This article in the Observer concludes with four quotes by “feminists who have rocked the boat.” The quotes included:
“In a patriarchal society all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent” – Catherine MacKinnon, feminist author (attributed)
“When a woman reaches orgasm with a man she is only collaborating with the patriarchal system, eroticising her own oppression.” – Sheila Jeffreys, lesbian feminist
I read those and felt quite offended by them (even though, as it turns out, the first one was never actually uttered by McKinnon). I then started musing about how the anti-sex stance taken by many radical feminists resulted in feminism coming to equal man-hating in many young women’s eyes.
I think it’s fair to say that any woman who loves sex with men would feel offended by those sentiments. The quotes cast all women into the roles of victims without choice and all men into the role of violent aggressor. That’s not how most modern Western women see their lives, or their relationships with men.
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Now, given the sources, I can’t claim that these are authentic, but that’s not my point here. I wanted to gather them together as evidence of why so many people have an ingrained bias against the idea of feminism. These quotes exist in the public consciousness as prime examples of the what’s wrong with feminism.
These quotes are why so many women will say “I’m not a feminist, but…”.
“All men are rapists and that’s all they are” – Marilyn French, The Women’s Room
“I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.” – Robin Morgan
“Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.” – Andrea Dworkin
“And if the professional rapist is to be separated from the average dominant heterosexual [male], it may be mainly a quantitative difference.” – Susan Griffin, Rape: The All-American Crime
“The institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist” – Ti-Grace Atkinson, Amazon Odyssey (p. 86)
“The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist.” – National NOW Times, Jan.1988
“Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience.” – Catherine Comin, Vassar College. Assistant Dean of Students.
“Satan-like, men possess women, making their wicked fantasies and desires women’s own. A woman who has sex with a man, therefore, does so against her will, ‘even if she does not feel forced.'” – Judith Levine
To end this post on a positive note, here’s a whole bunch of interesting feminist quotes that aren’t quite so radical or man-hating.
It includes this one:
“During the feminist revolution, the battle lines were again simple. It was easy to tell the enemy, he was the one with the penis. This is no longer strictly true. Some men are okay now. We’re allowed to like them again. We still have to keep them in line, of course, but we no longer have to shoot them on sight.” – Cynthia Heimel, Sex Tips for Girls, 1983
Pic is from Feminist Ezine.