Return to main Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement Page

Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement-
(January, 1969) 12 pages total

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

I ve long intended to write a harsh polemic like the one that follows, but never finished it. However; your most recent mailing that asked for my opinions prompted me to give you them.
To begin with, the Thanksgiving Conference. If the conference itself was on as low a level as the summary report,-I'm glad to have missed the former and sorry not to have missed the latter. It sounded like a Brownie outing instead of a nationwide gathering of conscious-militant women A little more than a, year ago, I attended months of meetings of the NY Radical Women, The same damn debate was going on (and on) at every meeting "persuasive. intellectual work and analysis, . . (vs. ) personal experiences-" So far, not only has the intellect not moved into the stomach, but it has fled even the brain,
I do not deny the therapeutic effect of the I confess-I accuse sessions, but anyone who attends even one meeting or reads even one newsletter knows all the themes and variations. Now what? Play workshop, of course.-What could be more relevant? Marx and Engels analyzed the oppression of women in the middle of the last century, so it isn't that much of a revelation. And now our 20th century sisters advance such revolutionary notions as groping and fondling and "rationalizing the pursuit of men,-"
To deal the death blow to barbarous American capitalism we turn to the Alternative Life Styles workshops. Stressing "new life styles within our present situations" rather than "after the revolution" makes this project a natural for Ford Foundation funding, Not surprising that none of these workshops reached any conclusions--not even the most obvious conclusion that these workshops are a waste of time


It seems fairly obvious from all of this that personal experiences lead to nothing but more personal experiences. Instincts, no matter how good, do not give any more than a scant clue to how the world does work or can work. How about a bit of science ? A bit of creativity ?
Idealizing the Vietnamese or Guatemalan woman is a positive insult to every woman who dreams of (and works for) a new kind of world-It is nothing but ignorance to believe that these women are liberated in any real way. Read the program of the National Liberation Front or Sue Munaker's" The Women of Vietnam" in the August Voice of the WLM,, They are permitted to fight because the NLF needs soldiers and will be sent to the factories when the NLF needs workers and sent back home and hearth when the NLF needs babies, All the gains made by Russian women in 1917 were lost by 1930 Like elitist little American and European Maoists, you imply that (romanticized) oppression is good for the Chinese (read Vietnamese, Cuban, etc.) but heavens) not for us'
I entirely agree that "we fight at home in the stomach of the monster, while our Vietnamese and Guatemalan sisters fight its head. " We throw stink bombs at Miss America and heroically destroy our charge accounts. Fortunately for the survival of the Vietnamese people, they have devised better tactics.
The women', s liberation movement could become just that. However, right now it is an irrelevant (albeit pleasant) pastime for the benefit of that infinitesimal portion of the world's population that finds comfort in it. Unless we concern ourselves with the realities faced by the rest of humanity, nobody's oppression will disappear--including that of 200 white, educated, under 30, semi-liberated American women,

Fern Levine New York, 12/30/68


Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Top of Page
|CWLU Overview | Memoirs- Biography | Historical Archive | The Galleries
|Special Feature |Herstory Project|GrrlSmarts|Message Board|Networking Links|
|Marketplace||Contact Us|Feminist Salon|Home|