I was recently going-over Notes from the First Year of New York Radical Women (1968)
Within, we can enjoy some of the sadder relics of the 1960s blasting-away at full force: the primacy of emotion over reason and lots of righteous indignation mixed with a strong desire to shoot the Pigs. It also includes crude, harebrained assumptions which largely rely on the same kind of sexist stereotypes that we feminists claim to abhor: we wimmin are innocent because of our helpless passivity while men are all-capable and therefore guilty of every crime in the Milky Way.
But what’s especially striking about these notes is how little feminist writing has evolved over the past 35-odd years. It’s literally timeless! Why, you can go to any feminist web page in 2006 and see much of the same stuff reprinted everywhere ad nauseam. As always, elementary logic and facts are inconvenient to our cause which is why we eschew them as Patriarchal cocksuckery. It’s almost as if we’re in a wonderful multi-decade intellectual cul-de-sac. A super-awesome feminist cul-de-sac from which we do not wish to free our minds. Most happily of all, what was once regarded as radical nonsense in the 60s is now what forms the main currents of our movement.
Note how the pamphlet’s price is meant to facetiously bring attention to the wage gap:
Ahh, the helpful inability of us feminists to grasp basic economic principles has continued unabated for all these years. We are determined to believe that profit-seeking operations would prefer to hire people whose labor is more expensive for no reason other than their sex, profits be damned. Companies that cheerfully outsource major chunks of their own operations to save a buck are nonetheless so thrilled at the prospect of hiring a man, they’ll pay perhaps a $20,000 bonus for him to do a job that’s only worth $30,000 when a female does it. That’s totally plausible. True, a company dumb enough to attempt such a moronic pay-scheme would probably lose business to the price advantage of its non-discriminatory competitors very quickly. But it’s a good thing that we feminists prefer not to think about our own arguments deeply enough to take them to the next logical step.
Anyway, the rhetoric of these documents is the perfect proof that womyn have hardly made any progress at all in the last 35 years. Yes, we have accomplished so very much, except we are just as pitiably oppressed as we’ve always been. We’ve made lots of progress, except we’ve hardly made any progress. The more progress we make, the angrier we get at our lack of progress. Isn’t that great? And tragic?
But of all the lines within these pages, especially cogent is this one from the section charmingly called Women of the World Unite, We Have Nothing To Lose But Our Men!:
10,000 yeomen die each year from abortions
Yes, you read that correctly: 10,000 yeomen. Shocking, isn’t it?
When will the nobles finally understand that the lower gentry desperately need reproductive rights??