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soc.feminism Terminologies

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Archive-name: feminism/terms
Version: 1.5
Last-modified: 15 February 1993

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A variety of movements in feminism means that calling one's self a
feminist can mean many things.  In general, members of the following
categories of feminism believe in the listed policies; however as with
any diverse movement, there are disagreements within each group and
overlap between others.  This list is meant to illustrate the
diversity of feminist thought and belief.  It does not mean that
feminism is fragmented (although it often seems that way!).  Much of
the definitions presented here are inspired from _American Feminism_
by Ginette Castro; there is a definite American bias here.  Other
sources were _Feminist Frameworks_ (2nd ed.) by Jaggar and Rothenberg
(which is a worthwhile but incomplete reader that tried to sort out
these various schools of feminist thought).  Any additional, balancing
information from other countries and/or books is more than welcome
(and will be incorporated).

Defining various kinds of feminism is a tricky proposition.  The
diversity of comment with most of the kinds presented here should
alert you to the dangers and difficulties in trying to "define"
feminism.  Since feminism itself resists all kinds of definitions by
its very existence and aims, it is more accurate to say that there are
all kinds of "flavors" and these flavors are mixed up every which way;
there is no set of Baskin Robbins premixed flavors, as it were.

  Amazon Feminism

    Amazon feminism is dedicated to the image of the female hero in
    fiction and in fact, as it is expressed in art and literature, in
    the physiques and feats of female athletes, and in sexual values
    and practices.

    Amazon feminism is concerned about physical equality and is
    opposed to gender role stereotypes and discrimination against
    women based on assumptions that women are supposed to be, look or
    behave as if they are passive, weak and physically helpless.

    Amazon feminism rejects the idea that certain characteristics or
    interests are inherently masculine (or feminine), and upholds and
    explores a vision of heroic womanhood.  Thus Amazon feminism
    advocates e.g., female strength athletes, martial artists,
    soldiers, etc. [TG]


    Anarcho-feminism was never a huge movement, especially in the
    United States, and you won't find a whole lot written about it.  I
    mention it mostly because of the influential work of Emma Goldman,
    who used anarchism to craft a radical feminism that was (alas!)
    far ahead of her time.  Radical feminism expended a lot of energy
    dealing with a basis from which to critique society without
    falling into Marxist pleas for socialist revolution.  It also
    expended a lot of energy trying to reach across racial and class
    lines.  Goldman had succeeded in both.  Radical feminist Alix
    Schulman realized this, but not in time to save her movement.
    She's put out a reader of Goldman's work and a biography, both of
    which I recommend highly.  [JD]

  Cultural Feminism

    As radical feminism died out as a movement, cultural feminism got
    rolling.  In fact, many of the same people moved from the former
    to the latter.  They carried the name "radical feminism" with
    them, and some cultural feminists use that name still.  (Jaggar
    and Rothenberg don't even list cultural feminism as a framework
    separate from radical feminism, but Echols spells out the
    distinctions in great detail.)  The difference between the two is
    quite striking: whereas radical feminism was a movement to
    transform society, cultural feminism retreated to vanguardism,
    working instead to build a women's culture.  Some of this effort
    has had some social benefit: rape crisis centers, for example; and
    of course many cultural feminists have been active in social
    issues (but as individuals, not as part of a movement).  [JD]

    Cultural feminists can sometimes come up with notions that sound
    disturbingly Victorian and non-progressive: that women are
    inherently (biologically) "kinder and gentler" than men and so on.
    (Therefore if all leaders were women, we wouldn't have wars.)    
    I do think, though, that cultural feminism's attempts to heighten
    respect for what is traditionally considered women's work is an
    important parallel activity to recognizing that traditionally male
    activities aren't necessarily as important as we think.  [CTM]

    I have often associated this type of statement [inherently kinder
    and gentler] with Separatist Feminists, who seem to me to feel
    that women are *inherently* kinder and gentler, so why associate
    with men?  (This is just my experience from Separatists I know...I
    haven't read anything on the subject.)  I know Cultural Feminists
    who would claim women are *trained* to be kinder and gentler, but
    I don't know any who have said they are *naturally* kinder. [SJ]

