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Feminist Hawks Unite! By: Phyllis Chesler
Pajamas Media | Tuesday, August 25, 2009


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Look, who am I to complain? I’ve published thirteen books and thousands of articles. My first book, Women and Madness, which came out in 1972, sold nearly three million copies. In the last forty years, my work has been reviewed and I’ve been interviewed coast to coast on every continent, yes, even in the London Times, the London Guardian, Le Monde, La Stampa, Il Foglio, Spiegel, Politiken, Il Globo, Yediot Aharonot, etc. and of course, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, the Minneapolis Star, The San Francisco Examiner, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

A complete unknown, I’m not.

Indeed, the Gray Lady is my hometown newspaper. Beginning in 1972, they started reviewing my every book, (twice on the front page of their Book Review), and they started interviewing me. Not all the reviews were gushing but when the review was “mixed,” countless letters appeared, (written both by me and by others), and I was invariably interviewed or asked to submit a piece on the subject. Once, in 1986, I co-ordinated a conference in New York City about women and custody that their reporter covered in two separate articles.

So–how can I complain? I’ve also published numerous op-ed articles and letters in the New York Times; my goddamn photo appeared in their pages in the late 1970s and again, in 1990, I appeared on the cover of their magazine.

How quickly they forget.

This past Sunday, the New York Times magazine published an issue which promoted a new book by one (or two) of their own: Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn. It’s title: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity: for Women World-wide. I happen to adore Kristof’s work. True, he is standing on the shoulders of all my compatriot Second Wave feminists–but that’s precisely what he’s supposed to do. Also true: He, as well as most other journalists, rarely connect the political dots as we once did and they even more rarely intone our names.

Piffle.

So here’s what puzzled me. In their infinite wisdom, The Paper of Record decided that there is only one “feminist hawk” in the entire universe and his name is…David Horowitz of Frontpage magazine. Actually, this is a giant step forward. Usually Horowitz is demonized as a Traitor who left Ramparts (both the magazine he edited and the faux-fighting American left which it represented) in the dust and became a born-again, fire-breathing conservative.

Here, he is credited not only for publishing the work of “feminist hawks” but for being the only “feminist hawk” they could find to name. The article gets even more peculiar when it presumes to tell us that the “feminist hawk” phenomenon is mainly a “hybrid” invention of the “internet,” one that has “borrowed left-wing shibolleths as one way that conservative ideas can make it big in a generally more liberal online social sphere.”

C’mon: Prick me, will I not bleed?

The very articles that are mentioned in the New York Times about “female prisoners being raped in Iran…and a possible honor killing by an immigrant in New York” were written by none other than myself. Over the years, to their credit, Frontpage Magazine and Pajamas Media have continuosly published serious feminist articles (many of them by feminists, myself included), which have focused on Islamic gender apartheid and on the failure of Western feminism to stand up to it–even to name it.

Among the writers concerned with women’s rights are: Frontpage editor, Jamie Glazov; Tammy Bruce (who was once the President of Los Angeles NOW); Nonie Darwish; Brigitte Gabriel; Professor Donna Hughes; Nancy L. Kobrin; Robert Spencer, Wafa Sultan; and countless others. I will be adding more names to this list.

I know, I know: Many of the above writers are conservatives, not liberals. Some are new-comers, others not. But, they are all, myself included, “hawkish” on the subject of the war against women and a) will not engage in cultural relativism to avoid being called “racists” or “Islamophobes;” b) will not be held hostage to one of two political parties; c) will not sacrifice Israel, America, the West, Muslim and other Third World dissidents–or the truth in order to remain politically correct and aligned to social, political, and funding networks.

Both David Horowitz and Jamie Glazov gave me a venue six years ago where I could write about dozens of issues relevant to women’s freedom, and to the survival of an imperfect but not yet barbaric West. More than two years ago, Pajamas Media gave me a home where I now publish Chesler Chronicles.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) The New Anti-Semitism (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). She has just published a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2009). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1976). Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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