NOW President Terry O’Neill Is “…sure you’ve heard by now…”

Originally published October 1, 2014.

Updated and republished September 15, 2015 after a web host transfer.

On September 13, 2014, I received the email message below from Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. To make O’Neill’s glory addiction clear, I have separated her statements into two categories. Below the email I identify the meanings I saw as I read the email.

Statements that are about                                                   All other statements
O’Neill and NOW or include
we, us, and our in reference
to O’Neill or NOW

Email subject line: Haterade

I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but this
week NOW called on NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell to resign his post.

Since we released that statement, it
has been a whirlwind of press and action.

You might have seen or heard me on MSNBC,
CBS, ABC, NBC, or ESPN – or any of a
dozen other media outlets.

But if you saw me, that means the trolls
did, too; all week, we’ve been getting
barraged with hateful comments via phone,
email and on Facebook and Twitter.

Nestled in there –
often hidden in the muck –
are voices of solidarity.

These voices wish us luck in our
endeavor, many identify as football
fans or activists working in their
communities – all agree that we
must end the epidemic of violence
against women.

Contribute and help
us continue our work!

Sure, some of the trolls use the
old quip of demanding that I
“make them a sandwich” –
not the first time I’ve heard
that one!

I’ve been accused of being
“off my rocker”.

The truth is, that almost all
of these comments have
been outright and aggressively
misogynistic.

Since I became president of NOW,
I’ve received a regular stream of
hate mail.

Sadly, it just comes with the job.

But knowing I have your support
makes all the difference.

So a warning to the trolls:
We will not deviate from this
path.

I know that we can change our
culture – which is so permissive of
violence against women – and
change our laws simultaneously.

How do I know that?

Because we’re the National
Organization for Women and
this is what we do – especially
with supporters like you.

Thank you for all you do,

Terry O’Neill
President, National Organization
for Women

P.S. Thousands of you have
already shown your support
by signing our petition demanding
that Roger Goodell resign.

Can I count on your continued support
with a contribution today?

The Meaning Behind O’Neill’s Statements

Email subject line: Haterade

The focus of this email is not violence against women.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but this
week NOW called on NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell to resign his post.

O’Neill expects NOW members to be always focused on the words and actions of NOW. It is particularly important for NOW supporters to stay focused on the words and actions of NOW President Terry O’Neill.

Since we released that statement, it
has been a whirlwind of press and action.

NOW is very important.

You might have seen or heard me on MSNBC,
CBS, ABC, NBC, or ESPN – or any of a
dozen other media outlets.

Terry O’Neill is very important.

But if you saw me, that means the trolls
did, too; all week, we’ve been getting
barraged with hateful comments via phone,
email and on Facebook and Twitter.

The haterade has nothing to do with victims of domestic violence.

Nestled in there –
often hidden in the muck –
are voices of solidarity.

The voices are showing solidarity with poor, barraged Terry O’Neill and NOW, not for victims of domestic violence.

These voices wish us luck in our
endeavor, many identify as football
fans or activists working in their
communities – all agree that we
must end the epidemic of violence
against women.

The focus is supposed to remain on what NOW does.

Contribute and help
us continue our work!

NOW members should give money to NOW so Terry O’Neill can continue to feel important rather than give money to shelters so victims of domestic violence can feel safe.

Sure, some of the trolls use the
old quip of demanding that I
“make them a sandwich” –
not the first time I’ve heard
that one!

You should feel sorry for what Terry O’Neill has to endure because it is far worse than what victims of domestic violence endure.

I’ve been accused of being
“off my rocker”.

Another reason to feel sorry for what Terry O’Neill has to endure.

The truth is, that almost all
of these comments have
been outright and aggressively
misogynistic.

Misogynistic comments are far worse than real violence, especially when they are aggressive.

Since I became president of NOW,
I’ve received a regular stream of
hate mail.

You must always remember how important and brave Terry O’Neill is.

Sadly, it just comes with the job.

Terry O’Neill took the job knowing she would receive hate mail. I doubt any woman enters a romantic relationship with a man expecting to be beaten. It is obviously far sadder for O’Neill to endure the hate mail she knew would be coming than for women to find themselves beaten by men who said, “I love you.”

But knowing I have your support
makes all the difference.

Terry O’Neill needs your support more than victims of domestic violence do.

So a warning to the trolls:
We will not deviate from this
path.

Terry O’Neill and NOW will not deviate from anything that makes them feel important.

I know that we can change our
culture – which is so permissive of
violence against women – and
change our laws simultaneously.

Terry O’Neill wants you to believe that she and NOW are powerful.

How do I know that?

Terry O’Neill wants you to believe that she knows more than you do.

Because we’re the National
Organization for Women and
this is what we do – especially
with supporters like you.

The National Organization is important and requires your support because it is important.

Thank you for all you do,

Compared to what Terry O’Neill and NOW do, what you actually do is too unimportant to mention in detail.

Terry O’Neill
President, National Organization
for Women

P.S. Thousands of you have
already shown your support
by signing our petition demanding
that Roger Goodell resign.

Thousands? I’m supposed to be impressed that thousands of people have signed the petition for Roger Goodell to resign? According to its FAQS page, NOW has “more than 500,000 contributing members” in “more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia”.

NOW has more than 500,000 contributing members but only thousands signed the petition?

(September 21, 2015 update: NOW’s website has changed its contributing membership numbers to “hundreds of thousands”. Thousands of people signing the petition is still pitiful for an organization O’Neill claims has the ability to “change our culture”.)

If Terry O’Neill is using the word “thousands”, I have to assume that the total number of signers is well below 10,000. Otherwise, O’Neill would claim that “close to 10,000 of you have already shown your support by signing our petition…”

Thousands means that less than 2% of NOW’s membership have responded to NOW President Terry O’Neill’s call to action. O’Neill is apparently too unsophisticated to realize that she again provided evidence of her ineffectiveness as a leader.

Can I count on your continued support
with a contribution today?

You are supposed to support Terry O’Neill, not victims of domestic violence.

