* Home of the Hippies*
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Why Women Aren’t Liberated Yet (1969)

The Grand Coolie Damn
By Marge Piercy

The movement is supposed to be for human liberation: how come the condition of women inside it is no better than outside? We have been trying to educate and agitate around women’s liberation for several years. How come things are getting worse? Women’s liberation has raised the level of consciousness around a set of issues and given some women a respite from the incessant exploitation, invisibility and being put down. But several forces have been acting on the movement to make the situation of women actually worse during the same time that more women are becoming aware of their oppression.

Around 1967-the year of what the mass media liked to call the Summer of Love-there was a loosening of attitudes in the movement just as there was a growing politization among dropouts and the hippe communities. For a while movement people were briefly more interested in each other as human beings than is the case usually, or now. Movement men are generally interested in women occasionally as bed partners, as domestic servants-mother surrogates, and constantly as economic producers: as in other patriarchal societies, one’s wealth in the movement can be measured in terms of the people whose labor one can possess and direct on one’s projects.

For a while people were generally willing to put effort into their relationships with each other and human liberation was felt as something to be acted out rather than occasionally flourished like a worn red flag. People experimented with new forms of communities and webs of relationship reaching beyond the monogamous couple. Men and women were trying new ways of relating that would not be as confining, as based on concepts of private property and the market economy as the ways we have learned to possess each other. Some of the experimenting was shallow, manipulative, adventurist, with little regard for consequence to the others involved, but some was serious and had a tentative willed openness that gave room to men and especially to women to grow out whole new limbs of self and encounter each other in ways that made them more human.

It is not necessary to recount the history of the last two years to figure out what happened. Repression brings hardening. It is unlikely the movement could have gone along with the same degree of involvement in personal relationships. An excessive amount of introspection and fascination with the wriggles of the psyche militate against action. One of the high schools in New York was effectively cooled by involving students in therapy groups and sensitivity training. But there is also a point beyond which cutting off sensitivity to others and honesty to what one is doing does not produce a more efficient revolutionary, but only a more efficient son of a bitch. We are growing some dandy men of steel nowadays.

The typical movement institution consists of one or more men who act as charismatic spokesmen, who speak in the name of the institution and negotiate and represent that body to other bodies in and outside the movement, and who manipulate the relationships inside to maintain his or their position, and the people who do the actual work of the institution, much of the time women. Most prestige in the movement rests not on having done anything in particular, but in having visibly dominated some gathering or in manipulating a certain set of rhetorical counters well in public, or in having played some theatrical role. To be associated with a new fashion trend in rhetoric is far more rewarded than is any amount of hard work on the small organizing projects that actually recruit new people and change their heads.

The movement is an economic microcosm. Presumably therewards will be bringing about a revolution, changing this society into something people want to live in and which they have a chance of affecting, and which will get off the back of the rest of the world. But the day to day coin is prestige. Another short term reward is a modicum of power, largely to force other people out of some group, or to persuade that group to engage in one activity rather than another. A third type of power is over the channels of communication. These may be formal channels such as New Left Notes, the Guardian, underground papers, Lib~ration News Service, or other media. There is also power over informal channels of communication. A person may come to usurp the prestige of an organization simply by being the speaker on all public occasions or by representing that group to other movement groups. That may be actually the only work he does, but what meager satisfactions can come from parading the name of his group before others, he will enjoy. At the least he will get a chance to travel a little. Lives in the movement are not exactly running over with pleasures, so that if you have spent all winter on the lower east side of New York, a trip to Rochester or Buffalo can look glamorous.

It is possible to build up power simply through insisting or arranging that all of a particular kind of contact occur through you. The important thing is to keep all transfer of information or requests between any Dick or any Bill routed through you. That gives a look of business and importance. It can be a career in itself.
There is a loss of information and energy, but strangely enough goodwill is created among both Dick and Bill. Your phone will ring all the time and people call wherever you go, making manifest your importance before others. Almost all informal movement contacts of this sort are between men. Especially in Ivy League schools, SDS chapters seem to act as fraternities creating in-groups who respect and trust only each other.

If the rewards are concentrated at the top, the shitwork is concentrated at the bottom. The real basis is the largely unpaid, largely f,emale labor force that does the daily work. Reflecting the values of the larger capitalist society, there is no prestige whatso· ever attached to actually working. Workers are invisible. It is writers and talkers and the actors of dramatic roles who are visible and respected. The production of abstract analyses about what should be done and the production of technical jargon are far more admired than what is called by everybOdy shitwork.

