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antifeminism creepy misogyny MRA the spearhead

Betty Friedan: Communist homewrecker?

Ladies Love Cool Joe (Stalin)
Ladies Love Cool Joe (Stalin)

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, which inspired a flood of commemorative essays everywhere from Slate to the New York Times.

It also inspired what I think is one of the most hilariously dumb sentences I’ve ever read on The Spearhead. In a post talking about Friedan’s “youthful Bolshevik activism” – she spent a number of years as a labor journalist – Spearhead head boy W.F. Price offers this assessment of the book that jumpstarted feminism’s second wave:

Although I haven’t read the book, it apparently stresses the need for women to engage in work outside the home, which is a basic Communist tenet.

Yeah, that’s why most women work. Not to pay the bills, but because they are pawns of the worldwide communist conspiracy.

Weirdly, Price is well aware that he’s full of shit here, and that most women throughout history have worked, not because of Communism but because of economic necessity. Indeed, he even points this out in his post. But he follows this acknowledgement with more thoughts on Friedan’s evil commie ways:

[I]t looks as though Betty Friedan was one of the many dedicated Communists who caused so many problems immediately after WWII. I once looked up a list of known Communist front groups in the US, and noticed that quite a few of them were women’s groups. Combined with accounts I’ve read from former Cheka agents, it makes for pretty convincing evidence that feminism was deliberately fostered in the US by Soviet agents. It makes sense to use women in that manner, because authorities are not as suspicious of women, and they can operate under the radar far more easily than men. Women also make excellent spies.

Although I’m sure resurgent feminism would have emerged in one form or another with or without Betty Friedan, it is interesting to note second wave feminism’s Cold War origins in Marxist infiltration of US society. …

It turns out she was little more than a loyal Bolshevik pawn who suddenly stumbled onto success by writing a thinly-veiled Marxist critique of American capitalist society from a woman’s perspective.

In the comments, TheTruthishere enthusiastically agreed with Price’s feminism-was-a-Soviet-plot thesis:

You are right a read the same thing on another site …  feminism was thought up in a russian thinktank to basically destroy the family as the states smallest cell. Basically so communism could be introduced in the western world. Well, it worked, it just took them longer than expected. By the way the Rockafellas are involved in this as well

RockEfellers. Not RockAfellAs. Or even RockAfellERs.

Uncle Elmer gave us this weird socio-sexual fantasy:

Speaking of Freudian, all feminists have a major clit-boner for “1963”, though it was not technically part of the mythic “50s”. Based on their persistent mention of that era, it’s clear they would gladly trade in their Birkenstocks for a chance to be slapped and rogured by Ward Cleaver.

They didn’t call him “The Cleaver” for nothing.

And Towgunner, for some odd reason, used the opportunity to express his disdain for “female” – in quotes – music composers.

I have a lot of classical music as my pandora stations, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, etc. So, guess what gets inter-mixed with the play sets from time to time…yep, the token “female” composer. I’m usually doing something else while listening and this never fails – I always know its a female composer because it, well, is bad music. Also, all of the female composers I’ve heard basically sound the same. All things aside, forget I’m an MRA, it has very little aesthetic value for anyone, except for those who think talent is the same thing as “social justice”. female composers create music that is akin to cold coffee left over from breakfast and now its 2:00 PM. And its not after a few minutes, I can tell a female composer in the first few seconds…that too never fails. Many of them painfully subject their listeners to simple scales and scattered and disagreeable harmonies…kind of like the background music for greys autonomy or any chick flick. Above all, it’s not, even in the slightest, original…frankly female composers are a perfect case study in that you can hear the innate female tendency towards conformity.

By the way, here are some songs by female composers – sorry, “female” composers. I’m not sensing a lot of conformity here.

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Frances McCarthy
Frances McCarthy
8 years ago

Wait, I’m confused. Am I, little feminist me, meant to be being a fascist feminazi or a communist Friedanista?

I only just got my jackboots! Who will I crush beneath their heels now? What about my crypto facist armbands? Should I trade them in for a flat cap and learn the red flag?

