out. ("The verbal assaults and some physical assault are endemic in the environment, a given, an apparently inevitable emanation of the male spirit.")

And in 1984, a 23-year-old woman in Minneapolis, then the epicenter of the anti-pornography campaign, took gasoline and immolated herself. When confronted with the news of this horrific and pointless tragedy, Catharine MacKinnon simply responded: "Women feel very desperate about the existence of pornography. This doesn't single her out. People make choices on how [to protest it]." Unbelievable. The feminist who cries for the nonexistent victims of "snuff films" (feminism's blood libel against men) can't even conjure a tear for a young woman who actually set herself on fire in the name of MacKinnon's own movement. The feminist who wants to hold others responsible for the violence they (allegedly) inspire gives absolutely no indication that she believes herself in any way responsible for inspiring this act of violence, much less that she should be held so legally. The feminist who propagates a dehumanizing lab-rat ideology of behavior, who denies that adults can make truly free decisions regarding their own lives (such as a young woman posing for a magazine), now tells us that people can "make choices" -- such as a young woman dousing herself with gasoline. Observe how MacKinnon doesn't even seem worried that -- or particularly bothered if -- other women might make similar "choices." ....

The "moral" impulse of [these feminists] is (to borrow the poet's terms) the passionate intensity of the worst who think themselves the best.

From The Meaning of "Progressive" Politics

colorless "radical feminist" (i.e., white bourgeois female)

From Affirmative Action, Negative Justice

It is often claimed that the evils of the past still impact upon the persons of the present, which necessitates the corrective of affirmative action. Let's examine that contention in relation to what has been a primary concern: political equality. Yes, it is true that even up to the Sixties there were still blacks who were denied the opportunity to vote. But once that injustice was officially ended, it was effectively ended. Today a black person is as free to vote as any other person of any other race. His vote does not count for less in any way -- there is no "legacy" of slavery or segregation. And when we move from race to gender (as has affirmative action, thanks to feminism), we find the same thing. Yes, it is true that most women were denied the right to vote until ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, but that in no way makes the contemporary woman a second class citizen at the polls....

The most interesting feature of ["diversity"] (thus far) is its limitation to fields of achievement. This conflicts with the basic moral impulse of affirmative action: the egalitarian demand for "equality" irrespective of context. Logically, the campaign for diversity-of-pigment should be extended to fields of failure. If proportional reflection is an imperative for jobs, then isn't it equally an imperative for, say, jails? Shouldn't we make sure that the prison population "looks like America"? To achieve racial balance, all we would have to do is establish an arrest maximum for some ethnic groups and an arrest minimum for others. What possible objection could there be -- a concern for the actual behavior of individuals? That, like the virtue of a demimondaine, is a distant memory. Besides, isn't the current racial makeup of our penal system really the result of past and present discrimination by policemen and juries and even just "society as a whole"? Our worry should be whether feminists, of all people, will oppose the institution of gender equality in the penitentiary. Curiously, they see male "over-representation" in fields of achievement (e.g., the executive suite) as the result of "privilege" and not individual responsibility, but in fields of failure (e.g., the prison cell) as the fault of the men themselves -- that is, individual responsibility -- and not the result of any kind of prejudice. Why can't they just understand that "equality" means equality?

From Demographic Diversity: Left vs. Right vs. Reality

Earlier this year when Long Island’s Newsday printed on its cover the names and headshots of the 59 national Intel science contest semifinalists who come from the region, it put journalism before politics by not concealing what would be a major problem for certain elements left and right: The contingent didn’t “look like” America — at least as some conceive it.

Feminists, for example, will be hard pressed to explain how 25 of the 59 could be young women. After all, isn’t there hindering discrimination against females everywhere in our society — especially in the science classroom? How was the number of 25 achieved with only student achievement and no affirmative action? What can feminists denounce — that a full 29½ weren’t female? ...

Barbara Ehrenreich, once considered one of the few reasonable feminists left, when called upon to explain why, despite the alleged persistence of male privilege, “fewer men are going to college,” revealed that “they suspect that they can make a living just as well without a college education; in other words they still have such an advantage over women in the non-professional workforce that they don't require an education.” An intriguing theory, to say the least. Would she ever inform us that “fewer blacks are going to college” because “they suspect that they can make a living just as well without a college education; in other words they still have such an advantage over whites in the non-professional workforce that they don't require an education”? (You know, why not: If she can read the minds of young males, why not of young blacks?) And of course: When “fewer” women were going to college, was it because “they still had such an advantage over men in the non-professional workforce that they didn't require an education”? But her assertion is crazy on its face: Why would the Learned Elders of Patriarchy maintain male privilege in the non-professional workforce? Except for sports prodigies, who does better — or even “just as well” — without a college degree?