    As various 1960s movements for social change fell apart or got
    co-opted, folks got pessimistic about the very possibility of
    social change.  Many of then turned their attention to building
    alternatives, so that if they couldn't change the dominant
    society, they could avoid it as much as possible.  That, in a
    nutshell, is what the shift from radical feminism to cultural
    feminism was about.  These alternative-building efforts were
    accompanied with reasons explaining (perhaps justifying) the
    abandonment of working for social change. Cultural feminism's
    justification was biological determinism.  This justification was
    worked out in great detail, and was based on assertions in
    horribly-flawed books like Elizabeth Gould Davis's _The First Sex_
    and Ashley Montagu's _The Natural Superiority of Women_.  So
    notions that women are "inherently kinder and gentler" are one of
    the foundations of cultural feminism, and remain a major part of
    it.  A similar concept held by some cultural feminists is that
    while various sex differences might not be biologically
    determined, they are still so thoroughly ingrained as to be
    intractable.  There is no inherent connection between
    alternative-building and ideologies of biological determinism (or
    of social intracta- bility).  SJ has apparently encountered
    alternative-builders who don't embrace biological determinism, and
    I consider this a very good sign. [JD]

    I should point out here that Ashley Montagu is male, and his
    book was first copyright in 1952, so I don't believe that it
    originated as part of the separatist movements in the '60's.
    It may still be horribly flawed; I haven't yet read it. [CTM]

  Erotic Feminism

    [European] This seemed to start (as a movement) in Germany under
    the rule of Otto von Bismarck.  He ruled the land with the motto
    "blood and iron". In society the man was the _ultra manly man_ and
    power was patriarchal power. Some women rebelled against this, by
    becoming WOMAN. Eroticism became a philosophical and metaphysical
    value and the life-creating value. [RG]


    This branch of feminism is much more spiritual than political or
    theoretical in nature.  It may or may not be wrapped up with
    Goddess worship and vegetarianism.  Its basic tenet is that a
    patriarchical society will exploit its resources without regard to
    long term consequences as a direct result of the attitudes
    fostered in a patriarchical/hierarchical society.  Parallels are
    often drawn between society's treatment of the environment,
    animals, or resources and its treatment of women.  In resisting
    patriarchical culture, eco-feminists feel that they are also
    resisting plundering and destroying the Earth.  And vice-versa.

    This is actually socially-conscious environmentalism with a tiny
    smattering of the radical and cultural feminist observation that
    exploitation of women and exploitation of the earth have some
    astonishing parallels.  The rest of "eco-feminism" turns out to be
    a variation on socialism.  The Green movements of Europe have
    done a good job of formulating (if not implementing) an
    environmentally aware feminism; and while Green movements
    were not originally considered a part of eco-feminism, they
    are now recognized as a vital component. [JD]

    (If I remember correctly, a couple of feminist groups, including
    NOW have joined up with Green parties.  [CTM])


    This term was "invented" by the radio/tv host Rush Limbaugh.  He
    defines a feminazi as a feminist who is trying to produce as many
    abortions as possible.  Hence the term "nazi" - he sees them as
    trying to rid the world of a particular group of people (fetuses).

    This term is of course completely without merit, but there's the
    definition of it FYI.  [CTM]

  Feminism and Women of Color:

    In _feminist theory from margin to center_ (1984), bell hooks
    writes of "militant white women" who call themselves "radical
    feminists" but hooks labels them "reactionary" . . .  Hooks is
    refering to cultural feminism here.  Her comment is a good
    introduction to that fractious variety of feminism that Jaggar and
    Rothenberg find hard to label any further than to designate its
    source as women of color.  It is a most vital variety, covering
    much of the same ground as radical feminism and duplicating its
    dynamic nature.  Yet bad timing kept the two from ever uniting.
    For more information you might want to also read hooks' book and
    her earlier reader, _ain't i a woman?_ Whereas radical feminism
    was primarily formulated by educated white women focusing on
    women's issues, this variety was formulated by women who would not
    (because they could not) limit their focus.  What is so
    extraordinary is that the two converged in so many ways, with the
    notable exception that the women of color were adamantly opposed
    to considering one form of oppression (sexism) without considering
    the others. [JD]