This is so disturbing. I just can’t conform correctly and its muddling my ladybrain.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

>>>female composers create music that is akin to cold coffee left over from breakfast and now its 2:00 PM

I found this part funny because all the cool coffee geeks and foodies I know these days are into cold brew. I found it a perfect illustration of the “this is terrible because I’m a reactionary” attitude in the MRA.

ellex24
ellex24
8 years ago

Speaking of Freudian, all feminists have a major clit-boner for “1963”, though it was not technically part of the mythic “50s”. Based on their persistent mention of that era, it’s clear they would gladly trade in their Birkenstocks for a chance to be slapped and rogured by Ward Cleaver.

LOLwhut?

What’s so special about 1963? At first I thought maybe it was a film or a book…but no, I couldn’t find anything. I wasn’t even born yet in 1963. It’s certainly not a year I hanker for. I dunno, 2012 was pretty decent for me.

I don’t own Birkenstocks. I find them uncomfortable and I tend to walk right out of any sandal that doesn’t have a heel strap.

What the hell is “rogured”?! And why would I want Ward Cleaver to do it to me? Hugh Beaumont died in 1982, so unless he’s a zombie, he’s not up to much these days.

(I assume Uncle Elmer means “rogered”. That term pre-dates even Ward Cleaver by quite a long time. Like, by centuries.)

dustball
dustball
8 years ago

I love how one commenter in the thread says he has not read the actual book written by Friedan and then goes on to explain what is is about. Do they have any sense of irony or humour in MRA land at all? I can so see one of these dudes saying ” Yeah well I haven’t actually studied this or trained for it but I am a man and I know things so let me do the surgery…”

princessbonbon
8 years ago

Communists had their issues with sexism but I do not remember that “Women must work outside the home” was in the manifesto.

dustball
dustball
8 years ago

My feet are too narrow for Birkenstocks and if I was going to get ravaged by a dead zombie movie/tv star I would totally go for Tyrone Power not Hugh Beaumont.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

Communism wasn’t terribly interested in equal pay for work of equal value, safe and available contraception and reproductive rights, or domestic violence. So yeah, feminism is totes a creation of communism.

MRAs: continuing to prove they are history revisionists. Still waiting to hear that Hitler and Stalin Were Secret Fronts For Women ™.

ellex24
ellex24
8 years ago

@dustball

Tyrone Power is a good choice. I’ve always had a soft spot for George Sanders, myself.

Zanana the Pegging Queen
Zanana the Pegging Queen
8 years ago

Because without a Communist conspiracy story, the origins of feminism are a total mystery!

Why is it so hard for them to understand that a lot of people value equality?

princessbonbon
8 years ago

I think maybe because 1963 was the year that a lot of things changed kind of foreshadowing the rest of the decade but it felt like it was before the actual changes. It was the year the Beatles first release their album and Doctor Who premiered. But it was also the year that Kennedy died, the first of the baby boomers turned 18 and the Vietnam war started to really heat up.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

So the commies were at Seneca Falls? Ok, then.

kind of like the background music for greys autonomy

LOL. Unintentional humor for days with this jackass.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

@hellkell is that the music they play when you get abducted for a close encounter of the third kind?

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

For all the complaints that communism wants to “destroy the traditional family”, there’s very little understanding from MRAs that capitalism already did… Since traditional European families were multigenerational, with grandparents and even sometimes great-grandparents living with the youngest children, aunts and cousins living in the same city or village, with children being raised as much by their uncles and aunts and cousins as by their parents and the most elder member as head of household

The bourgeois liberal capitalist revolution resulted in an economic system under which individuals needed to be able to uproot themselves at any time to pursue work, resulting in the transitional form of the two parents + children family with the father as head of household, which is evolving further into the most natural form of family under savage capitalist competition: single parent households with all genders participating in the workforce rather than one gender assigned purely to the household economy.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

I’d also mention that the survival of the “nuclear family” for so long is mostly the result of conservative state interventionism providing a security net to those families for moralistic reasons, but since Conservativism Is Anti-State, Conservativism Was Always Anti-State under the current revisionist right-wing history, it’s not worth the effort of trying to explain it.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

I’m not sure that capitalism is entirely to blame for changing the way work is structured, and I also don’t think there is a consistent definition of a “traditional family” given how long humans have been around, even limiting consideration to where we stayed pretty much in one place after once agriculture started.

It’s simply not realistic to believe that things such as advanced medical care, consumer goods such as televisions, or even quality education tailored to a child’s needs can be manufactured/delivered inside the home. The machinery and training (and costs!) needed to undertake these processes precludes any type of home-based methods of production.

So I don’t think you can blame capitalism for the need to work outside the home. You can blame advances in science and what people want to spend their money on (and also what people need to spend their money on, e.g. healthcare).

melody
8 years ago

@kiwi girl if I ever see MRM say that hitler and feminism is linked I’ll freak. Hitler was anti-women working. He thought women should focus on her husband on her children. He moved to have women unable to work as judges or public prosecutors. He even made women unable to serve jury duty. He is so anti-feminist it is ridiculous. That is why I find the phrase feminazi so weird.

Some lovely quotes from hitler:
“I’m always baffled by how basic acts of friendship, which would be taken as nothing more than friendship by MRAs when they occur between people of the same gender, are somehow completely different when they occur between a man and a woman.”
http://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Table-Talk-1941-1944/dp/1929631669

“For her world is her husband, her family, her children, and her home. But what would become of the greater world if there were no one to tend and care for the smaller one? The great world cannot survive if the smaller world is not stable. We do not consider it correct for the women to interfere in the world of the man. We consider it natural if these two worlds remain distinct.”
http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_document.cfm?document_id=1557

ellex24
ellex24
8 years ago

BlackBloc and Kiwi girl –

These things are all intertwined. You can find evidence to blame the Industrial Revolution for the current model of capitalism as well as the destruction of the extended family model; or you can blame capitalism for spurring the Industrial Revolution and the destruction of the extended family model; or the destruction of the extended family model for creating capitalism and the Industrial Revolution.

You can go back farther in history and blame all three of those on the expansion of various empires and the fall of various empires. However, most of the history I’ve read points to the Industrial Revolution as the major starting point for the concept of the nuclear family as we see it today.

BlackBloc, I’m leery of the way you’re using terms like liberal and conservative, considering the massive changes in the political parties identified by those terms over just the last few decades, and the differences between the political parties identified by those terms in different countries today.

cherabushka
8 years ago

as an actual member of canada’s CP i find this p. funny. i mean we were pretty staunch supporters of women’s rights for the most part back in the day (stalin and his successors threw a wrench into that with their social-conservative bullshit tho) but like hell we did not invent feminism, these people are dumb as hell.

it is true that feminism in the mid 20th century was heavily endorsed and progressed by left-wing intellectuals. let’s not bullshit. you would find feminism is still a very left wing movement if you were to, i don’t know, create some data for it comparing it to all western political groups on average.

but what i take issue with is this guy’s erroneous belief that the soviets invented feminism to destroy the family… what? feminism and the whole notion that women should be able to work as they please has existed since hundreds of years before marx was even born.

now, female instinct to conform…. gee, i don’t even know what this guy wants. he chides women for being in a non-conformist movement and then chides them for being conformist.

by the by… did anyone know anne boleyn might have been a composer?

if the thought of anne boleyn composing this in the tower of london doesn’t make you weep i don’t know what to say. of course i am 100% sure MRA’s will latch onto the inkling of an idea some historians have that it was really composed by her brother

Maude LL
Maude LL
8 years ago

What?! I thought the femistasi plot (to borrow a term from pillars of reason in the atheist community) was to be housewives and suck the men’s teat dry by not contributing to society, while cock-carouselling on beta credit card? Did I miss a memo from the Great Gyno Il Sung (May God bow in her presence and submit)?

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

@ellex, I did say that I didn’t think capitalism was entirely to blame. Many scientific advances are basically inevitable (e.g. calculus) so if one accepts that much of the complicated methods of production we have today are the result of scientific advances in engineering, medicine and so forth, then pretty much we would probably still have relatively rare centres for car manufacturing, hospitals, etc (when compared to, say, mechanics and medical centres) under alternative economic systems. The end result on the family would be the same.

pecunium
8 years ago

Has this dude ever listened to Schoenberg’s 12-tone stuff? I’ll bet he thinks it was written by a woman.

As to the 1963 shit… whut? Not least because the social periods we refer to as, “decades” don’t line up with the first digit in the years. The, ’60s arguably didn’t start until 1966-67, when folk was subsumed by rock, Woodstock changed the concert landscape and the VietNam war started to come home, in a big way.

drst
drst
8 years ago

They’re talking about 1963 because that was the year Friedan’s book came out, 50 years ago. For all its flaws (and it has many) the book is credited with kickstarting mainstream feminism* in the US in the 1960s.

* – i.e. “white middle class women’s” feminism.

pecunium
8 years ago

Kiwi Girl: I don’t know about the end result on the family. One of the things which changed the focus from extended families to nuclear was Social Security (in the US: other social safety net programs for the elderly in other countries).

With no need to keep parents close, lest they starve, and a more regular turnover in the workforce (because of the ability to retire) the size of the western family unit shrank. Which had ripple effects (housing needs inreased, which changed that aspect of the economy, etc).

There might have been any number of ways to have it happen in some other way; say banning child labor, which might have fostered a less disintegrative (of the extended family), model. It might also have developed a skilled caste/guild system, where people who wanted to become machinists, or weavers, or milk machine maintenance technicians, had to serve long apprenticeships, and so there was more job stability, and less peripatetic searching for better wages/opportunities.

Etc.

pecunium
8 years ago

drst: I understand the reason 1963 is being mentioned, what I don’t get is the way they are trying to use it. Clues, they need to buy some.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

@pecunium, agreed. The only point I was trying to make (/sigh and I thought I had made it clearly) was that it wasn’t inevitable because capitalism. It still could have occurred under other economic systems. I agree with people who think that too much of what has happened has been viewed as predictable/inevitable – hindsight has 20/20 vision. 🙂

Bob Dole
Bob Dole
8 years ago

That’s the weird thing about Price; he actually, from time to rare time, shows a glimmer of awareness, of actually understanding something, but it only lasts a moment before he goes back to his insistence that women would be happy to be below men (hypergamy, anyone?), that even the simplest things like women’s education are totalitarian evils (look at his screed on “authoritarianism and feminism,” he pretty much says exactly that when you look at his quotes), and his pretensions of his own ancient wisdom and historical perspective in a stupid modern world.

There’s actually the occasion that he says something sensible, something that I, at least, wouldn’t really oppose in the abstract. But then he immediately, often in the same article (like here), and sometimes at the same time, goes back to the misogyny and crankery that makes the MRM what it is. And, in a sense, this makes him even worse than much of the consistently stupid and hateful commenters.

ellex24
ellex24
8 years ago

Kiwi girl, I was kind of agreeing with you but expanding on it to say that no one can point to one thing and call it the cause of the change from extended families to nuclear families. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

>>>BlackBloc, I’m leery of the way you’re using terms like liberal and conservative

Tough. I’m a Canadian anarcho-communist, so I use the terms as they’re defined historically worldwide and not in the idiosyncratic way they’ve evolved in late 20th/early 21st century USA.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

So many weird assumptions here. First that communism can be assumed to be pure evil, second that since feminism is evil it must have been caused by something else evil, third that writing in this kind of language doesn’t make you sound completely batshit…

Also, “grey’s autonomy”. Oh no, not the autonomy! That was a hell of a Freudian slip.

drst
drst
8 years ago

@pecunium – I know. That “Uncle Elmer” dude apparently has never spoken to an actual feminist. Most of the (white) feminists that I know talk about the 1950s as a very bad time to be a woman (to say nothing of being a POC of any gender), not as something we would want to go back to, so I have no idea what he’s on about with this fantasy that feminists idealize the 1950s. If anything MRA fools and conservatives are the ones who fantasize about the “good old days.”

Shaenon
8 years ago

Feminists also like Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women,” published in 1792. In 1792, construction on Washington D.C. began and George Washington was elected to a second term. Therefore, feminists love America! We aren’t communist spies after all!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I’m only willing to be a spy if it comes with cool toys like it does for James Bond. Being a spy seems dangerous, so I’m going to need a car with an ejector seat and a pen that’s both a camera and a gun as compensation.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

Washington D.C.? But that means feminists love the federal government! Which is the very teat we suck on! SO THAT PROVES EVERYTHING EVER.