This email has nothing to do with violence against women. It is all about Terry O’Neill and her glory addiction. NOW President Terry O’Neill probably does not know how to write anything that is really about ending domestic violence. Roger Goodell’s resignation would do little to change our culture and laws. For some victims, the violence would probably increase if Goodell resigned. Abusers who felt anger at Goodell’s resignation would take their anger out on the women they already beat regularly.

Terry O’Neill used female victims of domestic violence to create glory fixes for herself. This is just one way that Terry O’Neill and the National Organization for Women create inequality between women.

NOW’s Spin To Keep You Donating Money

If you want equality, if you are a member of NOW, if you want feminist leaders to be effective, you need to know how NOW spins reality. In other words, NOW uses propaganda to persuade you to believe that they know what they’re doing and deserve your money.

NOW claims “affiliates in all 50 states”. During the years I’ve been tracking NOW’s ineffectiveness, I have repeatedly researched NOW’s website to see if NOW does indeed have chapters or affiliates in all 50 states. I have always found states that do not have NOW chapters or affiliates.

Check this out for yourself. Go to now.org. Use the search link under “Find Your Chapter”. You will find “Sorry, no chapters found” for several states. As of September 15, 2015, these are the states that have “Sorry, no chapters found” notifications.

Hawaii

Maine

New Hampshire

North Dakota

West Virginia

Also, chapters in several states seem to be doing little if anything at all. I’ll give you several examples. You can look up your own state to discover how far its reality differs from NOW’s claims.

If it is still listed, click on the Facebook link for Mat-Su NOW in Alaska and you will go to the page of an individual, not of a NOW chapter.

When I first wrote this blog post, NOW listed 6 chapters for Alabama chapters. Now it lists 5. Tennessee Valley NOW shows no chapter activity at all. Click on the Facebook page for Montgomery NOW in Alabama and you will go to the page of an individual, not of a NOW chapter.

The most recent post for Indianapolis NOW is August 31, 2011.

NOW lists Kentucky NOW, the only chapter in Kentucky, but the page for Kentucky NOW has only a Yahoo email address, nothing else.

My state of Wisconsin lists 5 chapters.

The home page for Wisconsin NOW shows a calendar with only holidays on it, no chapter activity.

Milwaukee NOW has neither a web page nor a link to an individual’s Facebook page.

W Suburban Milwaukee NOW has neither a web page nor a link to an individual’s Facebook page.

Madison NOW shares the same holiday calendar as Wisconsin NOW.

Fox Cities NOW has neither a web page nor a link to an individual’s Facebook page.

Does NOW count “chapters” without web pages, Facebook pages, or chapter activities among the “more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia”?

Look at what NOW lists for your state to see if a real chapter exists in your state.

The next question is, how did NOW count its “more than 500,000 contributing members”? If they can’t count the number of states with chapters accurately, why trust them to count contributing members accurately?

The truth is, almost all of Terry O’Neill’s comments in this email are outright and persistently egotistical. Why should Terry O’Neill let a few facts get in the way of her glory addiction? She is the president of the National Organization for Women, and satisfying her glory addiction is what she does.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.

Feminist Leaders, Unsophisticated Women, & The Least Effective Way To Communicate With Politicians

Originally published August 27, 2014.

Updated and republished September 15, 2015 after a web host transfer.

For years, I have written about how the National Organization For Women (NOW) misuses the word grassroots, the glory addiction of feminist leaders, and the feminist leader view that most women are too unsophisticated to understand abortion. I have also written that NOW keeps asking for money so it can send it’s “dedicated network of grassroots activists” around the country for socializing and training that is denied to the women who pay the bills through donations.

An August 12, 2014 email from NOW, President Terry O’Neill kept up the inequality between the women who pay the bills and the “dedicated network of grassroots activists”. She wrote that:

“NOW’s supporters and activists are already stepping up and
working to send the extremist politicians in Congress, state
legislatures, and the U.S. Supreme Court packing.”

How does O’Neill intend to do this?

“To achieve these goals, we must first prevent a right-wing
takeover of the U.S. Senate in November. It also means we must
send more women’s rights supporters to the U.S. house of
Representatives and state legislatures across the country.”

Why “must” NOW “send more women’s rights supporters to the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures across the country?” Are the women who live in states across the country too unsophisticated to speak to their own state legislatures?

Feminist leaders like NOW President Terry O’Neill must see ordinary supporters of feminism as unsophisticated because they keep everything about the “dedicated network of grassroots activists” secret. I have asked NOW more than once about the activists and how they are chosen. I want to know if the network has enough diversity to represent all women in the United States. The only response I received was that NOW would not give out contact information. I did not ask for contact information. This was the third time a woman in power accused me of asking for something I did not ask for.

Take a moment to think about NOW’s one response to my many questions. The ‘dedicated network of grassroots activists’ needs to be protected from the supporters who donate money? I want equality with the “dedicated network of grassroots activists”. What is dangerous about that?

NOW President Terry O’Neill refuses to reveal how many women are traveling around the country and socializing with each other, who they are, how she picked them, or even what they say when they go out as “activists” in the name of the women who pay for their travel and socializing.

The truth is, NOW “must” send more women’s rights supporters around the country so they can get fixes for their glory addictions. The activists who keep other women silent and passive get to feel all the glory of being the heroines of the modern feminist movement. NOW “must” send more women’s rights supporters around the country to prevent ordinary women from speaking their own words and taking their own actions. It is too risky to let ordinary women speak for themselves because they might forget to give glory to the feminist leaders who ignore them.

I understand addiction. I was a compulsive overeater for 25 years. Instead of making my addiction to food more important than anything else, I continually looked for ways to end it. My wish to end my eating disorder came true in an unexpected way because I spoke my own words and took my own actions.

On August 24, 2014, I received an email from BoldProgressives.org. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) holds free P100 training sessions across the country for people who want to work on campaigns. As of that email, PCCC had trained 600 candidates and staffers in 16 states on campaign skills. They intend to train more. In the email’s first two paragraphs, PCCC proved that it did not have a glory addiction and that it understood the need to train as many people as possible to be effective on their own.