Nor is the situation improved when the machers are competing to demonstrate their superior, purer, braver militancy, rather than their purer analysis. In an elitist world, it’s always women and children last. Only a woman willing and able to act like a stereotyped American frontier male can make herself heard.

The leader co-opts the work of his laborers. How many times a macher will say, I have done, I have made when the actual labor was somebody else’s. It is easy for the macher to pretend he has written a leaflet he glanced over, inserting the fashionable cant phrase of the week. I am aware that men in the movement who are not domineering, highly verbal, manipulative or hypercompetitive also turn into invisible peasant laborers. If there were no women at all in the male-dominated movement, men not ready to stomp on others would end up playing many roles now filled by women. Which is to say that poor whites may be no better off economically than poor blacks, for the system oppresses them in some of the same ways.

We take this alloting of prestige for granted, in which we are an exact microcosm of the society we oppose. Work is shit. It is mindlessly done by unappreciated, invisible workers, and the results, the profits in prestige and recognition, are taken away. Truly, it is not necessary that work be shit even in the bowels of the beast. One of the things that really is true about visiting Cuba is discovering how proud people can be of their work-work they would be ashamed to do here. Because work is admired and makes sense in a society that makes sense, it is social in the full meaning. All right, we cannot have little islands of revolutionary culture in the belly of the empire, but we can try a little harder not to reflect the ugliest aspects of the society we are presumably rejecting.

As the fight gets stiffer and we settle in for the long haul, as all of us accumulate enough experience of failure and look long and hard enough at the cost to ourselves of what we are trying to do, as we get older and go through our share of the nasties, there is an attitude that sustains man: I am a professional revolutionary. To take that kind of step in one’s head and rhetoric is felt as a leap of commitment. It explains to the person and to others what he is doing. After all, he is acting quite differently from what was expected of him. He is failing to make it in any way he was taught all through growing up American to expect he would do (and to be scared he wouldn’t do). So it turns out there is an answer. No, Ma, I’m not a bum. I’m a professional, Jike a doctor or a lawyer, like I was supposed to be.

One trouble: to be a professional anything in the U.S. is to think of oneself as an expert and one’s ideas as semi-sacred and to treat others in a certain way-professionally. Do you question your doctor when he prescribes in dog Latin what you should gulp down? The expert has expertise. Unfortunately, he also often has careerism. He is giving up everything else, and he is not about to let some parttime worker (differentiation between part-time and full-time in the movement is instructive, and dangerous) challenge his prerogatives.
Shall the professional revolutionary haul garbage, boil potatoes, change diapers, and lick stamps? Finally, what opposes the professional is counter-revolutionary, even though it may be repressed by the power structure with the same zeal.

The incidence of violent brand loyalty to one’s own current dogma has risen. The word ‘cadre’ as something to caress in the mouth and masturbate over has gone whoosh to the top of the pole in the last year. Cadre has meaning when a movement has really gone underground, when its members have been through training that has attempted to change their characters, when groups have shared harrowing experiences over time so that they know they can trust each other. Cadre applied to the white movement in the United States at this time is elitist bullshit. Our big problem is learning how to reach all kinds of people and we haven’t invented any training yet that helps much on that score. People are working hard on projects scattered around the country, and here and there they are making headway in one or another enclave of the old or new working class (or groups in motion are reaching out to them); or in high schools or the army or neighborhoods under stress such as the threat of urban renewal, things are happening; but experts are experts largely in manipulating current jargon.

Now common ordinary gross chutzpah is something that in this society sprouts more commonly from the egos of men than from the more shattered egos of women. Women are not encouraged toward professionalism in general, and we are certainly not in the movement encouraged to give ourselves too many airs. Suppose you, Woman Alice, unknown, unvouched for, unaccompanied, come wandering into a meeting and want to speak. The male supremacist will not even hear you. He may launch a sentence while you are in the middle of speaking, and probably he can simply drown you out. The male chauvinist will keep quiet while you speak and may even give a quick acknowledgment that some noise has occurred. He will patronize and move on. The male liberal will note your energy and will commiserate and then co-opt you. You will end up working for him, no matter what you think you are doing. When you oppose him, you will find out which side he is on.