    I think an important work in the history of feminism and women of
    color is Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga's anthology, _This
    Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color_.  It's
    my belief that the unique contribution of women of color, who
    experience at least two forms of discrimination daily, provides
    balance and reality to much of the more theoretical forms of
    academic feminism favored by educated white women.  [EE]
  Individualist, or Libertarian Feminism
    Individualist feminism is based upon individualist or libertarian
    (minimum government or anarchocapitalist) philosophies, i.e.
    philosophies whose primary focus is individual autonomy, rights,
    liberty, independence and diversity.


    There are a couple of points to make here.  First is that
    Lesbianism is not necessarily a *de facto* part of feminism.
    While it is true that merely being a lesbian is a direct
    contravention of "traditional" concepts of womanhood, Lesbians
    themeselves hold a wide variety of opionions on the subject of
    feminism just as their straight sisters do.

    On the other hand, Lesbianism has sometimes been made into a
    political point by straight women "becoming" lesbian in order to
    fully reject men.  However, it is never accurate to characterise
    all feminists as Lesbians nor all Lesbians as feminists.  

    The reader should also note that homophobia is as present among
    feminists as it is in any other segment of society.  Lesbianism
    and feminism, for all their common points and joint interests, are
    two very different groups.  [CTM]

  Liberal Feminism:

    This is the variety of feminism that works within the structure of
    mainstream society to integrate women into that structure.  Its
    roots stretch back to the social contract theory of government
    instituted by the American Revolution.  Abigail Adams and Mary
    Wollstonecraft were there from the start, proposing equality for
    women.  As is often the case with liberals, they slog along inside
    the system, getting little done amongst the compromises until some
    radical movement shows up and pulls those compromises left of
    center.  This is how it operated in the days of the suffragist
    movement and again with the emergence of the radical feminists.

  Marxist and Socialist Feminism

    Marxism recognizes that women are oppressed, and attributes the
    oppression to the capitalist/private property system.  Thus they
    insist that the only way to end the oppression of women is to
    overthrow the capitalist system.  Socialist feminism is the result
    of Marxism meeting radical feminism.  Jaggar and Rothenberg point
    to significant differences between socialist feminism and Marxism,
    but for our purposes I'll present the two together.  Echols offers
    a description of socialist feminism as a marriage between Marxism
    and radical feminism, with Marxism the dominant partner.  Marxists
    and socialists often call themselves "radical," but they use the
    term to refer to a completely different "root" of society: the
    economic system.  [JD]

  Material Feminism

    A movement in the late 19th century to liberate women by improving
    their material condition. This meant taking the burden of
    housework and cooking off their shoulders.  _The Grand Domestic
    Revolution_ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is one reference. [RZ]

  Moderate Feminism:

    This branch of feminism tends to be populated by younger women or
    other women who have not directly experienced discrimination.
    They are closely affiliated with liberal feminism, but tend to
    question the need for further effort, and do not think that
    Radical feminism is any longer viable and in fact rather
    embarrassing (this is the group most likely to espouse feminist
    ideas and thoughts while denying being "feminist").  [CTM]


    This term has appeared several times on soc.feminism.  It appears
    to be a catch-all for the bogey"man" sort of feminism that
    everyone loves to hate: you know, the kind of feminism that grinds
    men under its heel and admits to no wrong for women.  It is
    doubtful that such a caricature actually exists, yet many people
    persist in lumping all feminists into this sort of a category.  [CTM]

  Radical Feminism:

    Provides the bulwark of theoretical thought in feminism.  Radical
    feminism provides an important foundation for the rest of
    "feminist flavors".  Seen by many as the "undesireable" element of
    feminism, Radical feminism is actually the breeding ground for
    many of the ideas arising from feminism; ideas which get shaped
    and pounded out in various ways by other (but not all) branches of
    feminism. [CTM]