Unfortunately for ordinary feminists, glory addiction makes feminist leaders ineffective as leaders. In “The Arrogance of Feminist Leaders”, I quoted a female feminist professor who wrote about the “vast wasteland of obedient women” in the pro-life movement. From what I see, it’s the feminist leaders who expect obedience, as in obediently donating money and obediently clicking to forward “Your Letter” to politicians. According to several online sources:

“Email is by far the least effective way” to contact politicians and some politicians “do not even read email”.

“An influx of email” tells the politician “that someone has a good network”. This would be especially true when NOW inserts, “as a supporter of the National Organization For Women” in “Your Letter”.

“Copying standard letters is relatively ineffective.”

“Mass emailing politicians can overload mail servers and be blocked like spam”.

Perhaps out of frustration, some politicians will decide that “the sender probably just cut and pasted what someone else said.”

One “Never” for contacting politicians is to “Fail to include your name and address, even in email letters”.

NOW has never asked me to include my name and address on a NOW form email. As you might have guessed, I have never forwarded an ineffective NOW form email.

I did find advice for writing effective letters to politicians. For people who are not used to writing letters, below is a suggested template. In general, people affected by the issue should include:

A description of who they are – single working mother, person with a disability, job training participant, ex-Marine.

The fact that they’re residents of the official’s district, or participants in a program in his district.

What they want the official to do.

Their connection to the issue – program participant, staff person, community volunteer, parent of a child with disabilities.

This template is the opposite of what NOW leaders expect NOW members to obediently forward to politicians who will decide to ignore emails that say little and represent no real people.

Lets’ go back to NOW’s “dedicated network of grassroots activists” for a moment and consider its effectiveness.

If politicians can dismiss emails for having the same words, then they can dismiss demonstrations for having the same faces. The only evidence NOW presents about demonstrations is that the same people keep showing up and saying the same words. Why should politicians pay any attention to the same faces saying the same words over and over again? Why should any politician assume that millions of women want anything only a few women are demanding? (We don’t know how many NOW activist faces there are, remember, because that’s a secret.)

Feminist leaders need to feed their glory addictions. They need to travel around the country and share their glory addictions with other glory addicts. They need to convince themselves that they deserve the glory because ordinary women are only capable of forwarding form emails and sending money. They need to keep secrets from those unsophisticated ordinary women to protect their special status as “dedicated grassroots activists”. Why would feminist leaders keep choosing to be ineffective?

Perhaps they are intentionally ineffective to hide their glory
addictions.

Perhaps the power to keep secrets that give them control has
altered their brains.

Perhaps they are too unsophisticated to recognize the differences
between effectiveness and ineffectiveness.

Keeping secrets is a way to control supporters while pretending to work for the good of supporters. It’s also a good way to hide the leader attitude that supporters are too unsophisticated to be vocal and active on their own. If NOW supporters don’t know what the “dedicated network of grassroots activists” do, they’ll never figure out that they could do or already are doing all of the same things themselves. NOW President Terry O’Neill likes keeping secrets so much that she flaunts her power to keep secrets on NOW’s website.

I once used my website to make personal photographs available to someone in a different part of the country. I did not want to risk losing the photographs because they were irreplaceable to both of us. I created a hidden web page, uploaded the photographs to that page, and sent the page URL to the other person. The other person was able to get their own copies of the photographs without anyone else knowing.

Are NOW leaders so unsophisticated that they don’t know how to create hidden pages for passing information meant only for a certain few? Or are they purposely announcing their secrets as a way of satisfying their glory addictions?

If you want effectiveness in gaining anything for women, write your own letter about the details of your life and how a policy would affect you. Sign your name and give your address. Save your money for your own trip to a demonstration. Your individual words and your different face will have more of an impact than anything feminist leaders do with their form emails and form demonstrations. If you want to donate money, donate it to Boldprogressives.org so they can continue their training sessions around the country.

Early today, August 27, 2014, I received an email from PCCC listing the progressive candidates they had helped win primary elections:

Ruben Gallego, Arizona

Won his election for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bonnie Watson Coleman, New Jersey

Won her election for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Pat Murphy, Iowa

Mike Honda, California

Won his election for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Senator Brian Schatz, Hawaii

Won his re-election for the U.S. Senate

PCCC obviously knows how to be effective with its training on “cutting-edge” political campaigns. Their effectiveness proves that they deserve your money, not ineffective NOW.

Also, take advantage of any opportunity in your life to help other women succeed. The more successful any woman is, the more opportunities for success and equality all women will have, including feminist leaders.

August 29, 2014 Update

On August 28, 2014, I received an email from NOW with the subject line “Breaking: Terry arrested”.

Dear Paula,

I just got back from the White House and I wanted our supporters
to be the first to hear about this: Terry has participated in an act
of civil disobedience in support of immigration reform that is fair
to women.

Terry’s just been arrested. Share this graphic and help us spread
word that we need immigration reform that respects women
and families.

Further down the email says this:

Show your support for keeping families together — and stand
with Terry — by sharing our graphic with your loved ones.

The graphic is a photograph of Terry O’Neill being arrested.

Note that the author of this email, Chita Panjabi, starts her message by making herself look important:

“I just got back from the White House…”

Panjabi is well-versed in the art of creating glory fixes.

What does a graphic about Terry O’Neill getting arrested show about the need for immigration reform? Nothing.

Someone took the time to superimpose a quote from Terry O’Neill on top of the graphic:

“Immigration reform that respects women and families is a
feminist issue.”

The graphic does not represent “breaking” news.

O’Neill is wearing a red shirt with the NOW logo. She looks like she is talking into a microphone. Across the road in the background is a large crowd. If there are immigrant women and families in the graphic, they are in the crowd in the background. They are invisible, which makes them unimportant. Terry O’Neill is in the foreground, which makes her visible and important.