With the professional comes his professional language. A predominantly student movement is a great soil for the growth of monstrosities of jargon. The use of scholarly Marxist jargon is exactly analogous to the use of any other academic jargon. It is a way of indicating that you have put in your time, read the right texts and commentaries, that you are an expert. It is one thing to learn from the long line of revolutionaries who have come before us: we must learn that history or caricature it. (With the factionalism, name calling and assumption of infallibility that has been growing lately, I sometimes get the impression of people role-playing as professional revolutionaries based on comic books in which that was how you could identify the reds.) It is another thing to adopt the language of any of them, especially translated into lousy American. Now we have scholarly quarrels about the definition of key terms and the appreciation among the in-group of the way in which someone is handling them, as in any English or sociology department. Such articles are written for a snobbishly defined audience of peers. The jargon covers up holes in the world. Most of us ktlow damn little about how the SOCiety works and how people live, but rather than find out we will adopt a jargon that stands between the observer and what he is trying to observe. Such articles fail to make our politics lucid to people on a level where they can become autonomous political thinkers and doers. If you have contempt for people and think they cannot know what they want and need, who the hell is the revolution for?

Women in the movement, with a few outstanding exceptions, have trouble talking jargon. One source of unease is lack of practice. The phenomenon of a woman speaking in a meeting, and the meeting going on as if she had belched, is too widespread to need comment. Women don’t generally practice on each other. Women are able at least on occasion to be more honest in talking about their lives together than men ever are: not always, not often, but it is a possibility. The mores of the society do not prevent women who trust each other from speaking about their sexual and emotional troubles. Much of this ability comes from our being taught to define our ‘careers’ in terms of that part of our lives, so that it is shoptalk. In contrast so much of what passes as communication between men and women are responses to signals given, the fUlfilling of subtly or not so subtly indicated wishes, games of protection and mutual blackmail. The bases of many relationships are unspoken, not because they lie too deep for words, but because speaking about them would disgust. It would expose connection based on gross and subtle forms of lying and exploitation that would not bear examining aloud.

Sometimes women simply refuse to use jargon. I know one woman who grew up in the Old Left and who will not use language she associates with that type of life and politics. In the small group of organizers she operates in, her refusal is viewed by the male ideological clique as a pitiful weakness. She is crippled. If she cannot talk their language, they cannot hear her: although she speaks the language of the kind of workers they are attempting to organize. They cannot accept her criticisms or insights unless couched in their terminology. Not that that always produces acceptance.

I remember watching a girl at a council meeting a few years ago who was striking in all aspects. She spoke well in a husky but carrying voice, she was phYSically attractive, she had read her texts and had a militant left position and an obvious sense of style. In her head she was on the barricades, and that excitement carried in her speeches. She had no impact. I heard many people giving precis of the council afterward, and no one singled her out to mention, although many of the issues she spoke to carried. She did not succeed in becoming part of that collective of machers who are always counting points with each other. If she had been sexually connected with any of the machers present, the odds on her achieving impact would have been much greater, for she would have been automatically present at the small caucuses and meetings where policy, unfortunately, originates.

Around that time when I attended many women’s liberation meetings, I saw the whole thing as interesting primarily as an organizing tool: here was a way to organize women who could not be reached on other issues or in other contexts. I am older than most movement women, have a harder sense of self, make a living off my writing and care about it, and have a good, longstanding and non possessive relationship with a man I trust politically and personally. It took me two more years of grisly experiences of getting used and purged to get my nose well rubbed into women’s exploitation, to find out women’s liberation was not talking about the other fellow, and to understand how much I had adopted male values to think of liberation as a tool. We are oppressed, and we will achieve our liberation by fighting for it the same as any other oppressed group. Nobody is going to give it to us because we ask, however eloquently. I once thought that all that was necessary was to make men understand that they would achieve their own libera· tion too by joining in the struggle for women’s liberation: but it has come to me to seem a little too much like the chickens trying to educate the chicken farmer. I think of myself as a house nigger who is a slow learner besides. A tendency to believe quite literally in the rhetoric of movement males is a form of naivete that no woman can afford. Most movement males’ idea of women’s liberation is something for their girlfriend to do to other women while they’re busy decision making. That’s her constituency to bring in.

Fucking a staff into existence is only the extreme form of what passes for common practice in many places. A man can bring a woman into an organization by sleeping with her and remove her by ceasing to do so. A man can purge a woman for no other reason than that he has tired of her, knocked her up, or is after someone else: and that purge is accepted without a ripple. There are cases of a woman excluded from a group for no other reason than than one of its leaders proved impotent with her. If a macher enters a room full of machers accompanied by a woman and does not introduce her, it is rare indeed that anyone will bother to ask her name or acknowledge her presence. The etiquette that governs is that of master-servant.