    Radical feminism was the cutting edge of feminist theory from
    approximately 1967-1975.  It is no longer as universally accepted
    as it was then, nor does it provide a foundation for, for example,
    cultural feminism.  In addition, radical feminism is not and never
    has been related to the Maoist-feminist group Radical Women. [EE]

    This term refers to the feminist movement that sprung out of the
    civil rights and peace movements in 1967-1968.  The reason this
    group gets the "radical" label is that they view the oppression of
    women as the most fundamental form of opression, one that cuts
    across boundaries of race, culture, and economic class.  This is a
    movement intent on social change, change of rather revolutionary
    proportions, in fact.  [JD]

    Ironically, this get-to-the-roots movement is the most root-less
    variety of feminism.  This was part of its strength and part of
    its weakness.  It was always dynamic, always dealing with
    factions, and always full of ideas.  Its influence has been felt
    in all the other varieties listed here, as well as in society at
    large.  [JD]

    To me, radical feminism is centred on the necessity to question 
    gender roles.  This is why I identify current "gender politics" 
    questions as radical feminist issues.  Radical feminism questions
    why women must adopt certain roles based on their biology, just as
    it questions why men adopt certain other roles based on theirs.
    Radical feminism attempts to draw lines between biologically-
    determined behavior and culturally-determined behavior in order
    to free both men and women as much as possible from their previous
    narrow gender roles.  [EE]

    The best history of this movement is a book called _Daring to
    be Bad_, by Echols.  I consider that book a must! [JD] Another
    excellent book is simply titled _Radical Feminism_ and is an
    anthology edited by Anne Koedt, a well-known radical feminist

    Radical feminist theory is to a large extent incompatible with
    cultural feminism.  The reason is that the societal forces it
    deals with seem so great in magnitude that they make it impossible
    to identify any innate masculine or feminine attributes except
    those which are results of the biological attributes.  (This is
    what I think the [above] "view[s] the oppression of women as the
    most fundamental form of oppression," [is getting at] although I
    don't agree with that statement in its context.) [DdJ]


    Popularly and wrongly depicted as Lesbians, these are the
    feminists who advocate separation from men; sometimes total,
    sometimes partial.  Women who organize women-only events are often
    unfairly dubbed separatist.  Separatists are sometimes literal,
    sometimes figurative.  The core idea is that "separating" (by
    various means) from men enables women to see themselves in a
    different context.  Many feminists, whether or not separatist,
    think this is a necessary "first step", by which they mean a
    temporary separation for personal growth, not a permanent one. [CTM]

    There is sometimes some overlap between separatist and cultural
    feminists (see below). [SJ]

    It is equally inaccurate to consider all Lesbians as separatist;
    while it is true that they do not interact with men for sexual
    fulfillment, it is not true that they therefore automatically shun
    all interaction with men. [CTM] And, conversely, it is equally
    inaccurate to consider all separatists Lesbians.  Additionally,
    lesbian feminism may be considered a category distinct from
    separatist feminism.  Lesbian feminism puts more emphasis on
    lesbianism -- active bonding with women -- than separatism does,
    in its emphasis on removing bonds with men. [EE]

[Other categories?  Both formal and informal are welcome.]

  Men's Movements:
  [Largely contributed by Dave Gross.  Exceptions noted.]

  It may seem odd to include some notes on men's movements in a
  description of feminism.  However, many of these movements were
  started in reaction to feminism: some inspired by and others in
  contra-reaction to it.  In this context, examining men's movements
  tells of some specific reactions to feminism by men. [CTM]

    Most men's movement historians date the men's movement back to the
    early seventies.  In 1970, according to Anthony Astrachan ("How
    Men Feel" p. 291) the first men's center opened in Berkeley, Calif.
    and the magazine "Liberation" published an article by Jack Sawyer
    entitled "On Male Liberation."

    The men's movement equivalent to the catalyst provided to the
    women's movement by Betty Friedan, was "The Male Machine" by Mark
    Feigen Fasteau in 1975.  My edition has a forward by Gloria
    Steinem in which she writes:  "This book is a complement to the
    feminist revolution, yet it is one no woman could write.  It is the
    revolution's other half."