NOW President Terry O’Neill wants us to see for ourselves that she stands out from the crowd. The graphic is about Terry O’Neill and the National Organization for Women. It is not about immigration reform or immigrant families.

Which action is more effective in bringing about immigration reform?

Sharing the graphic of Terry O’Neill getting arrested while
wearing a shirt with a NOW logo?

Training progressive candidates to run effective campaigns
that win primary elections and general elections?

The graphic is yet another example of NOW President Terry O’Neill’s glory addiction and the lengths she will go to get a glory fix.

“HOW TO: Contacting your elected representatives”
thehighroad.org
February 23, 2006

“How to Get Politicians’ Attention”
Electronic Frontiers Australia
September 20, 2004

“How to Write Effective Letters to Congress: Real Letters Are Still the Best Way to Be Heard by Lawmakers”
Robert Longley
About.com

“Protect Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin): Letter-writing guide & Example Letter.”
The Wilderness Society
October 2014

“When Power Goes To Your Head, It May Shut Out Your Heart”
Chris Benderev
August 10, 2013
National Public Radio

“Writing Letters to Elected Officials”
Community Tool Box
ctb.ku.edu

“Writing to the media and politicians”
MohammedAmin.com

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.

What Do Feminist Leaders Have In Common With Outlaw Bikers, Hierarchical Leaders, Donald Rumsfeld, & The Old Guard Of The Catholic Church?

Originally published May 21, 2014.

Updated and republished September 15, 2015

People can have many things in common, including behaviors and attitudes.

Outlaw Bikers

Feminist leaders share two commonalities with outlaw bikers.

Commonality #1

Expecting women to remain silent and passive, doing what they are told to do, when to do it, and what to say

The documentary, Biker Chicks: Leather and Lace, chronicles the story of Jennifer Chaffin, founder and president of the largest all female motorcycle club in the world, Leather and Lace. Chaffin married her first outlaw biker husband as a teenager. She quickly learned that as an outlaw biker wife, her role was to “be quiet” and “stay in the background”. Besides sex, outlaw bikers expect biker chicks to provide money.

Feminist Leader Example #1

Eleanor Smeal is a former president of the National Organization for Women and the founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF). Around 1990, Smeal sent out a letter requesting donations. In exchange for completing an Abortion Rights Questionnaire and sending a “generous contribution”, Smeal promised that:

“at least four times a year we’ll notify you of pending actions
nationally and locally and let you know what action steps you
can take.

Smeal emphasized the importance of providing money, then staying quietly in the background by underlining each word separately. At least four times a year, Smeal let pro-choice supporters know what she would allow them to say and do.

Feminist Leader Example #2

The National Organization for Women (NOW) sends out action alerts. The “action” usually means clicking a button to send “Your Letter” to politicians. NOW does not encourage women to use their own words. When NOW feels like indulging in glory for itself, it will include this sort of phrase in “Your Letter”:

“As a supporter of the National Organization for Women…”

Both outlaw bikers and feminist leaders expect women to provide money, then stay quietly in the background.

Commonality #2

Expecting women to provide income without any say in how the money is used, and using the money in ways that do not benefit the women who earn it

The current president of the National Organization for Women is Terry O’Neill. O’Neill frequently sends out emails asking for money. I signed up to receive emails in 2007 or 2008. Frustrated that NOW never felt I deserved an explanation for how they would use my money if I donated, I wrote NOW, asking how it uses donations. I received no direct response. Once in awhile the emails will give some information, but mostly the emails just ask for money. They often include phrases like, “with your help, we can” and “show your support” and “your donation today will help us”. Send money, but stay in the background. Send money but don’t expect to have any say in how the money is used. Send money but don’t ask how we spend the money.

NOW President Terry O’Neill probably does not reveal how she spends the money because she is not spending it for the benefit of the women who donate it. An article printed in several Wisconsin newspapers titled “Abortion foes — big clout, little cash” provided me with some of the details NOW refused to give me. It explained the differences in spending between Wisconsin pro-life groups and Wisconsin pro-choice groups during the 2011-2012 legislative session. Below is information from the article:

Pro-life groups’ spending on lobbying
Wisconsin Right to Life                                                             $  43,730
Pro-Life Wisconsin                                                                     $   63,113

Pro-choice groups’ spending on lobbying
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin                       $241,309

Pro-life groups’ spending on political campaigns
Wisconsin Right to Life & Pro-Life Wisconsin                      $150,000

Pro-choice groups’ spending on political campaigns
Planned Parenthood                                                                $1,300,000

Despite the massive amount of money pro-choice groups spent, they lost in the Wisconsin legislature. Despite the smaller amount of money pro-life groups spent, they won in the Wisconsin legislature. Pro-choice groups had no clout despite their massive spending. Pro-life groups had plenty of clout despite their limited spending. Feminist leaders continually ask for money but spend the money in ways that do not give clout to the women who donate the money. To give the women who donate money clout, feminist leaders would have to change their message.

If babies have the right to life before birth, then they have the right to life after birth. The right to life after birth means children deserve parents who want them. Children deserve lives free of neglect, abuse, and murder at the hands of their parents. The feminist message should be pro-child. Protecting the lives of children would have more clout than protecting women’s right to choose. The pro-child movement could challenge the pro-life movement as only pro-birth, not pro-life. Pro-child supporters could ask pro-birth legislators to explain why they’re not pro-child. Pro-child supporters could ask pro-birth groups what they are doing to protect the lives of children. These tactics would create clout because they would be meeting pro-birth groups at their message that every baby has the right to be born.

I contacted NOW with this suggestion. Since ignoring the women who provide money is what they do, NOW leaders ignored me. Both outlaw bikers and feminist leaders expect women to provide money without any say in how the money is used.

Leaders in Hierarchical Work Environments

In the book, Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, author Peter Sims writes about the fallacy known at Google and other companies as HIPPO, a belief in the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. The fallacy is that “the most experienced or senior person in the group will have the answers.” Sims wrote that a “dominant hierarchical work environment supports the fallacy.” Feminist organizations like FMF and NOW duplicate dominant hierarchical work environments. My evidence comes from a female feminist professor from my grad school days.

When I was  in grad school in the early 1990s, a male professor who considered himself a feminist told me I should write a paper about some of the ideas I had brought up in class. I wrote a paper comparing the words and actions of pro-life leaders and pro-choice leaders. After the male feminist professor read my paper, I asked a female feminist professor to read it. In my paper I described how pro-life leaders told supporters that it was their obligation to take action in their daily lives, an action of their choosing. Pro-choice leaders, on the other hand, made all the choices, telling supporters what to do and when to do it. The female feminist wrote this comment:

“Might those choices be the crucial ones?”

The female feminist professor also wrote:

“You ignore the fact that it takes a certain intellectual sophistication to be pro-choice whereas the anti’s have that vast wasteland of obedient women with time on their hands who are given something to do — however ineffectual it is.”

Feminist leaders live the HIPPO fallacy. They insist on making the “crucial choices” about words, actions, and donations because they believe only they have the “intellectual sophistication” to do so. Pro-choice supporters who remain loyal to pro-choice leaders wait for pro-choice leaders to tell them what to do.

Pro-life leaders believe their supporters have the intellectual sophistication to make decisions about how to participate in the pro-life movement. The “vast wasteland of obedient women” accepted their obligation to take action in their daily lives and continued taking actions. More than 20 years after I wrote my paper, abortion is mostly unavailable and severely restricted where it is available. It does not matter that abortion is legal for women who have no access to abortion services.

Donald Rumsfeld

As Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld was responsible for planning the invasion of Iraq. He sent too few troops to secure the country after the invasion.

NOW puts too few people into the field as activists. NOW trains state and national leaders to be activists. Maybe they also train other people they handpick. NOW has never answered my questions about how they pick activists or who those activists are. In a press release about a training weekend, NOW wrote that:

“Eleven of the new state presidents, coordinators and executive
directors” plus “33 activists from 14 states braved the chill of an
extended Washington, D.C. winter for intensive training in the
area of their choice.”

That amounts to 44 activists from 25 states, if the 11 were from different states. My guess is that ordinary NOW members paid for the transportation and lodging that allowed these brave people (an extended Washington D.C. winter requires bravery?) to socialize together.

The NOW press release also said,

“Activists from four additional states met during the weekend
to plan reorganizing and revitalizing their state organizations,
which had lately been inactive.”

 Did former NOW members in those states grow tired of  the “be quiet” and “stay in the background” expectations of NOW leaders?

Contrast those 44 leaders and activists from half the country against the millions of pro-life supporters speaking their own words and taking their own actions in their daily lives. Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life (MCCL) organizes a fall tour every year. MCCL trainers travel around the state offering training to anyone who wants to take it. Attendees can then take action everyday in the course of their daily lives. Pro-life activists in one state far outnumber NOW’s pro-choice activists for the entire country, because MCCL also trains children to be activists. Since they learn to be activists as children, they will likely continue to be activists as adults.

Donald Rumsfeld and feminist leaders share an ineffective strategy of putting too few people in the field to be effective.

Old Guard of the Catholic Church

A U.S. News & World Report article about the Catholic Church’s attempts to recover from its sex scandals revealed that lay Catholics are unhappy with the way bishops handled the crisis. Lay Catholics are also unhappy with the bishops themselves. Suzanne Morse, spokeswoman for Boston-based Voice of the Faithful said, “We see an old guard that is unwilling to give up a lot of the power and authority they’ve had for years and years.”

In a Time magazine article about abortion, reporter Kate Pickert wrote that the older feminists are “reluctant to pass the torch” of power and authority to younger women.

The old guard of the Catholic Church and the old guard of feminist organizations continue to hold onto the power they’ve had for years and years.

Same Old, Same Old

As you can see, feminist leaders have too much in common with patriarchal male leaders to be anything other than same old, same old. So much for their claims of creating equality for women. Some of the same old includes being less than honest (patriarchal fathers, husbands, bosses, politicians, etc.) and hiding information (patriarchal father, husbands, bosses, politicians, etc.).

The Not Quite National Organization for Women

NOW is not quite the national organization it would like people to believe it is. Before NOW revamped its website, it was easy to see which states did not have any chapters at all. Once when I checked, five states did not have chapters. That’s 10% of the states. And remember, the press release about the activist training weekend included this statement:

“Activists from four additional states met during the weekend to plan reorganizing and revitalizing their state organizations, which had lately been inactive.”

The revamped website makes identifying states with “inactive” chapters (real meaning: no chapters) more difficult. NOW doesn’t want you to know that it’s not always — if it ever was — a national organization.

Feminist Leaders Keep Secrets

Beware of NOW emails and blog posts and anything it says in its press releases. NOW has repeatedly proved that it hides facts. It has hidden facts about:

Procedures for choosing activists

Whom they choose to be activists

How it spends donations

Big spending failures

Number of states without chapters

What else is NOW hiding? Is it hiding information because it expects its supporters to be a “vast wasteland of obedient women” who are too intellectually unsophisticated to understand the reasoning behind the crucial choices made by the intellectually sophisticated leaders of NOW?

Is NOW also hiding information so they can continue to hold onto the power and authority they refuse to pass to younger women?

Plus, there is the issue of titles. Until I pointed this out in blog posts, NOW President Terry O’Neill did not like being caught without her title. I actually saw just “Terry O’Neil” somewhere once, probably in an email. This title need seems to be a common trait for NOW presidents. I once counted “NOW President Kim Gandy” eight times on NOW’s home page. Apparently, NOW members and website visitors are too intellectually unsophisticated to remember who the current president of NOW is without constant reminders.

“NOW President Terry O’Neill” reduced her name count on the old NOW website. O’Neill, however, found a way to remind every visitor of just how important she and other NOW leaders are at the new now.org. A choice at the top of the NOW’s home page is “NOW LEADERS”. It opens a page that says:

Protected: NOW Leader Docs

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Why did NOW make this logon page public rather than private? It’s a public announcement that NOW leaders are intellectually sophisticated people who need to hide (protect!) information from the intellectually unsophisticated members of NOW.