Women come into the movement for as many reasons as men do. It is not sufficient to speak of women as being recruited in bed, since their attraction to the man is usually as much to the ideas they hear him spouting and what they think he represents and what they imagine their life with him will be, as it is to his particular body or personality. Movement men often project a very sexual image. What’s behind that too often is, as with actors, narcissism, impotence and a genuine lack of interest in anybody else except his hero, The Professional Revolutionary in the Mirror, and a small peer group whose opinions he values and whom he likes to shoot the bull with, much like ex-fraternity boys.

I’ve listened to the troubles of dozens and dozens of women and men in the movement. There are a lot of lonely and a lot of horny women. Sex lives of women seem to fall into two patterns, both dreary. Domestic unions on the whole are formed young and maintained in hermetic dependency, until exchanged for others that appear almost identical. People seldom maintain relationships with any content without living together, though it happens. As in conventional marriages, the woman living with a man often finds her world constricted. She is his thing. She keeps house for him and plays surrogate mother, and often he talks to her no more than the tired businessman home from the office. Often the relationship is much like that of the woman living with a medical student and helping to put him through school. Of course, since the woman’s intellectual engergy is concentrated on that relationship, she may in fact dominate or manipulate or control the man, as is frequent in conventional marriages also.

The other model is the liberated woman: she can expect to get laid maybe once every two months, after a party or at councils or conferences, or when some visiting fireman comes through and wants to be put up. She may find she can work for years and even take part in planning demonstrations and doing important research and organizing without achieving recognition or visibility. There is a phenomenon I have noted, by the way: allowing for geographical variations, the list of men whom movement women not living with anyone have gone to bed with is surprisingly repetitive. One is left to draw the conclusion that all the liberated (Le. women living alone) have gone to bed with the same set of men, who would fit in one large room.

These serviceable males fall into two categories: those who make it clear that what they are doing is fucking, and those who provide a flurry of apparently personal interest, which fades mighty quick. The first category are on far less hate lists than the second. There are men in the movement who have left women feeling conned and somehow used, emotionally robbed in every city in the country. Rarely have I heard any man in the movement judge any other man for that kind of emotional exploitation, and never so it could hurt him. The use of women as props for a sagging ego is accepted, socially. Everybody sees it and everybody agrees that they don’t. Scalp hunting goes on on both sides of the sexual barrier, but the need to extract a kind of emotional conquest which is sometimes not even sexually consumated, out of woman after woman, seems exclUSively the disease of male machers.

This sort of thing can even be called organizing. Many politicos spend their energies organizing inside the movement, instead of into the movement: hence the passionate concern with who is, and who is not, in the vanguard. Transferring the loyalties of workerwoman Lizzie from the research project of Macher A to the pamphlet project of Macher B is organizing.

The men who often get the most opposition from movement women and are often publicly called male oppressors, are precisely those men who have the least skill at co-opting the labor of women: men with a bluff style, frontal attack, an obvious sense of their own competence and a tactless assault on what they see as others’ lack of it. They often succeed in rapid fashion in uniting some of the women in a caucus against them.

The style most rewarded is that of the manipulator: the person who makes use of the forms of workers’ control and community decision-making to persuade others that they are involved in a we that is never out of his control. Given the careerism, in almost any movement enterprise there is at least one person who feels a vested interest: that endeavor is his baby. If there were true workers’ control, he might find himself ousted. Most movement ventures exist hand to mouth, and the entrepreneur can always tell himself that a couple of weeks of financial chaos would wreck that precarious balance and run the enterprise into the ground. The rationale for retaining control may be political: the entrepreneur as professional revolutionary finds it necessary to keep political control of the little Iskra, lest the bourgeois revisionists get it into their slimy paws, or the soft minds of the shitworkers be led astray. The means to that control is seldom an obvious role as boss, for anti-authoritarianism is as deep rooted among wome!’) in the movement as among men.

No, the successful entrepreneur uses all the forms of workers’ control and collective decision-making. He may covertly despise these indirect, time·consuming methods. Or he may have contempt instead for those who attempt to work without them, and feel morally superior because of his attachment to the forms of participatory democracy. This distinction is equivalent to the difference between the modes of the male supremacist and the male liberal:
but both aim to retain control.

