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

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
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As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anythingthe 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 insults, 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 Leaders 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 July 14, 2019

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