Eleanor Marx and The Feminine Mystique


Is Feminism fundamentally wrong? 5-11-14

Crazy missile launch officers and lawyers

Is there a women’s law, science, philosophy, literature, etc?

How can it reconciled with the earlier view – “man”, “the father” etc. as the primary human being?

I’ve always been a “feminist”, whatever that means. So I was a bit surprised in reading a recent review of a biography of Eleanor Marx (Karl’s daughter and main assistant) that her “feminism” is in question. That would be true of many other famous women’s leaders and advocates. Was Joan of Arc a feminist? Obviously not. Is Phyllis Schlafley a feminist? Few would say she is. How about our own Jeanette Rankin? I believe she might have been one, although a recent Montana-made film about her (with an actress playing her) got the response it probably deserved by one of Montana’s leading Marxist women – she threw it in the trash-can.

Women’s liberation, sexual equality, even sexual freedom (to have non-marital sexual relationships), and self-ownership (as opposed to being owned by father, brothers, husband, or even sons, which is the case in some cultures) are the foundations of what we think of as the correct “feminist-gender equity” principle embraced, for example, by the Green Party. I was the one to suggest that we change simple “feminism” (one of the original 4 Pillars of the Greens) to “feminism and gender equity.” I was surprised to find it still included that way on the GPUS website.

The problem with modern “liberal feminism” as maintained as the strictest sort of dogma is that it includes several things that are inherently offensive or criminal to conservative sensibilities. That would be such things as abortion and equal legal status for non-traditional marriages. And that has become the paramount political issue. No one cares about the environment, foreign wars, a vast and out of control “criminal justice” prison racket, or Food Stamp cuts when they can worry about taxpayers paying for abortions or providing benefits for gay or lesbian partners. These “family values” issues truly incense maybe half or more of the population, in a way that no war or anything short of healthcare access can accomplish.

The public demand for accessible and affordable healthcare, without the “consequences” of losing our homes or bankrupting us (never mind being excluded from the system entirely because of an inability to pay for it)  was overwhelming. So, what did the Democrats, let by our own Pharma-addicted Senator, Max Baucus do with this once-in-a-century opportunity to slam-dunk the Republicans? They introduced and forced down our throats the failed and exploitative Heritage Foundation Romneycare – written and produced by the “health insurance” extortion racket, so that not only are we stuck with this “model”, but forced to pay for it – at some 4 times the actual cost of competent and comprehensive health care for all Americans, “legal” or otherwise.

Meanwhile, the Republicans now call the ACA “socialized medicine”, and reject it unanimously. It should have been the Democrats who rejected it unanimously, but of course they’re not that smart, and they don’t care about “objective reality” – just “jobs” for their friends and supporters, and thus the need to win the next election, no matter what the policies or success with them.

More money will buy more votes. The Democrats obviously believe this even more than the Republicans. It’s just that no real Democrats can support their party anymore, so it’s run on Republican money, with predictable results. Right, Secretary Kerry?

In the 1950’s, the Age of The Feminine Mystique (a strange title, in retrospect – Ayn Rand loved it, and sold it at her lectures), we often spoke of “the Battle of the Sexes.” My extended family followed this to a T. And somehow, I was early-on pegged to “hang out with the women” rather than the men. I actually went to Tupperware Parties and the like when I was in grade school, and even into junior high, I played Canasta (Samba and finally, Bolivia) with my grandmother’s friends. But of course I wasn’t a jock, but I was a farm kid who did all that kind of stuff with my grandmother and her friends.

In these “traditional cultures”, there was a lot less gender-stereotyping than there is in modern techno-culture, although we’ve obviously made up a lot of ground since the 1960’s. I actually remember an Econ prof at UCLA saying something like “98% of the girls at UCLA are beautiful. The other 2% are Econ majors.” And they thought that was funny! Even less so since that professor’s daughter (and none too attractive) was an Econ student, there.

Eleanor Marx obviously had the same problem, although her father probably loved her deeply, and told her she was beautiful or whatever good things applied.

So, that’s one axis of the problem – beauty vs. intelligence, sexuality vs. modesty and loyalty, and other aspects of women’s character which are prized by men. Not usually bellicosity (war-mongering), stubbornness, or even attractiveness to other men. We want to be “the only one” – a view more often ascribed to women.

Traditionally, the whole complex of “women’s issues” – child-bearing, home-making, and even the creation of what I call “interlocking social directorates” or social networking is largely the province of women – especially those, I was going to say, in the middle and upper-classes.   Come to think of it, the woman is just as often “the person in charge” in working-class (and of course, single parent) households.

Women in Combat

One of the strangest turns in recent feminist history was the co-option of the Women’s Movement by militarists. Pat Schroeder, a Congresswoman from Colorado, seemed to set the pace for this, followed by “G I Jane” Harmon, from the very District where I lived in Los Angeles – gerrymandered to include vast aerospace and other military facilities. And there’s Madelein Albright, the former National Security adviser to Pres. Clinton, and the first woman Secretary of State. A disciple of that last great Cold Warrior, Zbigniew Brzynski, and a rich divorcee, she basically bought her job with contributions to the Democratic Party.

Her great “triumph” as a Holocaust survivor (adopted by a non-Jewish family to conceal her Jewish parentage) was to mount an assault on the one anti-Nazi part of Jugoslavia – Serbia, costing some 1800 civilian lives and hundreds of billions in damage to be restored by NATO- member contractors.

Following close on her heels, and with the same or similar intellectual pedigree, was Condoleeza Rice and Susan Rice, apparently no relation. And so, we are now poised for war against the Russia which already surrendered to international capitalism, and should apparently still be punished for that stupid and unnecessary capitulation.


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