Methods vary. The macher may playoff faction against faction or appear to float above petty quarrels. I-e may form sexual alliances, sabotage others, repeat gossip, start rumors, flatter, sow suspicion, retain the switchboard-control central function, flirt, listen to troubles, pay attention. Since most people in this society are dreadfully lonely, a little attention is a pungent tool. But he must always keep the others from combining.

On one movement staff where I worked, there was one macher, a couple of other males who did not challenge his hegemony, plus a two-thirds majority of women. Whenever we threatened to form an alliance on anything that mattered, the macher would begin jiggling the sexual balance of the group, pursuing publicly one of the staff or another until he had succeeded in creating a harem atmosphere in which all attention once again centered on him. He would use his confidant relationshi to the staff members to persuade each to talk about the others, comments he would remember and reveal as if reluctantly at the proper moment. Even the fact that he was sexually involved with only one of the staff could be turned to moral advantage, for he would keep her in her place (on his right hand, just under the thumb) by constantly pOinting out that he could, in fact, be involved with the others, by ignoring her in the office and flirting and teasing and creating a constant subsurface tizzy centering on his person. None of this, of course, was ever openly discussed. The superficial reality was business as usual, bureaucratic efficiency and personal relations kept out of the office. The effect was to make his position impregnable and enable him to dismiss whomever he chose.

The ability to dismiss from a collective is as important as the ability to recruit. One effective method is to stir up the workers so they themselves expel the person threatening the macher’s power. If the expulsion is carried out in the name of workers’ control or women’s liberation, an expulsion whereby the entrepreneur’s power is strengthened, the irony is complete. If the threat to the macher’s power is a woman, he will probably carry out the expulsion himself.
If he has recruited her sexually, he can expel her on the same basis. There is a false puritanism in never publicly permitting the allusion to relationships everyone knows about.

The male supremacist tends to exploit women new to the movement or on its fringes. His concept of women is conventionally patriarchal: they are for bed, board, babies and, also, for doing his typing and running his office machines and doing his tedious research. By definition women are bourgeois: they are housewives and domesticators. A woman who begins to act independently is a threat and loses her protected status. He can no longer use her.

Such a man will sit at his desk with his feet up and point to the poster on his wall of a Vietnamese woman with her rifle on her back, telling you, Now that is a truly liberated woman. When I see you in that role, I’ll believe you’re a revolutionary. He has all the strength of the American tradition of Huckleberry Finn escaping downriver from Aunt Polly, down through Hemingway where the bitch Brett louses up the man-to-man understanding, to draw upon in defense of his arrogance. Not only are women losers, but for a woman to think about herself is bourgeois subjectivity and inherently counter-revolutionary. Now, dear, of course you find your work dull. What the movement needs is more discipline and less middleclass concern with one’s itty-bitty self!

At times it may seem to women as if the only way to win their battle is to form some sort of women’s brigades and achieve instant liberation by eliminating that whole part of life which hurts the most and competing with the men in meeting goals set by the male· dominated movement. But where women have fought beside their men, how often afterwards they have found themselves right back where they were before. It is easy for men to deal with women as quasi-equals, all soldiers together, during a long or short crisis, but inside their heads is all the old dominance/submission machinery and the old useful myths about Mom and the playmate and good girls and bad girls.

The male liberal respects the pride of women. He has learned well the rhetoric of women’s liberation and offers apparent partnership. He will permit small doses of spokesmanship roles, so long as his hegemony is not challenged. Because he is willing to listen on a basis of apparent equality to women who work with (for) him, he is in a better pOSition to draw out higher quality labor. He is just as career-oriented and just as exploitative as the male supremacist, but he gives back enough tidbits of flattery and attention to make the relationship appear reciprocal by contrast with what goes on with bullier males, and he is by far the more efficient long-range cooptor.

Often a woman working with a male liberal will learn imperceptibly to accept a double standard for his behavior: alone with her when she is his equal; and with other machers, when he will pretend essentially not to know her. After all, he will gain no points by insisting others treat her as an equal. Further, if he acted as if the woman were of importance, he might lose some control over contacts essential in dominating his scene. Thus the woman will come to accept the master-servant manners in public, for the sake of the private relationship of equals. It can take her a long time to see that the public manner reflects the power realities.