    But a reexamination of the male gender role certainly predates the
    1970s.  In fact, the book "The American Male" by Myron Brenton,
    complained that "when the plight of woman is given such intense
    scrutiny, a curiously distorting effect tends to be created.
    Suddenly the world is seen only through the feminist prism."  This
    quote, which would be comfortable coming out of Warren Farrell's
    mouth in the 1990s, was published in 1966.  The book was essentially
    a male-friendly, pro-feminist examination of the male sex role,
    and started a theme of portraying masculinity as dangerous and
    destructive (physically and emotionally) to men -- a theme that was
    to also provide the basis for the works of Fasteau, Goldberg and
    Farrell in the 1970s.

    And R.F. Doyle, who was to form one of the rare traditionalist men's
    groups, was already fighting for male-friendly divorce reform in
    the early 1960s (his Divorce Racket Busters in 1960 is in a direct
    line of parentage to his Men's Rights Association in 1973).

    Barbara Ehrenreich in "The Hearts of Men" traces the men's movement
    back even further.  She believes that the current men's movement
    is only the latest representation of a long-term male revolt against
    the "breadwinner ethic:"

	"I will argue that the collapse of the breadwinner ethic had
	 begun well before the revival of feminism and stemmed from
	 dissatisfactions every bit as deep, if not as idealist-
	 ically expressed, as those that motivated our founding
	 'second wave' feminists." -- p. 12

    Furthermore, she writes that

	"The great irony... is that the right-wing, antifeminist
	 backlash that emerged in the 1970s is a backlash not so
	 much against feminism as against the male revolt." -- p.13

    In the mid- to late-1950s (although she traces the roots even
    further back than this), non-conformity becomes a hip topic.
    Playboy magazine started publishing in 1953, and by the early
    sixties had started offering "something approaching a coherent
    program for the male rebellion" (p. 50).  The magazine's
    trademark T&A was only a side-issue, designed to make the rebellion
    against the male sex role (aka The Playboy Philosophy) a safely
    heterosexual one.

    The Beat movement "establish[ed] a vantage point from which the
    'normal' could be judged, assessed and labeled -- square" (p. 67)
    and then "cardiology... passed its own judgement on the 'normal'
    masculine condition, and [came] down, without fully realizing it,
    on the side of the rebels" (p. 87).

    The Human Potential Movement combined with cardiological concerns
    encouraged a change in men's lives; the Vietnam War further
    tarnished the image of masculinity; the 60s counter culture
    allowed androgyny; the second-wave of the women's movement pushed
    for a critique of gender roles; gay liberation groups differentiated
    themeselves from heterosexuals, allowing straight men to change
    their roles without being accused of homosexuality.

    Voila!  The genesis of the men's movement in a nutshell!

    The men's movement, as a movement, has from almost the beginning
    been split into various camps based both on ideology and on
    what concerns the members most wish to concentrate on.  What were
    once scattered "consciousness raising groups" have evolved into
    the following sub-movements:

    Feminist Men's Movement:

    These groups are closely aligned ideologically with the feminist
    movement.  They believe that we live in a patriarchal system in
    which men are the oppressors of women, and that the men's movement
    should identify this oppression and work against it.  Most of the
    [City-name] Men Against Rape groups fall under this category.  The
    largest feminist men's group is the National Organization for Men
    Against Sexism (Formerly the National Organization for Changing
    Men).  Some publications from this viewpoint are "Changing Men,"
    the journal of NOMAS, and the following books: "The Liberated Man"
    by Warren Farrell, "The Male Machine" by Marc Feigen Fasteau, "The 49%
    Majority" ed. by Deborah David & Robert Brannon, and "Refusing to Be a
    Man" by John Stoltenberg. 

    "For these men," according to James Doyle ("Sex & Gender" p. 341),
    "the question of unfair divorce settlements, child-custody cases,
    and the like are a ruse used by some men who favor perpetuating
    their own dominant status in society."  This perhaps is a little
    harsh, but many in the feminist men's movement are suspicious of
    those who would work for men's political concerns without first
    relinquishing the patriarchal reins of political power.