In case website visitors fail to understand just how important Terry O’Neill is, NOW used to say this at the top of the “NOW PAC” page:

“NOW/PAC Chair Terry O’Neill announced…”

Why does Terry O’Neill need to keep thinking up ways to put a title in front of her name?

Same old, same old.

Comparison/Contrast

Visit mccl.org for a comparison/contrast to now.org. You won’t see any
obsession with power and authority, and you will find all kinds of information. Click on MCCL’s “Visit Out PAC Site” and you will read about political issues. Click on “Student Commons” and you will see how MCCL is passing power and authority to high school and college students while involving elementary school students. MCCL tells members how it spends money and makes 990 forms for the IRS available on request. MCCL has 240 chapters within Minnesota alone.

If you visit the site, I dare you to find a name with a title in front of it. I finally found a title in a press release, but the title came after the name: “Scott Fishbach, Executive Director of MCCL GO”. The press release quotes Fishbach several times, but his title appears only once. Apparently, MCCL believes its members have enough intellectual sophistication to remember who Fishbach is.

Do you have a better understanding of why abortion is legal but mostly unavailable and severely restricted where it is available?

For the Record

With a B.A. in Women’s Studies/Writing, I used to call myself a feminist. Now I call myself an equality advocate. I advocate for equality between women, between men, and between men and women.

I used to call myself pro-choice. Now I call myself pro-child. Children deserve parents who want them.

Update on May 29, 2014

I received an email entitled, “What’s Happening NOW – May Edition” from NOW. The email included a list several items.

Under Can’t Take It No More was information about an independent documentary film “featuring Terry O’Neill”. The documentary is about Walmart workers around the world standing up “for respect, fair pay and economic justice”.

The information that Terry O’Neill is “featured” in the documentary comes before any mention of the Walmart workers. NOW wanted all of its supporters to know that the most important thing about this documentary is that it “features” Terry O’Neill. Visit the Kickstarter funding page for Can’t Take It No More and see if you can find Terry O’Neill’s name anywhere on the front page. The page mentions Walmart workers, Walmart associates, and Walmart strikers. Not a single mention of Terry O’Neill. O’Neill has no time for respecting Walmart workers, associates, or strikers when she sees an opportunity for a glory fix.

Same old, same old.

“Abortion foes — big clout, little cash”
Bill Lueders
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
July 24, 2013

Biker Chicks: Leather and Lace
Documentary
January 20, 2010

Can’t Take It No More!
Citizen Blain Productions

“The General who Understood Iraq from the Start”
Nicolaus Mills
Dissent Magazine
April 25, 2008

“Struggling to keep the faith”
Bret Schulte
US News & World ReportDecember 27, 2004

“What Choice?”
Kate Pickert
Time Magazine
January 14, 2013

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.

When Will Feminist Leaders Do What They Expect Male Politicians To Do?

Originally published October 23, 2013.

Republished September 15, 2015 after a web host transfer.

National Organization for Women (NOW) President Terry O’Neill published an article at huffingtonpost.com with this title:

“The Republican War on Women Can Be Blocked at the Ballot Box.”

O’Neill begins her article with this question:

Question: How do you get politicians to pay attention to
issues that matter to women?

I have a question for NOW President Terry O’Neill (O’Neill prefers to identify herself with her full title):

Question: How do you get feminist leaders to pay attention to
issues that matter to women?

These are some of the issues that matter to women but feminist leaders ignore:

Example #1

In an article about young feminists in the November 2010 issue of More Magazine Jessica Valenti spoke about her experience working for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. She told More: “Whenever there was a photo opportunity, all the young women and women of color would be ushered to the front. But when it came to inviting us to important meetings, that just wasn’t happening. When push came to shove, no one really cared what our opinions were.”

Example #2

In a letter in the November 2008 issue of More Magazine, Lydia Guy Ortiz wrote that she worked daily for feminist causes, but was “rewarded by a movement that does not value the complexity of my life experience.” She ended her letter by saying that the “traditional rhetoric doesn’t include me.”

Ortiz, Lydia Guy
Letters column under “(S)he Said, She Said”
More Magazine
November 2008, page 10

Example #3

During a LinkedIn discussion on feminism, one participant wrote that she found Ms. Magazine to be elitist. “In fact, I found more articles relevant to being a woman in current society in magazines like Family Circle and Woman’s Day than I did in Ms.”

Example #4

Ona Anosike wrote that she feels “marginalized” by current feminism “because I do not see myself, my stories, or the stories of the people I am surrounded by in life”.

Examples #5 & #6

Two women responded to the same blog post:

firetyger wrote this comment:

“The current feminist movement makes me feel completely alienated as a woman. I don’t want to be a part of their group think.  I’m very independent and I don’t appreciate being put down for being more egalitarian.”

mtngirlsouth wrote that feminists treated her as “somehow less intelligent” because she wanted to stay home with her children. She also wrote that she could never understand why to feminists “equality was supposed to [sic] actually mean superior.

Example #7

In January 2010 I wrote NOW a long letter about the issues that matter to me. I never received any response.

Implications

I respect the intelligence of men. I think many men are intelligent enough and perceptive enough to recognize that normal procedure in feminist strategy means ignoring the issues that matter to a wide variety of women. Why should male politicians pay attention to issues that matter to feminist leaders when they see feminist leaders ignoring issues that matter women?

“The Republican War on Women Can Be Blocked at the Ballot Box”
Terry O’Neill
Huffington Post
November 25, 2013

“What the New Feminists Look Like”
More Magazine News & Politics Editors
November 2010

“Why I Stopped Calling Myself A Feminist”
galadrial
galadrial’s Xanga Site
September 2, 2011

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.

Maybe You Can Get An Answer…

Originally published February 7, 2012.

Updated and republished September 13, 2015 after a web host transfer.