The importance of male solidarity to enforce discrimination and contempt for women cannot be over·emphasized. The man who goes in the face of this will find himself isolated. He will pay for betraying his caste. Men in this society reinforce each other’s acted-out manhood in many small social rituals, from which the man who truly treats women as equals will be excluded.

Neither can we over-emphasize our own acquiescence. As I said, I have been a house nigger in the movement. Since I was first on my own as a skinny tough kid, nobody ever succeeded for long in exploiting me as a woman, until I came into the movement. Then I laid down my arms before my brothers to make the revolution together. How much I swallowed for my politics I have only realized in the pain of trying to write this piece truthfully. I have also begun to see how many male structures I took into my head in order to make it in the male-dominated world. How often in writing this I have been afraid, because I have incorporated so much male thinking that I can hear the responses I am going to get. Finally, I have come to see how separated from my sisters I have been at times to preserve one or other super-exploitative relationship with one or another male macher. As a house nigger how much worse treatment of other women I have watched and satisfied my conscience with vague private protestations to the professional revolutionary in question: nothing that would get him angry at me, you can be sure.

Two inhibitions have acted on me constantly. One inhibition occurred in relationships where work and sexual involvements overlapped. I have not been able to keep tenderness and sensual joy from being converted into cooperation in my own manipulation. One takes the good with the bad, no? The good is loving and the bad is being used and letting others be used. One holds on to good memories to block perceptions that would rock the boat. Yet always what was beautiful and real in the touching becomes contaminated by the fog of lies and halftruths and power struggles, until the sex is empty and only another form of manipulation.

The other, stronger inhibition comes from having shared the same radical tradition, rhetoric, heroes, dates, the whole bloody history of class war. It is pitifully easy for radical women to accept their own exploitation in the name of some larger justice (whiCh excludes half the world) because we are taught from childhood to immolate ourselves to the male and the family.

Once again in the movement, oppression is becoming something for professionals to remove from certifiably oppressed other people. When I am told day in and day out to shut up because our oppression pales beside the oppression of colonialized peoples and blacks, I remember half of them are women too, and I am reminded of my mother telling me to eat boiled mush because the Chinese were starving and would be glad to have it. When people are unhappy, no one can tell them their pain is unimportant. The ruling class isn’t dissatisfied: they are healthy, well-fed, live in beauty, enjoy their own importance: fun-loving cannibals. Our men aren’t dissatisfied either.

It is true some oppression kills quickly and smashes the body. and some only destroys the pride and the ability to think and create. But I know no man can tell any woman how to measure her oppression and what methods are not politic in trying to get up off her knees. The answer does not lie in trying to be the token woman or in trying to learn quickly how to manipulate or shove around those who manipulate us. Certain of any oppressed group can always rise from that group by incorporating the manners and value system of the oppresser, and outwitting them at their own rigged game. We want Something Else.

We are told that our sense of oppression is not legitimate. We are told women’s liberation is a secondary issue, to be dealt with after the war is won. But the basis of women’s oppression is economic in a sense that far predates capitalism and the market economy and that is rooted into the whole fabric of socialization. Out claims are the most radical, for they entail restructuring even the nuclear family. Nowhere on earth are women free now, although in some places things are marginally better. What we want we will have to invent ourselves.

We must have the strength of our anger to know what we know. No more arguments about shutting up for the greater good should make us ashamed of fighting for our freedom. Ever since private property was invented, we have been waiting for freedom. That passive waiting is supposed to characterize our sex, and if we wait for the males we know to give up control, our great-granddaughters will get plenty of practice ;n waiting too. We are the fastest growing part of the movement, and for the next few years it would be healthiest for us to work as if we were essentially all the movement there is, until we can make alliances based on our politics. Any attempts to persuade men that we are serious are a waste of precious time and energy: they are not our constituency.

There is much anger here at movement men, but I know they have been warped and programmed by the same society that has damn near crippled us. My anger is because they have created in the movement a microcosm of that oppression and are proud of it. Manipulation and careerism and competition will not evaporate of themselves. Sisters, what we do, we have to do together, and we will see about them.

Marge Piercy was active in SDS and NACLA, is a founder of MDS (Movement for a Democratic Society) and is currently involved in Women’s Liberation.

@ Marge Piercy. 1969, to be included in The Hand that Cradles the Rock, an anthology of women’s liberation edited by Robin Morgan.

Source: Leviathan

Posted by: skip
Views: 10176

Leave a Reply