    "They may feel only a vague pricking of conscience about their own
    complicity in the imbalance," writes Anthony Astrachan of the
    feminist wing of the movement (How Men Feel, p. 302), "or they may
    openly acknowledge that men as a class (which does not mean all
    men) oppress women as a class (which does not mean all women).  In
    either case, what they feel is guilt."  (Astrachan dismisses what
    I will call the Men's Liberation movement as "the no-guilt wing.")

    As can be expected, there is much debate among feminists, women,
    and other men about the validity or real intentions of such
    groups.  The entire question of "feminist men," especially ones
    that disagree with aspects of "conventional feminism" sparks much
    debate.  Some accuse them of pandering to the feminist movement,
    others of having a hidden agenda that's really against feminism.
    Female feminists disagree wither men can be feminist, some arguing
    that there is nothing to prevent men from being feminists, and
    others arguing that you have to know what it is like to be a woman
    -- or even BE a woman -- to be a feminist. [CTM]

    Men's Liberation Movement:

    Other names: Masculist movement, Men's Rights movement.  These
    groups, while quite similar to feminists in several areas (gay
    rights, belief in equal opportunity in the workplace, etc.)
    generally do not believe in the theory that we live in a
    patriarchy in which men oppress and women are oppressed.

	"My thinking has led me to conclude that men as a class do
	 /not/ oppress women as a class.  Nor do I believe that women
	 as a class oppress men as a class.  Rather, I feel that men
	 and women have cooperated in the development of contemporary
	 male and female sex-roles, both of which appear to have
	 advantages as well as disadvantages, but which are
	 essentially restrictive in nature, growth inhibiting, and, in
	 the case of the male, physically as well as psychologically
	 lethal."  -- Richard Haddad "Concepts and overview of the
	 men's liberation movement"

    Characterization of the men's liberation wing as being a
    reactionary or traditionalist movement is common among feminists,
    but doesn't seem to hold under closer observation.  Fred Hayward
    addressed this view in his keynote speech to the National Congress
    for Men in 1981:

	"We must not reverse the women's movement; we must accelerate
	 it...  [Men's liberation] is not a backlash, for there is
	 nothing about traditional sex roles that I want to go back

	"We must give full credence to the seriousness of women's
	 problems and be willing to work toward their solution, but if
	 the others do not return the favor, it is they who are the
	 sexist pigs.  It is they who are reactionary.  When I look at
	 feminists today, I don't want to call them names -- I only
	 want to call their bluff."

    Some of the groups with this viewpoint are: Men's Rights Inc.,
    National Coalition of Free Men, National Congress for Men,
    National Center for Men.  Some of the publications from this
    viewpoint are "Transitions," the journal of the NCFM, and the
    following books: "Why Men Are the Way They Are" by Warren Farrell
    "The Hazards of Being Male" by Herb Goldberg "Men's Rights" by
    Bill & Laurie Wishard "Men Freeing Men" ed. by Francis Baumli.

    Mythopoetic Men's Movement:
    These are the ones you see on TV and in magazines wearing masks
    and beating drums.  Robert Bly, the father-figure of this
    movement, says:

	"I see the phenomenon of what I would call the 'soft male' all
	 over the country today.  They're not interested in harming
	 the Earth, or starting wars, or working for corporations.
	 There's something favorable toward life in their whole
	 general mood and style of living.  But something's wrong.
	 Many of these men are unhappy.  There's not much energy in
	 them.  They are life-preserving, but not exactly

	"Men are suffering right now -- young males especially.  But
	 now that so many men are getting in touch with their feminine
	 side, we're ready to start seeing the wild man and to put its
	 powerful, dark energy to use.  At this point, many things can
			-- interview by Keith Thompson
		   	   Utne Reader, Nov/Dec 1989

    This talk of "powerful, dark energy" worries some, including Bly's
    ex-wife, who compared this movement to fascism:

	"The men's separatist movement is frightening.  Separatism,
	 breeds feelings of superiority and imbalance -- male bonding
	 usually offers permission to regress."
			-- "The danger in men's groups"
			   Utne Reader, Nov/Dec 1989

    A more common reaction to these groups by outsiders is
    bewilderment and ridicule.  "[T]heir words revealed a kind of
    gooeyness wrapped in clinical psych jargon," wrote Jon Tevlin of
    his Wild Man Weekend.  It's possible though, that these groups
    outnumber all other men's groups combined.  There are a surprising
    number of magazines, books, journals, retreats and gurus
    associated with the mythopoetic men's movement.  "Iron John" led
    sales of hardcover nonfiction longer than any other best seller in
    1991, according to the 1993 Writer's Market.

	"What I'm interested in is the return of mythology, and he
	 timportance of initiation -- I think that's essential...
	 I'm not interested in all the men having opinions on men's
	 rights, and attacking women.  I'm not interested in a
	 national men's movement."
		-- Robert Bly, quoted by Tim Warren in
		   the Baltimore Sun, 28 October 1990

    On the other hand,

	"I don't want to omit people like Warren Farrell and Herb
	 Goldberg who are doing men's stuff; they get omitted far oo
	 toften when the Men's Movement is discussed.  If Robert
	 [Bly] is one of the leaders and perhaps the father of the
	 mythopoetic Men's Movement, then Goldberg, Farrell and
	 Pleck are the Grandfathers..."
		-- John Lee, quoted by Woody Harper in the
		   Men's Council Newsletter, August 1990

    This movement is less political than spiritual, and it's difficult
    to identify just what these folks stand for.  But if you want to
    try, check out the interviews with Bly and with Shepherd Bliss in
    the Nov/Dec 1989 Utne Reader, or pick up "Men's Council News" or
    Robert Bly's surprise best-seller "Iron John."

    The New Traditionalists:
    I don't know much about these groups.  The only one I'm aware of
    is the National Organization for Men run by Penthouse columnist
    Sidney Siller.  Maybe R.F. Doyle's Men's Rights Association (if it
    still exists) qualifies as well.  These groups look, on the
    surface, much like the Men's Liberation groups, but underneath
    there is a current of resentment that the old sex roles have
    dissolved.  Some openly say that women just aren't men's equals,
    and should have stayed home with the kids.  This is that "male
    backlash" you've probably read about.  Read "The Rape of the Male"
    by R.F. Doyle for a good idea of how these folks think (the front
    cover is a picture of the crucifiction).  Also, Esther Vilar's
    "The Manipulated Man" (written by a woman in 1972, and pretty

    The Father's Movements:
    Some people hold that this is a separate group from the Men's
    Liberation Movement.  There are some groups that are only
    interested in issues like divorce reform, and ignore issues like
    violence toward men, gay rights, and the draft.  Many of these
    groups are very similar to Men's Liberation groups, and only
    differ by their concentration.  Some explicitly exclude issues
    like gay rights in order to not risk offending some of their
    members, and this could itself be considered an ideological
    position which would separate them from the Men's Liberation
    groups.  Anthony Astrachan ("How Men Feel," p. 311) reports that
    some Father's Rights men boycotted the 1983 National Congress for
    Men meeting in Los Angeles, and speculates that this was because
    men's liberation members had proposed resolutions supporting gay

    Publications would include: "How to Win Custody" by Louis Kiefer
    "Weekend Fathers" by Gerald and Myrna Silver


My thanks to:    
  Ellen Eades[EE]
  David desJardins [DdJ]    
  Jym Dyer [JD] 
  Thomas Gramstad [TG]
  Rebecca Grinter [RG]
  David Gross [DG] (incl. all info on men's movements)
  Stacy Johnson [SJ] 
  Rudy Zalesak [RZ]

Please mail in comments, additions, corrections, suggestions, and so
on to  I reserve all rights to edit
material for brevity, clarity, and constructiveness.

--Cindy Tittle Moore

	"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what
	feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist
	whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a
	doormat, or a prostitute."  -- Rebecca West, 1913

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM