Monday, March 22, 2010

Are Women Human? An Interview with CAthArine A. MAcKinnon (note the spelling of her name): on the farce called "anti-rape law", the absurdity of the moniker "victim feminism", the problems with "consent", and U.S. Women's 9/11



[photograph of Catharine A. MacKinnon is from here]
"[T]he fact that the law of rape protects rapists and is written from their point of view to guarantee impunity for most rapes is officially regarded as a violation of the law of sex equality, national or international, by virtually nobody."
*          *          *
" [...] most rapists are men and most legislators are men and most judges are men and the law of rape was created when women weren't even allowed to vote. So that means not that all the people who wrote it were rapists, but that they are a member of the group who do [rape] [...] "
*          *          *
"We're now in a stage where people want to believe that there is equality. They'd rather deny inequality than face it down so that they can actually live it. My task is to support their belief in that equality while at the same time unmasking everything around them that is making it impossible for them actually to live in it."
*          *          *

"I think only because it's men doing it against women that it isn't seen as a war."
[The "it" is men committing systematic violence against women, which is to say, anti-woman warfare.
-- Julian]
-- all four quotes above are by Catharine A. MacKinnon (see them in context, below)

As a Western radical profeminist, I make it my business to read the work of socially prominent radical feminists in the West, and to know what the validity is of the outspoken, mass media critics of those feminists. What I find is that the women and men and trans people who criticise Catharine MacKinnon either A) haven't read her work, B) grossly and glaringly misread it (I mean like thinking she is "anti-sex"--that kind of complete stoopidity), or C) willfully misrepresent it. Usually it is a combination of both A and C. That MRAssholes routinely misquote her is a sign, better than any other, that they refuse to actually deal with what she DOES say, because what she DOES say is something they're too stoopid to respond to intelligently, or because they have no response to her social political critiques of Western society and its sexist and racist political platforms, other than unethical and self-serving defenses white het male supremacy. I find no exceptions to this, among MRAssholes, pornographers, pimps, and prorape legislators, probattery and pro-incest Fathers' Rights felons, and other white het male supremacist activists. Hell, they can't even spell her NAME correctly, let alone comprehend her political theories and social analysis.

Here, below, Catharine takes on the white critics, the stoopid ones who are read as if they are intelligent--the ones who have plenty of privilege and plenty of access to media, unlike most radical women of color, and unlike most white radical feminists. Let someone who opposes MacKinnon READ her and then disagree with her, and state clearly what those disagreements are, and post them as comments here. I dare you--white het male supremacist political critics and opponents--to deal with WHAT SHE DOES SAY.

What follows is from *here*.

Are women human?

In her new book [in 2006], leading feminist Catharine MacKinnon argues that women are still treated more like "things" than people. She talks to Stuart Jeffries about her war on pornography - and whether men and women can ever really connect

by Stuart Jeffries
The Guardian, Wednesday 12 April 2006

Are Women Human? by Catharine MacKinnon
Of all the provocative passages in Catharine MacKinnon's new book Are Women Human? the following hit me hardest. She writes: "[T]he fact that the law of rape protects rapists and is written from their point of view to guarantee impunity for most rapes is officially regarded as a violation of the law of sex equality, national or international, by virtually nobody."

Are you suggesting that rape law enshrines rapists' points of view, I ask MacKinnon? "Yes, in a couple of senses. The most obvious sense is that most rapists are men and most legislators are men and most judges are men and the law of rape was created when women weren't even allowed to vote. So that means not that all the people who wrote it were rapists, but that they are a member of the group who do [rape] and who do for reasons that they share in common even with those who don't, namely masculinity and their identification with masculine norms and in particular being the people who initiate sex and being the people who socially experience themselves as being affirmed by aggressive initiation of sexual interaction." She takes a well-earned breath.

Why does MacKinnon matter? She is undeniably one of feminism's most significant figures, a ferociously tough-minded lawyer and academic who has sought to use the law to clamp down on sexual harassment and pornography. She's a bracing woman, who calls her philosophy "feminism unmodified" and thinks wimpish guff such as post-feminism does women no good at all. Many hate her for this. Camille Paglia, for instance, charges that MacKinnon and her late collaborator Andrea Dworkin are responsible for "totalitarian excesses" in sexual harassment regulations and that their "nightmarish sexual delusions" have invaded American workplaces and schools and warped their views on pornography. Naomi Wolf branded her a "victim feminist". "Victim feminism," claims Wolf, "urges women to identify with powerlessness, even at the expense of taking responsibility for the power they do possess." In The Morning After, Katie Roiphe wrote that MacKinnon had an "image of woman as child" and attacked her for allegedly portraying all women as potential victims and all men as potential predators. Others have called her a fascist proponent of sexual correctness. Some have put words in her mouth - notably the claim that she thinks all heterosexual intercourse is rape: she does not. Some think she is right and that until sex inequality is tackled legally as MacKinnon proposes, women will continue to be raped, murdered and served up as masturbation fantasies for men. I couldn't wait to meet her.

We are sitting in a 15th-floor hotel cafe overlooking London. I suffer from vertigo and so MacKinnon has kindly suggested that I sit facing her rather than the plummet to my death. But I still feel dizzy from confronting the chasm that she has opened up in the relations between men and women. If I have ever felt affirmed by aggressive initiation of sexual interaction (and I doubt this), I will not today. I'd prefer smelling salts. MacKinnon, by contrast, looks a little like Tippi Hedren and seems vexingly imperturbable and more sartorially put together in her green silk trousers and other designer duds than anyone who has just flown across the Atlantic to publicise a book has a right to be.

Doesn't what you have said, I ask weakly, make any heterosexual act problematic? "It problematises those that take place under conditions of sex inequality, yes." But they all do, don't they? Certainly, according to MacKinnon's philosophy. "In a certain structural sense. In the same way that, say, friendships between black people and white people in societies that are racist do."

Perhaps there's an innocent space, I ask hopefully, where men and women can - she interrupts: "Yes! People work it out with great difficulty. But the first step is not to deny that it's there." The "it", I presume, is sexual inequality. (Incidentally, my interrupted question would have ended "get it on in a beautiful non-patriarchal way".)

Women's inequality is the new book's great theme, and MacKinnon's lifelong cause. Each country proclaims its commitment to equality and, in her view, hardly any delivers it substantively to women. "You don't have countries saying that, 'Yes, we have sex discrimination here and we want it. We're entitled to it and we enjoy it.' You don't have them saying that; you have them doing it."

This, she argues, is because countries favour an Aristotelian notion of equality whereby likes are treated as alike and unlikes unalike. Hence gender neutrality for sex, colourblindness for race. Her simple point is that this formal equality doesn't help women. It is, instead, "an extremely smart trick".

Her self-appointed job is to expose that trick. "We're now in a stage where people want to believe that there is equality. They'd rather deny inequality than face it down so that they can actually live it. My task is to support their belief in that equality while at the same time unmasking everything around them that is making it impossible for them actually to live in it."

MacKinnon's answer to her book's title, Are Women Human? is no. She writes: "If women were human, would we be a cash crop shipped from Thailand in containers into New York's brothels? Would we be sexual and reproductive slaves? Would we be bred, worked without pay our whole lives, burned when our dowry money wasn't enough or when men tired of us, starved as widows when our husbands died (if we survived his funeral pyre)? ..."

Her list of outrages, past and present, goes on. It's a favourite, if grim, rhetorical device. It is as though averting her gaze from the worst of women's sufferings would be a betrayal, not just of murdered and living sisters, but of her own intellectual integrity and the trajectory it has taken since she was radicalised as a Yale political science grad student in the 70s. Today, a globally renowned feminist lawyer and academic who will turn 60 in October, she remains passionately faithful to her cause.

One gets little sense from reading the book that the lot of women has improved in recent decades. True, she praises Sweden for deciding in 1999 that prostitution was male violence against women and as a result criminalised the buying of sex and decriminalised the selling of sex because "gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them". Otherwise, she contends, unenlightened men still write the laws. And when, for instance, they write laws on rape they make what she believes are grotesquely sexist assumptions. "The assumption," she says, "is that women can be unequal to men economically, socially, culturally, politically, and in religion, but the moment they have sexual interactions, they are free and equal. That's the assumption - and I think it ought to be thought about, and in particular what consent then means. It means acquiescence. It means passivity. You can be semi-knocked out. You can be dead in some jurisdictions."

I almost choke on my mineral water. Dead and giving consent? "Sex with a dead body is necrophilia but it isn't regarded as rape." Oh, I see. "You can be semi-comatose, not to mention married in many places, and be regarded as consenting whenever sex takes place."

MacKinnon thinks consent in rape cases should be irrelevant. Women are so unfree that even if a woman is shown to have given consent to sex, that should never be enough to secure an acquittal. Why? "My view is that when there is force or substantially coercive circumstances between the parties, individual consent is beside the point; that if someone is forced into sex, that ought to be enough. The British common law approach has tended to be that you need both force and absence of consent. If we didn't have so much pornography in society and people actually believed women when they said they didn't consent, that would be one thing. But that isn't what we've got."

What does she mean - how does pornography affect this? "Pornography affects people's belief in rape myths. So for example if a woman says 'I didn't consent' and people have been viewing pornography, they believe rape myths and believe the woman did consent no matter what she said. That when she said no, she meant yes. When she said she didn't want to, that meant more beer. When she said she would prefer to go home, that means she's a lesbian who needs to be given a good corrective experience. Pornography promotes these rape myths and desensitises people to violence against women so that you need more violence to become sexually aroused if you're a pornography consumer. This is very well documented."

Her 1993 book, Only Words, proselytised for this view, opposing the US constitution's first amendment interpretation of pornography as protected speech. MacKinnon rather considered it hate speech, one that she and Dworkin defined as "the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words", but also one with real power - notably, to cause the rape and murder of women.

It's a contentious view but if it were true, why not censor pornography? "Our approach is not to ban, but to offer a civil remedy to people who can prove they were harmed - rather than empowering the police and putting people in jail, which doesn't do any good anyway. Pornographers keep their businesses going in jail."

This has been MacKinnon's feminist approach to porn for a quarter of a century: the victims of porn need to be empowered by law to seek remedies for harm they suffered, existing male-framed laws being inadequate to the challenge.

But an opportunity to try a civil rights approach arose when MacKinnon and Dworkin were teaching a course on pornography at the University of Minnesota. They were asked to testify at a hearing to decide in which part of Minneapolis pornography could be sold. "They were asking, 'Are we going to put it over here or over there?' and we said, 'Women and children are going to be harmed wherever you put it'." So the two women instead drew up an anti-pornography law for the city whereby, as she says, "the people who are hurt should be able to hold the people who are hurting them responsible for that harm". The law defined pornography as a civil rights violation against women, and allowed women who claimed harm from pornography to sue the producers and distributors in civil court for damages. Better such remedies, argues MacKinnon, than the obscenity approach to restricting porn common in Britain and Commonwealth countries, which she derides in her book: "It cares more about whether men blush than whether women bleed."

Civil law, she says, is more effective. For example, she was asked to represent raped Bosnian and Croat women in a lawsuit against Radovan Karadzic. The result has been Kadic v Karadzic, and she is very proud of it. "We have an injunction against this man ever engaging in genocide again and people he's in contact with ever doing it again. We were also awarded $745m, which he has and our clients are entitled to. That's two forms of civil relief that actually could make a change in the situation." The important word there, surely, is "could".

She has remained, then, true to the civil remedy approach she and Dworkin devised decades ago. Could she describe her relationship with the late feminist once described as being to patriarchy what Marx was to capitalism? "You want me to sum up 30 years of my life?"

I'm intrigued by their friendship because Dworkin was clearly a catalyst and a kindred spirit - even though it is hard to imagine dungaree-clad Andrea and Nicole Farhi-adoring Catharine going clothes shopping together. How did you meet? "I read [Dworkin's book] Women Hating, admired it and called her." At the time, MacKinnon, the bright daughter of a Republican congressman from Minnesota, was working on her PhD in political science at Yale, having already studied at Yale's Law School. What did she admire? "I had read the book The Story of O in graduate school and thought that it was extremely significant politically. [The Story of O is a fantasy of female submission about a Parisian woman who is blindfolded, chained, whipped, branded, made to wear a mask, and taught to be "constantly available" for oral, vaginal, and/or anal intercourse. It has been described as the ultimate objectification of women.] It raised the question of how much of your freedom you could give away. I'd been been told by people in political science that, 'People here think you're very bright but also that you're a little bit crazy'. Then I read what Andrea Dworkin wrote about The Story of O. And basically that gave me my mind back, and I haven't lost it since."

Others have not been so sure. Some thought Dworkin and MacKinnon were a little bit crazy. They were derided, often by fellow American feminists, for in effect lining up with with the conservative right against porn. MacKinnon was attacked for her views on sexual harassment. In her first book, Sexual Harassment of Working Women (1979), she argued it should be treated as a form of discrimination under the US Civil Rights Act - something the Supreme Court accepted in 1986. Camille Paglia, for instance, contended in a Time article that MacKinnon and Dworkin's fears about sexual harassment were overstated. But then her article was entitled A Call for Lustiness.

MacKinnon's lustiness or otherwise is not something she will discuss. If she has a current beau who affirms himself, as he must, by aggressive initiation of sexual interaction, she won't tell me about that. There is no chance of her discussing with me her intriguing relationship with former professor of Sanskrit Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, to whom she was engaged for years. He reportedly once described her as "God", which must have been nice. Masson had trained as a psychoanalyst and became project director of the Freud Archives, but was removed after setting out a heretical view about Freud and child abuse. According to his website, Masson now has a wife and family and writes books called Dogs Never Lie About Love, Elephants Weep and the Pig Who Sang to the Moon, about the emotional lives of animals. I may be wrong, but I don't imagine they clutter MacKinnon's night stand.

If she won't discuss her private life, then what about public assaults? MacKinnon is especially exercised by attacks from fellow feminists. "It's particularly hard to take being stabbed in the back close to home. There's always a feeling of betrayal when people of your own group oppose you. It's mainly a few elite women who benefit greatly from standing with the forces that keep women down."

Is pornography always wrong in MacKinnon's view? "If you actually think about it," she says, "what is sexual between people is, up close, not particularly visible. Therefore you have to do things to it to make it acceptable by a camera. So already there's an intrusion. Most people, when they are having an intimate experience, don't have someone hanging out with a camera there. And if there is someone hanging out with a camera, what is most intimate about that experience and most equal between the people is not accessible to that camera.

"If you've got that material being sold, there are people who are not intimate to the experience who are experiencing it. How equal is that? Your sex is being bought by somebody over there. You're now a thing in relation to people experiencing you sexually. How equal is that?"

But surely lesbian and gay porn at least eludes such criticisms? MacKinnon disagrees. "There's a good book by Christopher Kendal which studies the real content of gay male pornography and the children who are violated to make it as well as the men who are used in the industry. I recommend it." How about lesbian pornography - made for, by and about lesbians? MacKinnon says most of it is "sold in liquor stores and mostly it is men who are its consumers".

"Some of it is about a real aspiration to recapture women's sexuality for women, no doubt," she concedes. "The fact is that the materials themselves in general are about the use of women for sex and when women are being used for sex that is about a male-dominant model of sex, whether men are doing it or not. It's not biological. It's about sex roles. Anyone can play them."

The Dworkin-MacKinnon anti-porn stance has not been widely adopted. Civil libertarians dislike it, some feminists loathe it, and American courts have held that the US constitution should treat pornography as protected speech, even if it does all the harm that MacKinnon argues it does. "They've said the more harm, the more protection. Because that just shows you how effective the pornography is as speech. Brilliant! Right?"

MacKinnon believes that while her approach to constraining porn is ignored, the global industry has become far bigger business than when she first started fighting it a quarter of a century ago. It's difficult to be accurate about its size, argues Mackinnon, because so much of it is run by organised crime. It is regularly estimated at an annual $20bn (£14bn) which makes porn bigger than Hollywood. But it is likely to be significantly higher, particularly because the porn business has profited from the rise of the internet and subscription TV. In January last year US trade magazine Adult Video News estimated that the industry made $12.6bn in 2005 in the US alone and that more than $2.5bn of that was just from the internet, but these figures may well be underestimates.

"Pornographers have made common cause with the media and the legal system. This means that the industry has extended its reach even further. There's just nothing in their way. So women and children are being increasingly violated to make it and more and more of them are being abused through its use.

"Pornographers have even more control of the public space than they did before. And popular culture is increasingly adapting itself to the fact that more and more people are pornography consumers. So everything in culture has to change to respond to that or it won't succeed - it's the way capitalism works."

She sounds like a nay-sayer on the fringes of capitalism's degrading free-for-all. It is a departure from her usual posture: the marginalised voice of reason. "You are ever more the turn in the punch bowl when you say what it takes to make it, which is abuse and violation of women and children and some men. You're raining on their parade when you point out that the people around them are being treated in ever more misogynistic ways, including violent ones. People don't want to hear it because they're having too good a time."

MacKinnon's book ends with a wonderful rhetorical essay called Women's September 11. It points out that roughly the same number of women are murdered by men in the US each year as were killed in the Twin Towers (between 2,800 and 3,000). But those killings provoked no parallel war on terror.

So what does MacKinnon think should be done? She writes that violence against women "qualifies as a casus belli and a form of terrorism every bit as much as the events of September 11 do". Is she serious that violence against women should be treated as a war? "I think only because it's men doing it against women that it isn't seen as a war." I feel another twinge of vertigo.

It only occurs to me when I'm back on the ground that the war on terror may not be a good blueprint - it having been, you know, demonstrably counterproductive. Just before the interview ended, she said to me: "I have to say I have some sympathy for governments trying to address something as hard as terrorism, having attempted to address something as hard as violence against women for a long time." It would be good if MacKinnon had more success in her war than Bush and Blair have had in theirs.

Are Women Human? is published by Harvard University Press.

8 comments:

queersingularity said...

Interesting interview overall, though the comments Jeffries makes about MacKinnon's private life annoyed me, as did the jab at the end. Coming from the Guardian, I'm shocked it wasn't worse. Perhaps that's a good sign.

Julian Real said...

I totally agree with you, queersingularity.

And yes, coming from the Guardian, or from any major media, it's shockingly unvicious to radical feminism, even while he finds his ways, as you note, to be snarky and assholey.

I never expect much from press that is trying to sell to the masses of people influenced more by pimps and other misogynist mass media than people who are fighting for human rights.

As MacKinnon notes, the population of gendered people, men, who run these institutions, have protected rapists among them. So we have to expect any person who comes out with sharp analysis about the limits of a "consent model of sexual agreement among presumed equals" to be a huge threat to men who don't even practice sex by that shaky standard.

aileen said...

Thank you so much for posting this Julian, it's come in handy for my womyn's studies class!

Julian Real said...

Hey aileen!

I'm thrilled to hear that! Thanks for letting me know. :)

JENNIFER DREW said...

Thank you Julian for re-printing the Guardian's interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon. I note however the male writer claimed MacKinnon and Dworkin 'They were derided, often by fellow American feminists, for in effect lining up with with the conservative right against porn.' Wrong, wrong and yet again wrong - because Catharine A. MacKinnon and the late Andrea Dworkin were never in league with patriarchal conservatives/right wing groups. This particular myth was put out by pro-porn pseudo feminists and their allies the porn industry.

MacKinnon and Dworkin have never taken a moralistic approach to pornography but they have certainly taken the view that pornography harms and degrades all women as a group. Therein lies the difference, because Right wing conservativemen like left-wing neo-liberal men are not in the least concerned with women's rights instead they are two sides of the same coin - either male public ownership of women and girls or male private ownership of women and girls.

The male author of this article obviously cannot even begin to understand Ms.MacKinnon's reasoning as to why 'consent' is irrelevant and as Ms. MacKinnon says "The assumption," she says, "is that women can be unequal to men economically, socially, culturally, politically, and in religion, but the moment they have sexual interactions, they are free and equal. That's the assumption - and I think it ought to be thought about, and in particular what consent then means. It means acquiescence. It means passivity. You can be semi-knocked out. You can be dead in some jurisdictions."

This is precisely what happens under UK law - women do not have equal or same socio-economic power as men and yet when it comes to a man coercing/forcing/threatening a woman into submitting to unwanted sexual acts, suddenly the woman is perceived as having equal or rather more physical and social power than the man. That is why our UK court system continues to acquit men charged with raping unconscious women because the woman although unconscious is viewed to have 'consented' because she did not say 'no' or indicate she refused to have the man's penis forced into her body. Consent becomes irrelevant because consent does not exist for women as defined by men for men. Plus as Ms. MacKinnon adroitly says 'people (meaning men) do not commonly believe women when they say they didn't consent, because porn and the sexual heterosexual script tells men and women it is women's responsibility to gatekeep men's supposedly uncontrollable sex drive and when the woman fails it is her fault for causing the man to have sex (read rape) with her. In addition to porn promoting lies that all women want, need and enjoy being subjected to male sexual sadistic torture and violence. Consent is irrelevant in porn because women are just 'sex' nothing else and therefore men cannot rape a dehumanised object.

JENNIFER DREW said...

I'm not surprised the male writer almost choked on his mineral water when he head such 'radical words' as consent being meaningless. Of course most men are not subjected to coercion/threats or physical force by other men intent on gaining sexual access to their bodies. Instead heterosexual men learn it is their innate right to have sexual access to any woman/girl any time anywhere and if the woman/girl resists she is not really resisting but just being coy! That is why rape is never rape when the male attacker says 'but she consented I knew she was consenting because she didn't resist me.'

Why should Ms. MacKinnon discuss her private life, since the interview concerned her latest book Are Women Human. Would Stuart Jeffries ask a man interviewee 'now tell me about your sex life, how many women have you had PIV with? Equally Jeffries cannot understand why Ms. MacKinnon believes pornography harms women because Jeffries is male and it is not heterosexual men in pornography who are routinely subjected to sexual violence and sadistic sexual torture, no it is women and girls who are the ones dehumanised and reduced to men's sexual service stations.

However as Ms. MacKinnon states homosexual and lesbian porn is identical to heterosexual porn because the dynamics are identical, in that one person is the 'male' and the other person(s) are the 'feminine other' who can be subjected to sexual violence and/or sadistic sexual torture because they too are not human. The same old male-centered dynamics eroticising sexual domination and sexual submission.

Julian Real said...

You're welcome, Jennifer.

And thank you for making clear that Dworkin and MacKinnon, nor Therese Stanton, who organised every campaign in North America, worked with the Right-wing to get passage of the civil rights anti-pornography law.

This is all fairly self-evident, given that the white Right has never worked for women's civil rights, but rather has worked to erode women's rights. So why would they want to side up with radical feminists? They wouldn't, and they didn't.

They did want what they've always wanted--to make the issue "obscenity" but Dworkin and MacKinnon refused to do so.

The ordinance was designed to give women a legal approach, a kind of power to hold pornographers and consumers who harmed them accountable, not to empower wealthy white het men on the Right.

This is so obvious, yet the myth continues because maybe, along the way, some white men on the Left and Right "got it" that pornography does harm women, not "men's women" and "men's morality".

One wonders: if a Right-winger realises that the mass slaughter of animals is not okay, does that mean all animal rights activists are Right-wing? (Answer: no.)

As you note: either male public ownership of women and girls or male private ownership of women and girls.

Those are what the white Right and the white Left men's political perspectives and practices offer women.

Re: consent.

It is so clear that men have organised law to protect rapists, and to make the policies and practices such that rapists know what to do to achieve "innocence" status: make sure your victim can't speak at all, so you can claim she never said "no". How conveniently sadistic, then, the date rape drug becomes.

Imagine the law being, "If the alleged rapist man cannot prove the woman welcomed, wanted, and overtly approved of all the "sexual activity", the man is legally/criminally understood to be a rapist." Imagine that.

RE:
Consent is irrelevant in porn because women are just 'sex' nothing else and therefore men cannot rape a dehumanised object.

Consent is a concept that ignores political reality. Consent is a concept that assumes girls and women must always be in the position of saying "yes" or "no" to men's approach of women for sex or sexual assault.

As MacKinnon elsewhere notes, radical understandings of gender equality mean women have the option to not say yes and to not say no. It imagines and posits a social condition in which women are not approached by male predators at all. The best male supremacist men can imagine is that she is "empowered" to say no. Not that she never has to deal with the whole mess of men's approaches.

Equality means women can live in social and private worlds where they are not approached by men at all. If a woman wants the attention of a man, she can, after all, approach him.

JENNIFER DREW said...

Agree Julian - just imagine a world wherein 'Equality means women can live in social and private worlds where they are not approached by men at all. If a woman wants the attention of a man, she can, after all, approach him.' Such a situation would indeed send men's minds spinning!!

Because such a belief is indeed radical and turns the male-defined world on its head. But even daring to suggest women do not want the sexual attentions of any male is enough to send MRAS into a fit of 'hysterics.' Women exist for men - not women exist in their own right. This is what we are attempting to change - simple logic is it not but oh so tied in with male supremacy and male domination over women.

I personally think that for once right wing men and left-wing men collaborated because both groups believe women exist for men - the only difference is whether women exist for men's public consumption or whether women exist for men's private consumption.

Such men have only one aim the continued oppression of women and the continued promotion of white men as the only human beings on our planet.

'Victim feminism' is another slur and myth directed at feminists by pseudo feminists and women who wrongly believe that promoting mens' interests will give them kudos and power. Wrong because the dominant group will never give any of their power willingly to beings deemed 'non-human' - ergo women. I'm reminded yet again of Audre Lorde's words of wisdom - the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. Hope I've quoted correctly.