This is an email I sent to Rachel Maddow, Reverend Al Sharpton, MoveOn.org, and OurSilverRibbon.org. NOW President Terry O’Neill appeared on Maddow’s and Sharpton’s shows in the fall of 2011. The National Organization For Women participated with MoveOn.org in the Silver Ribbon Campaign in January 2012. The subject line for my email was “Maybe you can get an answer”.

Email Message

Are you aware that the National Organization for Women creates inequality between women? Equality means equal access and equal opportunity.

Read What The New Feminists Look Like” in the November 2010 issue of More Magazine. Once upon a time, Jessica Valenti worked for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. Valenti told More that,

“Whenever there was a photo opportunity, all the young women and women
of color would be ushered to the front. But when it came to inviting us to
important meetings, that just wasn’t happening. When push came to shove,
no one really cared what our opinions were.”

Valenti left NOW and started feministing.com, a blog with readers and contributors from around the world. Feministing apparently has more readers than Ms. Magazine had in its heyday. The National Organization For Women does not even have chapters in every state.

NOW trains only state and national leaders to work on feminist causes. They claim to have “a dedicated network of grassroots activists” that takes action around the country. If NOW trains only state and national leaders, who are the “grassroots activists” in its dedicated network? Not the ordinary women who by definition are the grassroots of a cause. Instead of grassroots action, NOW takes grasstops action. NOW denies ordinary women equal access to training and equal opportunity to take action.

NOW President Terry O’Neill sends frequent emails asking “contributors” for money. (NOW Presidents like to always to be referred to by their title.) NOW President Terry O’Neill never explains how she uses the contributions. It seems to me that NOW uses the money so state and national leaders can travel around the country and socialize with each other while taking the training that is denied to the people who make the training possible.

For the 2012 presidential election, the conservative group Smart Girl Politics had online activist training that any member take. Minnesota Concerned Citizens For Life organizes a fall tour around the state offering training that any member can take. SGP and MCCL provide equal access to training and equal opportunity to take action.

During the 2012 election, SGP regularly sent out surveys to ask members their opinions. I have never seen a survey from NOW, and I signed up for emails years ago. The opinions of ordinary women, young feminists, and feminists of color are unimportant and meaningless to NOW leaders. Ordinary women like me have neither equal access nor equal opportunity to express our opinions.

The women behind Feministing give ordinary women equal access and equal opportunities. Ordinary women can submit posts to Feministing’s Community site. Some of the Community posts later appear on the front page of the Feministing site.

I began pushing NOW to create equality between women with a  letter I wrote in January 2010.  My pushing seems to have had some effect. Since my letter, the phrase “NOW President Terry O’Neill” did not appear on NOW’s old home page quite as often. (I once counted “NOW President Kim Gandy” eight times on NOW’s old home page.) In her frequent emails asking for money, NOW President Terry O’Neill has begun to acknowledge that the ordinary women donating money are part of any success NOW creates.

I’ve also left phone comments about emails from NOW Action Center. The “action” is forwarding “Your letter” to a politician, an email written by NOW. “Your letter” used to include one of these phrases:

“As a supporter of the National Organization for Women”

“As an active supporter of NOW”

“I am writing to you as member of the National Organization for Women”

Those phrases were often at the beginning of “Your letter” so that NOW got its organizational advertising in right away. After forwarding “Your letter”, contributors were also invited to send even more money.

After I left a message on their comment line expressing displeasure about those self-serving phrases, the inclusion of those phrases mostly ended. I hope other women complained about NOW’s blatant attempts for attention. Since self-promotion is most important to NOW President Terry O’Neill, she has never encouraged contributors to write their own letters with details from their own lives.

I plan to keep writing blog posts about feminist leaders because I want equality and feminist leaders are creating inequality.

If you want equality, ask NOW leaders why they deny most women equal access to training and equal opportunity to take action. I can think of only four reasons.

First Reason

SGP leaders and MCCL leaders are smarter than NOW leaders. (They train thousands more people to take action than NOW leaders train, so they are in a better position to influence outcomes.)

Second Reason

NOW leaders think most women are too stupid to train.

Third Reason

NOW leaders think most women are incapable of taking action.

Fourth Reason

NOW leaders are glory addicts who want to keep all the glory of taking action for themselves.

You could also ask NOW leaders why they deny most women equal access and equal opportunity to express their opinions. The reasons would be similar to those above.

Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton should interview Jessica Valenti. Valenti has left Feministing, but the other feminists running it should know how to contact her or would probably be great interview subjects themselves. The interviews would also provide insights into what feminists from around the world are thinking and doing.

I am not trying to get on television myself. I have endured enough thoughtless and insensitive comments, questions, and advice concerning the tragedies I survived to last the rest of my life. If I appeared on television, even more people would feel they had a responsibility to bombard me with thoughtless and insensitive comments, questions, and advice. I am writing books that I will publish myself so that I can do only radio interviews to promote them.

I sent an email to about 45 state NOW chapters. Only one state president responded, and she decided I was off-putting. Since people in your organizations are on speaking terms with NOW President Terry O’Neill, perhaps a few of you could ask those questions about equal access and equal opportunity and get answers. NOW President Terry O’Neill would not answer those questions if I asked them.

Please consider asking NOW those questions so all women can enjoy equal access and equal opportunity.

Update February 2012

On February 16, 2012, NOW Action Center asked supporters to send “Your Letter” with this first sentence:

“As a supporter of the National Organization for Women, I am concerned
about the growing number of attacks in Congress and elsewhere on birth
control – which is basic  health care that should be available to all women
without controversy.”

Obviously, NOW only took a break from its organizational advertising. Details of real women’s lives still do not matter to the leaders of the National Organization for Women.

Update September 13, 2015

Nobody responded to my email.

“What the New Feminists Look Like”
More Magazine News & Politics Editors
November 2010

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.

A Dedicated Network Of Glory Addicts

Originally published September 12, 2011.

Updated and republished September 13, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Sign up to receive emails from the National Organization for Women (NOW), and you will periodically receive emails about their “dedicated network of grassroots activists” that NOW President Terry O’Neill describes as “unparalleled”. NOW President Terry O’Neill (NOW presidents seem to prefer being referred to by their title) continually asks for money to support these unparalleled grassroots activists. I sent an email asking how NOW would use my money if I donated. No one responded. I searched NOW’s website for any information about how NOW leaders use donations. I found no information. I also sent an email to NOW asking how someone becomes an activist. No one responded.

I wrote a long letter to NOW about all of these issues. I also wrote that when I first started paying attention to now.org I thought NOW existed to promote former NOW President Kim Gandy because I was astonished at how often her name appeared on the home page of NOW’s website.  (Since I started writing blog posts about feminist leaders, NOW has changed its website.) One email from the NOW Action Center included “NOW President Kim Gandy” 5 times. I received no response to my letter, though NOW President Terry O’Neill puts her name on the home page less often than she used to. Also, in one of her emails asking for money, she assured readers that our money would always be put to good use. She included no details about what the good uses are.

Some months ago, NOW President Terry O’Neill started using the word “allies” in emails asking for money. She never identifies any of these allies. NOW President Terry O’Neill is consistently secretive about how she spends donations, who can be an activist, what activists do, and who NOW’s allies are. I finally found some information on a page at NOW’s website, but that information is no longer on NOW’s website.

Under “Key Elements” was the list below for “Empower Activists”. It is no longer on the web site.

Train new and seasoned activists:

Conduct a political assessment of the community.

Build supporter lists.

Get media exposure.

Plan local actions.

Organize rapid response teams.

Raise funds.

Sounds innocent and useful, right? Then why the secrecy? Why hide what they do with the money and whom they do it with? Who else hides what they do and whom they do it with? Addicts. NOW President Terry O’Neill, the dedicated activists, and the allies are all glory addicts. They get their glory fixes from situations that make them feel important and meaningful. They are a dedicated network of glory addicts.

This glory addiction goes back at least two decades. Eleanor Smeal, president of NOW from 1977 to 1982 and again from 1985 to 1987, sent out a letter around 1990 that began with the sentence, “For the past 20 years I’ve fought for women’s rights.” In exchange for completing an Abortion Rights Questionnaire and sending a “generous contribution,” Smeal promised that “at least four times a year we’ll notify you of pending actions nationally and locally and let you know what action steps you can take.” Smeal added the underlining. In that letter, Smeal succinctly described the purpose of the National Organization for Women and her Feminist Majority Foundation — to give glory to feminist leaders while keeping ordinary women silent, passive, and waiting for permission to speak and act.

In an October 7, 2010 email NOW President Terry O’Neill wrote:

“With your help, we can support our grassroots activities in the states where
feminists have the most to lose.  States like California, Pennsylvania, Florida,
Washington and North Carolina. We can return our friends to Congress and
bring them reinforcements as well, but only if we have the resources.
Contribute today.

With the elections less than a month away, there is absolutely no time to waste.
NOW’s nationwide network of grassroots activists are making phone calls, going
door to door, and urging voters, especially women, to get out and vote — but we
cannot do it alone.  Contribute today.”

Notice that NOW President Terry O’Neill does not ask ordinary women to participate in the “grassroots” activities. We are only supposed to send money so that all the glories of being important and meaningful go to the glory addicts.

More clues are in an August 10, 2011 email from NOW President Terry O’Neill:

“But this time around was different! In the run-up to the siege, the National
NOW Action Center worked around the clock, placing hundreds of phone
calls to supporters in the Washington, D.C., metro area, coordinating rides
and trainings, and welcoming NOW grassroots leadership from around the
country into our neighborhood.”

First, the activists at the National NOW Action Center got their glory fix of importance and meaningfulness. Second, the “NOW grassroots leaders from around the country” got their glory fix of importance and meaningfulness. What do you want to bet that donations paid for the travel expenses of those “grassroots leaders” so they could get their fixes of feeling important and meaningful? It is only a guess, of course, because NOW President Terry O’Neill keeps the details of what she does with the donations a secret, that classic sign of addiction.

One of my favorite examples of what NOW leaders, dedicated activists, and their allies will say to justify feeding their addiction is this statement from an article about a spring 2005 State Presidents Training Program:

“In addition to elected leaders, 33 activists from 14 states braved the chill of
an extended Washington, D.C., winter for intensive training in the area of
their choice.”

Telling themselves that they “braved” the chill of an extended Washington, D.C. winter made them feel important and meaningful. I live in Wisconsin. An extended Wisconsin winter is far colder than a “chill”. Would NOW leaders, dedicated activists, and their allies give me the glory of feeling important and meaningful for braving long Wisconsin winters to go about what I do to create equality for women? Never. They are grasstops who cannot allow a real grassroots movement of ordinary women to show up their “bravery” as a sham.

Somehow, ordinary citizens who believed in Barack Obama managed all by themselves to contact people, organize meetings, and urge people to go out and vote. NOW leaders, dedicated activists, and their allies seem to think that ordinary women who support equality do not to have the same abilities as the ordinary citizens who believed in Barack Obama. According to NOW President Terry O’Neill, ordinary women who support equality need leaders, dedicated activists, and their allies to speak words and take actions. What is unparalleled about this dedicated network of glory addicts is its system of excluding ordinary women from taking real grassroots action.

Feminist leaders, dedicated activists, and their allies need ordinary women to remain silent and passive to guarantee a steady supply of the importance and meaningfulness that satisfies their glory addiction. NOW leaders, dedicated activists, and their allies will employ all the secrecy they can muster to keep feeding their addiction. If any of them read this post they will do what any self-respecting addict would do — deny, deny, deny.

I challenge NOW President Terry O’Neill to explain her secrecy about how she spends donations and chooses activists. I challenge NOW President Terry O’Neill, the dedicated activists, and their allies to explain why they prevent ordinary women from taking their own — and real — grassroots actions.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.