More and more, “discrimination” explains less and less. And yet the “progressive” disintelligentsia demands it be enshrined as the only explanation for any demographic “discrepancy” between any groups — i.e., as America’s defining reality. Hence Ehrenreich: Unable to find men’s “advantage over women” in the world of higher education, the author of Nickel and Dimed projects it onto the world of burger-flipping. Accordingly, the Left has convinced itself that those who contest this diagnosis — and its concomitant cures — do so only because they want to propagate the disease of “inequality.” Dissent from this Ivory Tower dogmatism can never be anything but gutter bigotry.

One of the most stark examples — a rebuke to those who pronounce “political correctness” dead or mythological — is the recent blitzkrieg of slander waged against economist Walter Block. The particulars are simple: After giving a speech at Loyola College of Maryland, Block was vilified as a racist and sexist by sundry university (e.g., the “Affirmative Action Diversity Task Force”) and outside entities for not explaining the white-black and male-female wage gaps solely in terms of the mandatory societal-bias model. A solid scholar, he beat back these ad hominem attacks. But it is a telling indictment of that model that it can be sustained only with the imposition of an ideological litmus test — and in opposition to any intellectual standards.

It is not merely a dogmatic model, but one applied incoherently, i.e., hypocritically. Ehrenreich’s unwillingness to hypothesize women’s advantage over men in academia is one example. Another: If blacks are disproportionately “represented” in the penal system, that in itself “demonstrates” that there must be bias against them and in favor of whites. But if males are disproportionately incarcerated, no one — least of all feminists — argues for the culpability of a systemic bias against men and in favor of women. So, what proves what? What kind of egalitarianism can’t maintain “equality” even in its own postulates … and yet presumes to do so for the entirety of society?

How long will leftists insist that there must be something wrong if every field of endeavor doesn’t mirror America’s ethnic composition? How long will feminists insist upon their “minority” status even when women outnumber men in positive, successful areas?

From Abortion: Not for Women Only

How do we account for the chasm between the moral authority "feminism" commands and the actual amorality feminists demonstrate? Even more jarring is the disconnect between feminist rhetoric and gender reality. For decades now, feminists have held up as the primary example of sexual inequality the alleged "attack" on women's reproductive rights by "men." You would think that in 1973 the (all-male) Court nullified paternity laws but left maternity ("abortion") laws standing. You'd never guess that we live in a country where a woman has an inalienable right to her own body, but a man has an inalienable responsibility to the fertilized egg (one to be shared, in due course, by the taxpayers). But just who is attacking whom? Let's not indulge even for a moment the calumny that all men oppose legalized abortion (because they want to keep women "barefoot and pregnant"). Rather, we'll ask: What difference would it make -- to feminists -- if it could be shown that all men support legalized abortion? The answer is quite clear:

* Catharine MacKinnon: "So long as women do not control access to our sexuality, abortion facilitates women's heterosexual availability. In other words, under conditions of gender inequality, sexual liberation in this sense does not free women; it frees male sexual aggression. The availability of abortion removes the one remaining legitimized reason that women have had for refusing sex besides the headache."

* Judy Shea: Hugh "Hefner's misogynistic playboy philosophy inevitably leads to the destructive, dewomanizing practice of abortion. A[t] its core the playboy ethic is anti-woman and anti-child. The reality of the possibility of pregnancy and childbirth interferes with the Hefner dream of multiple partners and everlasting orgies."

* Dorchen Leidholdt: "Sexually liberal men support abortion for women not because they want women to be able to control their bodies but because they know that unrestricted abortions heighten women's availability to men for sex."

* Susan Maronek: "Abortion, in the final analysis, works to the advantage of the exploitative male, not for the female.... Abortion is a male sexual fantasy come true."

* Sonia Johnson: Men "knew precisely what to do when women began refusing to honor the old contract, and I am absolutely convinced that their move was conscious, plotted, and deliberate.... So the men let us have legalized abortion, and almost instantly the energy drained from the [feminist] movement, like air from a punctured balloon.... [Roe v. Wade] keeps us colonized, our bodies state property and our destinies in their hands...."

Feminist "thealogy" out-Calvins Calvin by damning men if they don't support reproductive rights for women -- and if they do. Indeed, it out-Orwells Orwell, as this metaphysical conviction of "controlling women's bodies" -- now with a smutty desire for sex-without-childbirth as the motive (in contrast to women's idealistic support for their abortion rights) -- convicts those who, again, do not possess such rights themselves. Like all forms of bigotry, it exploits its hate objects by scapegoating them for everything.

Ultimately, it's ludicrous to continue to ascribe to "feminism" values that -- crumbling slogans aside -- feminists themselves disdain. Those for whom the principle of equality means respecting the individual liberty of all, cannot allow it to remain feminist Newspeak for a society in which women exercise their rights and men do their duty.