MRAs win, everybody can go home.

ellex24
ellex24
8 years ago

Tough. I’m a Canadian anarcho-communist, so I use the terms as they’re defined historically worldwide and not in the idiosyncratic way they’ve evolved in late 20th/early 21st century USA.

O…kay. I’ll just be over here where apparently no-one else has ever redefined those terms, and I’ll remember not to engage you in discussions regarding politics and economics.

ellex24
ellex24
8 years ago

AARRGH. Damn you, blockquotes.

La Strega
8 years ago

I have to admit I have never read The Feminine Mystique either although I am familiar with the points and criticisms that have been made of it over the years, and Friedan’s own troubled relationship with radical and lesbian feminists. I don’t think I need to read it now either even if some MRA references it. I’m still working on Mein Kampf…

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

@ellex24: If I used “Liberal”/”Conservative” instead of “liberal”/”conservative” you could certainly accuse me of being unclear. Fact remains that the name of political parties has little to do with the definition of words. The alternative to my method is to assume that Communism is about crony capitalism (China), Labour is about supporting imperialism (UK) and Liberal attitudes to immigration involves fascist dehumanisations (Australia).

ellex24
ellex24
8 years ago

I’m sorry, BlackBloc, I’m not going to discuss this. My opinion (and I’ll call it an opinion) doesn’t differ whether you capitalize the beginning of the words or not. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

I need to get more sleep – I read the post title as
Betty Crocker: Communist homewrecker?

Either that or I need chocolate frosting, stat!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Hey, it works. Pre-packaged cake mix cuts down on the time it takes to make a cake, which means that women are able to spend less time in the kitchen, which leads to communism, feminism, and the fall of America.

kamilla1960
kamilla1960
8 years ago

I have never encountered MRAs who are socialists. Right-wing libertarians, yes.
Increased levels of anxiety and uncertainty have definitely manifested in the lives of people living under late capitalism. Women have been forced to work more in order to make ends meet–different from work as a form of self-fulfilment and a genuine contribution to society.
I am familiar with Eastern Europe during the Soviet era, and the reality there was that women did in fact work outside the home, but misogynist attitudes still abounded.

kamilla1960
kamilla1960
8 years ago

kamilla1960
kamilla1960
8 years ago

kamilla1960
kamilla1960
8 years ago

emilygoddess
8 years ago

I found this part funny because all the cool coffee geeks and foodies I know these days are into cold brew. I found it a perfect illustration of the “this is terrible because I’m a reactionary” attitude in the MRA.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Cold brew is amazing precisely because it’s NOT hot coffee that’s gone cold.

/barista

kamilla1960
kamilla1960
8 years ago

scarlettpipistrelle
8 years ago

Commenting on a book without having read it is just like the way he once said that the Dalai Lama is not a feminist and that there were no female Lamas. Folks like this don’t know any better – willfully, deliberately. They don’t bother to find out before spouting off.

emilygoddess
8 years ago

I once looked up a list of known Communist front groups in the US, and noticed that quite a few of them were women’s groups. Combined with accounts I’ve read from former Cheka agents, it makes for pretty convincing evidence that feminism was deliberately fostered in the US by Soviet agents.

I love how “there were lots of communist women’s groups” suddenly becomes “All communists are Soviets and all feminists are communists and therefore feminism was a Soviet plot.”

Also, I’d like to know whose list of “known” communist groups he’s working from, since there were (and are) plenty of unreliable sources out there. The definition of “communism” in the US has always been…broad? Flexible? Batshit?

IDK why I’m even trying to engage with this argument,. Given that he starts from “I didn’t read it but…” I’ve probably already put more thought into this than he did.

Although I haven’t read the book, it apparently stresses the need for women to engage in work outside the home, which is a basic Communist tenet.

If that’s true, it’s probably less a plot to destroy the family and more a case of everybody being expected to pull their own weight. “From each according to their ability”, right?

And its not after a few minutes, I can tell a female composer in the first few seconds…that too never fails.

shitthatneverhappened.txt

often_partisan
often_partisan
8 years ago

I’m obliged to point out that the Communists were pretty pro natalist arent I? Ceausescu is the one that takes it to extremes, with banning abortion in 1966.

moldybrehd
8 years ago

I think the best part of this MRA post was the very first line “Although I haven’t read the book…” – I giggled in the lunchroom!

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