Feminism Scrapbook

/ Scholarship /

I started a post on The Ascent of Woman, Dr. Amanda Foreman. Almost instantly it was a shambles: so many things clamoring for inclusion, correction, expansion: bravos for Foreman, and boos: for her and for all of us. I went through more than three drafts before I’d properly done one draft just of opening remarks! That’s what I get for writing while in my first reading. Now I’ve seen the four episodes of the Ascent show: next assay I may be writing on a more stable pony.

I start again but expand to related materials.

I like Foreman’s doc, I expect to watch it several times. In particular I’m grateful for the dozen or several significant women she mentions.

The Missing Women of History
I’ll gather a list, profile the members later.

Olympe de Gouges
Alexandra Kollontai

Margaret Sanger


I’ll also include at least one confession: I was prepared to soft-pedal Sanger’s contribution to the creation of the birth control pill. No, no: male stupidity, prejudice: it’s her baby, she conceived it, birthed it: the rest of us didn’t even realize we were dragging our feet. Typical.

But initially I’d wanted to ride one of my usual hobbyhorses: the role the ever-changing “Bible” plays in revising Christianity back to ancient misogyny. Churches present the Bible as an authority, Christians present themselves as enlighted, inspired, and good: good morally. No, no, all false. I’ll explain, in some detail, but first I write over the earlier post, then correct, add, adit.


Even I, living in the dark. had heard of Pussy Riot. The name struck me wrong, not least because I pride myself on my liberal use of vulgar terms. James Bond and his Pussy Galore should be booed, I with my ubiquitous pussy and quim etc. should be applauded, and funded, these Moscow girls … ? Shrug. No. Now I’ve seen them performing: ugh, and talking: ooo, beaustiful. I love these girls. I’d send them a dollar: if I have two dollars.

And I’ll spill some stories while here.

Bryant Park Pimp

Hilary and I were at Herman’s sporting goods stores on 42nd Street, drooling over the skis. I would have been 1970 or so. I would have founded FLEX. Before going home we visited Bryant Park, over toward the library at 5th Avenue: womens’ libbers were supposed to speak. I was impatient with all that since FLEX wanted everyone, not just women, to be free, not just blacks, and offered the mechanism to make freedom possible: cybernetic data bases for public use, no supervision. Anyway, sure enough, the speeches were commencing: and one guy, young black, already lit on wine or something, was rudely pretending that he was a pimp and that all the speakers were his girls. They didn’t want to be property; he was pretending they were his property!

Around that some time I attended a party for Hilary’s boss at the Barnard Library. All those women were ignoring FLEX, ignoring me, while they marched around in fashionable boots, to their knees. Jackie K shopped on 5th Avenue dressed like Che’! None of them qualified for consciousness.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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