The Left's Long-Time War on Women
Again, no one familiar with the history of the Left should be surprised by any of this (other than perhaps the blatant hypocrisy, aided and abetted by the ever-compliant press). Misogyny and male chauvinism run deep in the roots of the modern Left. Many think that the gender feminist movement of the seventies, started by Gloria Steinem and others, was a reaction against the conventional culture of the fifties and early sixties, with its casual assertions of male superiority and paternalism (on literally dramatic display in the AMC television series Mad Men, which also shows how the attitudes evolved through the decade). But it was at least as much, if not more, a reaction against the male chauvinist pigs of the so-called New Left on campus in the mid-to-late sixties, in which the men would write up the manifestos and plan the demonstrations, expecting nothing more of the women than to satisfy their appetites by cooking for and copulating with them. Basically, it was barefoot (or naked) in the kitchen, hopefully without the pregnancy, but for which abortions were required in the event of accidents.
The attitudes of Leftist sexist men were well documented by the women’s movement:
Women’s developing networks ran into conflict with the alternative media almost from the outset. In 1969, Spazm, the Laura Murra paper mentioned earlier, had focused attention on sexism practiced by the alternative press. Reporting the Radical Media Conference in Ann Arbor in July of 1969, Spazm published the Conference’s resolution on “Women and the Underground Press.” It expressed the rejection of the sexism in underground papers by the women who worked on them and by other women who were irritated by their overt disrespect for women. Although the best known of these underground papers was The Village Voice, begun in New York in 1955, the number of others had increased dramatically by 1970 to over 450 such papers. While most of them purported to believe in female liberation, they nonetheless included sexist advertisements, photographs, cartoons, and articles. San Francisco’s Open City printed photographs of a woman carrying a sign stating “Every Woman Secretly Wants to be Raped.”
It resulted in a takeover of some of the publications by the women:
The February 7, 1970 issue of Rat included the Rat‘s most classic piece, Robin Morgan’s “Goodbye to All That.” Goodbye, she said, to the pornographic cover of Rat, to the personal ads, the little jokes. “No more, brothers. No more well-meaning ignorance, no more co-option, no more assuming that this thing we are fighting for is the same: one revolution under man, with liberty and justice for all.”
The politics of radicalizing academia was similarly sexist:
The issue of the role of women in the [American Studies] Association was more controversial than that of electing radicals and students to the Council. In 1969 Betty Chmaj was the only woman on a council of twenty-seven. This reflected not only the attitude of the national office in Philadelphia and the status of women in universities, but also the practice of the regional chapters in every part of the country, for in 1969 most of the council members were elected by the chapters. Chmaj almost singlehandedly forced ASA to face the “woman question.” It was not easy. Many of the men who called themselves radical did not think the issue of discrimination against women in the Association was a concern of high priority, and the ASA, like all professional associations of this period, had its share of male chauvinists and womanizers. One could say of Radical American Studies what Rayna Rapp said of her male colleagues at the University of Michigan: “They had all this empathy for the Vietnamese, and for black Americans, but they didn’t have much empathy for the women in their lives; not the women they slept with, not the women they shared office space with, not the women they fought at demonstrations with.”
Of course, the misogynist tradition of Leftist protest remains alive and well, as we’ve seen over the past few months. There has been no recorded incident of rape at any Tea Party rally, but no Occupy protest seems complete without at least one.
So when you see a White House staffed with people nurtured in such a radical environment, as Barack Obama himself was, it shouldn’t be surprising at all to see the old Leftist misogyny and sexism (and lies and projection) continue. It’s in the movement’s DNA. So when they talk about a war on women, it should be pretty tough for anyone knowledgeable to take them seriously. Unfortunately, that category probably doesn’t yet include the mainstream media.
Also read Andrew Klavan: