Women's Liberation Part 5
The responsibility lies with the intellectuals. It is understandable and perhaps even forgivable that, as a result of all the manipulation from earliest childhood, men have come to the conclusion that (a) they have the power and (b) they will use it to suppress women.
But it is inexcusable that intellectual woman, who might have seen matters from a very different (female) angle, have uncritically adopted this line of thought. Instead of saying, “It is very nice of you to think so highly of us, but in reality we are quite different from the way you see us, we do not deserve your pity and your compliments at all,” they say, “With all due respect to your insight, we are much more pitiable, suppressed and exploited than your male brain could ever imagine!” These intellectual women have claimed a rather dubious fame for their sex: instead of being unmasked as the most cunning slave traders in history, they have undersold women and made them the object of male charity: man the tyrant, woman the victim. Men are flattered, of course. Part of their manipulation has trained them to interpret the word “tyrant” as a compliment. And they accept this female definition of woman happily. It very closely matches their own.
Even Simone de Beauvoir let this opportunity pass when she wrote her book The Second Sex (1949), which could have been the first book on the subject of women. Instead she created a handbook of Freud’s Marx’s, Kant’s, etc., ideas about women. Rather than looking for once at woman, she researched the books men had written and found of course; sign’s of woman’s disadvantage everywhere. The novelty of her work lay in the fact that for the first time, men’s opinion of women carried the signature of a woman. But now the way was clear. Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, Germaine Greer … each a repetition of the last; they went head over heels in their effort to come up with evidence of male infamy. But they wrote nothing really worth mentioning on the subject: women. They copied the male idea about women, without being aware that this idea can only be the result of female manipulation and thus they became, by imitating men, the victims of their own (female) system.
Nothing has changed since, although women today, more than ever before, have every opportunity to make statements about themselves on their own radio or TV programmers, in newspaper columns or magazines. But they do nothing except repeat and chew over the old mothballed ideas men have about women, adding new details here and there. Instead of pointing out to their following what a miserable lot they really are, the peak of female dignity is achieved by rejecting advertising for bras or vaginal sprays. The peak of female originality is reached the moment a women’s magazine carries a male nude centerfold a la playboy.
These are the reasons why yet another Women’s Liberation movement has failed: the enemies they fought were really friends and the real enemy remained undetected. Once again the fixed idea of sexual solidarity (under the circumstances a solidarity with a syndicate at best) misled women to the wrong strategy. And they were not aware of it. Their struggle was aided exclusively by men. But since they live under the delusion that they are persecuted by men, they mistook the flexibility of men for a sign of female strength and screamed that much louder. And nobody got offended. From the New York Times to The Christian Science Monitor, from Playboy to Newsweek, from Kissinger to McGovern, everybody was for Women’s Liberation. No marches of men were organized against them, nobody prevented their demonstrations. And none of them were taken to task for their unending defamation of men; a Senator Joe McCarthy oppressing Women’s Liberation was missing, the F.B.I. did not lift a finger against them.