Ms. Magazine published the article ‘Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood’ in 1976.
More than 40 years later, former National Organization for Women (NOW) vice president Gilda Yazzi filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against NOW and national NOW President Toni Van Pelt for race discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation. NOW filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Part of the lawsuit was dismissed, but the motion to dismiss all counts was denied. The lawsuit is moving forward.
Other NOW staff members and interns accused Van Pelt of discrimination: “illegal, morally reprehensible, dishonest, destructive, and frankly toxic behavior.”
Trashing to create intentional inequality is a feminist leader tradition.
Fortunately, NOW includes state chapter leaders and national board members who do want equality. They called for Van Pelt to leave NOW. Van Pelt resigned, citing health reasons.
NOW has yet to create equality between its own staff and members. How can it possibly create equality between women and men?
“‘Don’t Forget the White Women!’: Members Say Racism Ran Rampant at NOW”
The Daily Beast
August 12, 2020
“President of Now steps down amid racism allegations at feminist group”
August 17, 2020
“Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood”
1976, pages 49 to 51 and 92 to 98.
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
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 to 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!
hooks, Steinem Vaid, and Wolf could have created equality between women. They could have provided a platform for women who choose not to call themselves feminist to explain their choice in their own words.
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, as inferior and of secondary importance.
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.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.
“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
University College Cork, Ireland
This project is no longer available online.
Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present.
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 or months.
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